A lap joint is a technique of joining two pieces of material together by overlapping them. In a half lap joint, material is removed from each of the members so that the resulting joint is the thickness of the thickest member. Most commonly in half lap joints, the members are of the same thickness and half the thickness of each are removed.
Half lap joints are used extensively in traditional timber framing, construction and cabinetry for framing. They are quick and easy to make and provide reasonable strength through good long grain to long grain gluing surface. The shoulders provide some resistance to racking (diagonal distortion). They may be reinforced with dowels or mechanical fasteners to resist twisting.