Biscuit joiner - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Biscuit joiner

Is a biscuit joiner one of the tools that a person should buy top of the line or does a mid price one work fine for the average woodworker? The price range seems to be $39.00-$500?? what do ya recomend? Gary Itchy
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post #2 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 09:37 PM
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I have the DeWalt biscuit jointer, at the time I bought it, it was rated as one of the best. It's been a good machine for me.
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post #3 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 10:29 PM
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De Walt or PC 557 unless you are running it 8 hrs a day Lamello is severe overkill.
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post #4 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 10:38 PM
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I bought a cheep-o Brand CMT for about $25.00. The base is all plastic. I didn't want to spend a lot of money until I knew if it was worth having one. Well I have used it quite a bit and it is holding up well. However if I had the money to get one in a nice carrying case I would upgrade.

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post #5 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 10:48 PM
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I've had the porter cable since they first came out and have no complaints. One of the only features I think you should look for is an easily adjustable fence, both for height and also angle. Other than that they really aren't a high tech tool. I also have the little Ryobi mini biscuit jointer. It's a little one hand operation with the largest size biscuit only being 5/8" long. Good for teeny stuff.
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post #6 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 11:09 PM
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A biscuit cutter is one of the few tools that I really don't think you need. I had a DW682K for 6 years and used it less and less, then sold it. For starters, very few joints require biscuits. Secondly, for those that do, you can buy a router bit for $20 and cut slots with the router. A basic $20 pocket hole jig is much more useful IMHO.
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post #7 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 11:27 PM
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My Ryobi JM82K came with a nice carry case, and enough biscuits to be addictive. Biscuit Joints are great where the strength of M&T isn't required, such as face frames, and mitered corners in picture frames and raised panel doors... The plunge action is smooth, and alignment has been perfect every time... I don't recall which magazine it was, but one of the big WW mags did a a comparison between between biscuit joiners, and the Ryobi and it's Craftsman sibling scored just under the Lemello.

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post #8 of 43 Old 11-27-2008, 11:40 PM
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biscuit joiner

Quote:
Originally Posted by knotscott View Post
A biscuit cutter is one of the few tools that I really don't think you need. I had a DW682K for 6 years and used it less and less, then sold it. For starters, very few joints require biscuits. Secondly, for those that do, you can buy a router bit for $20 and cut slots with the router. A basic $20 pocket hole jig is much more useful IMHO.
I have to agree here.I have one that I bought when I did furniture work and it was more of a pain than a helper.The biggest myth in my opinion is that biscuits give you a stronger joint,all they do is help you line up the piece a little better,but by the time you measure,then cut the slots,you can have the boards glued up.Get you a GOOD set of bar clamps(not pipe clamps)and you won't need this tool,as all you have to do is make sure your edges are square,then lay them on the clamps(after glueing the edges real good)then snug up the clamps tap the boards even,then tighted and they will hold great.
Ken
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post #9 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 01:55 AM
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Craftsman... $80. Unless you're running a production, it's not worth extra cash. My Craftsman is smooth as silk... my buddies even like Harbor Freight (around $40?).
I've heard a lot of complaints about Craftsman stuff. But I've never had a problem. Has always run good for me.
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post #10 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
The biggest myth in my opinion is that biscuits give you a stronger joint
This is new to me. I was getting ready to buy one
for some parts for the boat.

I need to edge glue and then plane some full one
inch oak. I have a lot of 1"X6" stock but I need
several 1"X12" pieces, they are only about a foot
long but will be load bearing on the end grain.

This is what they look like and I planned to put
the biscuits a quarter inch from the edge on
each side. The cut out at the bottom is for a
frame member under the seat.

Would I be just as well off to save my money and
just glue them and put a cleat across them for added
strength?

Forgive the picture, I didn't spend much time on
it..

Last edited by BHOFM; 02-21-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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post #11 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarionflyer View Post
Craftsman... $80. Unless you're running a production, it's not worth extra cash. My Craftsman is smooth as silk... my buddies even like Harbor Freight (around $40?).
I've heard a lot of complaints about Craftsman stuff. But I've never had a problem. Has always run good for me.
Ditto. Craftsman is usually my first choice unless I just want something cheap for very limited use.

G
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post #12 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 05:46 AM
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Bohfm, it is new to me also. A biscuit WILL add strength, it is just obviously not as strong as mortise and tenon. Whether or not that extra strength is needed can be debated.

I find using biscuits is much faster than other techniques that can be used to assist in joining and alignment. It takes no time to cut the slot and insert a biscuit.

G
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post #13 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 08:56 AM
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BH,
I would probably only put one row of biscuits in your one inch oak. When you start getting a little close to the edge, sometimes the swelling of the biscuits will raise a slight bumb in the surface of the wood.
Mike Hawkins
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post #14 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 09:38 AM
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Biscuit joiners

Sorry George,but it has been provin that they are not any stronger than a good clean butt joint,but yes they do in some cases make allignment a little easier.To bad we don't live next door,as we could have a little challenge here .Glue up two boards with and two without and see which one breaks easier.I'v never had a glue failure without biscuits in over 30 yrs,but have has headaches with them.Thats why I stopped using them.I am not trying to be disrespectfull to your opinion,just telling of mine and others personal experiance.
Ken
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post #15 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The woodsman View Post
Sorry George,but it has been provin that they are not any stronger than a good clean butt joint,but yes they do in some cases make allignment a little easier.To bad we don't live next door,as we could have a little challenge here .Glue up two boards with and two without and see which one breaks easier.I'v never had a glue failure without biscuits in over 30 yrs,but have has headaches with them.Thats why I stopped using them.I am not trying to be disrespectfull to your opinion,just telling of mine and others personal experiance.
Ken

That is news to me. I am wondering, since the WW mags seem to love them so much, do you possibly have a link to a good write up on the subject, or are we talking personal experience here (which is perfectly legit as well...) Not trying to be a pain, just digging for more info. What you are saying is contrary to what I have heard for at least 10 years...

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post #16 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 09:53 AM
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It has been provin that they are not any stronger than a good clean butt joint
How can that be ? Makes no sense to me.
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post #17 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yikes!Seems like I raised a bone of contention here as to wheather a biscuit makes the joint stronger or not?Wadya say Mike?
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post #18 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 11:26 AM
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I would purchase the DeWalt biscuit joiner and you will be very happy to own it. It is very easy to use and adjust. Red

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post #19 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 11:47 AM
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Used to have a PC 555. Replaced it with a PC 557 for the face frame biscuit capacity. Works well, as long as you are VERY careful to keep adjacent bords aligned when gluing up. the loose fit before glue sets can be a problem if you aren't aware. Any time I have used biscuits, they never have failed

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post #20 of 43 Old 11-28-2008, 12:13 PM
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Yikes!Seems like I raised a bone of contention here as to wheather a biscuit makes the joint stronger or not?Wadya say Mike?
No harm Itchy! ...a good discussion is healthy!

To clarify my view, a tight fitting edge joint is sufficiently strong when properly glued and clamped with good glue and doesn't typically need reinforcement from biscuits. Under severe stress, the wood near a joint is more likely to break than the glue joint itself. While I've never had a biscuit joint fail on a good edge joint, I've also never had a proper glued edge joint fail either. Biscuits are a poor substitute for tight fitting joints to start with.

With end grain joinery, T&G and dowels have been proven to be stronger than biscuits, which is why I contend that a biscuit cutter is an unnecessary tool, which is not saying biscuits have no use.
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