Biscuits, dowels, spline, or hidden tongue/groove - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Biscuits, dowels, spline, or hidden tongue/groove

I'm building a media console, and would like to effectively do a butt joint, with the top overlaying the sides.

I've got a few ways in mind to do it.

The first would be biscuits or dowels. I've never done dowels, before, and honestly getting them perfectly lined up makes me nervous. On the other hand, biscuits don't have the best reputation in the world.

The next option would be to put blind mortises in each piece, and glue them up with a spline. It would be like this, but without the spline going all the way to the ends.



The final option I was considering would be a hidden tongue/groove, where I wouldn't bring the tongue/groove all the way to the end of the piece.

Thoughts? Each one has their pluses and minuses, so I'm open to opinions.
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 03:00 PM
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While plenty don't think biscuits serve a purpose, I think they serve their function well. A good biscuit joiner can give you perfect alignment and I've never had a biscuited joint come loose. I think that would be my choice here. I agree dowels would be hard to line up consistently the entire length.

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post #3 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 04:07 PM
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my choice would be whichever is easiest for you...

I dont have a biscuit jointer. I dont have a dowel locator. I do have a dado stack so tongue and groove it is, for me.

If I had a biscuit jointer, I might be inclined to use that.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 04:14 PM
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If you have a b jointer I'd say go with it, a long spline seems like more work and I never used dowels enough to get good aligning them. The B jointer does most of the work for you. If anyone says biscuits are only for aligning faces they never glued them in.

I put biscuits in the oven for 15 mins at warm it shrinks them even more. Paint the holes and biscuits with glue and they swell up in the holes. I've even used Gorilla glue on joints exposed to the weather.

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post #5 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 05:08 PM
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Personally, I would use a full-length blind spline. A much stronger joint than biscuits, IMO
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 05:50 PM
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How about a half-rabbet?
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 06:14 PM
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Is a much stronger more complicated joint needed? A edge to face grain joint is pretty darn strong to begin with, add in whatever cross bracing is needed and you've created more than enough strength for an entertainment center.

I think sometimes we forget that he worlds strongest joint, board, took, glue or any other thing we're talking about just isn't what's needed.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 07:04 PM
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The spline is a fine joint. You could go one up on it by mitering the corners and including the spline.
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 07:24 PM
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If you have a router table and are feeling adventurous, you might try a sliding dove tail joint, it would sure be strong.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan50hrl View Post
Is a much stronger more complicated joint needed? A edge to face grain joint is pretty darn strong to begin with, add in whatever cross bracing is needed and you've created more than enough strength for an entertainment center.

I think sometimes we forget that he worlds strongest joint, board, took, glue or any other thing we're talking about just isn't what's needed.
It will be end grain to face grain.
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patricksievert View Post
It will be end grain to face grain.

In that case, I would DEFINITELY spline it.
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-27-2015, 08:13 PM
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If its end grain to face them I would use either biscuits or a spline. Either one I would be happy with.

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 08:13 AM
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A common joint for your application is the dadoed rabbet joint.
http://www.onlinedesignteacher.com/f...t%20large.html
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
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A common joint for your application is the dadoed rabbet joint.
http://www.onlinedesignteacher.com/f...t%20large.html
Yep, I second that, but it depends on what tools the OP has to work with, if you are going to cut a dado for a spline you might was well use this method.
If you don't want to or can't cut dados them biscuits or dowels, with a jig, will get the job done.
And that is the joy of woodworking, there is always more than one way to skin a cat.

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post #15 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 10:34 AM
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Are you using a face frame for the front, or no.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 01:37 PM
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Here is an option. Rout a stopped dado in the underside of the cabinet top. That way the dado joint won't show from the front, and you can have whatever overhang you desire on each side and/or the front/rear. Your choice.

I do these with the router table and stop blocks.

Note: The drawing is for one of my projects but depicts the dadoes described above.
Hope this helps.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Are you using a face frame for the front, or no.
No face frame. I didn't want to do the rabbeted dado for aesthetic reasons. I want it to look like a butt joint from the front.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 03:41 PM
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Can i ask a quick novice question? Followed most of the thread here, but please, what is a biscuit?
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 03:59 PM
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They're little pieces of pressed board that are used like this. You typically use a biscuit joiner to cut the slots


Name:  ImageUploadedByWood Working Talk1422478777.497036.jpg
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The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-28-2015, 04:01 PM
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The tool looks like this. Name:  ImageUploadedByWood Working Talk1422478910.732696.jpg
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