First biscuit joining project question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-09-2007, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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First biscuit joining project question

I'm making a base for an entertainment center that I have been working on. It's all cherry. My first real finished wood project and a real leap of faith I must say. The base is 4 legs vertical, with a frame of 4 arched cut 3/4x3 boards. The plan shows biscuit joining with #0 biscuit. My first biscuit job so I set up and did some test plunges on scrap wood. The flat on the wood where I need to join is only 2-1/2". With the joiner set on #0 and fine adjustment all the way down the plunge yields about a 2-5/8" wide cut... breaking out of my parts. I made a manual stop (block of wood carefully calibrated with the table saw) and it worked out... but I was wondering if there was something I was missing... is the plan in error or is my biscuit joiner crap?

thanks!
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-09-2007, 08:57 PM
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Rather than biscuits

I would suggest pocket screws for a joint like this.

Ed
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-09-2007, 09:58 PM
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I wouldn't use biscuits or pocket screws. Even a loose spline is better than a biscuit. From your description of the joint it sounds perfect for M&T or dowels. The easy out isn't always the best out.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-09-2007, 10:13 PM
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I agree with cabinetman...making a M&T joint would be ideal.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-10-2007, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the alternative method ideas but... the parts are all made, I am following plans, I am learning as I go, and no one has answered the question yet. In this case I just want to learn about biscuit joining. I was considering adding a diagonal brace on each corner which I would pocket screw on.

I also cut a groove in the inner perimeter of this frame where I will use table top fasteners ("s" formed) to attach to a piece of 3/4" cherry plywood that I trimmed with real wood. The cabinet will then sit on and attach to this.

thanks
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-13-2007, 09:57 PM
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whenever I am using bisquit joinery to make table tops or other large boards I have found it necessary to clamp them at 90 degrees as well as clamping them to pull the pieces together...else I end up with bucklng and unevern joining of the pieces which necessitate belt sanding to get them level...pain in the backside...but lesson learned early on...must have Murphy as helper...
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-14-2007, 08:12 AM
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Never fails.
When I try to use biscuit joinery, no matter how careful I am, I always tend to cut one side higher than its mate on at least one joint. The only fix is to recut the slot which makes for a real sloppy joint.

These days I reserve biscuits for stuff I don't care so much about, like storage/utility boxes.

Since the pieces are already cut, I would opt for dowels.
Should you "miss" with a dowel, you can always glue a piece od dowel in the misaligned hole, cut/sand flush and re-drill. Very forgiving process.

Just my .02
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-14-2007, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks for all the alternate suggestions. BTW, I did not fail to align anything. My test cuts were longer than the parts as the author showed. I made a stop to prevent this. I also clamped a "walk stop" to the bench and a "back stop" for the parts, so all the joints were dead in line with my mark.

No one here figured it out, so leave it to the guy that never used one... The author of the plan used must have used a 2" diameter dato blade instead of a 4"

ciao
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-15-2007, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by crecore View Post
OK, thanks for all the alternate suggestions. BTW, I did not fail to align anything. My test cuts were longer than the parts as the author showed. I made a stop to prevent this. I also clamped a "walk stop" to the bench and a "back stop" for the parts, so all the joints were dead in line with my mark.

No one here figured it out, so leave it to the guy that never used one... The author of the plan used must have used a 2" diameter dato blade instead of a 4"

ciao
My guess is that the author was using a biscuit cutter instead of a dado blade. It would have a much smaller diameter.
Gerry
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-15-2007, 11:09 PM
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I just happened to do a sample board for biscuit cuts. This is the results I get from my cutter.
#20 = 5/8" deep X 2 1/2" wide
#10 = 9/16" deep X 2 1/4" wide
#0 - 1/2" deep X 2" wide
I too was worried that the biscuits where going to be to wide.(They where). So now I keep this scrap board that I made the three cuts on for future referance. Hey, I'm old and forget a lot of things.

Mike
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-16-2007, 09:49 AM
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On my biscuit joiner I have to change cutter blades when I'm using a "0" biscuit. It's much smaller than the normal cutter and cuts much shallower and narrower. That may be your issue.
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-05-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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On my biscuit joiner I have to change cutter blades when I'm using a "0" biscuit. It's much smaller than the normal cutter and cuts much shallower and narrower. That may be your issue.
True, because standard plate joiner cutters ( at least PC ) are set up for sizes 20, 10, and 5, .........
That in itself could be the problem......since I'm not really sure I've ever seen or heard of a 4" or 2" dado blade.........perhaps you could provide a link to the author's plans that we can see for ourselves the operation he intends the builders to follow..........

Last edited by woodman51jfk; 01-05-2008 at 11:27 PM.
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-06-2008, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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This has been taken care of guys. Apparently the biscuit cutter I have did not come with the smaller blade. I just made a stop block and plunged shallower so it didnt make too long of a cut and break out of the end of my piece, worked fine. Of course I havent progressed on it at all since. no time, work, holidays, other projects, helping others, etc.
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-06-2008, 08:06 PM
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This one thing I like anbout my cheap biscuit joiner, it will do 20,10 and 0 without changing the blade.
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-07-2008, 10:32 PM
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This one thing I like anbout my cheap biscuit joiner, it will do 20,10 and 0 without changing the blade.
Would you mind sharing the make and model of that rig??
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-10-2008, 06:09 AM
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Just for sake of reference, they do make a smaller biscuit than a "0" but I don't know if it requires a smaller blade on th biscuit joiner.

Vic
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-11-2008, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ebrowers View Post
Just for sake of reference, they do make a smaller biscuit than a "0" but I don't know if it requires a smaller blade on th biscuit joiner.

Vic
You will need a mini joiner or a router bit set. I think MLCS has a set that will do round ones, which are not as wide. They still have the height.

MY joiner is a O'Malley. Not the best for adjustments.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-11-2008, 04:07 PM
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Well I`ll tell you what! There was not alot of thought put into the design of the plate joiner. The 2and 1/4" problem is only one problem. The bisquit swelling and cracking the wood is another. Someone designed a smaller tool with really small bisquits!!! Which is fine...but who wants to keep buying bisquits? The Kreg Jig put a stop to the Plate Joiner in my opinion. Plate joining still has it`s place...but not in my shop! I`ve heard about the LaMella (high dollar) but I don`t hear about it anymore! The plate joiner is nothing I would spend time mastering!!! It`s just too messy!! Rick

Never... I mean always... never mind Rick
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-11-2008, 04:23 PM
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If the #0 biscuit is 2-5/8" and your stock is 2-1/2" you are definately going to have a space problem... Either go with a different type of joint, or make pieces with wider mating surfaces so that the biscuit doesn't go all the way through, crack / split them...

MLCS has some funky round biscuits, and a special router bit that is supposed to make the slots for those biscuits. Not sure how it is supposed to work though...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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