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I want to eventually build a farmhouse table out of reclaimed lumber but first I would like to do a trial build of a table top with cheap spruce 2x8s to see the process through. Questions would be how to accurately edge the boards as I do not have a jointer? Can I do this on a table saw? And if yes how do I get the first reference edge to run against the fence? Additionally can the boards be just glued or must they be reinforced with biscuits or screws? If no fasteners how does the top hold together with only glue?

Text Drawing Sketch Design Pattern


Any pointers would be greatly appreciated as I am as green as the spruce boards.
Thanks!
 

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In History is the Future
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Google "table saw straight rip jig" for ts jointing ideas.

For joinery, only glue is more than sufficient. The resulting glue joint is stronger than the wood. Biscuits are garbage. Pocket screws are pointless.

Modern glue is amazing stuff.

ps, biscuits do nothing for "alignment" no matter what anyone says.

You issue will be face jointing. You will need to face joint one side before thickness planing. If the reclaimed lumber is stable and very flat (not unusual for reclaimed) and you are trying to keep the rough look of the wood you can finagle it and skip the face jointing but you will need to use cauls during the glue-up.

If you are keeping the rough look of the lumber it's a good idea to joint only the glue edges so that the rough continues around the edges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
firemedic said:
Google "table saw straight rip jig" for ts jointing ideas.

For joinery, only glue is more than sufficient. The resulting glue joint is stronger than the wood. Biscuits are garbage. Pocket screws are pointless.

Modern glue is amazing stuff.

ps, biscuits do nothing for "alignment" no matter what anyone says.

You issue will be face jointing. You will need to face joint one side before thickness planing. If the reclaimed lumber is stable and very flat (not unusual for reclaimed) and you are trying to keep the rough look of the wood you can finagle it and skip the face jointing but you will need to use cauls during the glue-up.

If you are keeping the rough look of the lumber it's a good idea to joint only the glue edges so that the rough continues around the edges.
Great information. Thank-you!
 

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Google "table saw straight rip jig" for ts jointing

Modern glue is amazing stuff.

ps, biscuits do nothing for "alignment" no matter what anyone says.

While I think Firemedic is a fine fellow, here is what I say-
PVA glue isn't stronger than hot hide glue and biscuits do assist in alignment, particularly for longer boards. But I'm not a medic or a fireman I just do this every day for a living, year after year.
 

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I do this for a living as well and...

Every time you hear someone say biscuit jointers don't work, you know for certain they don't know how to use one. I've seen it first hand a few times. They help with alignment although splinting can work better IMO.

The reality is, if relying on glue to keep your furniture together, you're not building heirlooms.
There's nothing wrong with that, but glue does not last forever. Big boards do. ;)
 

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My comments were intended for pedestrian work, not heirloom quality work. If building furniture I do not use biscuits, the main reason is that there have been instances where a biscuit has telegraphed thorough to the finished surface. Truth be told I haven't used a biscuit joiner in years, I use a Domino but still would not use it for this application. With regards to the longevity of glue joints there is a great body of furniture held together with only glue which is hundreds of years old and is still in good condition. One only needs to look at a Steinway or a Stradivarius for conformation.

The op wants a rough table using minimal tools and for this application biscuits are fine.
 

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Keith Mathewson said:
...If building furniture I do not use biscuits, the main reason is that there have been instances where a biscuit has telegraphed thorough to the finished surface...
It's my understanding that the biscuits swell with the application of glue. Is this correct?

If so, can the "telegraphing" be avoided by leaving glue out of the biscuit slots?
 

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While I think Firemedic is a fine fellow, here is what I say-
PVA glue isn't stronger than hot hide glue and biscuits do assist in alignment, particularly for longer boards. But I'm not a medic or a fireman I just do this every day for a living, year after year.
I never said Hide Glue was inferior to PVA or Urethanes. Depends entirely on Gr Strength.

I guess I'm just a hobbyist, huh. Someone should have told me!

Keith do you have an antique biscuit cutters but more importantly do you have any antique compressed ply biscuits mixed into those moulding planes? What ever did they do before?


My comments were intended for pedestrian work, not heirloom quality work. If building furniture I do not use biscuits, the main reason is that there have been instances where a biscuit has telegraphed thorough to the finished surface. Truth be told I haven't used a biscuit joiner in years, I use a Domino but still would not use it for this application. With regards to the longevity of glue joints there is a great body of furniture held together with only glue which is hundreds of years old and is still in good condition. One only needs to look at a Steinway or a Stradivarius for conformation.

The op wants a rough table using minimal tools and for this application biscuits are fine.
Keith, you have experience, I won't argue that. I also don't need to agree with you.

Why do you, and so many others, assume that people have to learn the wrong way the first time because they aren't building fine furniture?

Skills build on skills. Let them learn correctly and skill-build. "It's my first project" is the absolute worst excuse for crap, like pocket screws, and serves as a disservice to beginners everywhere.

Fostering proper joinery and proper techniques is how we as responsible woodworkers ensure this trade continues.

Does the OP want to learn woodworking or does he just want to try and get through this one project? Why not actually help him as a woodworker rather than help him through a one-timer?
 

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I do this for a living as well and...

Every time you hear someone say biscuit jointers don't work, you know for certain they don't know how to use one. I've seen it first hand a few times. They help with alignment although splinting can work better IMO.

The reality is, if relying on glue to keep your furniture together, you're not building heirlooms.
There's nothing wrong with that, but glue does not last forever. Big boards do. ;)
Life Gaurd! Bring him back to the kiddie pool please before he drowns.

This is a grown-up discussion.
 

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Keith, you have experience, I won't argue that. I also don't need to agree with you.

Why do you, and so many others, assume that people have to learn the wrong way the first time because they aren't building fine furniture?

Skills build on skills. Let them learn correctly and skill-build. "It's my first project" is the absolute worst excuse for crap, like pocket screws, and serves as a disservice to beginners everywhere.

Fostering proper joinery and proper techniques is how we as responsible woodworkers ensure this trade continues.

Does the OP want to learn woodworking or does he just want to try and get through this one project? Why not actually help him as a woodworker rather than help him through a one-timer?


No you don't have to agree with me, you are certainly entitled to your own opinion.

My approach to teaching or advising others comes from having owned a furniture making school where when I started my approach was much as you describe, but over time I found that people, and be that I mean hobbyists, needed to have a number of small successes to be encouraged to continue on and learn better skills and in turn build better projects.

In my experience if someone with a limited amount of skill attempts to create a piece using only traditional joinery techniques they will almost certainly spend so much time on it that it is no longer enjoyable and the end result will be less than hoped for. With that as an early experience few people are encouraged to buy better tools and learn better techniques. If however they can build on small successes over time will discard the shortcuts as skills improve, but only if they have a passion for the work and are not looking for a solution to a need.
 

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Why do you, and so many others, assume that people have to learn the wrong way the first time because they aren't building fine furniture?

Skills build on skills. Let them learn correctly and skill-build. "It's my first project" is the absolute worst excuse for crap, like pocket screws, and serves as a disservice to beginners everywhere.
I understand your logic and where you coming from, but to present another perspective...as a beginner wood worker, it can be overwhelming to build to an expert level on your first go round. On my first piece of furniture I used pocket screws. It may be considered "crap" joinery to an expert, but to me, I don't see it and I can look at the piece and be proud that I built something. It wont pass for high end, but I got it done and learned a lot building it. If I had only been taught to use mortise and tenon joints, fine finishes, etc, I might have been overwhelmed and figured i'd put it off since this is a hobby and not something I have loads of time for.

Now it's nice to know about other joinery methods and what is considered higher skill and more professional quality, but I'll work myself up to those things as I go. But I would agree that teaching someone the wrong way to do something would be wrong. Like saying cut a mortise and tenon with a circular saw and then fill in the gaps from the blade on the mortise with wood filler. Which I believe was your main point with the biscuits. While they are delicious, you don't think they're beneficial in wood working and others do, but you wouldn't want to see a new guy learning to use them and thinking they need them when you don't believe they do. I can see that.
 

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I teach Traditional Woodworking at LSU. Approaching things from this angle is simply not an option.

When students come through they are, in a very real and practical sense, apprenticing - not being bombarded by panhandling sponsor's wares.

They are taught traditional joinery with traditional tools and traditional techniques. The only variation to be seen is in pointing out the differences in tools and techniques derived from cultural / regional variations.

Pocket screws and biscuits do not fit into that equation any more than having the apprentices that I have had over the years learn them to help me on pieces - it's counterproductive.
 

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where's my table saw?
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all philosphical discussions aside......

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/mission-headboard-build-37911/



Here's the way I would get glue line straight edges on rough sawn boards..... with curved edges. I use a lot of rough sawn oak, had it milled here on the property, air dried and and then build with it after it's acclimated in the shop.

I seldom, if ever, need a board longer than 8 Ft, so a piece of 1/4" hard board AKA Masonite, can be the base of the jig. A 1 X 3 is used to strengthen it and as a mount for the toggle clamps. The short fence on the front I have found is optional. Nothing has moved under the clamps as many times as I have used it .... lots.

You run the factory edge of the jig/hardboard against the fence to insure a straight rip on the other side. You clamp the board any manner you need to give the most yield to your piece. Keep pressure in and forward and you will have nice straight edged boards:
I needed to straight line many, actually dozens of pieces, so I made a "jig" rather than scab on strips each time, which is way too time consuming for me.... "snap on" then rip and "snap off'"...next piece... :yes:
I made two sizes,one long enough for 8 footers and a 54" for shorter boards. I used 1/4" hardboard for the bottom and a 1 X 3" piece of Oak for the toggles to mount on. It looks like this:

__________________
Having said all that, whether you use additional alignment devices or methods like dowels, bisquits or splines MAY depend on your glue up methods and clamps. Proper clamping procedure requires a flat surface to work on, lower and upper clamps tro equalize the pressure and possibly cauls on either end to insure the boards don't slide up or down as the clamp pressure is applied.
I have used bisquits :yes: with good success. I don't use the biscuit joiner as instructed by the manual. I lay the work flat on the table an use the large base of the joiner as my reference, rather than the smaller fence supplied. To get different heights off the table I use a 1/8" or 1/4" plywood as a stick on base to raise the cutter.

I don't like dowels because of the alignment issues not only for height, but laterally.

I have used full length splines on long runs, made the groove with a slot cutter in my router. I use a 1/8" cutter and 1/8" hardboard for the splines. Where the hardboard will show, I stop the groove short, and use a shorter spline.

Sometimes, there are several right/correct answers to the same issue. It depends on skill level, available tools, budget, who it's for, who's paying for it, OR is it a "teaching/learning" experience as this Thread is supposed to be....? :blink:
If you don't learn something from every project you make, you have either made many of the them before exactly the same or your methods have become so familiar that it's just a chore and a bore. If that's the case, it may be time to think about making new and better jigs to make repetitive operations more efficient.
 

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This is an open forum, and will glean responses from a variety of individuals with varying experience and knowledge. If someone gets blasted for their opinion, what good is it. We all are entitled to have our own opinion.

This is a woodworking forum. For some, looking for the fastest, easiest way to do a project may be their only goal. For others, tapping into the members that are traditionalists, or in other terms to those that use joinery methods that are accepted as possibly a "better" way of fabrication, get that opinion.

In order to satisfy those requests, it may be necessary to offer all the methods. So, it's difficult for some of us to answer certain questions, as this being a woodworking forum, it seems logical to offer suggestions that are considered to be the best choices. If, it becomes necessary for those that can, to answer a question by listing every conceivable method, would likely tire a respondent out with lengthy responses.

As for straight edging a board without a jointer, it can be done simply on the table saw, by affixing a straight edge overhanging one edge (that gets guided on the fence). That will give a straight cut on the opposite edge. The straight edge can be as simple as a strip of plywood, using the factory edge...and it can be as thin as ¼". If the board is rough, the side on the table during this pass may not sit flat, which would affect the straight edge being produced.

I've made no bones about my opinion of pocket screw joinery, or biscuits. Personally I think it's junk joinery. It seems to be a quick fix. If the quick fix is important, why not just suggest butt joints with screws or staples, or nails. It's obvious that many join a woodworking forum with an immediate problem that needs addressing, and once that gets answered, the member is done, and has no interest in becoming part of this community to learn the craft.






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where's my table saw?
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I apoligize on behalf of the WWT community.

Really. Did you write that.

I joined this to feel a part of a bigger, online community...you should be flagged for launching insults.
That's not any way to greet a new member. We are usually very friendly and non-confrontational here, but occasionally someone gets a "bug" and goes off the rails. Firemedic is certainly a well respected and knowledgeable member here, I donno what ticked him off and it really doesn't matter. There are different strokes for different folks and there is sometimes more than one right answer and well as wrong answers to any given issue. :yes:

Respect is earned here just like anywhere else. If you have proven credentials to back your "opinions" that always lends credibility to them and that applies to anyone and everyone here, not just new comers. In my own case, when I have an opinion I try to back it up with either photographs of my own work or equipment, or on line links to sources such as You Tube where a video is worth 10,000 words. Blanket statements are always open to controversy, unless backed up with examples or other data.

Relax a bit and you will have a good time here. Drinks are on me...:drink::drink: :smile: bill
 
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It's my understanding that the biscuits swell with the application of glue. Is this correct?

If so, can the "telegraphing" be avoided by leaving glue out of the biscuit slots?
Sorry for the delay, this discussion seems to have gone off the rails. It is my understanding that biscuits are compressed and the water in the glue swells them. It would seem reasonable to assume that without glue being applied that no swelling would occur.

misfitloghunter,

Sorry for the manner with which you were treated, Firemedic is generally a considerate member and I hope that given a chance to reflect he will offer the apology which it clearly called for.
 

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Really. Did you write that.

I joined this to feel a part of a bigger, online community...you should be flagged for launching insults.
You comment on a member for what you call "launching insults". Do you read what you write? In your posting below, you insult the individuals that express their opinion of using biscuit joiners. Are you so perfect and knowledgeable, that you call some method "splinting"?


I do this for a living as well and...

Every time you hear someone say biscuit jointers don't work, you know for certain they don't know how to use one. I've seen it first hand a few times. They help with alignment although splinting can work better IMO.

The reality is, if relying on glue to keep your furniture together, you're not building heirlooms.
There's nothing wrong with that, but glue does not last forever. Big boards do. ;)
IMO, firemedic's response wasn't intended to be derogatory, but sounded more like it was in jest. It might help if you filled out your profile, give a little background, your experience, and even what part of the world you are located. Post some pictures of your work, if you have any.






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