gluing up cherry for panels for kitchen cabinets

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Forum topic by HarleySoftailDeuce posted 10-02-2009 05:14 PM 2811 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3383 days

10-02-2009 05:14 PM

Hello all,
I’m about to start my kitchen cabinet doors, (cherry hardwood), and need a bit of advice. Should I use biscuits for the glue up? I know I first have to joint, plane to same thickness and cut oversized length. If anyone who has more detailed info, and or a link to a tutoral, it would help immensely.

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

9 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4182 days

#1 posted 10-02-2009 05:26 PM

I have a biscuit joiner and I use it for a number of different things. However, I’ve glued up panels with and without biscuits, and I just don’t see any advantage to using them. Your glue joint will be plenty strong enough without them, and they are not a foolproof way to keep your panels perfectly aligned, because your slots can be slightly off or have a little bit of play in them.

My biggest piece of advice for panel glue up is to make sure to use clamping cauls to keep your panel flat.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4278 days

#2 posted 10-02-2009 05:29 PM

No need for biscuits. I glue up my panels then plane them. Alternate the grain, the cup of boards. If you look at the end grain you will see an arch. Have one faced up the next faced down. This should help keep your panels flat.

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3383 days

#3 posted 10-02-2009 06:05 PM

Thanks for the help. I will not use biscuits, and be sure to alter the cupping, and use cauls also to keep them flat. I did think about making Shaker flat inserts, but they look so bland.

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3786 days

#4 posted 10-02-2009 06:27 PM

Paul, I have to agree with Charlie and Dennis. Early on I used biscuits when gluing up panels but have quit doing so. Modern glues are so strong that with a long grain to long grain bond that you are joining here the glued boards will be stronger than the raw wood itself. So biscuits really do not add any structural strength to the panel. In addition once the glue cures and dries the biscuit can shrink and the void caused by this shrinkage can lead to formation of a dimple in the panel.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rwyoung's profile


409 posts in 3436 days

#5 posted 10-02-2009 09:06 PM

FYI, if you do decide to use the biscuits (alignment purposes) AND you are going to bevel the panels, KEEP TRACK OF WHERE THE BISCUITS ARE. Wanna guess how I know that?

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3305 days

#6 posted 10-02-2009 09:26 PM

no biscuits , the glue is good .
i clip my corners , so they don’t get glued to the
rails and stiles , that way they can move with
the expansion contraction .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3249 days

#7 posted 10-03-2009 03:15 AM

Paul, sounds like you got good advice and you’ve taken it to heart. No need for biscuits, a good joint, glued and clamped is good. If your panels are not wider than your planer, then it works great to glue your panels up a little thicker and plane down to the exact thickness afterwards…....if not, just take your time and align as close as possible. Staggering the growth rings is alway the best when doing wider panel. Good luck and keep us posted.

-- John @

View Rogue's profile


260 posts in 3434 days

#8 posted 10-03-2009 04:17 AM

My opinion, biscuits are over rated dude. We make all the doors and raised panels finished ends for all our cab jobs. I have glued up a ton of table tops and have never needed them. I haven’t even been able to justify buying my own biscuit jointer. Glue your panels up over sized and plane them down to final thickness after. Calls should be enough alignment. If they aren’t you might want to look at your planning mathods and stock selection.

-- Rogue

View Demowen's profile


121 posts in 3361 days

#9 posted 10-03-2009 04:31 AM

I would always go with biscuits over no biscuits. As long as you have some good apple butter :).... OH were we talking about wooden biscuits?!? Just a glue joint is great.

-- Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish the work of our hands- establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:17

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