Wood Joiners

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Forum topic by Branum posted 02-22-2010 08:06 PM 1038 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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54 posts in 2585 days

02-22-2010 08:06 PM

Hello all.

I have never jointed wood before and am wondering if a biscuit joiner is worth purchasing? In my inexperienced opinion it seems that a biscuit joint will not be that strong. I have routers (plunge and fixed) as well as a table so I can make rabbit joints easily. The joint I have in mind will be for the length of a bed (at this time it will be 7 feet long). I also have the PC dove tail jig so I could make box joints along the length of the wood very easily. I thank you all for your time and knowledge!


-- Branum

11 replies so far

View Branum's profile


54 posts in 2585 days

#1 posted 02-22-2010 08:11 PM

Hello again,

I should clarify that I have never jointed along the length of wood before. I am skilled at corner joints. Again thank you.


-- Branum

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3636 days

#2 posted 02-22-2010 08:19 PM

What are the widths of the two boards you are joining?

A biscuit joiner is a good tool to have, but I don’t necessarily think you should buy one just for this job. Just gluing them together is probably sufficient.

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

View TheDane's profile


4930 posts in 3081 days

#3 posted 02-22-2010 08:34 PM

FWIW … biscuits add very little strength to the panel, but they are useful for alignment purposes.

The most important thing, IMHO, is to make sure the edges you are joining are square and straight. In my experience, the modern glues are stronger than the wood.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2898 days

#4 posted 02-22-2010 08:54 PM

I agree with Charlie, that if you are just doing this one project, it would be expensive to buy a good plate jointer. You could use dowels which might be cheaper. I know there has been much discussion about the value of a biscuit adding strenght to a joint. Although I am not a scientist and have no measurements proving one way or the other, I cant imagine that it wouldnt add strenght to a joint. It provides more glue surface than just joining the edges. It also changes the angle of the glue up so the stress to break the joint would have to be applied in two different directions in order to break the bond. I always use biscuits and have never had one fail.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Branum's profile


54 posts in 2585 days

#5 posted 02-23-2010 12:36 AM

Hello all.

Thank you for all the info that you have provided. I will be joining 2 2X12 boards to make one 2X24.


-- Branum

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3423 days

#6 posted 02-23-2010 01:51 AM

Biscuit may be a good idea if you’ve never tangled with gluing two hefty (and maybe slightly bowed) boards together. They need to align pretty good assuming you may not have a 24” planer to run the final glue up through.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Kevin's profile


462 posts in 2623 days

#7 posted 02-23-2010 05:26 AM

You could use a reversible glue joint router bit also. I would just prefer to make sure I have a good jointed edge on both boards and make sure they are planed to final size before gluing. The glue will be stronger than the wood.

Biscuits imho are just basically used for alignment, but with experience, jointed edges and planed to same thickness just using the good old glue ups is fine with me :)

-- Williamsburg, KY

View hokieman's profile


173 posts in 3172 days

#8 posted 02-23-2010 05:38 AM

I have a biscuit cutter and never use it. I have not found that it helps align boards nor adds strength to the joint. I have never had simple edge joint fail so I would spend your money on other tools.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2492 days

#9 posted 02-23-2010 06:07 AM

If you go back about 15 years, biscuit joiners were in vogue, primarily because Norm Abram was so enthusiastic about them. Today, not so much. I own a biscuit joiner and I use it on occasion, primarily for alignment purposes. I also think it is helpful when gluing end grain, but with respect to end grain I think dowels are better. I would not recommend that anyone buy a biscuit joiner today. I fear that they were a fad that came and went.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View bill1352's profile


130 posts in 2539 days

#10 posted 02-23-2010 06:38 AM

If your glueing end grain you might try a lap joint. say 2”+ This will increase the glue surface and change an end grain to a partial long grain glue up. long is always stronger then end grain. you can always then drill in a couple dowels thru both boards. it would take some force to break that type of joint.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

View bob101's profile


283 posts in 2868 days

#11 posted 02-23-2010 05:30 PM

glue alone on a properly edge jointed board, even long ones should be good as the glue is far stronger than the wood,(a joint always breaks along the wood never the glue), not in my expeiences anyway.

-- rob, ont,canada

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