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Forum topic by MrRon posted 07-09-2017 04:51 PM 742 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

4492 posts in 3079 days


07-09-2017 04:51 PM

Ignoring the use of the Domino machine, I ask you which of the following joints is the most reliable and easiest to do?....Dowel joint; biscuit joint; spline joint; Kreg joint. I think the dowel joint is the most difficult joint to make due to the precise spacing of dowel holes. Biscuit joints are easy to do, but I always have a misalignment issue where one surface stands proud of the other in a butt joint. Spline joints usually work best for me. I have used Kreg joints, but they don’t apply to butt joints.


27 replies so far

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papadan

3584 posts in 3204 days


#1 posted 07-09-2017 04:59 PM

I just butt the wood together and clamp. If it is small, I sometimes throw in a dowel for added strength. Really all depends on what you’re building.

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Loren

9614 posts in 3483 days


#2 posted 07-09-2017 05:03 PM

For me, I like dowels. A good jig or two
makes doweling faster.

Biscuits are fast but you have to clamp.

Kreg joints are okay but due to the angle
of the screw they have a tendency to slip
slightly out of alignment when assembled,
adding sanding time.

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AlaskaGuy

3645 posts in 2144 days


#3 posted 07-09-2017 05:08 PM

Why are we ignoring the Domino machine? ”. There are machine that make all the joints you mention in you post.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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AlaskaGuy

3645 posts in 2144 days


#4 posted 07-09-2017 05:11 PM



For me, I like dowels. A good jig or two
makes doweling faster.

Biscuits are fast but you have to clamp.

Kreg joints are okay but due to the angle
of the screw they have a tendency to slip
slightly out of alignment when assembled,
adding sanding time.

- Loren


I don’t think I’ve ever made a dowel joint. So I have to ask. Do dowel joints not need clamping like biscuits do?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Loren

9614 posts in 3483 days


#5 posted 07-09-2017 05:17 PM

They hardly need clamping and they go
together flush. I clamp them anyway
but not much pressure is required and
the clamps can come off pretty quick.

Say you’re mitering a corner. With a biscuit
you’d have to figure out a way to clamp it
until the glue sets. With dowels, often
the joint can just be pushed together.

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Rick_M

10614 posts in 2215 days


#6 posted 07-09-2017 05:42 PM

Dowels had a bad reputation for a long time and I’ve seen plenty of doweled furniture come apart (glue starved) so deep down I don’t trust them for anything other than alignment but fluted dowels might have better durability. The tricky part is there needs to be some slop for glue, otherwise a tight fit will push all the glue out. That’s why fluted probably work better. Biscuits are a fast and easy lightweight joinery. When I hear complaints about slop, is usually with Freud or other inexpensive plate joiner.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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jbay

1856 posts in 735 days


#7 posted 07-09-2017 05:57 PM


When I hear complaints about slop, is usually with Freud or other inexpensive plate joiner.

- Rick M

Technique!

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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AlaskaGuy

3645 posts in 2144 days


#8 posted 07-09-2017 06:01 PM



Dowels had a bad reputation for a long time and I ve seen plenty of doweled furniture come apart (glue starved) so deep down I don t trust them for anything other than alignment but fluted dowels might have better durability. The tricky part is there needs to be some slop for glue, otherwise a tight fit will push all the glue out. That s why fluted probably work better. Biscuits are a fast and easy lightweight joinery. When I hear complaints about slop, is usually with Freud or other inexpensive plate joiner.

- Rick M

Biscuit slop (I have a ELU “Dewalt” joiner) that’s why I finally went with a Festool Domino. But….I still use my BJ from time to time because sometimes I want a little slop.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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ArtMann

685 posts in 651 days


#9 posted 07-09-2017 11:42 PM

Dowel joints are easy but you have to be willing to spend over $100 on a good jig. The cheap self centering ones are just too hard to match up holes. Jessem and Dowel Max are the only two brands I know of that are worth using. They provide an error free placement of adjacent pins.

I am fond of using pocket screws where it is appropriate. My shop cabinetry is all put together with a Kreg jig.

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MrRon

4492 posts in 3079 days


#10 posted 07-10-2017 07:09 PM



Why are we ignoring the Domino machine? ”. There are machine that make all the joints you mention in you post.

- AlaskaGuy


I ignored the Domino because it is acknowledged to be the best at what it does. If I had a Domino, I wouldn’t be having this discussion. In that case, I would be ignoring all the other joint making methods.

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jonah

1448 posts in 3134 days


#11 posted 07-10-2017 07:23 PM

Also because it’s incredibly expensive.

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MrRon

4492 posts in 3079 days


#12 posted 07-10-2017 07:34 PM

The problem with most butt joints is the two boards don’t come together perfectly. This happens because the boards are not perfectly equal in thickness. If we try to center a dowel hole on the edge of the board, an adjacent hole might not be centered. If we locate holes referenced from only one surface, one side will be flush, but the other side will have some mismatch and that will require sanding or planing down to achieve a flush surface. IMHO dowels and splines appear to be the best for flush alignment, but the boards need to be prepared carefully as to squareness, straightness and thickness. Even when using a Domino, the same wood preparation still applies.

I just finished putting 2 table top together. I used biscuits on one and splines on the other. The splined joint was better aligned and required less sanding to make flush. The biscuit joint had too much slop and required much more sanding for good alignment.

Because of the difficulty of getting well aligned butt joints, I try to stay clear of butt joints altogether; that’s where plywood comes to the rescue.

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waho6o9

8027 posts in 2412 days


#13 posted 07-10-2017 07:34 PM

Dowels work well for me.

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jonah

1448 posts in 3134 days


#14 posted 07-10-2017 07:47 PM

If two boards aren’t exactly equal in thickness, no alignment system is going to save you, so I’m not sure I understand your point.

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Planeman40

1035 posts in 2596 days


#15 posted 07-11-2017 06:02 PM

I have a quick and sure way of doing dowel joints. I glue the joint and THEN drill the dowel holes from the outside and insert the dowels. Not good for fine furniture, but great for most everything else. Just view the sanded dowel ends as just a decorative part of the design. : )

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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