Biscuits with prefinished parts

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Forum topic by EthanC posted 02-07-2011 03:50 AM 956 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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34 posts in 3270 days

02-07-2011 03:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Has anyone used biscuits only with prefinished parts (such as a bookcase side into a shelf intersection) without pre-taping the part (face grain for lack of a better term, or the side in the example). I know there is obviously some more gluing surface if I tape off the part to avoid getting finish on it. But in a 12 inch bookcase side with three biscuits, that would seem enough, particularly if you are adding a back and pocket screwed face frame biscuited on the carcass. Lets use a show side of a piece in the example, otherwise I would use screws and biscuits.


2 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10396 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 02-07-2011 05:08 AM

Most home craftsman are so freaked out by all the talk about this joint
or that joint not being strong enough they overbuild furniture by
a big factor.

Look at the way the loads are going to occur. On a bookcase it’s almost
all static load from books pushing downward, so use shorter shelves
or fasten them to the back in the middle. The other issue with bookcases
is usually racking if and when they get moved around. In general, nailing
a back on is pretty good insurance against racking. A face frame is overkill,
but if you want one for design reasons that’s okay. No bookshelf without
a back can be expected to last in my experience.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3041 days

#2 posted 02-07-2011 05:19 AM

I have not. IMO biscuits are just for alignment and adds no strength to the joint. Glue does not stick well to finish or if at all so you have to tape it off or finish afterwards. I just use pocket screws and no glue. Glue is not that helpful for long grain to end grain. You need to dado it if you are looking for strength. A edging strip will add strength but really only needed for long shelves.

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