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Biscuit or no biscuit?

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 03-03-2011 08:44 PM 3641 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2508 days


03-03-2011 08:44 PM

I am considering buying a biscuit joiner to assemble the joints on the melamine cabinets I talk about in an other post..
As I read reviews and other documents I realize that some people love to use them and some hate them.
A few years back they were all the rage, that has change, why?
What is your opinion?
What is biscuit joiner good for and when to not use it?
I never used one so I have no experience.
Would you recommend the Freud for around $100.00 on Amazon?
Which size of biscuits am I going to need?
Please help.
Thanks.
Bert

-- Bert


30 replies so far

View Pdub's profile

Pdub

915 posts in 2639 days


#1 posted 03-03-2011 08:52 PM

I used a Kreg pocket hole jig when I built the cabinet in my projects, but I used oak veneer. I don’t know how well that would work on melamine. I use a biscuit jointer for the miter joints on my flag cases. I haven’t heard of any problems with them so far. This probably doesn’t help much, but I’m sure other LJ’s will have alot more experience on this subject.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2152 days


#2 posted 03-03-2011 08:57 PM

I’ve got no beef whatsoever with biscuits. I like mostly traditional joinery but if the project calls for it, I’ll reach for the biscuit. Although I’ve got the DeWalt joiner, I prefer to use the slot cutter on the router table. I’m perfectly happy with my DeWalt but for my purposes, probably any would do. Plan on getting an assortment of biscuits. Your joiner will accommodate several varieties. I seem to use the smaller biscuits more often (“FF” maybe, am I remembering that correctly?). You’ll get some better advice here from people who use them more than I.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2508 days


#3 posted 03-03-2011 09:06 PM

Bertha,
Question ;
I could also use my router table but how do you make sure that the slot is center from side to side (is this a stupid question?)?

-- Bert

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ClayandNancy

511 posts in 2474 days


#4 posted 03-03-2011 09:10 PM

I have the Dewalt jointer and I have used it a lot. But not for strengthening the joint, for alignment purposes. I trimmed out the windows and doors in our home and used it there. I have no separation or misalignment any where.

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3122 days


#5 posted 03-03-2011 09:15 PM

“What is biscuit joiner good for …”

Alignment. Biscuits add little to the strength of a joint, but they can be of great help in aligning the pieces to be joined.

I have a DeWalt … got it for free. I bought a DeWalt DW733 planer from an elderly gent who decided to quit woodworking. He said if I would gibe him $200 cash, he would throw in the biscuit jointer. Both machines were in perfect shape.

“I could also use my router table …”

You could, but unless you are talking about very small, manageable pieces, my advice would be to use a hand-held router with an edge-guide.

—Gerry

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

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dbhost

5604 posts in 2691 days


#6 posted 03-03-2011 09:23 PM

I generally agree with the statements above about Biscuits giving little in the way of strength, they do excel however at assisting with alignments. I have the Ryobi biscuit joiner, and while I don’t use it all the time, I DO use it for some jobs that I simply can’t seem to get done without it. Face frames, and mitered frames come to mind.

The Ryobi is a fine little joiner, but the D handle is something you either love, or hate. Most people seem to prefer the barrel handle setup like the Dewalt and Freud models… I like the D handle, a LOT… Personal preference I guess…

Biscuit size varies by the project I am working on…

I think it’s called a “domino” which is a similar joiner but it cuts holes for these blocks that are basically loose tenons that are pretty nice, but the cost of those is so steep that I can’t even consider one…

I guess for a lot of my joints that I use the biscuits on, pocket holes would work too…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3439 days


#7 posted 03-03-2011 09:24 PM

Hi Bert;

We use a biscuit jointer all the time, and love ‘em. They make alignment of parts easy, while you drill holes and add fasteners.

I have had a Freud unit and also a Dewalt, but I like the Porter Cable unit best. As far as biscuit size, you can buy a bag that’s assorted, consisting of three sizes. 0, 10, 20, which will handle most jobs, but I believe there is 1000 biscuits in this bag. Or you can buy smaller quantities, o any given size. Number 10 is a popular size.

Side to side alignment isn’t critical, as the slot has some wiggle room.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2152 days


#8 posted 03-03-2011 09:33 PM

Re: “I could also use my router table but how do you make sure that the slot is center from side to side (is this a stupid question?)?”

No, not a stupid question at all! The posts above point out how the biscuit excels at alignment. I’ve never used a biscuit to impart strength, as they rarely if ever do. For many applications, the finding of absolute center may not be necessary. What may be most important is the distance from the show side (using the face frame as an example). I find the router table armed with a slot-cutter to be great at cutting biscuit slots that are of consistent depth from the show side. Of course, it only works for certain projects.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2508 days


#9 posted 03-03-2011 09:58 PM

Thank you all for your replies.

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2508 days


#10 posted 03-03-2011 10:25 PM

Do you know anything about Triton TC9BJM 9 amp Biscuit Joiner?

http://www.amazon.com/Triton-TC9BJM-amp-Biscuit-Joiner/dp/B00196NNL2/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1299184114&sr=1-4

Thank you.

-- Bert

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SnowyRiver

51452 posts in 2940 days


#11 posted 03-03-2011 10:38 PM

I use biscuits all the time for making panels. I tend to use pocket screws for face frames and occasionally mortise and tenon joints. I know there are a lot of debates raging about added joint strength from the use of biscuits. Not being a scientist, I wouldnt have any data to prove one way or the other, but I cant imagine that it doesnt add strength to the joint. They add glue area, and I would think they also change the shear angles. My plate jointer is a PC and I like it. Its worked great over the years.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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Loren

8294 posts in 3107 days


#12 posted 03-03-2011 10:43 PM

I have one of the older Freud models. It cuts fine when using the base
to register cuts (which can be done for all cabinet-making stuff with
sheet goods) but the fence is junk.

I saw the newer model Freud Avanti joiner with a better fence design being closed-out at a local Lowes for $70 or something.

I now have the Porter Cable 557 and the fence is much better.

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Loren

8294 posts in 3107 days


#13 posted 03-03-2011 10:44 PM

double posted

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Howie

2656 posts in 2382 days


#14 posted 03-04-2011 02:53 AM

I have a Sears. Used it a few times and now it gathers dust. Nothing wrong with it,just prefer other methods.
I do not know of anyother use for one except biscuits.

-- Life is good.

View allmyfingers's profile

allmyfingers

40 posts in 2106 days


#15 posted 03-04-2011 03:45 AM

we use an old ryobi joiner which works just fine, it is such a simple process we’ve never felt the need to upgrade that tool. however, we rarely use it since Kreg pockets came into our shop. biscuits are great for alignment as said by others, but thats about it.

-- I cut it 3 times and it was still too short?!?

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