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Possibly getting a biscuit joiner this week

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Forum topic by OIF2Vet posted 06-06-2011 09:06 PM 1367 views 0 times favorited 53 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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OIF2Vet

12 posts in 1311 days


06-06-2011 09:06 PM

I’ve been looking at the PC 557 Biscuit Joiner for a couple of weeks now. I’m fairly new to all of this, but my plan is to build some pieces for my home, friends and family. However, along the way, I would like to build some things that I can sell to help me purchase additional tools, stock and supplies.

I currently have a planer, jointer, tablesaw, router table, miter saw and several other power and hand tools. I do not have a drill press or band saw yet.

I’m hoping to speed up my turnaround somewhat by getting a biscuit joiner. Is this a wise investment at this stage in the game for me? Basically, what kind of bang am I going to get for my $$?

-- Rick P, Grafton, WV


53 replies so far

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#1 posted 06-06-2011 09:12 PM

I know they’re popular and I have one, but I’m just not really big on them myself. They’re not typically for fine woodworking (if you’ll pardon the expression) but for alignment and rapidity of construction, they really excel. I expect the responses below to be mixed with very little in between. Someone will recommend dowels, but the majority will recommend a loose tenon setup. Another will mention a slotcutter on a router table. It should be interesting….:)

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

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Chipy

374 posts in 1347 days


#2 posted 06-06-2011 09:21 PM

When I have the bucks it will be Porter Cable for sure it is the best one for the money IMHO.Yes they have there joinery uses and can speed things up but it is not the total answer.Have you looked at Kreg jig pocket hole joinery system?You can see a video on YouTube. I worked in cabinet shops for 13 years and have built cabinets all sorts of ways such as dowels, rabbits, dadoes,crown staples,you name it, but I wish we had a Kreg jig! You can make boxes real fast! You just have to get creative on hiding the pocket holes witch is not that hard.

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Chipy

374 posts in 1347 days


#3 posted 06-06-2011 09:31 PM

There is no right or wrong joinery method.What ever way you choose to join two pieces of wood together you need two things,it looks good and it is strong!Some purists insist on mortise and tenon only, thats just a little bit narrow of a view on this thing we call wood working.

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#4 posted 06-06-2011 09:35 PM

When I have something utilitarian to do around the shop, it’s the Kreg jig all the way. For around $40, you’ll have something that makes very strong square joints. I built this crummy little trap door in about 20 minutes using nothing but the Kreg.

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

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#5 posted 06-06-2011 09:36 PM

Chipy, you’re right. I’m a mortise and tenon purist because I can be. I don’t sell my work and I can spend a year building a box if I need to! ;) If I had to build things fast for money, you can bet I’d be using biscuits and the Kreg.

You gotta admit, though, Chipy, a hand cut mortise is a Thang O Beauty! :)

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

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OIF2Vet

12 posts in 1311 days


#6 posted 06-06-2011 09:38 PM

I’ve looked at and considered the Kreg kit. I have a cheaper version of it that is made by General I believe. My thoughts are that for $100 more, I can have a bisuit joiner that will probably do a better job (tighter fit) AND there will be less to clean up, hide or plug.

Do most fine woodworkers (which I am as far from as possible at this point) look at biscuit joinery as cheating? Is a piece of furniture considered to be of lesser quality becasue it was constructed using this technique?

-- Rick P, Grafton, WV

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#7 posted 06-06-2011 09:40 PM

It’s generally frowned upon by hand tool purists like me. But who cares what I think! There are people that frown upon anything. If it works for you, looks good, is square, strong, and you like it, that’s the only thing that matters. The Festool Domino is equivalent to a giant biscuit cutter to me.

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

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OIF2Vet

12 posts in 1311 days


#8 posted 06-06-2011 09:40 PM

And while I took 20 minutes to type my response, you guys answered my questions without being asked! HAHA!

-- Rick P, Grafton, WV

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#9 posted 06-06-2011 09:45 PM

You can speed up the mortising if you decide to go that way for a few hundred bucks. You can tell I’m selling the mortise and tenon hard, cant you? Lol :)

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

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OIF2Vet

12 posts in 1311 days


#10 posted 06-06-2011 09:49 PM

That would speed things up! I dont even have a drill press, let alone a mortiser!

-- Rick P, Grafton, WV

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Chipy

374 posts in 1347 days


#11 posted 06-06-2011 09:53 PM

Bertha Don’t get me wrong!The mortise and tenon is the best joint on the planet.If i am going to make an air-loom I will use an M/T joint.If i am going to build some production boxes I got to go with what gets me there quickest without making flimsy junk.I adjust the joint type to the importance of the piece if that makes any sense.

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#12 posted 06-06-2011 10:03 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more, Chipy. I own all the tools mentioned here except the Domino. Whatever gets the job done is the name of the business. Like you rightly say, though, sometimes a special piece deserves special treatment. Box to store brooms in: biscuit all day. Face frame with a hidden back: pocket screw all day. A cherry secretary for your wife: mortise and tenon. Secretery for your fiance’: hand-cut mortise and tenon :)

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

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Chipy

374 posts in 1347 days


#13 posted 06-06-2011 10:28 PM

Bertha I am Jealous that is a sweet Mortiseererer .I see you have fine taste in tools! I have that machine on my list but its near the bottom.By the way that tool got great ratings in WOOD Magazine. I am afraid i will be cutting them by hand for a while.I am weeks away from saying good by to my contractors saw and buying a 3hp cabinet saw and 14” 13/4 hp band saw and 2hp dust collector!

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1447 days


#14 posted 06-06-2011 10:37 PM

If there’s a 3hp cabinet saw on the horizon, that mortiser can wait a LONG time. I’m running a vintage 2HP JET contractor saw. But I know you’ll appreciate this 990 pounds of sweetness! :)

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

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Gene Howe

6058 posts in 2182 days


#15 posted 06-06-2011 10:46 PM

If either of you guys want my unused PC biscuit jointer, I’d be happy to sell it. $75 + shipping.
I’ve owned it for 4 years and it’s never been out of the case.
I’m no purist. M&T works for me, as do pocket holes or dowels.
My Shopsmith DP is very accurate and can even be used as a horizontal borer. Makes chopping those mortises or dowel holes a piece of cake.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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