LumberJocks

Biscuits, Pocket Screws, T&G, or Other for Flat Surfaces?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by MJClark posted 10-15-2018 12:37 PM 940 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MJClark's profile

MJClark

32 posts in 56 days


10-15-2018 12:37 PM

What is your favorte method to join wood to create a large flat surface such as a table or desk top? In the past I have gone with T&G or Pocket Screws. I was reading that biscuits don’t add much in strength compared to a traditional face joint glued up. Last time I used pocket screws it worked ok and while I think it would be fine if you are only seeing one side, I would not want to do it for a project where both sides are visible. I don’t have a biscuit cutter but I have used a slotted router bit after seeing how a custom cabinet manufacturer was doing it. They noted it speeds up the process as you only need to line them up in one direction.

What is your preferred method and why?


16 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

411 posts in 791 days


#1 posted 10-15-2018 12:40 PM

Glue.

-- Sawdust Maker

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3134 posts in 1652 days


#2 posted 10-15-2018 01:41 PM

Glue provides more then enough strength.

I generally don’t use anything, but sometimes it is necessary, for example a slightly bowed board that you can’t joint. In that case, dowels or Dominoes are the best option. You can also cut slots and use short splines (be sure to orient them 90° to grain direction of panel). Biscuits don’t work as well for this purpose IME.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5048 posts in 2522 days


#3 posted 10-15-2018 01:44 PM

Just glue and cauls for alignment.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3342 posts in 1969 days


#4 posted 10-15-2018 02:01 PM

this is my method.


Glue.

- LittleShaver


-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6579 posts in 1310 days


#5 posted 10-15-2018 02:09 PM

Definitely glue. I use biscuits occasionally depending on what the piece is for but they are solely used for alignment and aren’t relied on for any bond strength.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1105 posts in 2406 days


#6 posted 10-15-2018 02:37 PM

Glue.

-- Jerry

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2559 posts in 1559 days


#7 posted 10-15-2018 02:55 PM

Biscuits are very easy and do help with alignment but you are right, they don’t add much strength. A plain glue joint is plenty strong anyway. IMO, the only thing a pocket screw might do is help apply a little more pressure during glue up if you don’t have enough clamps. I did used the once to join 2 relatively short pieces of laminated particle board because I didn’t think that would glue up very well. T&G or a spline will add more glue surface area and should improve alignment but you have to be more exact with cutting them. Any warpage will make that more difficult so are probably more trouble than they are worth. T&G is good for breadboard ends though.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3033 posts in 2344 days


#8 posted 10-15-2018 03:02 PM

Glue, sometimes biscuit to help with alignment even that is very rare.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1096 posts in 987 days


#9 posted 10-15-2018 03:06 PM

If you can overcome the alignment problem, then glue alone is the best solution. For alignment purposes, I have used dowels and a precision jig as they are stronger and more accurate than biscuits.

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

831 posts in 2130 days


#10 posted 10-15-2018 04:36 PM

MJ

I love using Dominos. All you need is glue, hence the name glue-up. But the domino nearly guarantees that you will have a flat face each time. They fit snug and even. Even if your boards are not the same thickness (some reclaimed projects work out this way) you will have a flat face because the depth off the top face will be the same.

Or just glue.

-- I think they could take sesame seeds off the market and I wouldn't even care. I can't imagine five years from now saying, "Man, remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank."

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1756 posts in 2519 days


#11 posted 10-15-2018 04:51 PM

Glue and biscuits. I actually prefer the Gorilla PVC (foaming) glue over Titebond. Biscuits every 8 ” help keep everything aligned and flat, especially if you are gluing more than 2 boards together or long boards.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

65 posts in 131 days


#12 posted 10-16-2018 01:35 AM

Glue and cauls.

This was a nine board 133”x42” table top

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

831 posts in 2130 days


#13 posted 10-16-2018 01:42 AM

Jared, you left out 136 clamps.

-- I think they could take sesame seeds off the market and I wouldn't even care. I can't imagine five years from now saying, "Man, remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank."

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

65 posts in 131 days


#14 posted 10-16-2018 01:50 AM


Jared, you left out 136 clamps.

- BroncoBrian

Lol I use almost the same amount of clamps if I’m using biscuits, dominos or finger/glue joints.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10499 posts in 1657 days


#15 posted 10-16-2018 02:19 AM



Glue.

- LittleShaver

Ditto

I might use biscuits for a thick glue up but for 2’x2’ or less I just roll with it. I use painters tape for thin 3/8 or less stock maybe even small 1/2 thick panels.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com