|Forum topic by Tedstor||posted 08-08-2012 12:16 AM||819 views||0 times favorited||4 replies|
08-08-2012 12:16 AM
About a year ago I bought a Craftsman biscuit joiner online after reading some favorable accounts on biscuit joinery. I had seen the joiner in-person before and it looked solid enough. Maybe not as nice as the Dewalt and PC models, but better than the HF and other plastic-fenced models I had seen. And at $90, it seemed like a good middle-of-the-road tool with a commensurate price point. A few weeks later Sears had the joiner on sale for $85 and I had a $10 off coupon. Using in store pick-up I got it for $75 which I thought (and still think) was a pretty good deal.
I had a few ideas for projects that would benefit from biscuit joinery when I bought the tool, but my ADD antics got the better of me and those pojects have been postponed up until today. I decided to make a small toolbox for my machinist/precision tools using a couple big box pine boards I’ve had lying around. I used the BJ to join the side panels to the bottom of the toolbox, and dovetails to join the back panel to the sides. Thats as far as I’ve gotten so far, but my initial impression of the BJ is very good. I’m not sure how joinery could be made any quicker, easier, or (nearly) foolproof. I did actually stumble a bit at first when I discovered that the joiner blade was cutting the slots a hair too shallow. Fortunately, the craftsman has an adjustment feature that quickly corrected the issue. Otherwise, there was virtually no learning curve and the joints went together in no time.
I haven’t used this (or any other) BJ enough to write any sort of qualified review.But I must say that I’m happy with the tool.A lot of people look down their nose at CM power tools, and perhaps with good reason. I’ have personally had good experiences with almost all the CM power tools I’ve owned, and this one is no different (so far). [The only exception being an entry-level cordless drill I bought many years ago which sucked from day one]. All the parts are tight and sqaure and the fit and finish seem good.While I couldn’t say if it could handle the rigors of a commercial shop, I have no reason to believe it won’t handle my home shop for years to come.
Bottom line is that biscuit joinery will be used a lot more in my shop moving forward and the craftsman joiner will never see another prolonged period of idleness. Perhaps being a new tool, I’m still in the honeymoon phase. But given types of relatively straight-forward projects I tend to build, the bisciut joiner will likely be a game changer for me.