Joining 1/2" Hardwood Panels

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Forum topic by fstellab posted 06-22-2013 01:44 PM 1138 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View fstellab's profile


86 posts in 2083 days

06-22-2013 01:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question biscuit joiner macacauba hardwood router jointer tablesaw joining newbe


I found some 1/2” thick 4” x 96” hardwood panels that I wood like to use for wood paneling.
I am fairly new to Woodworking, but I have a good router and router table, also a R4512 table saw.

I know that tong and grove is an option, but the wood I am using (Macacauba) is hard, but a bit brittle, so I am concerned that tong and grove might be difficult to cut without chipping or cracking the wood. Especially with someone with my experience level.

I am planning to join four 4” panels creating, roughly, a 16” paneled section (its part of a closet organizer project).

I was looking at some of the glue joints and the biscuit joints. HF has a biscuit tool that is fairly cheap; is it hard to use ? Are biscuits even an option for this ?

Any thoughts?

I really appreciate all the help you folks have given me with this project. I will start posting progress photos shortly on my closet organizer.



-- Fred Stellabotte (

3 replies so far

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3686 days

#1 posted 06-22-2013 02:04 PM

Is there any reason that you can’t joint the edges and just glue them together to make your panels ? If I understand correctly , you are using them for wall panelling ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View fstellab's profile


86 posts in 2083 days

#2 posted 06-22-2013 05:04 PM

Hi Dusty56,

I thought of that, but the wood is very heavy, the panels are 72” tall and they will be the supports for the top shelf, so I thought it would not be strong enough. Here is a rough idea Of what it looks like:

The diagram needs to be amended to show the left and right wall going all the way to the floor.

I have a Freud LM74R 10” Glue Line Rip Blade, should I give it a try ?


-- Fred Stellabotte (

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#3 posted 06-22-2013 05:23 PM

You won’t be able to rip that glue joint consistently –
it’s too long. With a lot of experience you can
learn how, but I doubt you’ll get satisfactory edges
all ‘round.

The edge opposite the glue joints edge has to be
very straight too in order to run against the fence.

Woodworking is trickier than it sometimes appears.

Once you have those edges straight (or a little sprung
for “sprung joints”) you’re looking at how to line them
up. Biscuits are ok – dowels require more fuss and
precision but the joints are more likely to be nearly
perfectly flush with dowels. Cheap biscuit jointers
may have inconsistent travel of the plunge action,
resulting in slightly sloppy slots – but worse, parallelism
of the fences tends to be problematic and sometimes
the fence can shift while you are working and the
slots come out a little skewed.

You don’t have to use the fence on a biscuit jointer
however. The only fences I would trust are the
rack-and-pinion ones found on the PC, DeWalt, and
Makita. Lamello fences are good too.

In any case, you can clamp the board to a flat surface
and index the joiner’s base off that flat surface and
this is the most reliable way to get accurate biscuit

Hope this info helps.

You can cut tongue and groove joints with a 1/4”
slotting cutter on a router table – use featherboards
and a fence for best results.

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