Biscuit cutter

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Forum topic by rantingrich posted 10-26-2014 04:57 PM 1570 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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372 posts in 1344 days

10-26-2014 04:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have heard many people say Biscuit cutter are great others so yea are unnecessary…

Soon I plan to glue up so,e long 8’x3/4 pine boards and could see where a Biscuit cutter could keep the boards from slipping up or down from its mate.

I have seen on youtube as far as strength that gluing up the boards side to side is just if not stronger than the same boards hued hop using Biscuits

-- Rich

21 replies so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3041 days

#1 posted 10-26-2014 05:15 PM

They are not going to hurt. They still have some slack in them so they are not a perfect solution, you will still need to use proper clamping techniques. 8 foot span can be a real challenge and you should make sure you do a few dry runs prior to gluing them up.. Glue will really make it move quite a bit. I would spend more time looking into clamping techniques then worrying about the biscuits. What are you planning on making?

View pintodeluxe's profile


5660 posts in 2812 days

#2 posted 10-26-2014 05:21 PM

I personally like biscuit joiners, and use mine all the time. Interestingly I don’t use them for panel glueups. They aren’t needed for strength on long grain joints, and I find using cauls across the panel does a better job of keeping the boards aligned.
I use biscuits to join end grain butt joints (seat frames, web frames for case goods), and attach corbels to desks and nightstands. I even use the biscuit joiner to cut slots to receive the tab of a cam lock for locking drawer applications. You will find many, many applications for biscuits in furniture construction.
Good luck.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jerryminer's profile


923 posts in 1441 days

#3 posted 10-26-2014 05:23 PM

I think you answered your own question. For a well-fit long-grain-to-long-grain joint (as opposed to a cross-grain joint) biscuits do not provide additional strength, but can be useful for alignment.

I’ve owned and used a biscuit cutter for over 25 years. It is useful for many things, but I don’t use it for this type of joint. I use clamping cauls instead. For me, they provide better alignment than biscuits.

The only way to truly know what system works best for you is to try different methods and evaluate.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View firefighterontheside's profile


18182 posts in 1856 days

#4 posted 10-26-2014 05:28 PM

I use biscuits a lot. Not necessarily for glue ups, but I do use them for that sometimes too. I use them when making bookcases instead of dados.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2492 days

#5 posted 10-26-2014 05:36 PM

They are really useful for many things, one of those being to keep long boards aligned like you have to do.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20488 posts in 3105 days

#6 posted 10-26-2014 06:05 PM

I use dowels or biscuits for alignment. On long glue ups, you need all the help you can get so there is not a big mis-alignment down the line that you have to sand out later. If I have to insure end to end as well as surface to surface alignment, I would definitely use a dowel.
It is good to always do a dry fit up before applying the glue. I found that my DeWalt biscuit cutter does not do as good a job as my router for cutting the slots.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1423 days

#7 posted 10-26-2014 08:27 PM

Biscuits do not really add any strength, their primary purpose is to keep surfaces level with one another.

Mainly used for joining boards to make a large surface or panel.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2379 days

#8 posted 10-26-2014 11:59 PM

I use biscuits like lightweight tenons, and yes, they do add strength to butt/miter joints.

-- Rick M,

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1423 days

#9 posted 10-27-2014 12:33 AM

I use biscuits like lightweight tenons, and yes, they do add strength to butt/miter joints.

- Rick M.

With today’s glues, they have lost a lot of their benefit in that department.

-- Brad, Texas,

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2446 days

#10 posted 10-27-2014 12:42 AM

I say get a used dewalt or PC ,under $100 ,use it, if you regret buying it or don’t like it, at least you didn’t pay full price,if you think you might need it for glue ups,you could use cauls instead.
A biscuit jointer for many hobbyists is for occasional use just like a right angle drill,but when you need it ,you’ll be happy you got it.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View OSU55's profile


1672 posts in 1989 days

#11 posted 10-27-2014 03:35 AM

Clamping cauls are the best way to do panel glue ups. Biscuits allow too much movement for good alignment.

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

770 posts in 3907 days

#12 posted 10-27-2014 01:27 PM

I for one like using biscuit joints in hard wood. I have had some problems with soft woods. When you wet the biscuits with glue they tend to swell inside the joint and depending on the amount of swelling they can cause formations in the boards themselves.

Just my $.02

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2379 days

#13 posted 10-27-2014 05:15 PM

edit; nm

-- Rick M,

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4931 posts in 3960 days

#14 posted 10-27-2014 08:03 PM

Oh Crap! Does this mean I have to sell my DeWalt biscuit joiner? I didn’t know that it was so under utilized.
You can have mine for $400.00 with included shipping to USA. Extra biscuits included. :)
BTW, I use it all the time for panel glue up.
Hope ya get the implied humor.


View rantingrich's profile


372 posts in 1344 days

#15 posted 10-28-2014 12:34 AM

I have heard IF you buy the BISCUITS that a lot of the times they are too loose. Even the same TYPE biscuits have a lot of variances

-- Rich

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