In this tutorial, I will walk through some of the joinery applications where biscuits can be used. Your first line should be hidden in the biscuit slot, and if it is not, you will need to adjust for a deeper cut.
A word about gluing. It is important to get an ample amount of glue into the joint when using biscuits because biscuits absorb glue, which causes them to swell and provides some of their holding power and precision alignment. Notice that the work is firmly clamped to the bench, freeing up both hands for controlling the joiner.
With a biscuit joiner that pivots to a maximum of 90-degrees, you will set your fence to 45-degrees and reference off the inside (shorter) surface of the mitered work piece. For biscuit jointer fences that swing to 135-degrees, it is easier to mill slots for miter joints in that position. In the next installment of this article I’ll show you how to put the biscuit joiner to work.
Either approach should work fine for your project, although I might lean slightly toward pocket hole joinery for this application. In my 30+ years of woodworking, the only accident I’ve had that sent me to the ER was with a biscuit joiner.
Biscuit joiner work is much easier when you’ve got the workpiece secured or placed against a backstop.
With one of these gadgets, you can convert your angle grinder or router to a biscuit joiner for less than the cost of most biscuit joiners. The CFW unit needed some tuning before it would work smoothly for us: we had to adjust and lubricate the fence's guide blocks and plane the bottom edge of die fence to make it parallel to the table.
If your work involves joining small pieces in a production environment, a stationary biscuit joiner like the Delta will let you work faster than a hand-held machine.
I am thinking about a project (a ways down the road), which will utilize splines at mitre joints.
IMO, the biscuit blade doesn't cut a wide enough kerf for a decent thicknessed wood spline to be used. This jig is obviously for a router table but I've seen the same configuration for use on large boxes using a hand held router. Instead of using a router table, clamp the box to a bench, clamp the jig to the box and run a router down the ramp. This article provides instruction on using a biscuit joiner, along with advice on setting up your machine, choosing the correct size biscuits, proper gluing techniques, and more.Woodworkers know that there are many approaches to joining two pieces of wood together.
Just mill slots in the mating pieces, apply glue, slip biscuits in place, assemble, clamp, done. To make this a real-world exercise, I will incorporate all of the example joinery into a simple mini-bookcase, using biscuit joinery for every joint in the project, including assembly of the face frame, carcass construction with miters, edge banding for the shelf, attaching the shelf to the carcass, and finally attaching the face frame to the carcass.
Before we get started, let’s tune up the biscuit joiner to be sure that it will serve us well during the project.
If you fail to get enough glue into the joint, you can end up with a joint that is prone to failure and poor alignment.There are a number of ways to get an adequate supply of glue into the joint.


I tend to use the biscuit joiner’s base (against the bench or work piece) more commonly than the fence as the reference surface. As you begin to setup for your cut, start by carefully positioning the biscuit joiner to align with your biscuit placement mark. Biscuit joinery provides a simple way to strengthen and align miter joints, which can be challenging and frustrating with other methods.
With that much reinforcement (which I also would have done if I would have used mortise and tenon joinery), the biscuits are not undergoing much stress.
Over the years I have heard many stories of biscuits swelling with glue inside a joint and expanding the wood fibers such that you could see the shape of the biscuit telegraphing through to the surface of the project, or conversely shrinking over time and pulling the wood fibers inward with it. In about a minute, your joint is perfectly aligned, adequately strong for many applications, and the horizontal wiggle room provided in the joint (as represented in the picture by the offset biscuit center marks) makes it easy to make tuning adjustments at assembly time, just when other forms of joinery leave you high and dry.
The intention here is not to provide a plan for this book case (you can find a Full Bookcase Diagram Here if you are interested), but rather to illustrate several practical applications and provide context for the joinery discussed throughout. I find that this approach gives me solid, reliable registration, where I find that I occasionally experiencing a small amount of rocking when using the fence, and that throws off the positioning of my joint just enough to drive me crazy at glue-up time. As evidenced in George Vondriska’s video, modern woodworking glue alone is stronger than the wood itself in this application, so biscuits will not add further strength to the joint. The most common scenario where this seems to occur is in edge joining, and as I previously stated, I have rarely used biscuits for this application, so I suspect that my chances of experiencing the telegraphing biscuit are low. Because of its small oval biscuits, the CFW is especially useful for joining face frames as narrow as 1 Vt in. I was thinking about creating a jig to place on the fence of a biscuit cutter to make the spline slots. Sometimes a project might be subjected to heavy stress during its useful life (dining chair, step stool, etc.), and under such conditions you might call upon the industrial strength of mortise and tenon joinery, dadoes or other robust mechanical connections. Follow the steps previously described for general fence use, and pay close attention to ensure that the face of the biscuit joiner is flush against the mitered surface on the work piece, and plunge extra slowly into the cut! Still, take the time to ensure that the fence is flush against the work piece, and the face of the biscuit joiner is held solidly against the mitered surface before plunging slowly.
The question that I ask myself when I consider biscuits relative to other types of joints, is whether or not glue and biscuits are strong enough for the particular application at hand. I have also found in my own experience that I can achieve joints that are more consistently flush in a panel glue-up without using biscuits. I suspect that this would be most likely to occur with thinner, softer materials, that could be more easily manipulated by the expansion or contraction of biscuits. On other occasions you might choose to make the joinery itself a showcase portion of the project, in which case you might choose the timeless beauty and symmetry of dovetails or finger joints. If it is set too deep, the biscuits will be too far embedded on one piece, and won’t deliver the holding power that we want. Also be sure that your fence is square to the face of the machine when it is set at 90-degrees, as an out-of-square condition can cause sloppiness in the biscuit slot.
In either case, carefully check the position of the biscuit slot on the miter to make certain the cutter isn’t going to blast through to the outside face of the piece.


If you have a nagging feeling about a particular application, it is best to not use biscuits and instead opt for a heavier duty approach so you can sleep better. But sometimes you are looking for a joinery method that is quick, simple, and strong enough for light to medium duty applications. Some will also cut a slot for FF biscuits, but a blade change will be necessary as the profile for FF biscuits is more round than football shaped, requiring a much smaller diameter blade.If a #20 biscuit will not fit fully within your joint, you may choose to trim off the portion of the biscuit that would protrude from the joint if that area will not be visible. But for accent tables, small boxes, cabinet carcasses, etc., I do not hesitate to incorporate biscuit joinery into the project. But once you develop some experience with biscuit joinery, you can develop a keen sense of when to use them.
After observing for a few weeks, I was unable to observe any telegraphing in either panel, but I have heard enough people expressing their frustration over this condition that I suggest keeping its potential in mind as you determine when to use biscuits in your projects. You will notice the latter condition when you dry fit, but the former condition won’t be noticed until a joint fails. The flux brush spreads the glue evenly within the slot, getting it up onto the walls where it can coat the biscuit. I will also occasionally push the limits and use biscuit joinery for some high stress joints if I can reinforce the joint with additional means. In other words, I wouldn’t bet my cherry dining table top against a telegraph occurring at the most inopportune time. I find biscuit joinery to be great for boxes, drawers, cabinet carcasses, face frames, miters, edge banding, and as a lightweight substitute for mortise and tenon joinery.
This gives additional strength by providing a deeper mechanical connection within the joint.
I have been using them regularly for well over a decade, and have never had a joint failure, nor have I ever seen one fail in a scenario outside of a published joint torture test. Too little glue and you have a starved joint, and equally bad, the glue can set up so quickly during glue up that you lose the ability to make lateral adjustments. This happens very quickly, so I generally opt for a bit more glue, which yields a solid joint, and provides more open time during assembly. I also opt for a glue with a bit more open time for biscuit assembly, particularly for a complex assembly. Remember, biscuit joinery is fast enough, so take your time during the plunge and your biscuit slots will be positioned correctly in the work piece.
As much as I dislike cleaning up glue, I know I would absolutely hate throwing away a project because a joint failed, or because it set up too quickly during glue-up and I couldn’t get something square or properly aligned.




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  • KLIOkVA, 26.02.2013 at 15:21:45

    (Also spelled mitre) saws router base is to make the amp.
  • LIL_D_A_D_E, 26.02.2013 at 16:33:27

    Weight: Compound miter saws range slightly in overall task, leaving you looking.
  • DelPiero, 26.02.2013 at 12:34:54

    They’re far more beautiful than they with an O1 tool steel blade.