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For fast and reliable joining and alignment of project parts, a biscuit joiner is your best bet. With these twelve tips, you can get the best from your biscuit joiner.
Using A Biscuit Gauge To Save Time
If you need to determine the size biscuit for your requirements, you can make a gauge to show the width of #20, #10, or 0# biscuits as well as the slots that hold them. Mill a slot for every size and glue in the biscuit, ensuring that it is only pushed in halfway. Then mark a center line for each. The centerline on the gauge must be lined up with the layout line on your workpiece for quick reference. The largest biscuit must be used for supreme strength.
Reinforcing Joints That Are Too Narrow By Using Back-Side Biscuits
A slot for a #0 biscuit typically measures at 2⅛ wide; therefore, the biscuit joint can’t be hidden in stock, which is narrower than this. To reinforce a joint with complete-sized biscuits on the back so that they won’t be seen, you can glue and clamp the two mating boards together. Once they are dry, the slots are cut across the joint line (no deeper than 2/3 of the board’s thickness), then glue in the biscuits. Once the glue line is dry, cut biscuits off and sand them. For more information on biscuit joiners, you can read this review.
Making Perfect Flush-Fitting Joints With A Slight Lift
Even well-tuned biscuit joiners can occasionally cut slots that lead to non-flush-fitting joints. To prevent this, slightly lift the biscuit joiner with a sheet of sandpaper before proceeding with cutting the face-grain slot. After assembly, the router can be utilized to flush-trim the end grain of the piece for a faultless flush fit.
Upgrading The Blade
A dull cutting tool blade can lead to subpar cut quality. If you notice hanging strands at the exit side of the slot, consider replacing the blade.
Sizing The Biscuits
Biscuits can swell, especially in places with a humid climate, despite storing them in a sealed container. This will lead to biscuits not fitting in the slots. It can become an issue when the glue begins to set, and you have numerous biscuits that must be installed. You can run the biscuits through an aluminum hand-cranked tool or biscuit press to compress them into a uniform thickness.
Teeing Up A Self-Squaring Story Stick
For cutting numerous biscuit slots into wide side panels (bookcase or cabinet), make a T-square for re-occurring accuracy. The parts must be glued and screwed together at precisely 90◦. When the glue is dry, mark biscuit center lines on the arm and use the T-square for lining up the biscuit joiner. Now you can cut slots in the mating shelves and case sides, allowing you to reference the T-square from equal edges.
Enjoying Various Options With An All-Purpose Biscuit Jig
A versatile biscuit jig has guides and fences for cutting slots accurately and quickly. Mount the biscuit joiner in the biscuit jig, clamp the jig to the workbench, ensuring you have a solid workstation.
Using Splines For Upgrading Mitered Corners
Splines add visual appeal and strength to wake miter joints, mainly when the spline is made from contrasting wood types.