best biscuit joinery techniques

The Best Biscuit Joinery Techniques & Tips

Ever since the biscuit joiner was invented, the art of woodworking has been completely revolutionized.

Let’s admit it: nothing can match the abilities of a biscuit joiner when it comes to simple and fast carpentry. Just grind the connecting pieces, use glue, and slide the biscuits in place, assemble, hold and you’re done. After about a minute, your joint is fully aligned and strong enough for many applications, and the horizontal motion room provided in the joint, makes adjusting easy at the time of assembly, just when other ways of creating a joint would leave you high and dry.

With woodworking artists, hobbyists, and professional furniture makers from all-across the globe using a biscuit joiner in a large variety of projects, the need for efficient joinery techniques is inevitable.

 This article provides valuable information on using a biscuit joiner along with offering advice on the best biscuit joinery techniques to take your woodworking skills to a new level.

Best Biscuit Joinery Techniques & Tips

Using a biscuit joiner for most woodworking projects is easy. All you have to do is cut slots, pour some glue, fit in a biscuit and clamp. However, most woodworkers understand that only the best biscuit joining techniques can result in a masterpiece worthy of praise.

 There are quite a handful of approaches when it comes to joining two pieces of wood to design a project. However different biscuit joinery techniques work in different ways to produce stronger and better looking joints.

1.  Check The Depth Of The Cut

best biscuit joinery techniques

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A typical biscuit joiner can easily cut a slot that is almost 0.03 inch deeper than the size of the biscuit in use. Making sure that that there is some room for the use of glue, 0.03 inch remains the perfect depth for most cuts.Wondering why the depth of the cut plays an important role? To begin with, a cut too deep can mean that the biscuits are far too embedded on singular pieces and will lack strength and holding power. Whereas, if the cut is too shallow, the biscuit will either not fit or won’t have enough space to fit in the glue.

 The best technique to monitor the depth of your cuts is simply by testing:

  • Mill a slot in a piece of scrap wood
  • Insert a piece of biscuit into the newly created slot
  • Continue to tap in the biscuit; until the bottom is out
  • Draw a line where the biscuit joins the scrap wood
  • Remove the biscuit, plug in the opposite edge in the slow and draw another line

 Conclusion: Ideally, the first line that you have created should appear as hidden inside the biscuit slot. However, if the line is very visible, this indicates that the cut is too shallow. For biscuit joiners producing cuts that way too shallow or deep, we recommend that you reach out for their manual and follow the instruction on re-adjusting the depth on the cut on your particular machine.

2.  Understand The Basics Of Gluing

best biscuit joinery techniques

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It is imperative to use a lot of glue in the joint when using biscuits because biscuits absorb glue, which makes them swell giving them strength and a snug fit. If you do not get enough glue into the joint, you may end up with a joint that is susceptible to failure and imbalance.

There are several ways to get enough glue into the joint. You can place the glue on the tip of the hole and squeeze in the glue, but it may end up being a little messy. You can buy a special glue bottle that fits into the glue slot and gives you a full amount of glue to cover the gap. This works absolutely flawless.

Alternatively, you can also use a flux brush (available in hardware stores or woodworks stores) and a regular bottle of glue. The Flux brush divides the glue evenly within the opening by getting it into the walls where the biscuit can be covered. Also apply glue on each side to ensure maximum coverage. Here is a compromise: too much glue and you have a mess at your hands. A very small amount of glue and you will have a starved joint. Which is just as bad. This can happen quick, so quick that you lose the ability to make side adjustments.

 The general rule of thumb is to put in a bit more glue to guarantee a stronger joint. Choose an adhesive that has a slightly more open time for biscuits to be assembled, especially for a complex assembly. As much as everyone hates to clean up wasted glue, an uglier situation is when you have to scrap a project because of weaker joints.

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