Alternatives to Biscuit Joint

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I am building a TV Credenza out of 3/4" Maple plywood (Premium Grade). It will be approx 65"L X @22"D X 23"H. My question is what would be the best type of joint to use on these pieces? I was thinking Biscuit joiner, but I don't have a Biscuit Joiner (or plate joiner). Any Ideas? Thanks a bunch!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
> I was thinking Biscuit > joiner, but I don't have a Biscuit Joiner (or plate joiner). Any Ideas?
Biscuits can be used if you have a router and the appropriate wing cutter.
Lew
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Need a bit more info....
Joints for what pieces (side members to top, face frame to carcass etc...)
Are you joining plywood edge to edge...
-nick
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Need a bit more info....
Joints for what pieces (side members to top, face frame to carcass etc...)
Are you joining plywood edge to edge...
-nick
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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No joints edge to edge. Sides to top and then shelves inside. From the from it will be a simple rectangular box with 3 sections across. Each section will have 1 shelf in it.
Nicky wrote:

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No joints edge to edge. Sides to top and then shelves inside. From the front it will be a simple rectangular box with 3 sections across. Each section will have 1 shelf in it.
Nicky wrote:

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If it were me ....
Dados for the top to bottom section partions. Dados for the side to side shelfs Dados or Rabbits for the top to side joint.
How will you cover the exposed ply? Or will you "celibrate the joint."
I've seen the other posts that are suggesting alternates to not having a biscuit jointer. I think this post is for and alternate to biscuits.
When building boxes out of ply materials, I use rabbits and dados. I've also used simple butt joints (glued, screwed.)
Any other other methods?
-nick
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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My friend owns a high end cabinet shop near Beverly Hills. He warned me: "Whatever Biscuit Joiner you buy, use only Lamello Biscuits."
He said they are produced to exacting standards, and I've had good luck them. In fact, now that the Festool Domino will soon be available here in the U.S. I was considering it. But my joints with biscuits are coming out so well, I'll save my $800.
I tried to break a few joints I'd made i n scrap 2x4s and couldn't. Just cut your slots carefully.
Gary Curtis
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There are cabinet shops near Beverly Hills?
Seriously, Lamello biscuits are certainly high quality but there are several other brands that produce equally good results.
--
Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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My friend owns a high end cabinet shop near Beverly Hills. He warned me: "Whatever Biscuit Joiner you buy, use only Lamello Biscuits."
He said they are produced to exacting standards, and I've had good luck them. In fact, now that the Festool Domino will soon be available here in the U.S. I was considering it. But my joints with biscuits are coming out so well, I'll save my $800.
I tried to break a few joints I'd made i n scrap 2x4s and couldn't. Just cut your slots carefully.
Gary Curtis
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

First, what are these pieces? Is it basically a box of just the plywood, or does it have a frame of solid wood? Second, what do you mean by best? Fastest, easiest, cheapest, strongest, longest-lasting? How much weight does this need to support, and will it get much abuse (i.e. play structure for kids)? Mortise and tenon (either loose tenons or traditional) would probably be on the stronger/longer-lasting side for a frame construction, and dovetails are probably strongest for a box (tho I'm not sure how they'd do with ply). Towards the faster/easier side, dowels or pocket holes are fairly quick/easy methods if you don't want to buy a biscuit cutter. Either of these would be facilitated with a jig (commercial @ $20-50 or more, or shop-made). If you're just using plywood, and you wanted even faster/easier, butt joints and a brad nailer would work, and you could add rabbets/dados and glue to this method for more strength. I would also think about a splined miter or a lock-miter (with appropriate router bit). What are your priorities for the final piece, and how much time and money do you have to spend on it? The answers to these questions should help guide your construction decisions. Good luck and have fun, and let us know what works well for you, Andy
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Thanks everyone for your input. Since it is difficult for me to describe what I am trying to do. Look at the following like. This is a sketch-up of what I am doing. I will leave the edges exspoed as I think they look nice when sanded and covered with a clear enamel /laquer etc. Plus, the naked edges will be close in color to my speakers and I think it will help tie it together. THe casters are not preset in the sketch-up, but they will be on the stand.
Thanks a bunch again!
all 3/4" Maple Plywood.
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a142/hammondc/chipstand.png
Andy wrote:

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I should also note that the shelves will be adjustable with holes/pins, so, not joint will be necessary,
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
> I should also note that the shelves will be adjustable with holes/pins, > so, not joint will be necessary,
Based on your sketch which basically describes an "H" laid on its side complete with end caps, let me suggest the following:
Use dado construction to line up the vertical panels into the top and bottom, then use adjustable shelf pins to support the shelves.
Leave the biscuits in the storage can for a future job.
BTW, you are going to need a lot of open time to get all the clamps set in place. I'd use epoxy, unless you have a lot of help.
BTDT
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

You keep mentioning epoxy. I have used epoxy in the past when building torsion boxes. Legless tables sticking out from the wall at a donut shop was one such project. I used Gougeon Bros WEST and found it hard to work with... very runny and thin without much gap-filling ability. No matter how accurate I made the lattices, I still didn't get a 'super sandwich'. Vacuum bagging and regular adhesive worked better for me. But... I still like the concept of epoxies. Now, I am somewhat aware of microballoons and newer, more viscous epoxies. Can you give me a jump-off point, supplier, website of some outfit you are familiar and happy with? When I DAGS, I get tons of info, but virtually zero 'hands-on' reports. I do know, that epoxies stick to solid surface materials like dog snot to screen door.
TIA.
r
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Robatoy wrote:

So why didn't you fill it? Gougeon recommend this (read their boat building book - it's excellent) and they'll even sell you the varied filler materials to do it with. They rarely recommend their own plain product used unfilled for anything with any sort of gap.
Mind you, I do torsion boxes in a vacuum bag. So long as the skins are stiff enough and the spacing close enough to avoid "starved dog", then I get a good gap-free bond with any adhesive.
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Gougeon Bros are just up the lake a ways from me here and the WEST stuff is available in a few of my dealers' stores, so I just bought some and didn't really study the application that much. There have been a few requests for kitchen islands with an overhang for stools which go beyond the allowed dimensions for solid surface materials. I do not like the look of brackets, so back to the torsion box idea.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'starved dog', but I am guessing that you'll see the ribs if one uses a thin skin. I have been using 3/8" Baltic Birch ply with poplar ribs 3/4"x 3/4" making 4" cavities.
Speaking of vacuum bags, 1/2" acrylic solid surface, such as Corian, Wilsonart Gibraltar, Staron, Meganite vacuum form very nicely. The hard part is getting the temperature 'perfect'.
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Robatoy wrote:
> I used Gougeon Bros WEST and found it hard to work with... very runny > and thin without much gap-filling ability. No matter how accurate I > made the lattices, I still didn't get a 'super sandwich'. > Vacuum bagging and regular adhesive worked better for me. > But... I still like the concept of epoxies. > Now, I am somewhat aware of microballoons and newer, more viscous > epoxies. > Can you give me a jump-off point, supplier, website of some outfit you > are familiar and happy with?
Gougeon is right out your back door and they have good tech service which would make them a good choice for resin.
You want their standard resin and slow hardener.
Since you are buying small quantities, it won't be cheap, but the price won't be too bad.
Fillers, OTOH, are another question.
I use Pacific Coast Chemicals which cover the western US.
Freight should be NBD, since UPS can handle it.
Micro-balloons (Dic-A-Perl, HP500) come in a 30# bag and should be less than $30.
Cab-O-Sil comes in a 10# bag and should be less than $90.
You will be cold and in the ground before you use all of the above<G>.
HTH
Lew
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Robatoy wrote:
> > I used Gougeon Bros WEST and found it hard to work with... very runny > > and thin without much gap-filling ability.
Further thoughts:
Gougeon sells hand pumps for resin & hardener to insure proper mix ratio which I'm sure are very handy; however, I've never used them.
I use mixing cups (See below).
If you are going to mess around with epoxy, the following are almost mandatory items.
Boxes of surgical gloves, 2" chip brushes, and plumber's acid brushes.
Strictly single use items.
Watch for the Harbor Freight sales and stock up.
1Oz, 2OZ, 4OZ, 10OZ, 16OZ, 40+OZ cups (No Styrofoam)available at a restaurant supply house.
Popsicle sticks or scraps from the table saw for mixing sticks.
Home Depot furnishes me a lot of paint sticks.
Working with epoxy includes some "black art" which is the type and amount of filler you use for a specific job.
Strictly OJT.
I almost never use just straight epoxy unless I'm laminating some glass which is totally different than gluing wood together.
HTH
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Aren't they also one-shot items? I remember they were for polyester resins and kayak making.
I measure my hardener by eyeball, or with a S/H digital lab scale if I'm mixing a lot or want to be accurate. Instant tareing is a wonderful thing.

Mine are a soft "waxy" plastic - polypropylene ? Originally sold as packaging for screws. If I leave the epoxy a day and then flex the tub, it flakes clean off.

My ubiquitous bamboo chopsticks. I only eat icecream in the Summer, but I can go out for noodles all year round. I never leave our local noodle bar without pocketing the chopsticks. They turn up in everything afterwards - drive them through a dowel plate and they're great for pegging tenons.
I'd add that microballoons are also usable as a structural filler. They don't add strength per se, but they certainly lighten a large fillet and improve the strength to weight ratio. Model rockets was where I first used them.
As for Kevlar, I use this a lot as a filler material. I start with offcuts of sheet material (I sew my own Kevlar clothing and luggage) and then cut 1/2" diagonal strips. As it's a loose weave, these easily tease apart into loose fibres and then get thrown in a bag in the epoxy crate. Excellent stuff for strong fillets, or for repairing loose tool handles.
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