Biscuit joinery question


I am in the process of upgrading my shop with good grade tools and also upgrading my skills and project selection.
I have noticed a few projects using biscuits instead of nails that turn out looking pretty neat. Is the final look of the project the main advantage to using biscuits or is there another reason to consider them?
I remember watching Norm biscuit away many times but since my budget did not include money for a biscuit joiner and it looked like it would take more time than nails or screws I did not pay much attention.
Any recommendations for a biscuit joiner should I choose to jump in?
Thanks fellas.
RonT
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If you are after quality tools, then perhaps the Lamello biscuit joiners are the go, however, these cost quite a bit of money (top of the line) and seeing as you are still somewhat "investigating" the possibility of owning one, I'd personally go for something like the Porter Cable 557 joiner. It is still very high quality but at a much more respectable price. It is very functional also and can cut slots for a number of different sized biscuits. Here's a link to the 557 model > http://urlsnip.com/128415
Hope that helps.
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RonT wrote: snip< Is the final look of the project the main advantage to using biscuits or is there another reason to consider them? >snip
They can help speed up glue-ups of face frames and panels by quickly locating and levelling. They add a modicum of strength to butt joints. Tom
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Read this...
http://www.woodworking.org/WC/GArchive98/Abstract/abstract1.html
informative, albeit a tad stuffy to read.
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Robatoy wrote:http://www.woodworking.org/WC/GArchive98/Abstract/abstract1.html
See? Tenons kick a$$(except for those particle board ones)! Oh, man, remember that thread? Heeehee, so, where're you gonna find a 1,784 kg gorilla?!! The glues today are phenomenal, and I haven't seen Norm (music up), use more than one biscuit per 6 inch area. Not to say they're cheating, but these guys used 2 or 3. My answer and excuse is/was mostly concerned with 3/4 inch solids and sheet goods and their joinery, foregoing rabbets and dadoes/grooves). Hmmmm, I wonder how a through-tenon would have fared? Tom
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I thought this was a serious work but had my doubts when its conclusion paragraph started talking about hanging a 1700 kg gorilla on a door. I should have re-read it to get the point(s) but it didn't seem worth while.
Bob
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"It has now been approximately 3 1/2 years since the testing detailed in the above abstract was completed. I have continued to manufacture doors, gates and other products utilizing the methods set forth in the abstract. Additionally, I have conducted tests in my shop on other biscuit products of various sizes utilizing polyurethane glue from various manufacturers.
All of my testing and the success of the products with not one failure at a joinery location has convinced me of the viability of plate joinery and polyurethane adhesive utilized in combination. I have had an ongoing opportunity to examine many of the doors and gates constructed over a more than three year period. Several of the products have been exposed to severe climatic conditions, and all of the products remain intact without damage or joinery faults."
This says it all and I agree. Buy a Lamello.
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I have owned a DeWalt for about five years and still like it just fine. Easy to use, easy to adjust and hard to screw up - important for me.
RonB

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Ron Truitt wrote:

It's more an ease of assembly and alignment issue. Plus -- biscuit joints are very strong == see FWW magazine for articles.
I have a biscuit kit for my router table -- $40 -- works fine.
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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Yup, I use that set-up as well. Splinus Interruptus, I call that method. I also do it by hand, in a router, with a nice big square base. Every bit as accurate as the C2 Classic Lamello.
I had the opportunity to use a 557 PC on a jobsite a while back. Every bit as nice as my Lamello.....almost as nice. Just a smidge more play in the sliding tracks. Too close to be spending the extra on the Lamello. I can vouch for the longevity/durability of the Lamello, I don't know how the PC will fare under constant shop use. When my next Lamello walks off the jobsite, I will buy the PC.
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It "depends"(always) on what you do.
If you use a lot plywood or MDF, biscuits come in right handy for certain projects.
If you are a big turner, biscuits ain't much help.
I have a PC 557 and it comes in handy on occasion but if you want somthing that will REALLY help out, buy a Kreg jig kit.($120) and learn how to use pocket holes.
The pocket holes are often used in conjunction with biscuits, which can make a VERY strong connection.
You will be amazed at how easy pocket holes joinery makes your life.
Biscuits are a big question mark for a lot of people and it depends on what you will be doing.
Ron Truitt wrote:

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On Tue 09 Aug 2005 10:44:37p, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Ron Truitt) wrote in

Check at your local library and see if they've got this video: http://www.frankklausz.com/biscuitjoinery.html
If I recall correctly he's using a porter cable. He's got some interesting techniques. I built three plywood drawers for my miter saw station using his method. It was FAST, and those drawers are holding a few hundred pounds worth of routers, planes, and sawblades without a problem.
They don't look all that great but then they're made with some odd pieces my neighbors gave me when they moved down the street to a bigger house. :-)
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If you want to do it right at the begining I would recommend the Porter-Cable. Great advantage in having the 'mini' biscut option.

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Usefull to allign the pieces. May add to strength but with Elmer's woodworking glue being stronger than wood this may not be an issue, if using Titebond which is weaker than the wood it may be. Rabbit
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Afterthought: Probably add strength to butt joints. I prefer rebate joints to biscuits used this way. Rabbit
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