Biscut jointer Q's

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"krw" wrote

I have a PC 557 type 2 I bought a few years ago It had an alignment issue with the fence but I added Owen Lowe's shim and cured that problem. The newer type 3's don't have the problem. Mine sounds like my angle grinder and I assume it is due to the same square cut bevel gears. Hypoid cut gears would be much quieter but cost much more.
Initially my slots were too wide and it was due to poor technique. A bit of practice fixed that. I have found that the PC biscuits are quite consistent in thickness. The ones at the Despot were pure crap ( I forgot the brand). Rockler's are ok with just an occasional fat one. I haven't tried any others. I store mine in some old Tupperware and haven't had a problem with them swelling here in Oregon. Art
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If a $50 drill can use them, I'd think a $200+ slot cutter could. :- ( The only thing I see of value on the PC slot cutter is the fence. The rest is crap. I suppose the fence is the important part, but...

Can you elaborate what about your technique caused the slots to be too wide? I don't see much that would effect the slot width. I'm in Eastern Alabama so humidity (in the garage) is certainly an issue. The PC and Bosch biscuits came in a plastic "bottle" with a screw top, so should be good that way.
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I had the most problems when cutting the face of ply next to the edge to make case goods. There is only 3/4" of edge for the fence to catch and the cutter face didn't have much more. Anyway, I let the tail of the joiner droop as I was plunging and I ended up with wide slots. Some other things that can cause a wide slot: Sawdust under the fence that compresses during plunging. Multiple plunging. Plunge ONCE, quickly. A gummed up cutter blade.
I hope these help. Art
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Now if you really want to be wowed and have a high end tool that produces superior results and much much much stronger joints consider,
http://www.festoolusa.com/products/domino-joining-system/domino-df-500-joining-system-574258.html
Since purchacing this tool 2 years ago I have not seen either of my PC joiners.
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What they said above regarding biscuit thickness. I even think the ones in the bottles in my garage expand and contract with seasons and humidity.
I have a Dewalt and it is a little noisy. Remember that your machine is a not-so-distant cousin to an angle grinder. It has a gears in the end that change direction of rotation and speed. A little noisy by design.
RonB
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wrote:

If I spent $800 on a tool that I could lift I'd better like it a lot because I'd be sleeping with it.
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Different strokes!
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You don't need biscuits for edging. Just glue & clamping with a strip of masking tape every 3-4 inches has worked really well for me. & it is more accurate than biscuits.
Don't get me wrong, I love my biscuit joiner for 90 degree joints, especially in sheet goods.
Luigi
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On Fri, 24 Jul 2009 07:23:36 -0700 (PDT), Luigi Zanasi

Masking tape? What does that do?

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Think of a 3/4" by 3/4" edging. I glue it to the edge of the plywood. I use masking tape to hold it in place until the glue dries instead of clamps or biscuits (or brads if you're a genuine Normite).
I put an 8" or so strip of masking tape on one side of the plywood (perpendicular to the edge), pull it tight and stick it around the edging to the other side of the plywood. This is my clamp. Like I said, a strip every six inches, and Bob's your uncle.
Luigi
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Some biscuits may be a better fit than others. No so tight that you have to tap them in. A 1/64 slop might be OK for some applications, but certainly not fine cabinetry.

Come to think of it, my biscuit cutter *does* sound like a loud coffee grinder. It is an old Skil biscuit jointer with plastic fence, but does the job exceptionally well at 1 fifth the cost of a Lamello biscuit cutter. Lamello biscuits are very good if you can find them; store them in a dry location and don't buy too much at a time (they are somewhat expensive and may get damaged from moisture).
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