bisquick joiner questions

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I bought a biscuit joiner the other day. Not exactly a fine woodworking tool, but it's good for making plywood boxes and I have some boxes to make.
So, I've been playing with the thing and have a few questions, for those with more experience to answer:
When glueing up a biscuited assembly, do you a) pour a bead of glue into the slot & insert a dry biscuit b) wipe a layer of glue on the biscuit & insert in a dry slot c) glue both the slot and the biscuit
If you're not paying attention and slightly miscut a slot, do you a) recut the slot, accepting it'll now be a little wide b) glue a biscuit or piece of scrap in the slot, plane flat, and then recut
If you're trying to put 2 biscuits in a piece not quite wide enough, but think you need 2 for strength, do you a) use the next smaller size, even tho your work piece is plenty thick enough for the larger size b) cut the slots overlapping and cut the ends off the biscuits
If you're cutting slots in a face (e.g. to make a T joint) do you a) clamp a straight edge down as a guide b) freehand the joiner to a line
If you're dry-fitting an assembly, and won't glue up for a while, do you a) disassemble it and put the biscuits back in the container b) leave it together so everything is right handy when you're ready to glue up
thanks much for any opinions & suggestions,
John
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First, allow me to apologize for not being able to come up with something clever at this time regarding "bisquick" in the subject. I'll post back if something comes to mind.
In the small number of times that I find biscuits necessary, I moisten the biscuits with water, then apply glue to both biscuit and slot. If I badly miscut a slot, I would probably just cut another one somewhere else. If I really needed two biscuits for strength, I would cut the slots and trim the biscuits. If I was cutting slots in a face, I would definitely use a straight edge. I would disassemble after dry-fitting.
FWIW, I would typically use a cross-grain spline in this situation.
todd
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That was an attempt to provoke comment from any of the old-timers hanging around. Patrick Leach, he of the famous Stanley Blood and Gore, came up with that 10 or 15 years ago.
Thanks for your advice on using the thing. It had not occured to me to moisten the biscuits before glueing, but that sounds like a good idea.
John
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To be honest, I don't recall where I read about moistening the bisuits, and I'm sure there will be someone along soon to say that it's exactly the wrong thing to do.
todd
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You're doing exactly the wrong thing!!!
Well, I don't really know about that but I suspect it's unnecessary. I squirt the glue directly into the slot and then press the biscuit in. The downside to that method is that as often as not the excess glue squirts back out and ends up in places and on pieces I didn't particularly want it on. Often, it's gonna get painted anyway and so it doesn't matter. But, if I can control the excess then I'll brush it out along the glue edge before clamping the pieces to dry. Of late I've taken to using those smallish 1/2 inch disposable brushes and I'll jam one of those into the slot with the glue (I think that's the way Nahm does it) and then insert the biscuit. Then I don't have any excess glue to brush along the glue line and that necessitates running an additional bead of glue along the glue edge.
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NuWave Dave in Houston



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Changing the subject somewhat but still on biscuits. I got tired of buying small containers of biscuits and usually running out before I was done so I ordered a 1000 count box of Lamello biscuits. They come in a cardboard box pretty well open to the atmosphere. I had always heard there could be moister problems so always kept them sealed. Apparently, Lemello doesn't think so. Anyone have any input?

the
I
back
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I have used PC and Freud and a no name brand in the last 18 years. In a humid environment all brands have swollen to some extent and not all would swell as much as others of the same brand. Some continued to fit well while some would need to be hammered in.
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I've always given the biscuits a brief dunk in water when using poly glue, just beacuse I read somewhere long ago that it was "a good idea" These glues cure by reacting with moisture so it makes sense. Moisture also makes the biscuits swell, so don't wait too long to insert them after they are dampened.
With regular yellow glue I've found that using the head end of a 10d finish nail that's been partially tapped into a wooden handle is useful for spreading the glue around inside the slots.
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I like biscuits for edge jointing and reinforcing miters, mostly.
I glue one edge, including the biscuit slot (with brush to cover the entire slot area,) then insert the biscuit, then glue the other edge, again including the slot. A biscuit will absorb some of the glue, and swell slightly. The biscuits go in dry.
If you miss the mark, recut, I don't think it's a problem if the slot is a bit wide.
I cut biscuits to fit miters, I've not had a problem.
When making t-slots, I use a strait-edge. I've only done this a few times. I do a lot of plywood boxes and find dados and rabbits much stronger, and just as fast.
When dry fitting, why bother putting the biscuits away?
You questions and project seem to be plywood related, and I'd recommend using joinery. A t-slot joint may be the exception. If your joint needs to carry any significant weight, the shear strength of a biscuit joint is not much better then a simple butt joint using plywood.
-nick

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Go out to your shop and get a biscuit. Now, tear it in half, lenthwise (no bending, we're talking shear strength). After you have done that, come back and explain how a biscuit has no strength.

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Actually a biscuit does not add much strength to a joint when gluing the edges of solid wood together but does significantly add strength to a plywood edge joint and to miter joints.
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I like to put glue on the biscuit with a brush. It is fine to put glue in the slot, but then you have less control over the amount.

The one time I did this (actually I had the joiner set at the wrong angle) I filled the slot in with epoxy putty and recut it after it set.

Two in a row aren't going to be enough stronger to fuss over. Put one in. Two side-by-side are supposed to be substantially stronger.

If you can get it straight to a quarter of a degree, go for it! I couldn't.

Doesn't much matter.

Someone suggested wetting them first. Unless they have thoroughly tested the idea first, I would be concerned it would interfer with the glue.
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They have glue bottles just for this. Generally, I put it in the slot and leave the biscuit dry.

I
Good idea. Much faster than gluing a biscuit and trimming it flush.

in.
Next time someone works on your car, tell them it's OK to leave out a bolt or two. You don't need them all anyway.

couldn't.
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CW wrote:

My mechanic puts the extra bolts in the wheel covers in case I need them later.
;-)
Bill
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LOL!

bolt
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Does he also leave a nut behind the wheel for you?
Puckdropper
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To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Puckdropper wrote:

Yeah. But in an environmentally conscious move that surprised even me, he re-used the same one that tech support left behind ... something called a "keyboard nut".
Bill
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Lamello makes an adjustable proportion glue injector made specifically for glueing biscuit slots. If you are doing a lot of glue ups this works very well.
http://www.csaw.com/lamello/gluebottles.html
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says...

Bead of glue into the slot(s), run a 3/4" stiff artist's brush through it, then paint the excess glue on to the bisquit before inserting it. Minimises squeezeout.

Depends. Making a slot longer is no problem. Making a slot wider is. In the second scenario I'd either cut two new slots left and right, or I'd cuss a lot and redo the piece. The trick of course is to use the right fence setup on the wee machine and hold it tightly onto well marked pieces so's you don't miscut in the first place. It comes with practice ;-)

If I am doing an end cut in a 65mm wide bit of timber, I'll use #10 bisquits. Other than that I'd probably go with your solution b or just make up a floating tenon with the thicknesser in the first place. You CAN move the bisquit joiner along the pice to cut a long slot, but much like a router you need to make sure you have good control over where it goes. I wouldn't want to try it with a cheap and nasty machine. In the Makita you need to take out the rubber insert that is supposed to stop it from sliding ...

Neither. I clamp the cross-member to the face exactly on the line where it's supposed to end up. I then mark the top edge of that for the bisquits. Using the joiner without fences into the corner, cutting both pieces, I cut both slots for each bisquit in one process using the single mark. You may end up with the bisquits slightly off centre that way, but that doesn't matter as far as I am concerned; at least not in mdf cabinet construction using 16mm-18mm mdf. Should work well with ply too a.f.a.i.c.t. and I've not had complaints using this technique connecting timber to mdf.

We have very high humidity here. I put the bisquits back into their airtight bucket. Swollen bisquits don't assemble well, in fact have caused splitting both in timber and mdf for me. Not a good thing. This may not be a problem if you are living in a desert area ;-)

h.t.h. -Peter
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On Mon, 12 Feb 2007 18:04:08 +1300, Peter Huebner

Please keep your wee machine away from the bisquick
-Leuf
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