Bisquit Jointer vs Dowel Pro Jig

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Here is Rockler's Dowel Pro Jig - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page ™76&filtere730&pne730
And their Porter-Cable Bisquit Jointer- http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 09&filter224&pn224
How much better (and faster) is using bisquits, for keeping boards aligned, than is using dowels? I don't have a bisquit jointer, but I do have the dowel jig. I'm considering getting the bisquit jointer.
I have 1200 bd ft of mahogany and am drawing out plans for an entertainment center (12'W X 8'H X 25"D) .... no plywood on this project. I have had, somewhat, similar panel projects in the past, but not as big.
Is using bisquits a faster process than using dowels. To me, in the past, using dowels took lots of time, since I seem to measure and cut each one individually, more so than using a standard measure/stop for drilling holes and cutting the dowels (or most of them) to a set length.
Thanks. Sonny
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No question, the biscuit joiner is a lot faster. Lay out you boards, mark a line every foot or so using your square, an go for it. But it might have a little more slop in the alignment as not all biscuits are created equal and you might move the machine an infinitesimal amount. I prefer to use cauls and clamps.
Or you might consider the Lee Valley panel clamps & glue up a whole bunch at once. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=31181&cat=1,43838
Luigi
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"Sonny" wrote:

You don't need to buy a busquit joiner if you have a router.
A 5/32" slot cutter and a 5/32 straight bit and you you're covered for #20 biscuits.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

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Only good for th edges/ends of a board. Yo need a biscuit jointer if you want to have a shelf in the middle of a panel.
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I Wrote: -------------------------------------------------------

"Leon" wrote: ====================================> Only good for th edges/ends of a board. Yo need a biscuit jointer

Read again.
Think that 5/32" straight bit might be ueful for something?
Lew
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Last year, I inherited a partial woodshop and a shed of lumber.... about the same amount of cherry and, also, lots of white oak and walnut. Some of you may recall, back then, I had asked about an old 1950s Craftsman table saw and lathe. I did donate the table saw to a worthy cause. A machinist friend made an extension for the lathe bed, so now I can turn items nearly 8' long. I gave the old lathe cabinet (on wheels - custom made) to a local young woodworker. I re-wired the shaper (dry rotted wiring) and am debating keeping it or giving it. There is a work table (2 solid doors hinged together, ie., flip top), such that, not flipped, the table top work space is 30" X 7'. Flipping half of the top, opened to a 60" X 7' work surface.... pretty neat! I'm debating giving away this work table. Some time ago, I bought the house next door and have been remodeling it for a woodshop. Some of these inherited items don't fit my remodel/set-up ideas/plans.
Actually, I've been looking at the cherry, also, so I'm not dead set on using the mahogany. I've pulled out about 300 bd ft of each and have been inspecting and trying to decide what might be best for the project. Most boards are 1" X 8" X 12' (some 14 & 16 footers) and many with coon/possum/roach/spider shit and other similar surface stains. A light planing has taken care of most of the stains.
Today, I made 12 sets of panel clamps, 2" X 3" X 40" long to 60" long, so buying them won't be necessary. My widest (back) panel will be 50". I'm still debating buying a bisquit jointer. I've been looking at the slot cutters. I'll probably get both.
I do have an inspiration picture, but I can't post on abpw. I can email the pic for those who want to see.
Sonny
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Thank you
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"SBH" wrote:

What part of a router bit doing it's job (cutting wood) do you need explained?
Lew
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote

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I think you 'll be able to find an explanation when you do a Google search. (Don't tell anybody, but the natives get a little cranky sometimes....) =0)
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:> :> :> > "Sonny" wrote::> :> >> How much better (and faster) is using bisquits, for keeping boards :> >> aligned, than is using dowels?  I don't have a bisquit jointer, but I :> >> do have the dowel jig.  I'm considering getting the bisquit jointer.:> :> > You don't need to buy a busquit joiner if you have a router.:> :> > A 5/32" slot cutter and a 5/32 straight bit and you you're covered for #20 :> > biscuits.:> :> > Lew:> :> Being new to the craft, can you explain how this is done?:> :> Thank you : I think you 'll be able to find an explanation when you do a Google : search. (Don't tell anybody, but the natives get a little cranky : sometimes....) : =0)
Good suggestion, but the basics for the original poster are:
The advantage of a dedicated biscuit joiner are that you can put slots into the edge of a piece of wood or plywood (there is a fence that pivots down; fence is placed against the wide part of the board, and the spring-mounted joiner is pushed into the wood, cuting a slot), and the face of a piece of wood, by clamping a fence (i.e. another piece of wood) across the board, retracting the joiner's fence, and placing the joiner up against the board.
You can do the same operations, but not quite as comfortably, with a plunge router (assuming you have one). For edge jointing, you use a bit that has a narrow, wide cutter (like an upside down T, with the upright part the shaft of the router bit), which cuts into the wood's edge.
For slots in the middle of a board, you plunge a straight bit into the wood and move the router along a fence so it's the right length.
Personally, I'd use a biscuit joiner if I have more than a few of these slots to cut.
    -- Andy Barss
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In article <04f87b86-dd7f-4670-828b-96a38e19e938

If you're really slow and super-careful I am sure dowels will be more accurate - I can be really careful with bisquits and still sometimes get an alignment error of 1/2mm or so (that's around 0.02 inches). It cleans up with the minimal glue squeezeout.
However, bisquits are MUCH faster once you get to know some tricks, I'd say by a factor of 10 or more (that is, I used to have locator jigs for dowels but no drilling jig), and (good) bisquits are also considerably stronger i.m.o.. Ever seen a chair or cheap table where dowels have broken out the stretchers? Doesn't happen with bisquits. No way would I go back to using dowels because of that alone. N O W A Y. It's the way forces and leverages act on dowels and get transmitted back to the board they're in. Not an issue with making panels, I grant you.
B.t.w. there's bisquits and then there's bisquits. I once ordered a box of Lamello bisquits (compressed beech hardwood, manufactured to very high standards) and got given some cheap pine ones instead --- I foolishly accepted the delivery but in the end I gave that box away after using about 20 or 50 of the sloppy uneven horrid things. (BIX brand).
Makita and Lamello bisquit joiners are both very good, no idea about other brands like PC; they're not sold here. Don't get a cheap knock- off, but you knew that ;-) Friend tried to save some money and nearly lost his thumb because of a design flaw. Couple of months' worth of involuntary holiday resulted ... he's got a Lamello now.
-P.
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Peter Huebner wrote:

I have a doweling jig and used it once when I was a beginner ww, it sucked, was really hard to use. Then I used the table saw to run a grove and used a plywood spline, easier, but a pita. I then got a glue joint for my molding head, still a pita. I then learned joints simply need glued, no reason for dowels, splines or fancy glue joints.
I never used a biscuit joiner but I've seen them in use and they look simple as all get out. On the other hand, I use clamps and cauls as needed and never had a problem. I just glue the stuff up and get joints just as accurate as you get with a biscuit jointer, and never once had a glue up failure. I guess if I were in a small production commercial shop, I would look into the biscuit thing in place of cauls? I know I see Norm and Scott on TV use about a hundred biscuits every couple of feet. I think the most I would need in an 8' glue up would be 4, which is about one more than should be needed? How warped is that wood?
I guess if I spent $700+ on a biscuit joiner that wasn't needed for strength, and only lined things up a bit easier than using cauls, but not any better, I'd use the thing. Otherwise, spend the money on a bunch of various types of clamps of which you can never have too many and have at it:-)
--
Jack
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My father has a biscuit jointer, and I borrowed it once for doing some edging. After a bit of trying, I found that no matter how careful I was, I ended up getting errors as often as not(about 1/2 mm or so), which added a lot of extra work. It might have been the model of biscuit jointer, or my inexperience, I don't know. In any case, I got out my router, and cut some splines. I got no error whatsoever after many edges, so that's my prefered method now.
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Sonny wrote:

Biscuits go very quickly, and the limited depth means that they can be used where dowels aren't really practical. On the other hand they shouldn't be used as a substitute for a mortise and tenon like dowels can.
For limited production you can cut biscuit slots with a router and a slot cutter, but it's not nearly as convenient as using the purpose-made tool.
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All I will do is vote with some of the previous posts. Biscuits are quick and do add some strength; but they do not guarantee smooth joints in themselves. You will still have to check joint smoothness or do some sanding/planing afterward.
BTW, 1,200 bd ft will build a lot of entertainment center. Would love to see pics when done (or in process).
RonB
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The PlateJoiner will be less fussy with left and right alingment. It will also be a faster process. A warning however, alswys use the fence to index the plat joiner and have the edge/ end of the wood always hang over the end of the bence. This will help insure that the plate jointer does not rest on the table/bench top. Debris under the work piece and or plate joiner will throw off slot locations.
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Domino. Best of both worlds.
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Buying me one?
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