cabinet doors - biscuits vs tenon

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wrote:

This brings up an interesting point.
You are looking at it from the point of view where one (or maybe several) blow(s) will destroy the door. From that point of view, I agree with you.
However... <G>
I've seen lots of cabinet doors fail slowly, as years of slamming shut, spills on lower cabinets, etc... takes a toll on the glue. The only joints I've ever had come apart were biscuited.
A full-on closed M&T is probably not necessary, but there are plenty of compromises between that and biscuits. For instance:
- One could groove the stiles and rails on tablesaw or router table, and leave a stub tenon that matches the grooves.
- Cope and stick bits are available for simple, straight-edged doors. Do a whole kitchen in a few hours. <G>
- The tenon could continue all the way to one outside edge (bare faced tenon), with the open-ended mortises easily cut with a router and straight bit. Done properly, this could look nice, too. You'd see the end of the tenon on the top and bottom, with perfect side edges. This would be quick and easy to do, simply rounding the tenon edge to the radius of the router bit with a rasp or sanding block.
- Dowels
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Interesting. Sounds almost like "fatiguing" the joint with lots of little stresses that have a cumulative effect. I don't have the engineering knowledge to agree or disagree, but that sounds plausible..
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On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 21:45:49 GMT, B A R R Y wrote:

From reading this thread, it seems like most people are saying that it's the _glue_ around the biscuit that fails - not the biscuit itself. Which makes me wonder what adhesive the article used (I haven't seen that particular mag. sold in this country).
Can't you just use a stronger adhesive?
Pete
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wrote:

I agree. Yellow woodworking glues are weak when filling gaps. A properly fitted joint features smooth surface mating to smooth surface.
The biscuit failures I've had all involved the biscuit sliding out of the slot.

Standard woodworking glue, just like most woodworkers.

Epoxy would probably work well, but it adds other complexities.
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Use urethane glue. Holds like crazy.
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Standard wood glue is stronger than the wood. If the biscuit is sliding out of the slot, it wasn't glued right.
KOI8 Net < > The impossible we do immediately. *

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I totally agree!
Sometimes, a slightly loose fitting biscuit and the rough surface of the biscuit cause problems.
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KOI8 Net < > The impossible we do immediately. *

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Well, there is no question in my mind that it is stronger; just whether the difference is relevant.
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TimR wrote:

If you have a router table, I'd seriously suggest buying a door rail and style set.. It's maybe around $60-80 (haven't bought in a long time). Since you are doing a whole kitchen, it will save you tons and tons of time. Mortise and tenon is ok for just doing a couple doors, but a whole kitchen? That would take forever. In addition, they will look better, since they cut a decorative edge on the inside of the door. (IMO, of course).
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Seconded. I bought the Freud set at 100 GBP and have done dozens of doors quite painlessly. Router table is home made (requirements are minimal) and router is a big (2200W) cheap (60 GBP) job.
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Are your rails going to be wide enough for a biscuit? If so, IMHO it will be OK. You said "flat panel" if you use plywood you can glue them in to the frames & they will be plenty strong.
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FWIW...
I remember an incident from a few years ago that makes me wonder if most doors are not overbuilt. While shopping for a new home, we were talking with the realtor in the kitchen of a house we were viewing. The kitchen cabinets appeared to be laminate clad MDF with concealed hinges. Tired of standing, the realtor swung open the door on a lower cabinet and SAT on the top edge. At first I was simply shocked that the door did not break or that the hinge screws did not pull out of the cabinet.. Secondly, the realtor did this so casually, without testing the door for strength, that it became apparent that this was a common behavior for the realtor. Presumably, this had worked as a seat in so many cases that the realtor simply considered all cabinet doors to be built-in chairs. I have not been brave enough to try this myself.
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M&T will outlast biscuits. Kitchen cabinet doors get a lot of use (and sometimes abuse). There are thousands of books on making doors--take a look at Taunton Press books. Here, you'll be far ahead with a good set of Bessy K-body clamps and corner blocks.
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