Oh, fer crisssakes ... inexperienced woodworkers are always ready to blame
the tool when the problem is that they fail to grasp the BASICS of
You "think about it" ... try your little "experiment" with stock when both
pieces are warped or bowed, even slightly, and see just how far you get with
"lined up nicely".
The OP is admittedly using purchased S2S lumber and can't get a "flat"
glue-up ... IF you've done any woodworking whatsoever, experience would have
already told you where the FIRST place he should look.
Now go back and read what I said in previous posts instead of trying to find
cracks in it ... there aren't any!
And if you still think you can argue with that, you'd do better to go get
some more shop time instead.
Fer chissakes my ass Swingman. You have demonstrated a keen ability to
completely miss what is being said to you in favor of piping off like some
sort of sage. I would not use the term inexperienced to describe myself,
but I won't attempt to dissuade you since by now it's pretty clear no one
can tell you anything. Believe what you will, it's no sweat to me.
There you go - again... throw a red herring in the mix. Do yourself a favor
and go back and re-read what myself and other poster actually wrote, can the
straw men, and try to figure out what has been said. Then attempt to
discuss within the context of the conversation without throwing in
The first place he should look is at the way he's trying to do it. I don't
know if he has a bad tool or if he's using it wrong or what the problem is.
Unlike you, I can't make the ultimate determination from the comfort of my
armchair, without seeing the situation. You still fail to explain how a
plate joiner is indexed. Then apply that to your ramblings. If you were
more of a woodworker than a newsgroup expert, you'd know how this type of
joinery works. Have you never joined two dissimilar sizes of wood?
Your over inflated opinion of yourself that couldn't help but put in your
closing comments on that last post of yours is what caused me to respond.
Go back and take a look at it for yourself.
The great and mighty one has spoken. Maybe a little more shop time and a
little less dissertation would help you understand that there is more to
woodworking than planing everything to the same size. You might even
discover that two differently sized pieces of wood can very nicely be put
together. Your jumped to conclusion, while appropriate at a different point
in considering the project as a whole, is completely irrelevant to the OP's
What are you using for the biscuits? Some I've seen (including a bulk
batch of PC-branded ones) aren't very good and leave some slop in the
slot. If they're not snug, a <little> steaming first may help.
The stock should be pretty darn close at the site of the biscuit(s) but
if, as you say, you're running mill stock w/o surface prep I'd expect
some variation between locations. If the stock has some bow or warp in
it and you're having to bring it into alignment, that will cause the
other locations to move.
Also, it's <possible> (but not likely) you've got a problem w/ the
joiner or the cutter. A tooth on the blade could be out of alignment
leaving a wider than nominal groove, for example. (My hired hand
somehow managed to drop mine and it landed such that it happened--how,
exactly, I still haven't figured out). :(
One last thing--what size biscuit are you using? Larger will provide
more bending resistance as it has more surface depth.
If they fit well, no problem...I just got a batch of those that had a
pretty high content of both mis-cut and out of dimension. Low humidity
here may have contributed to the tendency to be thin.
I've used about every named variety at some time or the other...cheapest
is usually ok, but as I say this one particular batch of PC-branded bulk
were/are the worst from a QC standpoint.
As noted, it's easy enough to tell whether they're snug in the slot or
not...if they are, that's not the problem. If they aren't, the problem
could be either the biscuit is a little thin or the slot is large. The
latter could be either technique or as noted before, a tool/cutter
problem. Way to test that is to take small test piece and prepare it
well and practice.
Those are the ones I use. The only problem I have is sometimes they're too
big to fit in the slot without whackin 'em with a mallet so I often end up
with a dozen or so that aren't usable out of a big jarful, but that's the
only problem. Never had one that seemed TOO sloppy.
It's not related to whatever problem you have, but I remember a thread here
once, long long ago, where the guy said he had little depressions in his
table top, exactly where the biscuits were. The best explanation was that
he'd sanded the top a few hours after glueing, and those biscuits expand
with the glue, and then shrink back, but it takes around 12 hours or more.
So, when you finally get that process working, don't sand or plane any
surfaces for a day or so.
But I'm standing with the ones who say your wood isn't prepared right. If
they line up good before they're glued, the biscuits make certain they line
up at glue time. If they don't, ain't no biscuits gonna help.
As noted, it's only been one batch in particular that I've had (but it
was a batch of 1000 so they've been around a while since I don't use a
tremendous number)...and, it was very hot and dry last summer so I
suspect they were a little damp originally and shrunk...
Agree <most likely> cause, I was trying to enumerate all the other
things either I've done or seen done or happen that could be causes
although as noted, less likely.
I'm on material prep one, technique two, other ...
One last possibility (thanks to the hired hand again--he showed me more
ways to do things wrong or haphazardly than I knew existed :) )--when
cutting the slots <don't> run the cutter in and out more than once...he
had a habit of doing it 2 or 3 or more times, by which time he'd hogged
the original out...
I appreciate everyone's input, and have a preliminary answer.
Tonight I glued a 3/4" back lip onto a 51" long shelf, with 6 biscuits. I
didn't expect it to work very well because the wood was too narrow to really
get the guide flat; but since the defect would be on the back, I didn't much
It came out perfectly, despite horrible technique; if not for the pencil
marks I could skip sanding. The difference was that both surfaces came from
my tablesaw rather than the lumberyard's planer; so they were pretty
This settles it for me, my problem is inadequately flat wood.
Your description of "there are a couple inches with a 1/16" difference, and
maybe a foot with a 1/32" difference".sounded pretty much like your stock
would be the first place to check, IME.
I've got a similar situation/problem coming up with some S2S 3/4 walnut that
someone gave me ... much of it is simply not flat enough and there is not
enough material to mill flat and still end up with stock a suitable
thickness for many of the type of projects I do.
In this case, and because it was free I can spend the time to do it, my
solution is going to have to be to laminate pieces, then joint and plane to
Arguments can rage about whether you need a jointer and planer, but they are
a tough combination to beat when it comes to making it easy to do the best
work of which you are capable.
good luck ...
You're confusing we folks who consider "flat" as describing the broad face
and "straight," the edge. What did you do with your tablesaw?
Flat panels demand square or offsetting angled edges, panels without gaps
along the glue lines demand straight ones or some truly bigass clamps.
Not that I would recommend it, but you _could_ take a board bowing east and
a board bowing west and make a straight(er) north-south board out of the
glueup as long as you had a surface "local" level good enough to reference
your joiner. Some people have even clamped such boards to straight ones to
obtain a good local level. Next time you leave a couple boards leaning
against the wall too long, remember it.
Well in this case, I had a 13.5" wide 5' long panel that I ripped to 12.75".
I slotted the top of the panel and the bottom of the scrap and glued them
together; so the scrap was a lip for the panel.
The glue line was the lumberyard's planing; probably not too good, but the
lip was flexible enough to accomodate it. The edge was the TS rip.
Apparently it was straight enough to give perfect results.
The lip was pretty bowed, but it was no match for the shelf.
OK, now that you've used the word "rip," I understand. It wasn't flat so
much as straight and square which you lacked. Nonetheless, do you
understand how a fixed distance between fence and blade is what the biscuit
joiner is all about as well?
What thickness stock is below the slot is as unimportant as the width of the
offcut when ripping.
Completely irrelevant, as it turns out, to the OP's original
You and 'Yabut' both introduced the tool "index"/vast difference in stock
thickness issue as justification for missing the point.
The original question, and problem, clearly revolved around a "panel"
glue-up. Experience should tell both of you that it would be rare indeed if
the stock in a "panel" glue-up would not ideally be the same thickness.
So - you felt so cocky as to post your presumed righteousness immediately
after toller posted that he had met with success and that he had ripped an
edge with his table saw, even though that edge he created had nothing to do
with board thickness, but now it's back to panel thickness. You still
haven't explained how panel thickness has anything to do with what toller is
explaining that he's doing. That stock in a panel glue up would ideally be
the same thickness does not require great genius to figure out so why don't
you move past that point and just pretend that you're not the only one who
knows that. His points and his descriptions have not been different
thickness panels and as has been articulated to you, and even if they were,
with his joining process, he should be able to get a good top surface
As yet, you haven't explained a thing to the guy beyond ranting about
selecting materials and plaining down boards. You haven't help him address
or resolve his problem yet you mouth off at those who have tried. Maybe
such a thing is beneath one so high and mighty as yourself.
?? Sorry, dude ... your rant make no sense whatsoever.
There you go again ... it's "planing" down boards, Mike.
Really gets your goat that you're _still_ batting zero after all your
"yabut" attempts on various subjects the last few months, doesn't it?
... so keep trying.
And you know _exactly_ what it is I am talking about.
I don't feel I've batted zero against you one time Swingman. You missed the
mark on the thread about batteries and tried to lay it on me as if I had
been duped, when the point was never about me. Likewise with the thread
involving Andy. You tried to throw the conversation about several different
ways with more than one poster and none involved allowed you to do so.
Oops - looks like you were had again Swingman.
That's the thing with your posts - you feel this need to be oh-so
authoratative, and you end up offering nothing more than superfilous, off
the mark comments. Red Herrings. Straw man arguments. Sad for you that
you don't even seem to notice that the digs you try to throw aren't even
appropriate to the conversation at hand. That makes them somewhat impotent.
But go ahead, if it makes you feel good, have at it. No, it doesn't get my
goat - it's more that you amuse me in your inability to discuss a point
without throwing irrelevant material in there as a distraction, and you
never do end up addressing the point at hand.
I like that the "yeahbut" seems to get your goat. I might have to use that
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