Spline joint vs. biscuits?


I'm making a wrap-around band for a utility bench of solid wood. The band is to have mitered joints where there are corners. The plans I have call for these miters to be reinforced with biscuits. Since I don't have a biscuit joiner can I use a spline joint instead or is there something that works better?
Cheers! Dukester
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A spline's just a square, and possibly much longer biscuit.
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Biscuit is nothing more than a unique spline.
A traditional spline may even be better (more material and glue surface). Just make sure you run the grain of the spline perpendicular to the joint.

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After looking at examples of spline joints I'm even more confused. Which direction is the spline supposed to go in? If looking at a miter joint, say, in a box, does the spline go in from the top of the box "down", or from the side of the box "in"?
For example, look at the splines on these two pages:
http://www.smokymountainwoodworks.com/InTheShop/Kitchen_Island/Pic0110.jpg
http://www.woodezine.com/06_2004/06_2004_images/spline_images/figure_2.JPG
It would seem to me a biscuit would be more like the spline in the first photo? Is this what I need for this application?
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| After looking at examples of spline joints I'm even more confused. Which | direction is the spline supposed to go in? If looking at a miter joint, | say, in a box, does the spline go in from the top of the box "down", or from | the side of the box "in"? | | For example, look at the splines on these two pages: | |
http://www.smokymountainwoodworks.com/InTheShop/Kitchen_Island/Pic0110.jpg
| |
http://www.woodezine.com/06_2004/06_2004_images/spline_images/figure_2.JPG
| | It would seem to me a biscuit would be more like the spline in the first | photo? Is this what I need for this application? | |
The first site illustrates how to do a spline if one does not want it to show. Lots of glued strength results.
The second site illustrates how to do a spline if one also wants the spline to be decorative. The splines can be straight cuts as shown here or bowties or whatevere seems aesthetically pleasing. One can put in as many as seem appropriate to the construct.
Either way works.
-- PDQ
--
|

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In the case of a wood joint that is "long", as is the case in the first photo and with your table top band, the stronger way to do a spline is for the long axis of the spline to run along the length of the joint. If you were to use biscuits they would be put in in the same way, i.e. their length along the length of the joint. With biscuits or splines, the slot for the spline/ biscuit is cut before the joint is glued. When doing it this way the spline does not show except maybe at the end as in the first photo.
The second photo shows what is sometimes called a key. First the miter joint is glued together and then the slot is cut and the key glued in. The key shows and can be made very appealing aesthetically.
Remember that whenever you use a spline or key, always cut the spline/key so that it's grain runs perpendicular to the faces of the joint so that the forces pulling the joint apart are pulling along the grain of the spline/key.

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