I am wondering about using a biscuit joiner to make frames for the windows
in my new house. I notice that I can get small "saw" blades for my router.
Would these work for FF size biscuits? What thickness? 1/8"? I think I
would rather set up the router table to do this than have to clamp down each
piece of trim.
Personally, I wouldn't use biscuits for such work, preferring something
far more substantial (such as mortise and tenon joinery). But given the
strength of modern glues it would probably work in a pinch. What you
need is a 5/32" width slot cutter with a diameter of <=2" which will
allow for the small radius of the FF biscuits. Unfortunately there
doesn't seem to be a commonly available slot cutter which matches the 2"
standard that FF biscuits seem to be designed for.
Have you considered simply buying the proper (PC) biscuit joiner for the
project and being done with it? Typically in a production setup the
joiner itself would be screwed down to the table/jig and the work fed
into it -- no clamping required and since the tool is never moved the
alignment is automatic as long as you remember to keep the proper face
down on the table.
I'm not sure exactly in what manner you're going to use the b joiner
on the window frames, but you can also simply get a slot cutter and
matching size material and make a spline joint. For instance 1/4"
mdf and a 1/4"slot cutter with the proper glues will produce a pretty
strong joint. This way you don't even have to match the biscuit
size and you can buy a ton of spline stock with one sheet of mdf.
Will it be as strong as a mortise and tenon? Probably not, but still
probably strong enough for a window frame properly installed.
I'm with John, I don't think I would use biscuits for that use. I doubt
if you want to use a router. Rent a real tool they are a pleasure to work
with, I would hate to try and fuss with trying to make a router do the same
What fuss? He is talking about a router table. You can set the fence, set
a stop, and slot a frame piece every 15 seconds or so. Only problem is he
wants to use FF biscuits and this does O as the smallest.
I can do the setup in five minutes. I can do a cut easily in 15 seconds.
I'll be done by the time you get to the rental store. Total cost about $20
and I own the tool.
If you don't have a router table, I'll agree with you. It is not a job for
a hand held router to do accurately.
I wouldn't use a biscuit joiner for the sashes, if that's what you are
talking about. However, a good use of a biscuit joiner would be if you
had mitered casings around the windows, a biscuit in the miters goes a
long way toward keeping the miters tight. Our house was built in 1925,
and there are biscuits in the mitered corners of the window casings.
(Although back then they probably didn't have nice biscuit joiners like
what we have these days.) Since it's an old house, many walls are
sagging due to insufficient framing, making some of the windows and
doors into parallelograms with about 1/2 inch of sag over the width of
a window or door opening. Since the casings are biscuited, the miters
are barely showing a crack even with that amount of sag.
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