Well, that's your opinion, of course. And there's a lot of ground between
Wal-Mart furniture and "fine-quality" furniture, at least in my mind. For
some reason, there's something intrinsically lame about biscuits in my mind
when applied to a piece of furniture that I expect to last well beyond my
lifetime. And this isn't because I've never used them, because I have. I
have a very serviceable Dewalt biscuit jointer that I've used in the past
and intend to use in the future on the right projects. I just try to avoid
them on something I hope will be an heirloom someday. Oh, well...I'm
certainly not in any position to criticize what other people use, so I'll
just do my thing and other people will do theirs. Certainly not as
important as keeping the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts out of
the White House.
I'm having a hard time seeing how using biscuits in any way diminishes a "fine
furniture" project and causes it not to last beyond
I'm certainly not advocating the use of particle board, contact paper and knockdown
hardware. I think we are talking about using
glue only or glue and biscuits. Oh, well, certainly not that important.
However, I totally and unequivocally agree with your last sentence.
On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 07:41:42 -0400, "Al Reid"
I'd use knockdown hardware on fine furniture. There's nothing about
"fine" that implies traditional and excludes contemporary.
Portability isn't contradictory to quality.
Besides which, some of the finest furniture ever built (18th century
secretaries and chest-on-chests) used metal knock-down fittings to
split in two for shipping and installation.
Not to mention Thomas Jefferson's bookcases.
Mankind has been making portable furniture for as long as we've been making furniture.
That said, I'm still not sure how I feel about biscuits in fine furniture.
They're a tool, like any tool. You use them where they're the best
available solution to the problem, and don't use them where there's another
that is better.
Don't get hung up on "this is used in fine furniture and that isn't". Use
whatever is most appropriate to the problem at hand.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Let's keep the distinguished(?) gentleman from Texas out of the White
House for another 4 years, shall we? Vote with your conscience.
Murphy was an Optimist
http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
Yes and no ... depends upon the application to me.
I personally would not consider biscuit joinery in place of traditional
joinery techniques on "fine furniture", but I have no qualms about using
them where one would normally use splines, or similar joinery methods, in
the components of fine furniture.
My use of biscuits in "fine furniture" is generally restricted to two
applications: on large panel glue-up for the alignment convenience, and
occasionally to strengthen miter joints where I don't want to use a visible,
or contrasting color spline, that shows.
Not that it makes a damn, but DJM uses biscuits in more places in his "fine
furniture" pieces than I would, and there is little doubt that he has
reached "master" status ... but then again, it could be that he does that
for public consumption only?
But I know what you mean ...
Because you can't ever dismantle them. Definite no-no in fine
furniture, because a reasonable definition of "fine" is that you're
expecting someone to still care about looking after it in 200 years
And you don't need either tapered mortices or glue.
That's like saying that 3/4" cherry plywood is the same as solid 3/4"
cherry. Because they serve a similar purpose doesn't mean they're
equivalent. I guess the difference to me is the fact that the biscuit or
plywood is an engineered material. Heck, maybe unless I'm using hide glue
(which I don't), I'm not being consistent on some level.
I would have to say that woodworking is an art, not a science.... and
how you approach your at is a very individual thing, which I think
that it needs to be to be creative...
I have a friend that does very good work, who refuses to call anything
that isn't finished with hand rubbed oil furniture... he isn't wrong
or right, just doing his thing..
I bought a biscuit jointer because even with a drill press and dowel
points, my joints always need a bit of alignment and sanding... the
biscuit seems to minimize the problem for me, so I use it...
that's why they make paint in all those different colors, so everyone
can have one they like.. *g*
Well, if it were just Norm, I could write it off to a trim carpentry and
But David Marks uses them all the time. Worse yet, he uses them to attach
edging to MDF or plywood panels, some of which he has veneered personally.
And in some of the works of the Sainted Krenov, veneer over a stable
substrate is taken to a high art.
And many of the better works by artisans of an earlier day are veneered,
for wide range of valid reasons.
Solid wood has its place. But so do other constructions. Not all
furniture with engineered materials come from Walmart.
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