I do moderate woodworking projects for my home and will never consider
myself professional or commercal. Having said that I would appreciate some
points of view on a Jet and Rigid joiner/planer and in my situation will the
$100 more Jet be worth it. Also, some points of view on a PC or Dewalt
all good units ...so you can't go wrong with any...
The Jet's has an enclosed base...I prefer that.
Biscuit joiner: if you ask an PC owner he will swear this is the best....if
you ask a DeWalt owner...he will tell you the DeWalt is better...and he will
be right (of course I do have the DeWalt :-))) )
On magazines review they are head to head.
Not all of them!
I have a DeWalt, and I wish it had the capability for FF biscuits like
the PC does. I'll be building a bunch of face frames in a month or
two, so the DeWalt will probably go to eBay so I can get a PC.
I'm happy with the DeWalt's performance, and if the PC didn't do FF
biscuits, I'd buy it again.
I'm sure it is obvious but could you explain FF applications? I'm going to
be building built-in bookcases and an entertainment center over the winter
and would like to know if the face frames you are talking about are the
cabinet face frames? I thought that the FF was more for picture framing.
in message wrote:
As you are probably aware, the FF biscuits, and the FF blade for the PC, are
much smaller and can be used in thinner, narrower stock, like the end grain
of rails in a face frame.
I would bet that most folks who own the PC rarely use the FF blade and
biscuits. I use them mostly for adding strength to small miter joints, and
rarely for face frames.
If you are going to be doing face frames for your entertainment center,
consider using pocket hole technology instead of biscuits. This is the
"killer application" for pocket hole screws.
Your mention of built-in bookshelves may pose a different situation than the
making of normal face frames for cabinets, where you often build the face
frame separately, and then apply it to the carcass.
On built-in bookcases, you often apply the face frames rails and stiles
individually, _after_ the carcasses are installed to the walls. Doing it
this way makes it much easier to scribe to walls, etc.
The biscuit jointer, with the regular blade, should serve you well when
adding face frame rails and stiles to installed carcasses, as would simply
cutting splines and slots on the table saw.
I own a biscuit joiner, but don't own a pocket jig yet. I can envision a
number of places where a pocket joiner can be of great use. Despite this
however, I see one glaring stumbling block to pocket joinery and face
frames. The face frame has to be assembled independently of the carcase and
then attached. There's a tremendous benefit to building a face frame and
attaching it to the carcase piece by piece. It allows for slight
imperfections and mis-measurements to be corrected as you go along;
something that pocket joinery would have difficulty with.
Am I wrong in my thinking?
Welp ... there is little that is "wrong" with different methods for doing
things, although methods themselves make take on the aspects of a religious
What's a "glaring stumbling block" to you, is the very reason I build my
face frames first, with the exception noted in my previous post.. ;>)
Careful attention to assembling a square, solid face frame will almost
always guarantee a square, solid cabinet. It _rarely_ happens the other way
I'd bet if you poll most cabinet maker's, you will find this is the case.
However it is allowable that your YMMV may vary more than my .02.
Let me ask you then. For a large cabinet, isn't a completely assembled face
frame before attaching it to the carcase unwieldy to a great degree? What if
your face frame is just a little bit off size or a stile is just a little
too wide or a rail is too long? You have to disassemble more than one piece
to correct it and you've got a weaker, unstable face frame on your hands
until all pieces are again reattached. I guess I'm thinking that permanently
fastening rails and stiles as you go makes one less likely to encounter
difficulties. I guess it's a trade off. Pocket joinery is obviously a quick,
solid construction method, but it has disadvantages in other areas. Guess I
won't know for sure until I actually experience the use of one.
Never has been in the least ... and I've made some tall, wide, big cabinets,
and nearly _always_ build the face frame(s) first.
There is a limit to everything, of course ... usually what you can get in a
door, up/down a stair, or stand up in a low ceiling, so you have to plan in
advance and sometimes split things up. On many cabinet projects, like the
kitchen variety, think modular. Face frames built first make that easier and
often more precise when it comes to filling a space.
Absoluetly NEVER happens if you build the face frame FIRST, and do it right.
Remember, you batch cut your rails and stiles, so they're properly sized for
the width and length they're supposed to be before assembly, PRECISELY. If
your equipment is set up properly, they are also 'square' where the need to
There are few absolutes, but the following comes close: THE BIGGEST FRIEND
OF THE CABINET MAKER IS "SQUARE".
If things are square, suddenly your doors fit, your shelves are all the same
size with no prolbmes, your drawers fit like gloves and are easy to install,
everything levels easily, ad infinitum.
If you start with a carefully constructed, properly squared face frame, your
cabinet will follow with much less effort on your part. The reverse is NOT
necessarily true in my experience and generally much more of a struggle due
to racking, movement, etc..
Screw up a face frame, which is rare, and you simply start over again with a
new face frame. The cabinet is assembled with the face frame as the starting
point, so you don't mess up a cabinet, just the face frame ... but again,
that is RARE.
Actually, it is very much the opposite ... if 'square' means anything to
I guess it's a trade off. Pocket joinery is obviously a quick,
To me, there is NO disadvantages using pocket hole joinery on almost all
face frame construction. If there ever was a "fit" in woodworking, this _is_
IT. The right amount of joint strength for the job, no clamping, immediate
access to a precisely assembled component ... hard to beat.
Don't knock it 'til you try it ... I'll almost guarantee you'll never turn
Then buy the little Ryobi mini-biscuit joiner (same thing also sold as
a Craftsman except in black instead of blue). It will probably cost
somewhat less than the difference between what you get for the DeWalt
and what you will pay for the PC. You won't have to go through the
effort of changing blades every time you want to do a face frame
joint. Best of all, the mini-biscuit joiner is much easier to keep
track of than the little blade for the PC ;) Seriously, the ryobi mini
unit was my first biscuit joiner and has always worked fine for me. I
probably use it more for actual joints (as opposed to alignment of
long grain to long grain glue ups) than my full size joiner.
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