My oak plywood desktop is progressing. I've been trying to find more
info on which and how many biscuits to use for the solid oak face
molding. The top is 3/4" oak ply and the molding is 3/4" by 1x1/2"
solid red oak. I will let the molding overhang the bottom of the
countertop so I only have max 3/4" heigth and 3/4" deep to hold a
biscuit. My friend told me to use FF biscuits and space them about
10" apart on a 10' span. Being inquisitive, I just wanted to know
more about sizes, tolerances, spacing, quantity, etc.. Anyone have
any good places to look and\or have any tips for my project?
Your friend's advice is IMO under-engineered.
FF biscuits are for assembling a face frame: they are narrow enough that the
biscuit slot will fit entirely within the width of a normal rail or stile. For
attaching the face frame to a cabinet you should use larger biscuits such as a
#10 or #20. (General rule is to use the largest biscuit that will fit, on the
theory that the more surface area you have for glue, the better off you are.)
The manual for my biscuit joiner recommends intervals of approximately 6".
Probably a 10" interval won't be a problem with a #20 biscuit, but I sure
wouldn't space those teeny-tiny FF biscuits that far apart.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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I use #20 biscuits about 10" or so apart. When I glue the molding on, I put
a thicker board between my clamp faces and the molding. That way, the
clamping pressure is better spread across the molding and there is a tighter
fit between the molding and the ply.
On 2 May 2004 15:26:45 -0700, cf email@example.com (Chris) wrote:
The 10" is about right. I use #20 biscuits for most things. Be
careful about cutting the slots too close to the surface as the
biscuits can swell and produce a small hump on your ply. Try to cut
the slots along the center. Use clamps. A "dry run" can save a big
headache; ie, put the facing on with biscuits and clamps without
glue--that way everything will be within reach when you apply the glue
without any surprises and reduces the chance of a panic attack.
So, Ed, you are suggesting registering using the fence to the edge of the
trim piece? Why not register using the base against the benchtop or a
bench hook? Seems to offer a more reliable means, with fewer things to
adjust incorrectly, in my limited experience. And it puts the biscuit in
the middle of 3/4 stock just fine, does it not?
This is not a major point of contention, by any means. Thanks for your
many reasoned, thoughtful contributions to this, and other, USENET forums.
"patriarch firstname.lastname@example.orgDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message
Do you have the plate joiner yet? If not, I can understand your question.
They are designed to be used by registering the fence on the top of the wood
and the cut is below. Like any tool, it must be checked for accuracy and
adjusted if needed. Mine needed a minor adjustment of the scale.
OK, I have a DeWalt, others may differ slightly. Lets say I have a piece
of 3/4' plywood.and want to center a biscuit. I set the scale to 3/8" (half
of 3/4) and I'm ready.
Step one it so put the two pieces together and make a pencil mark where I
want the biscuit to be when joined. Just a line across both pieces. I
set the fence on the plywood, hold it firmly, squeeze the trigger and push
in the make the cut. I can cut all along the wood and have the same spacing.
Now I do the piece to be joined, again registering from the top, and I have
a perfect alignment if I did my job correctly.
My particular tool is designed to be used that way. If I was to slide it on
a table top or bench, it would not always be perfectly parallel. Why? The
bottom of the tool is not flat and I can easily induce error. Without a
trip to the shop, I have no idea what the scale from the bottom can even be
Why is the tool designed that way? Not every joint is made on the
workbench. Let's say you are making a rectangular frame and you want to
join the four pieces. The cuts will be on the edge for one piece but the
face of the mate. Face is not easily done on a bench, nor may it be as
accurate as registration with the fence from the top.
I have the same tool, about 18 months now. We differ on the easiest, most
The slots tend to stay straighter when I flip the boards over, reference
faces down, and register off of the bottom of the tool, when appropriate.
But as I said, this is really a minor thing, and certainly not something
about which to argue.
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