Biscuit Joiners

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Charlie James 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #10194
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    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Anyone actually use biscuit joiners anymore for table tops?

    I’ve used them before for alignment and they work fine but they receive a lot of hate. Festool domino is great but expensive for me right now. I’ll get one someday.

    I’ve used dowels with a dowel jig, the downside being you have to be pretty accurate, and if your not, have fun lining thing ups. I’ve done it with dowels too. Work fine.

    With the dominos I usually take a plane and take off the ridges on the side of the domino so there is a little bit of wiggle room side to side. Better to leave it on the tight setting.

    The reason I’m asking is because I am glueing up a monster table top. I’ve done so many glue ups big and small. Especially at urban. The thing about urban is if things are out of alignment we just send it through the planer so no need to go crazy. After the table top is glued in stages and planed in sections, it goes through the wide belt. Makes for a damn close to perfect top. Don’t thing things won’t wrap though ha ha. Anyways the one I’m doing is 82 x 40 x 1 1/2” thick. Of course I’m gonna do it in stages like I do at urban. Difference is I use cauls on both sides. Urban we generally don’t because of the machine like I said. For my table top I just don’t then shifting at all up and down.

    So it’s either get a biscuit joiner. Anyone festool domino used have them laying around? Don’t want to pay full price. I know someone must have one laying around! I need one anyways.

    Or use a router and a spline (not preferable) I’ve done it and if I don’t think it worked that great.

    Or Use a bunch of cauls and hope for the best. Done it this way to and the table top I made came out perfect although I believe that was beginners luck as this was an early piece I made.

    And lastly dowels.

    One last note. Probably gonna use polyurethane glue for more open time. Don’t want to use titebond three. Not the hardest glue line. It’s okay I guess but eh.

    Thanks guys.

  • #10195
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    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Sorry about the typos!

  • #10196
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    And of course a good quality biscuit helps. Don’t want them loose.

  • #10197
    Robert DeMarco
    Robert DeMarco
    Participant

    Dean I have both a biscuit joiner and small domino . I can gladly come over and help you with the glue up . Robert

  • #10198
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Yea that would be great. Hard to say when I’m going to glue it up. Maybe Sunday but not sure. Might need help jointing the final edges on my jointer too. Big boards. When I do email, call text?

  • #10199
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Ha. Just finished milling the boards. Not gonna need any alignment aids. I did good enough I suppose. Thanks for the offer though!

  • #10201
    Joe Bottigliere
    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    Dean,
    Not sure if you are actually looking for a biscuit joiner? I have an older Porter-Cable biscuit joiner I am selling really cheap – $35. Let me know if you are interested. I still have to look into the Worksharp for you as well.

  • #10202
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    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Yes I am looking for one. I’ll take it for 35. Yes let me know about the honing guide when you get the chance

  • #10204
    Joe Bottigliere
    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    I’ll bring the joiner Wednesday night. Hopefully, you’ll be there.

    I addressed the Worksharp and honing guide in the original thread. You’re good with just about anything.

  • #10205
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    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    I won’t be there Wednesday.

  • #10206
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    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    I’ll have to get a homing guide then! Don’t even have one. Thank you!

  • #10207
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Honing

  • #10209
    Joe Bottigliere
    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    Dean,
    Email me at tbjbotts@optonline.net so we can set up an alternate time for getting you the joiner.

  • #10210
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    Charlie James
    Participant

    As far as the question of using a biscuit joiner… I do use one but usually for boards that are difficult to keep aligned, whether too large, long or ones that need the tiniest bit of persuasion. I try to keep the biscuit center or low so that it doesn’t telegraph through the top. I use Tightbond II or white glue for most boards and hide glue if I want to take the time to heat it up.

  • #10211
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Charlie, never heard of using white glue for a table top. Any reason? Yea I use a biscuit joiner for the same reasons.

  • #10214
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    White glue has a longer open time and has to be clamped for a longer period of time but once set, they’re essentially the same animal. If it’s a difficult glue up, it’s white glue for me, It’s not as thick as yellow and it’s easy to apply. If it’s not a time consuming glue up and I want to glue and remove the clamps in a few hours, I’ll use Titebond II. I don’t use gorilla glue or Titebond III for glue ups as there’s not enough time to play. Glue lines are easier to see when using those glues as well. Nothing the matter with using Titebond original either.

  • #10215
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Ahh ok. Just to clarify by white glue do you mean Elmers glue? I believe yellow glue (titebond 3 2 or 1) is a poly vinyl acetate or something like that. What do you mean by white glue?

  • #10216
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    If you look in Michaels there is a 1 gallon bottle Saying “white glue” like your saying.

  • #10217
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Yeah if you Google Elmer’s white glue it says it dries in 30 min.

  • #10218
    Joe Bottigliere
    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    If I remember right, Frank Klause used white glue almost exclusively. He even liked Elmer’s since it is essentially the same animal. I like using Titebond III when gluing up darker woods since it dries to a darker color and blends in more. And obviously, it’s great if you know the piece will come into contact with water.

  • #10219
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Yea that makes sense. The titebond 3 definitely dries darker but I don’t care about the color of the glue. Titebond makes darker wood glue also. Haven’t found the color to be an issue with any type of glue up. Yeah apparently Elmer’s makes two glues. Elmer’s glue all and the school glue. The school glue is what dries in 30 min. The elemers glue all gives plenty of open time. Took a minute to realize there were two different elemers. (Correct me if I’m wrong Charlie)I thought there was one type of Elmer’s glue apparently not.

  • #10220
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    Dean, I don’t know about two types of Elmer’s white glue.I buy the Elmer’s white glue, of course, accept no substitutes! It has to have the cow on the label 🙂

  • #10221
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    Titebond and Elmer’s are virtually the same, with one very big difference. Elmer’s is made in China, Titebond is made in Ohio. Another difference is that Titebond is “borated” which the Franklin Adhesive engineer made it sound like it was important, but I’m not sure what it means. They sell the white version in the middle of the country, the tan version around here. I prefer the white since it dries clearer, so I order a gallon of it and keep it in my basement on a cool shelf. It’s generally in the 60s down there, and pretty dry, so the shelf life is really very long (tip per Franklin: refrigerate your white or tan wood glue and it will keep forever).

    The US vs China difference is enough for me to stick with Titebond. And if you do a quick search you will find Franklin’s phone no (I think it’s on the bottles), you can ask them any glue question and they will either know or get you the answer.

  • #10223
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    Daryl, thanks, this I did not know! Is the white version comparable to Elmer’s in the thickness category? That’s a big reason on why I like to use it. I know you can add a touch of water but I’d rather not play with the formula. I’ll have to change my thinking, I’d rather give work to the Ohioans’….

  • #10225
    Michael Luciano
    Michael Luciano
    Participant

    I believe that “borated” means there is boric acid in the mixture, that is the formula. Do not know what the reason is to add this acid to the formula.

  • #10229
    Bill Leonhardt
    Bill Leonhardt
    Participant

    Decided to add my $0.02.

    I recall the presentation where Frank Klausz discussed his glue ups. He said he uses Elmer’s white glue, BUT he makes sure it is fresh. His method was to have his minions glue up samples and, once cured, HE would hit them with a mallet to break the joint. If the glue held, he would use it, else it got rejected. He never said how hard he hit the joint. That’s a master’s secret. 🙂

    A tip for Dean: When using biscuits, I squeeze them in a machinist’s vise before I insert them into the slot. It makes assembly easier and the glue then swells them back up to original size.

  • #10230
    Avatar
    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Daryl, thanks for the info. Very helpful. Good to know that they can answer questions. Didn’t know they were in Ohio!

    How interesting bill. And thanks for the tip! Probably better then sanding them which I’ve done in the past. Make total sense. Any specific biscuit you like best? I hear the lamello ones are better, I’ve used the ryobi ones since I could find them in big box stores, but I try to avoid big box stores when I can.

  • #10231
    Bill Leonhardt
    Bill Leonhardt
    Participant

    Dean,

    I use a biscuit joiner rarely, but it is handy for assembly/alignment issues. Many years ago, I bought a Porter Cable joiner (Type III, I think). At the time, it came with a generous supply of biscuits. I immediately put them all in ziploc bags and I’ve never bought or tried any others.

  • #10232
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    Dean Dauplaise
    Participant

    Ahhh ok.

  • #10233
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    I have mine in a large mayo jar. I throw in any desiccants I get with different packages, I change them when I think of it…… I got $50 about 10 years ago for that idea from Fine Woodworking..

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