biscuit strengh

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by mission76 posted 08-15-2008 09:35 AM 1172 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mission76's profile


47 posts in 3888 days

08-15-2008 09:35 AM

Trying to make a “step back bookcase” that is in a book I bought that had the design, cut list, and guide for making it. I decided to make it like he did, with no deviations. My only problem is he uses biscuits to create the lower case cabinet, and only three biscuit slots per side. I cut the slots and it just doesn’t seem like biscuits will hold this thing together when it is finally assembled, and weight is added. I normally used biscuits to join boards or attach face frames, and I use rabbits and dados for case construction. Will three biscuits per side of a 28”l x 38”w x 22”d hold up in the long run? I see it’s a popular choice for cabinet construction but is there any rule as to how many biscuits to use?

Anyway here is a picture of the bookcase, hopefully someone has made it already and can tell me what they did

8 replies so far

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 4080 days

#1 posted 08-15-2008 01:04 PM

Every one keeps saying how glue is stronger than wood. If this is true then biscuits are only there to align the wood (assuming there is no other set alignment such as rabbets or dadoes) during glue up. The biscuits would, therefore, be superfluous. If this is not true, then the joint is no stronger than the wood beyond the glue and biscuits anyway.

Then again it takes less time to throw another biscuit or two into the mix than it does to worry about it.

I biscuit at about 10” intervals or so.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4483 days

#2 posted 08-15-2008 03:01 PM

I agree with Catspaw. If more biscuits make you feel better, go for it, but I don’t think they are necessary.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 4036 days

#3 posted 08-15-2008 03:16 PM

Mission76, Just because the plans call for using biscuits doesn’t preclude you from constructing the cabinet another way. If you normally use dados and rabbits in your construction then I don’t see why you couldn’t in this project. Just my 2 cents. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4033 days

#4 posted 08-15-2008 03:45 PM

biscuits really don’t add any considerable strength. you should be much better off going with a dado or better yet a sliding dovetail. like said above the glue is harder than the wood so the real strength comes in the wood joints. dado’s, dovetails, mortise and tenons, and the like. biscuits would not help you in a bookcase situation because if you are using solid wood you would have a long grain on end grain and that is a really weak glue joint. so the glue wouldn’t be helping much. you really want a dado or a sliding dovetail because it gives the wood strength. the glue helps but when you thing about it most of the contact is still end grain to long grain. so the strength comes in the joint and the glue really holds it all together.

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3978 days

#5 posted 08-15-2008 03:59 PM

you could use a festool domino instead of biscuts, they are much stronger and just as easy.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 4080 days

#6 posted 08-15-2008 06:41 PM

the only problem with buying a festool is it’s about $600 more than a biscuit joiner.
I wouldn’t depend on biscuits to add any strength, i’ve only used them for alignment only.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3978 days

#7 posted 08-15-2008 09:31 PM

and worth every penny.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View mission76's profile


47 posts in 3888 days

#8 posted 08-17-2008 01:16 AM

thanks for the help, the reason why I was using biscuits was because I just wanted to try out some other methods for case construction other than my usual dado and rabbets. I went ahead and finished the biscuits today and while it worked and seems to be fine, I will probably never do it again. Rabbets and dados are so much easier then this method.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics