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How to make this joint.... Biscuits to help with allignment?

by Mainiac Matt
posted 01-30-2017 04:15 PM


32 replies so far

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Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#1 posted 01-30-2017 04:40 PM

Or maybe I’d be better off with a spline?

but these examples are all for short joints (i.e. drawers or small jewelry boxes, etc…)

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#2 posted 01-30-2017 04:51 PM

I’m seeing four different ways to line up for biscuit joints. I wonder which one is the best method…
I have to keep in mind that the sharp edge is actually quite fragile and can be easily chipped.




-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1151 days


#3 posted 01-30-2017 04:51 PM

I think your original idea with the lock miter is a good one. Whether the joint is 1 inch long or 50, the process is the same. Setup is key, but once you’ve got that dialed in, you’re set.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

603 posts in 2293 days


#4 posted 01-30-2017 05:14 PM

Hello Matt. I suggest using the lock miter. It’s self aligning and a strong joint. I see no reason why you can’t have a 21” long joint. It sounds to me like the perfect choice for this application. Here are a few projects where I’ve used this joint.

I have a few suggestions when using this router bit (lock miter or lock miter Jr.). Use the correct lock miter bit for the thickness of stock you will be using. Consider getting a setup guide offered by Infinity tools. It’s expensive, but it really does help you quickly get the bit adjusted to make accurate cuts. Make sure to have a few extra few boards on hand to test and adjust the cut of the lock miter bit before you make the cut on your project stock. It’s very important that the test boards be the same thickness as the project stock—they do not have to be the same species (e.g. use less expensive wood or leftover scraps). Use a feather board (if possible) to hold the stock against the fence (vertical cut) and against the table (horizontal cut)—this will yield a better result.

With this joint you can use regular clamps with no worry of it coming out of alignment. Other options for clamps are a band clamp.

It seems to me if you want to use the biscuit joiner that you should use the fence on joiner to set it up for the 45 degree cut. Just make a mark on each piece of stock to reference the slot. You can clamp a stop to your workbench to keep the stock from sliding while you are making the cut.

Here’s a simple option for your corner joint >

I hope this was helpful. Good luck!

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Ripper70

1362 posts in 1470 days


#5 posted 01-30-2017 05:31 PM

I’ve been working on a project that I’ve decided needs biscuit joinery and in my research it seems as if the PC 557 handles the mitered joint task much better than any other of the machines commonly available. This video shows this function in action.

John Heisz has a video showing how he made clamp calls for mitered joints that might be worth checking out.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#6 posted 01-30-2017 05:44 PM

Lock miter was my first pick… but after testing my lock miter bit on short stock, the joint was so darn tight it was very difficult to close up the joint… and that was with short scrap pieces.

It may be my bit isn’t the best, but I bailed on the concept and have already mitered my styles on the TS.

This is the second time around with hope chests for me, and on the first one I did a slot/tenon joint…

by using a mitered corner I was hoping to get away from the joint line, as no matter how well I sanded the finish flush, the discontinuity in the grain made the joint obvious.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Gene Howe

11908 posts in 3990 days


#7 posted 01-30-2017 05:47 PM

Matt, a spline or the lock miter would probably be your best options.
The lock miter would be the strongest of the three you’ve considered.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5836 posts in 3055 days


#8 posted 01-30-2017 05:52 PM

I agree with the others, but I have joined long miters with biscuits. My joiner if the PC 557, and it has the 135º Fence setting (3rd pic in your 3rd post) and works quite well.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

603 posts in 2293 days


#9 posted 01-30-2017 05:52 PM

Here’s a video where a guy uses painters tape to clamp the joint.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6016 posts in 3375 days


#10 posted 01-30-2017 06:02 PM

I’ve made those joints many times, with a multitude of different techniques. They all worked, but one works much better than the rest. A locking miter bit at the router table is the way to go. The joint will close easily with clamping pressure from one direction. No need for brad nails to fully seat the joint.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/3503

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#11 posted 01-30-2017 06:29 PM

My biscuit jointer is the PC model… I’ll have to try it on some test pieces….

Thanks for the link to the Youtube guy with the painters tape. I’d seen that video before, but forgot about it.

I still hope to give the lock miter bit a try, but I had so many other first time “skill builder” aspects to this project (raised panels, cope and stick cuts, grain filling, dyeing, etc…) that I didn’t want to add another one with the lock miter bit. Next time around (I still have one more daughter to go).

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1151 days


#12 posted 01-30-2017 06:32 PM



I ve made those joints many times, with a multitude of different techniques. They all worked, but one works much better than the rest. A locking miter bit at the router table is the way to go. The joint will close easily with clamping pressure from one direction. No need for brad nails to fully seat the joint.

- pintodeluxe

+1 on that. I got the Infinity Tools bit and setup jig. The setup jig is grossly overpriced in my opinion, but it does work.

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

17237 posts in 2922 days


#13 posted 01-30-2017 06:45 PM

Matt, locking miter or biscuit are both good choices and I have used both methods, personally, I prefer cutting a dado when building cabinets…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

463 posts in 2531 days


#14 posted 01-30-2017 07:11 PM

I made some 24” legs (2 1/4” square) using a locked miter bit out of red oak. Worked great. Take your time with the setup, make sure that you apply pressure downward and toward the fence with feather boards or something similar. I would made a box about 12×12 x 12 using miter joints and biscuits. It was extremely had to assemble and glue up. I do not recommend it.

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

329 posts in 2035 days


#15 posted 01-30-2017 07:53 PM

Since you’ve already cut the miters, if i were you, I would go with the spline. It’s easy to cut on the table saw and very strong.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

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splintergroup

3064 posts in 1784 days


#16 posted 01-30-2017 08:04 PM

I agree with going for the full length spline (since you already did the cuts). It’ll add significant strength, especially if you orient the grain in the same direction that your #1 post reply shows. You can make the splines out of shorter segments to get the proper grain direction, just stack them together.

I’ve made 24” long 2”x2” table legs out of 3/4” QS stock to have a “show face” all around. The lock miter bit was the way to go (but you can’t use this now due to you having already cut the 45’s).

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

379 posts in 1447 days


#17 posted 01-30-2017 09:57 PM

In the same situation, I’d use the biscuits. I use a spline only in end grain glue ups where you need the face grain glue surface area of the spline. In long grain joints, as the OP has proposed, the long grain will glue up quite well, and the biscuits are just for registering the joint. I, too, have the porter cable biscuit joiner. Works swell for this situation.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

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splintergroup

3064 posts in 1784 days


#18 posted 01-30-2017 11:01 PM

Good point sawdust! I hadn’t noticed the long grain orientation and you are absolutely correct, no additional strength required since a long grain glueup here is as strong as it gets. The OP just needs registration for clamping and biscuits would work well.

Other tricks would include a lock rabbeted miter joint, which can be done on the table saw. This joint has the benefit of locking in the miter for excellent alignment when gluing.

I can’t remember the episode (season 9 or 10?), but woodsmithshop had a decent detailed description of how to do this.

or

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bigblockyeti

6121 posts in 2282 days


#19 posted 01-30-2017 11:08 PM

Matt, I wish I could offer more insight. I have a PC 555 which isn’t quite as fancy as the 557 but it does what I need it too. I have to register mine the way the ryobi is pictured and while I’ve gotten pretty good at it, I think I’ll try the setup being used with the dewalt pictured, seems like there’d be less chance of the tool moving during the cut. A lock miter does sound like the best way to go but if your bit is cutting too tight you’d have to adjust after every cut and make a second pass – PITA! A spline would be quicker but I can’t help but wonder if it would be as strong? I guess it depends on how deep you cut for the spline.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#20 posted 01-31-2017 03:03 AM

Tested the biscuit method tonight…

Joint was easy and came out nice and tight. Here’s the dry fit…

I think it’s a winner

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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firefighterontheside

20686 posts in 2418 days


#21 posted 01-31-2017 03:15 AM

I built a desk and used the lock miter bit to make that joint about 29” long. Worked just right after I got the alignment just right.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#22 posted 01-31-2017 03:16 AM

After making my rip cuts I had these pretty cutoffs that I saved thinking there must be something I can do with them.

Then I watched the video that was linked showing miter joint clamps. So I scrounged up some 1/4” plywood and cut it into stops. Then I quickly glued them up with some brads to clamp them.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1362 posts in 1470 days


#23 posted 01-31-2017 04:31 AM


- Mainiac Matt

Outstanding Red Team! You get your case of beer for that one! ;^)

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

1046 posts in 3645 days


#24 posted 01-31-2017 10:18 AM



Here s a video where a guy uses painters tape to clamp the joint.
- Bill_Steele

This ^
Try it on some scrap if you’re in doubt. Been doing it this way for 20+ years on hollow newel posts. Quick, simple, and effective.
Don’t complicate a simple task.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5836 posts in 3055 days


#25 posted 01-31-2017 12:02 PM



Tested the biscuit method tonight…
Joint was easy and came out nice and tight. Here s the dry fit…
I think it s a winner

- Mainiac Matt


Sounds like you’re in business.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3320 posts in 3338 days


#26 posted 01-31-2017 12:43 PM

Now that you have them together, putting dovetailed keys in the edge will strengthen and add interest.

Everything else seems to be covered.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1461 days


#27 posted 01-31-2017 02:10 PM


Here s a video where a guy uses painters tape to clamp the joint.
- BillSteele

This ^
Try it on some scrap if you re in doubt. Been doing it this way for 20+ years on hollow newel posts. Quick, simple, and effective.
Don t complicate a simple task.

- TonyS

Yep!

View JohnMcClure's profile

JohnMcClure

815 posts in 1202 days


#28 posted 01-31-2017 02:29 PM

Amazingly, I’m making almost the exact same thing as you – a chest (toybox in my case) with frame-and-panel construction, with mitered corners. (Yours is much more beautiful.) I ended up using a spline, as many here suggested, and had considered doing biscuits. Obviously your method with biscuits worked great! The spline was fine too. As to clamping, I made two sets of 4 corner clamps that are tightened with a strap. My method was to dry-fit the whole thing, apply glue to just one miter, clamp, wait… apply glue to another miter, clamp, wait… then the last two have to be glued at the same time.

I also decided that if I ever do this again, it will be with lock-miter joints. So that means I need a better router table and a lock-miter bit… $$$ here we go…

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

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Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#29 posted 01-31-2017 02:43 PM

John… all happy woodworkers are unencumbered by heavy wallets :^)

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

9374 posts in 2890 days


#30 posted 02-03-2017 02:43 AM

Glued up two corners tonight, using two different techniques.

I did one with no biscuits and just used painters tape like in the video linked previously. You can’t use biscuits this way as the hinge joint created by the tape on the outer edge prevents you from swinging the joint shut if you gave biscuits sticking out on one side.

On the other, I used biscuits, machinist set up blocks (1-2-3 blocks) and my clamp blocks.

You can guess which way was easier.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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000

2859 posts in 1461 days


#31 posted 02-03-2017 03:29 AM

And if you run a couple of pieces of tape the long ways, it will give you stronger clamping.
(because it has to stretch the tape farther to make it round the corner)

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1082 posts in 3627 days


#32 posted 02-03-2017 01:46 PM

If you have a good biscuit joiner that would work fine. I do this with my PC and it works great. In terms of the locked miter, you just need to tweak the tenon size and you can get this to work. This will be the easiest and one of the strongest approaches, although any approach described here will be strong enough.

-- Paul Mayer, http://youtube.com/c/toolmetrix

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