Which Joint should I use?

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Forum topic by NeoDon posted 03-07-2009 08:19 AM 1757 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 3677 days

03-07-2009 08:19 AM

Hello All,

I am making a bathroom vanity out of furniture grade ply and cherry as well as the legs Douglas fir.
I have a bisque jointer and the Kregg Master pocket hole system. I also have a plunge router and a standing drill press. Should I make the mortise with either of those,and cut the tenons with my new Rikon 10-325?

Or just use a combination of the biscuit jointer and pocket screws to hold / clamp the biscuit joints?

The top is solid granite and it is heavy but only 20×27”

Thank for any advice.

7 replies so far

View LesB's profile


1977 posts in 3714 days

#1 posted 03-07-2009 09:28 AM

Wow, you adding too many elements here if it is just basic cabinetry and you did not indicate if will have a face frame or have Euro design doors/drawers. Will it have a sink built in?
A cabinet case is not a complicated structure but if your are building it more like a table with legs then mortise and tenon joints will be appropriate on the legs as well as judicious use of the Kregg screws.

-- Les B, Oregon

View NeoDon's profile


49 posts in 3677 days

#2 posted 03-08-2009 08:55 AM

Yes I will use a face frame. Yes Sink will be built in, under-mount in the granite.

Since money is tight, I may go with the largest size biscuits and the Kregg screws.
But I don’t want to go that route if anyone thinks it should be different for a legitimate reason.


View LesB's profile


1977 posts in 3714 days

#3 posted 03-09-2009 08:17 AM

I think you can use the Kregg screw system for the whole thing although you might dado the top stretchers and sink supports into the sides of the cabinet. I like to put the cabinet sides together first and then make sure the face frame fits. I also overlap the face frame about 1/8” on the sides to give a little shadow affect and also make sure you cover the edges of the plywood sides. You can assemble the face frame with screws and also attach it to the cabinet the same way (screws on the inside where they are not visible). Between the screws and glue it won’t come apart in your lifetime. If some of the recessed screw holes are visible when the doors are open you can fill them with plugs for a neater appearance. Don’t forget to put a toe kick space in. I’m not sure what you meant by Douglas fir legs but I don’t think they will go with the cherry very well and fir is hard to stain evenly.

Good luck. Be sure to post the results.

-- Les B, Oregon

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3735 days

#4 posted 03-11-2009 05:00 AM

Of the tools mentioned, I would pocket screw the carcase together and attach the face frame with biscuts. It would be inevitable for the pockets to show with an open door otherwise.
I like LesB’s suggestion about the edge reveal.
Personally I would assemble the face frame the easiest way possible then attach it. The combination of the plywood carcase, granit top and face frame will pretty much make it bullet proof.
Have fun and do what ever you like. That’s my favorite part of woodworking and building. I do it my way. I’m happy to use others ideas and suggestions but in the end, it’s how ever I want it.
Later, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 3635 days

#5 posted 03-13-2009 04:18 PM

It sounds like you are tyring to make it look like a converted chest of drawers. On a piece like that, I would run a stopped groove on the leg (use a router) and a rabbet on the plywood panel. On a 1 1/2” leg, I would use a 1/2” spiral bit to cut the groove. Size the rabbet so that you end up with a 1/2” tongue (use a rabbeting bit). If there is any chip out on the plywood panel, it is hidden in the groove.

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3631 days

#6 posted 03-14-2009 10:30 PM

you’ve got a good handle on it.. the only sugestion i can add.. the bisque jointer, keep the bisques closer the back of the panel.. i had a maple table top, 6 months afer we started using it, i could see the outline of the bisques.. i now just use glue, (titebond 3) to glue up table tops.. if they are jointed right, the joint will not fail

that kreg pocket screw kit is killer.. face frame heaven.. i don’t use kreg screws on panels that mortise and tennon would be more traditional… but for a face frame that will not show.. 4 times faster then mortise and tennon and just as strong..

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View NeoDon's profile


49 posts in 3677 days

#7 posted 03-16-2009 02:09 AM

I am new to this and I don’t really know exactly what a reveal is other than
it reveals something. If you could show me and example, that would be great.

I know that for my first furniture project, I bit off what to me seems a good bit.
I am trying to emulate this

But it will have two doors in front.


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