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kentvw
Biscuit Joints

Biscuit cutter?

Hey Gang,

Okay, I’m an electrician and for the most part, electricians and wood do not mix.

However, I’m kinda handy and enjoy woodworking on an occasional level.

My dilemma has been that I have moved to a town home that has few built-in shelves for books…….. My library for the most part is still boxed in my basement and I’m tired of digging through boxes for whatever I might want to retrieve.

Anyway, rather than building a total library in my study I want to build hanging book cases spread around my home......... I have hundreds of books.

My question:

I have basic woodworking tools including a router, table saw whatever.

I would like to do very strong 90 degree joints which are blind fastened on the cases on all 90 degree joints

Is a biscuit cutter the best way? I have never used one.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Biscuit Joints

Best way is a matter of opinion but it is easy. Or you can use a router or table saw to cut a stop slot and install a spline or make through slots for splines and add a face frame. Or you can use a table saw or router to do locking splines You build a jig like this to make the cuts on a table saw.

Jack

A. Spruce
Re: Biscuit Joints

I agree that a dado is going to be the strongest (assuming shelf supports??? ). I personally like adjustable shelving for flexibility, but that's really more of a bookshelf of the beholder than anything else. Biscuits will work fine for this as well IF you've already got the equipment, but as jkirk points out, using things you already have as opposed to buying more toys is the better way to go, not that buying more toys is a bad thing. :D

What was the question again? :p

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Biscuit Joints

The greatest strength against racking is a properly installed and solid back not the corners of a bookcase.
Jack

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Biscuit Joints
jkirk wrote:

cordless drills and router bits are to woodworkers are what shoes are to women

Except the cordless drills and router bits get used more than once.;)
Jack

kentvw
Re: Biscuit Joints

Thanks for the replies guys..

This coming weekend and I’ll have worked a month straight without a day off. But, today was pay off day. My company is moving our offices and I have been spending my weekends building new built-in plan tables for everyone and new tops to put on file cabinets for our front office staff.

I also took a little time for my own office and made a “desk” top with one end affixed to the wall and the other end on craftsman style leg supports that I made. The top is at 40” bar height and runs parallel to my plan table which is at the same height at the front edge. I work from a draftsman’s height chair or standing up. I have a couple of bar stools on the backside of my “desk” for visitors. :)

I moved all my shite today, got my puter set up and files relocated and really like my new space. (Cranked a little Stevie Ray Vaughn, “Live at Monroe Tavern“.)

I’m finishing some wood tops for the front office as well as some Oak banding for the receptionist’s counter. I’ll say that hands down; if you are a weekend woodworker who wants a pro looking finish on wood projects the Arm-R products from Rockler are hands down far superior to anything you can buy from a hardware store or big-box.

As far as my book cases go…………… I want everything to be “blind”. I don’t want so much as a pin hole from a nailer showing up on the sides of the cabinets. The backs will all have ¼” ply on the backs as well as using two good faced ply for the cases……………….. Can I dado and biscuit? Would glue be enough on the dado’s without the biscuit?

I'm tired, not used to working for a living.;)

kentvw
Re: Biscuit Joints

You may be right...........

New Shoes lyrics

Woke up cold one Tuesday
I'm looking tired and feeling quite sick
I felt like there was
Something missing
In my day to day life
So I
Quickly opened the wardrobe
Pulled out some jeans and a T-Shirt that seemed clean
Topped it off with a pair of old shoes that were ripped around the seams
And I thought
These shoes just don't suit me

Hey, I put some new shoes on
And suddenly everything is right
I said
Hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling
It's so inviting
Oh, short on money
But long on time
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine
And I'm
Running late and I don't need an excuse to wear in my brand new shoes

Woke up late one Thursday
And I'm seeing stars as I'm rubbing my eyes
And I
Felt like there were two days missing
As I focused on the time
AS I made my way to the kitchen
But I had to stop from the shock of what I found
A room full of all my friends
All dancing 'round and 'round
And I thought
Hello new shoes
Bye bye blues

Hey, I put some new shoes on
And suddenly everything is right
I said

Hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling
It's so inviting
Oh, short on money
But long on time
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine
And I'm
Running late and I don't need an excuse to wear in my brand new shoes

Take me wondering through these streets
Where bright lights and angels meet
Stone to stone they take me on
I'm walking till the break of dawn

Take me wondering through these streets
Where bright lights and angels meet
Stone to stone they take me on
I'm walking till the break of dawn

Hey, I put some new shoes on
And suddenly everything is right
I said
Hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling
It's so inviting
Oh, short on money
But long on time
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine
And I'm
Running late and I don't need an excuse to wear in my brand new shoes

Oh hey, I put some new shoes on
And suddenly everything is right
I said
Hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling
It's so inviting
Oh, short on money
But long on time
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine
And I'm
Running late and I don't need an excuse to wear in my brand new shoes

kentvw
Re: Biscuit Joints

"Kent" is over the edge and prefers it that way.

Love ya all though.

goldhiller
Re: Biscuit Joints

Dado and glue is enough. No need for bisquits.

But....I will recommend that you don't dado for the full thickness of the ply shelves. Go with a dado about 1/2 the thickness of the ply and then rabbet the end of the shelf to fit that dado. 3/8" dado would be pretty common for this. (Tongue of rabbet goes up, not down ...so dado your ply accordingly.) This results in a shoulder on the end of each shelf and that makes things much stronger.

Don't know if you're using pre-finished ply or not, but if you are....strip/sand the finish off in the glue area or you won't have squat for adhesion. (If any sanding is done, keep it light/to a bare minimum. You don't want to change the dimension of the ply cause the tongues won't fit tight then.)

If you are finishing the ply before assembly...just tape off the glue area to keep the finish off of it.

If you don't want *anything* to show when you're done....you'll have to make those dados..."stop-dados" of course. And...cut off the very front portion of the shelf tongue to accomodate the length of the stop-dado.

A. Spruce
Re: Biscuit Joints
kentvw wrote:

As far as my book cases go…………… I want everything to be “blind”. I don’t want so much as a pin hole from a nailer showing up on the sides of the cabinets. The backs will all have ¼” ply on the backs as well as using two good faced ply for the cases……………….. Can I dado and biscuit? Would glue be enough on the dado’s without the biscuit?

Whether you rabbet or dado or biscuit the case together doesn't matter because the glue and the joint will be plenty strong. Nails are used instead of clamps to hold pieces together while the glue dries. In most cases you can forgo nails and just clamp things together, but you've got to have plenty of clamps and time (nails facilitate mass production/speed ). Where the biscuits will come in really handy is installing the face frame. If you biscuit the frame to the carcase, you will not have nary a nail to contend with, all you have to do is have enough clamps for the job OR enough time to do the glue-up in stages. Word to the wise, when using biscuits, dry fit the pieces together. Apply the glue to the stock NOT the biscuit because the biscuit will begin to swell when the moisture of the glue hits it, making assembly more difficult. Make sure you apply glue into both sides of the biscuit hole.

goldhiller wrote:

Tongue of rabbet goes up, not down ...so dado your ply accordingly.

If you're saying what I think you are, I'd have to disagree. Instead of saying tongue, I'm going to say notch (the rabbeted or removed portion ). IMHO, the notch up results in a stronger shelf because the plywood is compressed by the weight of the books. If you put the notch down, then the weight of the books in the middle of the shelf is trying to delaminate the plywood shelf. Similarly with solid wood stock, you'll get full thickness bearing with the notch up, whereas with the notch down you considerably reduce the strength of the shelf.

goldhiller
Re: Biscuit Joints

Sprucey,

Will agree that what you say concerning plywwod shelf end-joinery has merit to it...theoretically. However, I've never had a delam failure or weakness/sagging in a ply shelf from doing things the way I suggested. That's no failures in say 35 years or so.

But yes...with the quality of plywood seemingly continuing to degrade...delamination may become more of an issue.

Fact is that I choose from the many different end-joinery options depending upon various factors including whether a plywood, composition board or solid wood is being used for the shelves....and depending upon upon how deep the shelves are, how long they are and what they will be used to display/hold.

Frequently enough, I will choose to rabbet both sides of the shelf end a bit ( 1/4" - 3/16") instead of just one side. Sometimes I've used french sliding dovetail joinery. Sometimes those DTs have been "run thru" at the front of the standards to show off the joinery (at the client's request) and
other times the joinery is completely hidden from the front side.

The reason behind describing what I did was just to pass on the notion that a joint with at least one shoulder will result in a stronger end result than a shelf simply fully inserted into a dado....as that is a structurally weak
way to put things together which are "free-standing".

The simple "single shouldered" joint can be particularly useful in getting a clean look if someone makes up their shelf standards from solid stock. Reason being that frequently enough they may be lacking a surfacer to smooth the interior surface of these glued-up standards to achieve a perfectly flat side. Instead, they may find themselves sanding that surface
and the odds of getting a perfectly flat interior standard side are far less.

Consequently, there will likely be some gaps visible if a true straightedge is held up against this surface once the sanding is complete. Inserting the tongue of the rabbeted into the dado such that the shoulder is down (actually I should have said..on the side that is "away" from the normal angle of view) does not show off or reveal this gapsiosis on that side of the shelf, although presenting the straight-edged
shoulder of the rabbet would. IOW, the end result on the "show side" of the shelf is then more pleasing to the eye...and far less bruising to the builder's ego every time he/she looks at the piece. :eek:

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