When to use biscuits or dowels - Router Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Default When to use biscuits or dowels

I have a project that I need help with. I am making an Oak wall mounting board for a neck mounted deer head. The weight of the mount is 11#.

I will be using Red Oak 1" X 8" X 24" long. I will need to laminate the boards 3 wide.

I have edge cut the boards length wise with my edge trim bit. Dry fit, the board edges are nearly impossible to see.

My question is: How do I determine when is it best to use biscuits, or dowels, or just glue and clamp the boards?

I do not own a biscuit cutter, but I can borrow one. Or, I can make a jig to drill holes for dowels.

I plan on making a set of cauls and I have the clamps I need for the gluing process.

I welcome your suggestions and tips.....so in advance of your replies.....THANK YOU!!

Frank

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 10:35 PM
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Frank,

Just glue and clamp em, and let it dry good. Shouldn't be any problems.

HJ
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks John.

I think I will do that. I have glued and screwed backer boards before but nothing like this. I hope it turns out good. This is a remarkable deer my friend shot. I want to help him display it properly.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 11:20 PM
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I agree with John. Just glue it without biscuits or dowels. An edge grain joint will be stronger than the wood around it. For edge grain joints, I consider biscuits and dowels to be alignment aids, not strength builders. For joints as short as yours, you shouldn't have alignment problems anyway. End grain is a different story. I use biscuits or dowels on end grain to add strength because the end grain doesn't glue well.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-26-2015, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Frankj3 View Post
I have a project that I need help with. I am making an Oak wall mounting board for a neck mounted deer head. The weight of the mount is 11#.

I will be using Red Oak 1" X 8" X 24" long. I will need to laminate the boards 3 wide.

I have edge cut the boards length wise with my edge trim bit. Dry fit, the board edges are nearly impossible to see.

My question is: How do I determine when is it best to use biscuits, or dowels, or just glue and clamp the boards?

I do not own a biscuit cutter, but I can borrow one. Or, I can make a jig to drill holes for dowels.

I plan on making a set of cauls and I have the clamps I need for the gluing process.

I welcome your suggestions and tips.....so in advance of your replies.....THANK YOU!!
spline them instead...
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-26-2015, 12:24 AM
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Frank, I make it a point to use biscuits with sausage gravy.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-26-2015, 07:05 AM
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The problem with edge gluing is the boards slipping around when you try to clamp them. I was told to put a little salt on the glue right before you clamp. To be honest It took me awhile to try it because I didn't think it would work. You don't have to put salt on the entire glue joint just maybe two or three places. This works great so give it a try. The reason a lot of people use biscuits is to keep the boards lined up.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-26-2015, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Mike - I have that, with scrambled eggs for breakfast every morning. Yum!!
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-26-2015, 09:13 AM
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I just got finished making a shelf for my Jet air cleaner out of two left-over pieces of plywood. The one piece had a noticeable bow in it, to the point that I really had to push down on it to get it flat on the saw table when cutting the slots, and it took a little finesse to get the two lined up when I was gluing them together. I don't use the fence on the joiner as the early PC's had a problem with it going out of alignment so just register off the bottom face. For face frames, the stile sits against the saw fence and I put a 1/4" spacer under the joiner so that the slots line up with the cabinet sides.

Before the biscuit joiner, we used to use 1/8" hardboard splines to locate face frames on the cabinets - cut the blind slots in the cabinet sides with a hand-held router and the blind slots in the stiles on the router table - set-up blocks made sure that the slots lined up.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-26-2015, 10:42 AM
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Frank, using a caul or two for alignment is all you need to do. The glue will make the joint stronger than the wood so strength is not an issue for your mount. Biscuits or dowels make for quick alignment or as Tom mentioned you could cut a slot in both pieces and insert a spline. Not a through cut but a stopped cut with your router table and a 1/4" bit. Cut a 1/4" spline to length and you have a ton of long grain glue surface for strength. You could also use pocket hole screws on the back side if you are in a rush.

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