I Think That I'll Just Use Biscuits - Router Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Default I Think That I'll Just Use Biscuits

In an earlier thead I asked and talked about making mortise and tendon joints from scratch so to speak, no jig, no plunge router, no chistles. After reading about the procedure and the cost of buying the tooles mentioned above I think that I'll go the easy route for now and use biscuitss for my jointery on the little end table that I am making for my sister. If it doesn't work the way I want it to I can alway start over, but so far, biscuit jointery has worked well. I'll get on to the M&T joints later maybe.

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 08:04 AM
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In an earlier thead I asked and talked about making mortise and tendon joints from scratch so to speak, no jig, no plunge router, no chistles. After reading about the procedure and the cost of buying the tooles mentioned above I think that I'll go the easy route for now and use biscuitss for my jointery on the little end table that I am making for my sister. If it doesn't work the way I want it to I can alway start over, but so far, biscuit jointery has worked well. I'll get on to the M&T joints later maybe.

Jerry
Colorado City, TX
Jerry-
You have a band saw, table saw, radial arm saw, router table, routers, disk/belt sander, drill press, hand tools... etc. You are better equipt than most.

You could do that without buying any more tools. You could do the tenon on any saw you have, with or without building a jig. You do also do that on your router table. You could do the mortises with your router table, router or drill press.

You think maybe just the comfort level of the "unknown" factor is what is in the way there? Maybe you just pick out some of the tools "you" feel comfortable and confident using and we'll (I'll help in any way I can) try to give some simple instructions to build that skillset.

Practice is what you said you wanted to do, right? Build the skillset? I'm telling you, once you do a few, they really aren't hard to do. They do take more time and attention to detail than other joining techniques... But you like a challenge. Accuracy and detail are what entertains you right? That is something we share.

That is the difference between just doing something and throwing it together... and making it a how you "feel" it should. Like Theo said in another thread here on toy boxes, about how he just gets in the zone and it goes together for him. Between woodworking and fine woodworking. No-one sees what's inside that joint, but you know. The appreciation of functional... and something both functional and artistic workmanship. Something that you can be proud to say, I made that. In a lot of places these days I see those dying out and those skillsets being lost.

We are both on in years. We can appreciate that for what it is. From what you originally said, it was beyond just making a table for your sister. It was what you got out of it for yourself and that part of "you" you put into building that. If it wasn't, you would just buy her a table. You can take pride in that. You can be proud of yourself.

You say you learn a lot here. I've done this awhile and I learn from you. Giving you info, I have to remember back to how I was taught and how I learned, getting it straight in my head, before sharing it with you. That has helped me remember. That has made me re-think whether that was a good way to do things. Some of those things I hadn't done in years. Allot of those things I was doing and taking for granted- no longer thinking about them nor appreciating them. Thank you for those questions.

Those questions inspire me to do better in what I do and to learn new things and techniques for myself. I am always open to learning new things. What I've done in the past was just what "I" was exposed to. Doesn't mean they were the easiest or best way to do something. Just the doors I had open to me at the time.

You can do whatever you want. Just think about it awhile. All-in all, it really is "your" choices.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 12-11-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 08:59 AM
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Jerry, don't the biscuits soak up too much glue?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Sounds like a good plan to me Jerry.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:06 AM
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Jerry, don't the biscuits soak up too much glue?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Sounds like a good plan to me Jerry.
Mike-
LOL! Now I know what I want for breakfast.

Sorry that post was longer than expected. I guess you can tell I have a passion for woodworking and sharing those skills. Sometimes I think I should just play dumb, but the passion and common sense leaks out.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 12-11-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:25 AM
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Jerry, I do not use a biscuit joiner. I think they are more trouble than they are worth, I say this because I am personally not convinced they will help me all that much (I don't build that much furniture). Technically speaking, a wooden dowel is a tenon and the holes are mortises - so in effect the dowel joint is really a mortise and loose tenon joint. As long as you will think of M/T joints as just that, except that they are rectangular in section - you're halfway there! Another benefit is resistance to twisting. The round dowel must work in multiples to prevent twist, yet the rectangular section tenon has inherent resistance to twisting. Mike (MAFoElffen) hit the nail on the head with making the tenons using just about any saw, and the mortises can be easily cut using a drill press fitted with a mortising attachment. Knowing how you work, Jerry; you will master the M/T joint quickly. Personally, I almost always go with loose tenons, but integral tenons are easily cut with a tenoning jig on a table saw - if you want nice shoulders.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:33 AM
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mortise and tendon

Mortise -
Select any straight router bit you own ( 1/4" 3/8" 1/2" or even 31/64" )
use your router table with fence and set up a stop and route away - do a slot in the centre, off set to one side or the other and a deep as you want.

Make the slot 1/4" to 1/2" shoter that the width of the wood that will have the tendon and your done.

Tendon
get on the good old radian arm saw with some scrap the same thickness as the cross pieces that will have tendons. raise the blade so you can simple chew away the wood with cross cuts by flipping the wood an with a few test cuts you will make tendon that are just a little overszed and a few swipes with sand paper will have them perfectly fitting. Mark the depth you want the tendon to plunge and cut away, turn it on edge and eat away 1/4" or so from the edge and your set .

Done !

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Last edited by gwizz; 12-11-2012 at 09:36 AM.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:41 AM
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Mike-
LOL! Now I know what I want for breakfast.

Sorry that post was longer than expected. I guess you can tell I have a passion for woodworking and sharing those skills. Sometimes I think I should just play dumb, but the passion and common sense leaks out.
Woodworking is a wonderful craft. Some of us make a living at it. I think that those of us that have the knowledge and experience to pass on to others, are committed to do so. There are less and less custom craftsmen today. There's always a new "jig" or product to buy to numb down our senses to traditional woodworking.

I have distinct thoughts about joinery and what it represents. Traditionally, methods go back centuries, and much of that is still around and looking good. All done without electricity. Most done with tools made by the craftsman. With this in mind, IMO, biscuits and pocket hole screws are junk joinery. Many use these methods, and for them it may satisfy an immediate need.

So, if some of us go off on a rant, it's probably because we feel we can't let the craft fall by the wayside. For those that have the interest to learn, it's fortunate that there are those that feel compelled to inform.




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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:48 AM
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Jerry-

+ on Otis'es post...

If you think of making an integral tenon as making 4 rabbet joints, that takes all the mystery out of that. If you can cut a rabbet joint, you can make a tenon.

On a table saw, you cut the face (all 4 sides the same from the four sides). This is easier done with a TS tenon jig, because you're standing the stock vertically on the end being cut. Then cut the shoulders (all 4 sides, the same from the end, the same depth). You have lots of Incra gear that would make that easy and accurate for you. You could also do this using your Incra Express Jig.

On a table saw with dado blade, just dado a rabbet on all 4 sides, using your Incra TS fence as a stop for the finished length of your tenon. The first cut is with your Incra miter fence holding it square. Repeat the cut until you hit your stop (fence) to get your tenon length. That way you can set your fence back from your dado.

On a band saw, same, no jigs... Just the fence and a miter. Fence to cut all four faces, using a stop on your fence to control the length of your cuts. Stop your face cuts just shy of where the shoulder cut will be. Fence as a stop, while using a miter gauge to keep square while cutting the shoulders. IMHO, a faster / easier tooling to do these, as long as you can cut a straight line and remain square. These cuts cut just deep enough to cut the face waste off and make the recess square.

On a router table, cut a rabbet on the end of all 4 sides while supporting with a miter or other square support. If you need more tenon length, move the fence back and repeat.

Not much mystery to that if you think in those terms is it?

EDIT-- On getting a clean shoulder edge, score the edge with a knife before you cut and you'll get a clean edge without tearout. On finishing, if you plan the connecting joint to stand-off 1/4" or so, minute differences will not be visually noticeable. Getting two adjoining edges to match on the same plane takes a bit more practice, but is still fairly easy with what I posted above. If you knock the knife edge off the tenon's edges/corners, it will be easier to fit and take glue better. Knife edges don't take glue or finishes well.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 12-11-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 10:00 AM
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Jerry, don't the biscuits soak up too much glue?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Sounds like a good plan to me Jerry.
Don't know about glue, but they sure soak up the gravy!

Jerry, I use biscuit joinery all the time. Really think they are more useful for alignment than strength, tho.

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

Last edited by Dmeadows; 12-11-2012 at 10:04 AM.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 10:03 AM
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jerry, do you have a biscuit joiner? or how do you make the slots for the biscuits?
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