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Tip #12
Biscuit Joiner

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version of Tip - Pg 1-4, Pg 5-8

Most woodworking projects re-quire at least some assembly. This is especially true for projects such as tables, cabinets or bookcases where wide panels must first be built up from several narrow boards.

Traditionally, woodworkers have used dowels for these assemblies. As you might expect, dowels add strength to certain types of joints, but they serve an equally impor-tant function by keeping the pieces properly aligned during assembly and gluing. The major drawback with doweling, however, is that each hole must be perfectly positioned or the individual pieces simply won't go together. Even a slight error can cause a lot of pounding and frustration.

During the 1950's a new assembly system called biscuit joinery was developed in Europe. This system uses flat wooden wafers or biscuits which are glued into semi-elliptical slots on each side of the joint. Due to the shape of the biscuits, the exact location of the slot is much less critical than a dowel hole. Minor adjustments can even be made during assembly, so projects go together much more quickly and yet there is no sacrifice in strength or overall performance. That's why biscuit joinery is rapidly becoming the preferred assembly system for professional furniture and cabinet makers worldwide.

In addition to its advantages for panel assembly, biscuit joinery can often be used to replace more complicated and time consuming techniques including spline, tongue-and-groove, mortise-and-tenon and dado joints.

Continue to Biscuit Joiner - Setup and Features

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