Dumb biscuit joiner question
  Re: Dumb biscuit joiner question by Steve Soldo (Using the Porter Cab...)
I have used biscuits for years now.  Some days it's perfect and other days (most) I get slight variations.  I try everything and just can't get them perfect.

Always use the right tool for the job.

We need to clean house.
  Re: Dumb biscuit joiner question by Steve Soldo (Using the Porter Cab...)
Same here. No matter what I try or how careful I am to be flat to the reference surface, there is always some variation that needs to be sanded out. It used to frustrate the heck out of me. Now I just accept it as part of the process.
Telling a man he has too many tools,
is like telling a woman she has too many shoes.
  Re: Dumb biscuit joiner question by Steve Soldo (Using the Porter Cab...)
My luck with my DeWalt biscuit joiner is about the same as everyone else. Not great.
  Re: Dumb biscuit joiner question by Steve Soldo (Using the Porter Cab...)
By design the biscuits are smaller than the openings they go into. 
The biscuits are compressed to be smaller, and are supposed to swell with the moisture in the glue. 
So even if your holes are perfectly cut and spaced, the opportunity exists for variations in the biscuits and in how they swell into the slot to cause some alignment issues. 

Personally, I never use biscuits for panel glue ups. If your joints are good, the biscuits are just an extra step that does not guarantee a flat glue up.

I do like them for adding drop edges to long shelves or counter tops, but after 30 years working in professional shops, I do not even own one.
Ralph Bagnall
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  Re: Dumb biscuit joiner question by Steve Soldo (Using the Porter Cab...)
I’ll second the suggestion to use quality biscuits.

I’ll only buy Lamello these days as I have never been happy with the consistency of the Porter Cable, or Bosch, or Craftsman, or NoName brand biscuits available at the usual retail stores.

  Re: Dumb biscuit joiner question by Steve Soldo (Using the Porter Cab...)
I've been using a Freud biscuit joiner since they first cam out (35 years ?), for alignment. Good unit, but once in a while, I have alignment issues, but when I try to rush. First, when cutting the slots, I always clamp the board to a bench, with the edge to be slotted, hanging out over the edge. Second, take your time to register the fence. Third, quality biscuits are a must! Fourth, assemble with 2 clamps on the bottom, making sure the stock is flat on the clamps. Fifth: cauls, placed generally over each biscuit. Since I use biscuits for alignment, they're spaced about 10" or so apart. Strength is from gluing long grain to long grain. Cauls will keep joints aligned.
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
  Re: RE: Dumb biscuit joiner question by Alan S (I think there is als...)
(07-02-2019, 11:07 AM)Alan S Wrote: I think there is also a subtle timing aspect to getting biscuits to best align boards.  Biscuits are compressed so they will easily fit into the slots, swelling on moistening with glue.  If you initially put clamps on just tight enough to hold everything in place, then wait just a bit for swelling before tightening down the clamps, tapping into place any out of alignment, this should better align the boards.

 Provided you are holding the biscuit joiner level and registering the fence correctly the fact the biscuits are compressed and not a tight fit right away is the probable issue.
 Before I switched to a Domino I got around the loose biscuit issue by spritzing the biscuits a couple minutes before assembly with a spray bottle of water.
BTW, I hardly ever use biscuits or dominos on solid wood glue ups. A proper edge to edge glue-up has more strength than the wood itself. I lightly clamp the boards and use a dead blow plastic hammer to coax into alignment or use cauls on the real wild boards.

 On the rare occasion I have to glue two pieces of hardwood veneered plywood together and have them look as one I used to use a router and spline and now use dominos to align close enough that i do not sand through the face veneer when leveling the joint.
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  Re: RE: Dumb biscuit joiner question by K. L McReynolds (There can also be a ...)
(07-02-2019, 09:11 AM)K. L McReynolds Wrote: There can also be a slight variation in the thickness of each biscuit or the amount of glue on each side of the biscuit in the slots. Does not take much difference to make a noticeable misalignment like you are experiencing.

One way to prevent that problem is to use cauls or similar means of aligning the surfaces of all the pieces.

The biscuits are compressed and dehydrated (and should be stored in a moisture-tight container).  When put in contact with the glue the biscuits will absorb water and expand to fit the slot. 

I really think this is an issue on registering the joiner on the surface of the piece.  I have that same joiner and it is well-made.  I don't use it much because I am not enamored with the method.
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