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How to Use Biscuit Joints

Ideal for Connecting Face Frames or Table Top Glue-Ups

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Biscuits are small football-shaped pieces of pressed wood, primarily made from beechwood. A biscuit cutter (sometimes referred to as a plate joiner) is used to cut slots in the two adjoining boards, into which the biscuit is glued. Biscuits don't have a lot of pull strength, but are provide considerable lateral strength. This makes them ideal for table top glue-ups, attaching face frames to cabinets or book shelves and more. Learn some tips for using biscuit joinery in your woodworking projects, plus some free woodworking plans that prominently feature biscuits.

1. Biscuit Joinery

Biscuit Joiner
(c) 2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Biscuit joinery is ideal for connecting edge-to-edge joints and some corner joints (such as miters), as it entails cutting a thin, matching slot into the corresponding boards, then gluing a thin beechwood "biscuit" into the slots. The beechwood biscuit expands with the moisture in the glue and holds the two boards in place. In this article, learn how to make consistently strong biscuit joints.

2. Biscuit Cutters

Biscuit Cutter
(c)2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Sometimes referred to as a plate joiner, the biscuit cutter is a single purpose tool: that purpose is to cut slots for biscuits. The biscuit cutter can be adjusted to cut slots for various sizes of biscuits plus typically can be adjusted for cutting slots of up to 45-degrees. In this article, learn tips for using a biscuit cutter properly, plus some features to consider when looking to purchase one.

3. Proper Biscuit Spacing

Attaching a Frame with Biscuits
(c) 2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

One question that is commonly asked about biscuit joinery is regarding close together or far apart should the biscuits be placed. In this woodworking tip, learn what biscuit sizes you should employ for a particular project, as well as how far apart these biscuits should be installed.

4. Utility Shelf Plans

Utility Shelves
(c) 2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

Every house, garage or shed needs strong, sturdy shelves. While the main purpose of a utility shelf is, well, utilitarian, it doesn't have to look that way. With a little bit of planning, you can make some utility shelves that look as good as they are strong. In these free woodworking plans, find step-by-step instructions for building some very useful (and good-looking) utility shelves.

5. Planter Box Plans

A Row of Planter Boxes
(c) 2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

When you need an attractive way to house and display some medium to large plants, consider building a large planter box. These free woodworking plans show you how to build a planter box that includes a drainage system and heavy plastic liner to protect the box from water damage. Download the free woodworking plans today.

6. Computer Monitor Riser

Computer Monitor Riser
(c) 2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

On many office desks, the computer monitor may be a bit lower than ergonomically-acceptable for good posture. One way to address the problem is to build a computer monitor riser. In these free woodworking plans, read step-by-step (and download a free set of measure drawings) to build a great 2-drawer computer monitor riser (that looks great built from hardwoods like oak or maple).

7. Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner

Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Cutter
(c) 2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

In this woodworking tool review, check out the Ryobi JM82 Biscuit Joiner. This biscuit joiner can be adjusted to accommodate three different sizes of biscuits at a variety of depths and angles. Although it isn't the most expensive biscuit cutter on the market, it does a very effective job of cutting biscuit slots.

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