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rodger.

Creative use of a biscuit joiner

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I just finished building eight frames for a photo display (with a 16x9 opening). I mitred the corners, and glued the joints (after sizing them). This is the time I would usually add a spline for reinforcement.

I read an article by Steve Maxwell the other day, on how to use a bicuit joiner in a creative way. He said use a bicuit joiner to cut a slot in the back of the frame, where each mitre meets. Then put a biscuit in (with glue) and wait for it to dry. Then cut it flush with a trim saw and sand.

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Any ideas on this method? Would clamping the biscuit be necessary?

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I think a 5/32" thick spline would look better than a biscuit viewed from the edge. Since biscuits aren't smooth, they may also leave a gappy or jagged edge. The tool cuts nice double splines, too. Just cut an off-center slot, flip the item, and repeat..

I've done this, and didn't clamp the joint with a well fitting spline.

No way to make 5/32" stock? Well stocked hobby shops sell basswood and mahogany in 1/32" increments. A sandwich of two 1/16" and one 1/32" part is easily made up. You could even play with combos for extra cool looking splines.

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I think a 5/32" thick spline would look better than a biscuit viewed from the edge.

The biscuits are on the back of the frame, they would not be visible at all (well, unless you took the frame down and looked the back I suppose).

I have used splines quite a bit, but since these are painted I thought I may try a faster approach.

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Now I see...

I wouldn't bother to clamp those, but I'd select tight fitting biscuits. I'd probably tape the miter corners with blue tape. This appears to be a variation on the metal zig-zag fasteners I see hammered across factory made mitered frames.

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I would glue up the mitered frame first,let it dry then carefully cut the biscuit slots and glue them in as a reinforcement.

There is a jig you can build to help hold small parts and angled parts so you can biscuit inside the miter joint, instead of from the back. It clamps the biscuit joiner to a base with a fence.

They make a smaller blade for the biscuit joiner, Lamello calls it H9 I think, and tiny biscuits for narrow places.

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Now I see...

This appears to be a variation on the metal zig-zag fasteners I see hammered across factory made mitered frames.

Yes, exactly. I have a V-nailer, but the nails don't go very deep. I bought it at Lee Valley years ago when I first started woodworking, but havn't found a lot of use for it.

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I figured the biscuits would add more reinforcement than the nails.

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They make a smaller blade for the biscuit joiner, Lamello calls it H9 I think, and tiny biscuits for narrow places.

Yeah, I have one of those blades (porter cable). I didn't have any "ff" biscuits on hand, and didn't want to have to go out and buy some. So I made all the frames and sized them, then glued them up. Now the frames are dry and assmebled, and I need some type of reinforcement. I would typically run the frames over the tablesaw (with a jig) and add a spline to the corner of each frame, but thought this biscuit joiner technique might be worth a go.

Do you think it will give me greater reinforcement than adding a few simple V-Nails to each mitre?

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If I remember correctly, Charles Neil has a video where he recommends using a forstner bit to cut a shallow circular hole in the back of the miter, and then gluing in circular disk that was cut to fit the hole. The disk was cut from the face of the wood, so the glue joint was long-grain to long-grain.

I think the advantage is that it doesn't depend on depth of cut for strength, so it can be used on shallow, wide frames. The biscuit would be good on deep, narrow frames. Also, with the biscuit you don't have to make your own disks.

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There are fasteners that do that very thing you are talking about using a biscuit slot. They are called a lamello fixo google them and you will see what I mean.

Very cool - thanks! I had no idea this existed.

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