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Thread: Green Biscuit Jointer: More Ways Then One

  1. #1

    Green Biscuit Jointer: More Ways Then One

    As many of you know, I am not a big fan of biscuit jointer's. They came about to replace the Mortise and tenon Joint and yet I have yet to see that happen. Myself, a chisel and drill press work pretty darn good. But there are times when the biscuit jointer comes in handy, and I just started a job that will use the biscuit jointer and reap benefits far beyond was it was designed for.

    The job I have is putting up 1200 square feet of tongue and groove pine boards up on my ceilings in my new addition. By going with pine instead of sheetrock I have already eliminated the waste of having to strap my ceiling joists as well as having the cost of muddying and taping the seams. I even eliminated the lifting thing I would have to rent to do that job.

    Now with my biscuit jointer I can reduce waste even further. Because my trusses are 2 feet on center, normally I would have to cut my boards so that the butt joints landed on one of those trusses. That could mean from 1-23 inches of wasted wood. Well with my biscuit jointer, I joint the two ends which keeps the butt ends in alignment no matter if it lands on, or in between the trusses. This means there is essentially 0% waste on this project. That not only saves me a lot of money by stretching my TG pine, it also keeps the earth a little greenier by freeing up wood that would normally be burned as kindling in my Grandmothers stove.

    As I said, my biscuit jointer is indeed green and in more ways then one!!
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Well done Travis. I am not a big fan of biscuit jointers either and I don't own one -but this, indeed. does seem to be a good way to use one.
    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
    This is a good feature of the biscuits and an advantage that few other tools provide. I am accustomed to this same practice.

    I do differ with you in your assumption that the biscuit is intended to replace the Mortice and Tendon. I would argue, Nae!... It is yet another tool in the arsonal of devices that make wwing easier. Not a replacement, although some try to shortcut with the tool, it is just another tool and another approach to solveing a problem.

    I am Old School in that I never veered from my basic practices whilst teaching fundimental woodworking for over 30 years. But I do applaude the concept of the Plate Joiner (Biscuit joiner) and the introduction of the football shaped spline. The spline joint is what the Biscuit is intended to replace. Although the full length spline is much stonger and basic in design, the biscuit is quicker and more agile allowing placement in specific areas while leaving the rest intact. I now use the biscuit in many ways that I would have labored in the past.

    The concept of joining the ends of a piece were common practice eons before the biscuit. Lap joints, Finger joints, Scarf joints, and Splines were the common practice in old construction methods. The Biscuit makes it simple, fast, and strong. (As you have now discovered)

    No more so is the "Floating Mortice & Tenon" joint an evil concept, it is intended to replace or speed the construction of the Mortice & Tendon by use of a routed slot and an elongated Dowel to fill mating slots. In a world of mass production this fills the need for speed accuracy and strength.

    Broaden your concepts and accept the tools as they were intended, to make construction easier, more effecient, and widen the possibilities of WWing.

    It is a tool, how you use it is the solution.
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 11-17-2007 at 04:49 PM.

  4. #4
    You've certainly got the Yankee thrift in your blood! It really is amazing how little scrap is generated with plank ceilings. When I did my kitchen, the total waste from the installation fit in the palm of my hand - and that was from trimming around the can lights!

    We will need pics of the finished installation you know.


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