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  • #16
    Re: Bisbuit Joiners

    I hate to attach a question to a question, but didn't want to start a new thread...

    I'm installing some decking this spring using hidden deck fasteners. I've already purchased a slot cutting/biscuit bit (Freud 63-109). But since I bought it, I've read in a few places (manufacturers' descriptions, this forum, the "instuctions" that came with the bit) that using larger diameter bits in a hand held router can be dangerous. I know that bit manufacturers place the warnings on their items for liability reasons, but there's still a reason for it.

    So, would you guys recommend using the router or biscuit joiner to put slots in decking (4/4x6 Mangaris)? I'll put putting in about 276 fasteners, so cutting 552 slots...whoa, that's the first time I did the actual math.

    Thanks guys!

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Bisbuit Joiners

      the pc557 is the standard bearer in the industry but i dont use mine as much any more. if its mostly face frames or cabinetmaking the kreg pockethole jig will do most of what a biscuit joiner used to do.
      there is a fine line between woodworker and tool collector....

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Bisbuit Joiners

        Originally posted by djfunk View Post
        I hate to attach a question to a question, but didn't want to start a new thread...

        I'm installing some decking this spring using hidden deck fasteners. I've already purchased a slot cutting/biscuit bit (Freud 63-109). But since I bought it, I've read in a few places (manufacturers' descriptions, this forum, the "instuctions" that came with the bit) that using larger diameter bits in a hand held router can be dangerous. I know that bit manufacturers place the warnings on their items for liability reasons, but there's still a reason for it.

        So, would you guys recommend using the router or biscuit joiner to put slots in decking (4/4x6 Mangaris)? I'll put putting in about 276 fasteners, so cutting 552 slots...whoa, that's the first time I did the actual math.

        Thanks guys!
        My question is this, why do you want to use a biscuit joiner on and exterior decking? using hidden fastners is all you need and the material is designed to expand and contract and you should leave 1/8"-1/4" between slats. Also the ground moves and shifts, this is another reason for leaving a space between slats. If you join those boards together I believe you are just asking for a problem.

        Just my 2 cents

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Bisbuit Joiners

          Originally posted by Okiewoodhog View Post
          My question is this, why do you want to use a biscuit joiner on and exterior decking? using hidden fastners is all you need and the material is designed to expand and contract and you should leave 1/8"-1/4" between slats. Also the ground moves and shifts, this is another reason for leaving a space between slats. If you join those boards together I believe you are just asking for a problem.

          Just my 2 cents

          I'm not actually putting biscuits into the decking. When using hidden fasteners, you have to "groove" the boards so the fasteners have something to hold on to. Since the boards I'm getting are not pre-grooved, I'll have to cut the grooves myself. This is accomplished by using a biscuit joiner or a router...

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Bisbuit Joiners

            Originally posted by djfunk View Post
            I hate to attach a question to a question, but didn't want to start a new thread...

            I'm installing some decking this spring using hidden deck fasteners. I've already purchased a slot cutting/biscuit bit (Freud 63-109). But since I bought it, I've read in a few places (manufacturers' descriptions, this forum, the "instuctions" that came with the bit) that using larger diameter bits in a hand held router can be dangerous. I know that bit manufacturers place the warnings on their items for liability reasons, but there's still a reason for it.

            So, would you guys recommend using the router or biscuit joiner to put slots in decking (4/4x6 Mangaris)? I'll put putting in about 276 fasteners, so cutting 552 slots...whoa, that's the first time I did the actual math.

            Thanks guys!
            That's a whole buncha slots for that 1/4" shaft cutter. While Freud makes some terrific bits...you're asking a lot of the steel to stand up to that level of use. Personally, I'd prefer the 1/2" shaft slot cutter (Freud 63-159). It's a 5/32" x 2" cutter, but since it's a 1/2" shaft, it just holds up better. Even still, you will want to let the cutter cool between cuts. In other words, don't let the bit heat up to the point where the steel could be affected. Too much heat and stress on the bit, and the carbide tips could come flying off. While that's rather extreme, it's possible with all those slots you're doing. Keep in mind I'm not saying a biscuit cutter would do better...you have to pace your work so you don't overheat the bit and the tool.
            I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Bisbuit Joiners

              I don't think using that slot cutting bit in a router will be dangerous. I've used larger bits in a handheld...you just need to take care in their use.

              Since there is little mass in a slot cutting bit, just be sure the router base is set firmly onto the deckboard before moving the bit into the side of the board. If you go at it haphazardly the potential is there to break the cutter, since it is wide and thin.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Bisbuit Joiners

                I've been spending alot of time reading various wood working forums these past few weeks. And there have been alot of buiscut joiner discussions going on. As I've been in the market for one myself I began to read them.

                It seems people either use the buiscut joiner alot, or they've used it very rarely. The later group of people seem to regret spending the money on the tool in the first place.

                If you intend to use the tool alot (and I mean for more than 1-3 projects) then pony up for the Dewalt or Porter Cable. If you intend to simply use this for a few small projects your probably better off getting the Ryobi or Freud models for $99. Otherwise you'll probably get a bit of buyers remorse when you pay that $160-$200 price tag for a tool you use once in a blue moon.

                I was also looking at the router attachment for cutting buiscuit slots but it doesn't appear to be as easy to use as the specialized joiner.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Bisbuit Joiners

                  My .02 is buy once, cry once, so get the best & forget the rest...Lamelo Top 20
                  Last edited by bigscore; 02-07-2008, 12:14 PM. Reason: typo

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Bisbuit Joiners

                    I have to agree with Joe F. It does seem that those looking for a joiner are beginners (me included) who need one for a specific project right now but aren't sure how much use it will get. I like the PC but am leaning to the Ryobi to save $$ and not sure if the PC is more than I need. FYI Woodworkers Journal (Feb 2008) has a chart with 11 models and their specs. for comparison.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Biscuit Joiners

                      Porter Cable 557! A quality tool, well made, dependable, and it is very versatile.
                      I have mine 6+ years and have never had any mechanical issues. I do like the two size blade option but as mentioned in another posting, I too rarely use the small blade.

                      The dust collection bag though is not the best design. If you're doing a lot of slots hook up your wet/dry vac. If you don't mind the debris just remove the dust bag and clean the floor later.

                      If you're following the New Yankee Workshop kitchen project, Norman shows the benefit of both the biscuit joiner and the router with the slot cutter....very clever! He too is not using the dust collection bag but has staff to pick up the debris!


                      Cactus Man

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Biscuit Joiners

                        Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                        Norman shows the benefit of both the biscuit joiner and the router with the slot cutter....very clever! He too is not using the dust collection bag but has staff to pick up the debris!
                        Cactus Man
                        Hahaha... hopefully we'll all be that lucky one day...
                        I have been reading about cutting different "locking" joints, and am thinking twice about purchasing a biscuit joiner. I think biscuits would work nice in edge/edge gluing for tabletops+etc. I might just spend the $99 on the freud just to have one around. I'll probably get the router+table first though. I hear that there's quite a bit of projects you can make with a router and table saw alone.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Biscuit Joiners

                          Originally posted by funeralguy82 View Post
                          I'll probably get the router+table first though. I hear that there's quite a bit of projects you can make with a router and table saw alone.
                          With enough time and determination, you can make ANY project with just a tablesaw and router.

                          Just to revisit the topic of this thread... I was gluing up some salvaged 3/4" birch T&G floorboards I took out of our bathroom remodel in order to make some door/room threshholds that will match the existing hardwood floors. Because of the addition of subfloor, cement board, and tile, the height difference between rooms is 1 5/16". So I had to surface and glue up 3 x 2 (total of 6) boards to make this threshold. The bottom two layers I biscuited just for ease and what-not.

                          Using the handy-dandy P-C 557 I cut about 20 face-frame biscuit slots... in about 15 minutes. Man that made it easy to assemble and glue up. As mentioned, it doesn't get a lot of use, but it excels at what it's for.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Bisbuit Joiners

                            It's not really a buiscut joiner, but has anyone played around with the Festool Domino? Though the price almost makes me want to choke on what ever I'm drinking when I see it, I'm fascinated by the tool itself.

                            It seems like the loose M&T joints it makes can be used to make anything from frames, to draws, to tables with little else for support.

                            When I'm imagining myself using it to create the furniture I've been wanting to make in a fraction of the time it would take me to learn all the proper techniques, buy all the jigs and everything else required to make the stuff it the old fashion way, it almost seems worth it's price.

                            Just curious if anyone else out there has used that crazy machine & had any opinions on it.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Bisbuit Joiners

                              Check out the Wood Whisperer web site (http://thewoodwhisperer.com/ ) and look at Episode 10, for a good demonstration and opinion on the Festool Domino.

                              It looks like a great tool, but at $400 or so, it's too steep for my shallow pockets.

                              I hope this helps,

                              CWS

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Bisbuit Joiners

                                Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                                Check out the Wood Whisperer web site (http://thewoodwhisperer.com/ ) and look at Episode 10, for a good demonstration and opinion on the Festool Domino.

                                It looks like a great tool, but at $400 or so, it's too steep for my shallow pockets.

                                I hope this helps,

                                CWS
                                Thanks CWSmith,

                                The domino's price is a bit excessive, if I had the tools, bits & jigs in my shop as well as the know how to do all that M&T joinery I probably wouldn't be considering it at the $800 price tag I've seen it at.

                                But in terms of power tools right now I've got a drill, circular saw, a sander and a Router. Few jigs or bits, and I'm just starting out with the wood working thing.

                                The domino looks like it would get me up and building the furniture I want to build alot quicker than buying various tools & jigs as well as learning how to use each one of them.

                                I still haven't made up my mind, I may head to my local woodcraft & see if I can get them to give me a little demo of it.

                                Comment

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