They are a relatively new joinery method, invented by the Lamello company in the 1950′s and used extensively in post-war European cabinet shops. It crossed The Pond in the 1970′s and was adopted in North American production shops shortly after.
And, once Norm Abram started using one in the New Yankee Workshop, well, everyone wanted to get their hands on one.
The biscuit – or plate – jointer did speed the process of joining two boards together. Whether connecting two pieces of plywood, solid wood, MDF… or whatever other material you may be working with… the biscuit joint has proven to be a versatile way of connecting boards.
However, joint test data suggests that for nearly all joints, the biscuit is probably one of the weakest joinery methods available. So, this week, how do you feel about the biscuit joint? Super strong and versatile shop hero, or gimmicky joint with little more strength than a butt joint?
4 thoughts on “Quick Poll”
I only use them for maintaining alignment between pieces.
I never consider them “joinery”, however I do use them all the time as a Sign Maker. Because I have to glue up large Redwood blanks for signs, they help align the panels for glue up. And that is the only reason why I use them. I think their ability to help you align panels is why most people really use them.
I agree, they’re not for strength, but for alignment. I just had to do a 60″ panel glue-up of two 11″ wide pine boards. The biscuits made that easier. I still used calls to finalize the alignment.
They’re great when a lot of strength isn’t needed and you want a quick joint. Sure there are stronger joints but very often you don’t need great strength ! They’re really just a realy quick loose tennon joint!