Loose Biscuit

Alternate Grain Direction When Using Double Biscuits

Biscuits are made from compressed beech wood. The grain runs diagonally across the biscuit. The biscuit is weakest along this grain line. When you install two biscuits in a joint, put them in will] the grains running in opposite directions. This will counteract the short-grain

_jéKb weakness in each biscuit.

Using two biscuits in a double-wide slot is a great way to increase joint strength when the stock is too thin for two separate slots. This is especially useful when joining a 3/4-in.-thick table apron to a leg. Some manufacturers include or offer a 4-min spacer that fits under the fence for this task, but you can easily make one yourself from scrap wood. Create the double-wide slot by inserting lhe spacer after the first cut. This will raise the blade just the right amount to create room for a second biscuit.

Test the Slot Depth

Test the Slot Depth

Biscuit slots dtat are too shallow won't allow the boards to go together, Clil the slots tot) deep and mosL of die biscuit is buried in one side, weakening the joint. Here's a quick test to see whether your joiner is set right. Cut a test slot, slip in a biscuit and draw a pencil line. Take the biscuit out, turn it around and reinsert it. A second pencil line should be 1/16 in. beyond the first line. This will provide a 1/32-in. clearance around the biscuit for excess glue. Refer to your owner's manual to adjust the depth of cut at a given setting.

Double Biscuit Joints

Cut a

Double-Wide Slot for Added Strength

HOW TO Hang

Inset Doors ^

by Tim Johnson

Install butt hinges perfectly and establish consistent, slender margins.

othing signals skillful craftsmanship like an inset door with elegarn hinges and eye-pleasing margins. This challenging job leaves no room for error: Uneven surfaces and unsightly gaps will tell the tale if the hinges, door and frame don't fit precisely. Like mastering handcut dovetails, successfully hanging inset doors on mortised butt hinges is a woodworking milestone.

I'll show you a three-step method for installing inset doors that produces great results every time. First, you match the door to the opening. Then you rout mortises for the hinges. And finally, you create uniform, attractive margins between Lhe door and frame. Of course, you can skip the mortising step altogether bv choosing different hinges (see "No-Mortise Hinge Options," page 70),

To complete the job, you'll need a couple simple jigs, a mortising bit, and a laminate trimmer. A laminate trimmer is a compact router that's a really handy addition to any woodworking shop. (If you don't own a laminate trimmer, this is a great excuse to buy one.)

Round out your door-installing arsenal with a pair of secret weapons—a plastic laminate sample swiped from the home center and a double-bearing flush-trim router bit. This great new biL should be a fixture in every woodworking shop.

66 American Woodworker may 2006

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