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Miniature equivalent of biscuit joint?


MeezerMama
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There are some occasions in full-sized furniture making (for instance, tansu step chests) when a biscuit joiner is the appropriate way to join sections together.  What would be a suitable miniature equivalent?   I know I could just glue two flat pieces one on top of the other, but that just feels wrong. 

Please note that I am not talking about side-by-side joints.  There are a lot of suitable techniques for that.

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Chris I looked at photos of tansu chests, so I am assuming you want to stack box shapes on top of one another. I would either use dowels or two corresponding grooves with a loose piece of wood in between, google spline joints, that was the old name before they invented biscuit jointers.

Also not all the tansu chests are boxes on top of the other, some are similar in construction to this regency bookcase that I built a few years ago. To join the uprights to the shelves I cut long mortises in the shelves all the way from the back but stopped a bit from the front edge, the uprights had tenons cut on both edges and slid in from the back into the shelves. I am planning on building a few of these soon for a friend and this time round I plan on making the mortises and tenons dovetailed since they are open on the back edge. The biggest issue was making sure that I cut the mortises in the correct places on each face of the shelves. All the shelves and uprights had rebates cut into the back edges for the individual back pieces.

Hope this helps.

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The biscuit joint was invented in 1956.  Are you doing a historical piece that requires an authentic biscuit joints?  I think the necessity to use the joint would 1) be dependent upon the original age of the item, or 2) If I were having problems keeping the two side by side pieces of wood glued together.

if you do decide to create a biscuit joint in miniature, I will be watching the thread to see what you engineer - I am sure I can make the biscuits... but creating the tool to cut the biscuit in each panel or piece of wood would be a challenge...

Biscuits are usually some kind of football shape - yes?

If you decide biscuit joints are needed, my initial thought would be to mount the dremel in a table and alter a saw blade to create the biscuit shape. I anticipate this would NOT work because the blade will spin 360 degrees;  resulting in something that is round.  I like the idea of using an oscilating tool, too as the blade does not spin and still cuts, and then, perhaps something from flexcut carving company can be altered.

http://www.flexcut.com/sk121-carving-scrapers/

So... I'm thinking a marriage of a flexcut shaped tool on an oscilating tool blade.

Tansu boxes are lovely and lots of wonderful examples on pinterest.

Perhaps we will see your next venture - mfg of cool tooling for miniaturists!

edited:  Re-reading the post, I now realize you do not want to do side-by-side joints... so nothing really helpful from me.

>>>Please note that I am not talking about side-by-side joints.  There are a lot of suitable techniques for that.

so ....perhaps a metal biscuit would be a cool way to keep a series of boxes together...

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A biscuit tool is a circular saw blade in a fixture with a stop that only allows a minimum depth cut which in turn forms the biscuit pocket.

 

Quote: Biscuits are usually some kind of football shape - yes?

If you decide biscuit joints are needed, my initial thought would be to mount the dremel in a table and alter a saw blade to create the biscuit shape. I anticipate this would NOT work because the blade will spin 360 degrees;  resulting in something that is round.  I like the idea of using an oscillating biscuit tool, too as the blade does not spin and still cuts, and then, perhaps something from flex cut biscuit carving company can be altered.

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Biscuit joints are mainly for plywood (they were invented for joining particle board) and the like and are sort of a cheap mortise and tenon joint. The big advantage in full size is they can be zipped out with a machine and are almost as good as a real mortise and tenon joint. They are not period for anything before 1956 (as noted) and even then didn't catch on for a few years for real wood as opposed to particle / ply for a while after that

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