STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs
John Tetreault joins Mike and Ben as they answer questions about dowel jigs, biscuit joiners, tricky glue ups, dust collection and their all-time favorite tools of all time
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Recently, I’ve seen a lot of arts and craft projects assembled with biscuits. I don’t have a biscuit joiner, and given the $200 price tag, I’m wondering if I’d be better off going with a high-quality dowel jig. Clearly, the speed of adjustment favors the biscuit joiner. I would very much like a domino, but I don’t think that’s in the budget, especially after a recent table saw upgrade. -Tom
- Video: Accurate Biscuit Joints by Tony O’Malley #165–Sept/Oct 2003 Issue
- Fine Furniture with Biscuit Joints by Michael Fortune #227–July/Aug 2012 Issue
- Hall Table with Flair by Jennifer Anderson #236–Nov/Dec 2013 Issue
- Display Cabinet, the Krenov Way by Jim Budlong #208–Nov/Dec 2009 Issue
- Mid-Century Credenza by Libby Schrum #261–May/June 2017 Issue
- Get perfect reveals with a Domino by Anissa Kapsales #261–May/June 2017 Issue
How do you ensure a square glue-up with a leg that tapers just below the apron? Are you relying completely on the shoulder of the tenon being square? -Aaron
Segment: All Time Favorite Technique of All Time… for this week
John – A simple wooden mallet
Mike – A sharp tool
Ben – New hand tool rack with magnets inlayed to hold tools
My question is about dust collection. Before getting into this, I had no idea people put so much effort into dust collection. I started woodworking with my Dad years ago, and we just rolled the table saw out into the driveway. These days, I have a shop vac hooked up to a cyclone that I use for whatever I can, but my dust collection isn’t great. I end up wearing a respirator most of the time, except when i’m doing something that doesn’t produce dust, like hand planing.
How much importance do you place on having good dust collection, and is there ever a point at which your dust collection is so good that you don’t feel the need to wear a respirator? If not, what activities do you put a respirator on for? -Andy
John – Don’t freak out when you make a mistake, just Tetreault it!
Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to [email protected] for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.