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do you need biscuits?

buckandthegirls's picture

I am glueing up a 18 x 41" table top, three 6" wide boards. Every time I use biscuits I invariably get seams that don't line up on the face. But once there in, there in, so there is no adjust;ing. 

So, do I really need the biscuits, or can I just glue the edges and be done with it.?

forrestb's picture

no biscuit glue-up (post #178699, reply #1 of 3)

Yes, you can glue-up your table top without using biscuits.  I just finished my table top glue-up that has 2 6" wide boards 50"+ long without biscuits or splines.

I suggest that you use cambered cauls to keep the boards aligned.  If your board edges are not exactly 90 degrees each they will want to slip as you apply clamping pressure.

I used the FWW way to make cambered cauls at http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-to/video/how-to-make-cambered-cauls.aspx

My top turned out fine and the boards lined up nicely.

Not sure why you are getting misalignment with biscuits.

Forrest

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jfsksa's picture

uneven glueing (post #178699, reply #2 of 3)

How big and heavy are your clamps?  I use shared shop space and our big clamps are 48" or longer and heavy.  I had the same trouble - my table tops came out with a step effect.  The clamps do great applying lots of clamping pressure, but the long heavy clamps tend to put a twisting pressure on the boards, pulling the wood out of line.  After i switched to shorter, lighter clamps, that problem went away.  You can also use clamping cauls - clamp the boards level first, then clamp the boards together.  use packing tape to separate the workpiece from the caul.

John

Glenn Bradley's picture

I do not use biscuits.  Many (post #178699, reply #3 of 3)

I do not use biscuits.  Many folks don't.  I read a lot of posts where people say they use them for alignment. I do not find them consistent enough for this, I use a spline if I really feel I need it.