Biscuit joiner jig
This issue features a jig that is useful for making the cuts associated with a biscuit joiner. If you are not familiar with the Biscuit Joiner, it has a very unique cutting action. A horizontal saw blade plunges into the work piece, creating a saw kerf, to accept a biscuit.
This biscuit is designed to swell when the moisture of the glue is applied to it. The glue I use is LePage Cabinetmakers Yellow glue. There are many different brands on the market, but I know this one works.
When you are cutting, and your work slides into a climb, the piece will move with the blade, very quickly. This puts your fingers in danger. The best way to avoid this is to “Always clamp your work, when using the Biscuit Joiner.”
This leads to another rule of the woodworking shop “You can never have enough clamps.”
This jig is designed to clamp your work before using a biscuit joiner. I have used it for other cutting operations, as well.
Construction of this jig is very simple. On the bottom, fasten a vertical piece, which can be strengthened by gluing in the corner blocks. Clamp the vertical piece into your bench vise. You can also screw it to the edge of your bench. Fasten the vertical piece to a table. I made my table by gluing a piece of pegboard to a piece of M.D.F. The pegboard is for the use of a 1/4” location pin. Fasten a piece of hardwood onto the front edge of the table, to help keep the table straight. This works very well. Make a right angle stop block to position your work piece against. Fasten this to the pegboard table. In the corner of the stop block, drill a 3/4” hole to accept the clamp. I use a Model number 556 Quick-Grip Hold Down Clamp which has a flange on the bottom, so it can swing around 360 degrees. It also rotates so you can clamp pieces on both sides of the angled stop block.
You will like using this jig, because it ensures that your work piece will not slip. Most of what we biscuit join together, is 3/4” thick stock, and most good machines on the market – when lying flat on their base – are designed to cut into the centre of 3/4.”
Another handy jig you might like is the model number 9R Welding Clamp, from “Vise Grip.” Use it for a material stop, on the extension fence for your sliding compound mitre saw. I recommend making your fence out of high quality 3/4” plywood. Be sure to install this fence perfectly in line with the saw fence. The height of the fence is 3” so the clamp will rest on it, when it’s being slid into position.
I made the mitre saw extension to the lift because I am right handed. I can set the wood on the extension and use my right hand for cutting. Learn how to use your mitre saw, right and left handed. This will ensure that you never cross your arms when using a woodworking tool. If you find yourself crossing your arms, “STOP” and change your approach.