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Mitreplan –Create Professional Timber Joins – Kevin Farrell

Mitreplan –Create Professional Timber Joins – Kevin Farrell

Dowel Joints:
Dowels make it easy to locate the joint parts, and add strength with a “bracing effect”. Marking is critical to a joint that lines up, so using a marking gauge helps enormously, although a pencil is fine. Mark the parts so that they will line up perfectly. Mark the dowel positions carefully on both parts, then drill the holes. Select a drill size that’s tight on the dowels and marked so that the depth is 1 or 2 millimetres deeper than the dowel. This allows room for glue and air, so the timber won’t split when you drive the dowel in. Use a dowel-jig if you have one, because it helps to guide your drill to keep it straight and square. A drill-press is also useful for the same reason.

The strength of this joint is in the glue bond, so seal the timber end-grain with glue, then squirt glue into the dowel holes and “swizzle” the glue to spread it around the hole. Apply glue again, then drive in the dowels and bring the parts together. Clamping may be required to pull the joint tight and hold it square until the glue dries.

Mitreplan –Create Professional Timber Joins – Kevin Farrell

Mitreplan –Create Professional Timber Joins – Kevin Farrell

Biscuit Joints:
This is a special joint that uses flat plates of wood to locate and strengthen the joint. Kev reckons these plates look a bit like milk arrowroots but without the flavour!

Biscuit joints are a favourite of cabinetmakers, as they are fast and accurate.

The marking out is easy: simply place the parts together and mark the inside edge. Lay the piece over so that it stays on the line. Mark the position of the biscuits then align the “biscuit machine” with these marks to cut for the plates in both pieces. Apply glue as you would for a dowel joint, including swizzling, and insert the biscuits and bring the parts together. The biscuits will swell slightly to hold the joint, but clamping will help hold it tight and square until the glue dries.

tip Kev’s tip: Always use a good quality glue like Selleys Aquadhere.

Viewer Tip: Joe Seychelle suggests wiping soap on your saw blades after use to help prevent rust.




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