STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs

STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs

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STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs
John Tetreault’s barn wood map of the world–sans Hawaii.

Question 1:

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

Question 2:

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

STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs


Question 3:

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!

STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs  STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs



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 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.

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STL170: Biscuit Joiner vs. Dowel Jigs

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