Biscuit Joinery

Biscuit joinery and dowel joinery are two easy ways to connect two boards together. These techniques are particularly useful when constructing cabinets, shelving or joining boards together to produce a flat surface, such as a table top. They are most popular when joining flat woods, such as plywood, particle board, or MDF (medium density fiberboard). You may want to join two boards together to make a custom width board for shelves or other projects. Here we will discuss a few tips for making your doweling or biscuit joining job a success.

First, we'll discuss what a biscuit is. A biscuit is almost like a flat piece of dowel. It is usually two to four inches long and is shaped like a football. A slot is cut into a piece of wood, the biscuit is inserted with glue, and then joined with a corresponding slot in the opposing piece of wood. The two pieces are clamped together and allowed to bond. Be careful not to squeeze out all of the glue when you use clamps.


Most woodworkers prefer to use a plate joiner tool to drill the holes for biscuits. You can use a router, but many people consider using a router more dangerous. Using a plate joiner keeps the blade encased behind a blade guard so that you cannot cut yourself. Make sure that you study the safety rules and follow the usage instructions that come with your plate joiner, exactly.

To use the plate joiner, start by making your marks. Put your two pieces together and make a pencil mark where you want your biscuit to go. Remember that the biscuit will be hidden, so there is some play room with the placement. Simply set the depth of the blade to where you want it and line up the guide with your marks. You can set the bevel angle if you are not making a simple right angle cut. The motor should be running at full speed before you begin your cut.

You will notice that the cuts are slightly longer than the biscuit itself. This gives you a little extra room for error and makes a space for the glue to set. Simply position your boards together and line them up before you clamp them down to dry. Once dry, the joints will be almost as strong as a dowel joint.

Using dowels for joinery is a little trickier, as lining them up must be precise, but it is still the preferred method for many woodworkers. Once you master biscuit joinery and doweling, you can move on up to learning mortise and tenon joints.

Biscuit Joinery

Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc. which manufactures wood products in Ohio. Good Wood, Inc. makes dowels and dowel rods, all types of wood components, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning, and a plethora of wood parts needs. Visit for your wood product needs.