All woodworkers know that there are several approaches when it comes to neatly joining two pieces of wood together. At times a mortice and tenon joint is the best way to go, particularly if the project will put through a lot of stress in its lifetime, for example a stool or a chair. And other times, you’re looking for a joint that is quick and easy to make, but will be strong enough for light to medium duty applications.
That’s where a biscuit joint comes in. You can read our in-depth guide to using biscuit jointers here.
Biscuits come in a variety of sizes, and the size 0 variety are ideal when you’re joining two smaller pieces of wood together. However, the issue when making a biscuit joint in two small pieces of wood may be that the biscuit jointer is just two big for the material. And in addition to that, not everyone owns a biscuit jointer!
If that’s the case, it’s possible – and perhaps preferable – to use a router like the Trend T11 and a router table such as Trend’s CRT/MK3 to make the cuts required in the wood so that you can have a perfect biscuit joint, even when the piece you’re working on is small.
The Gentleman Jointer, Christopher Hall, demostrated this in a quick video shared by Trend, which you can watch here.
It’s important first of all to be using a router cutter with a ball bearing, making sure it’s the correct size for the biscuit you’re using.
Mark out the two pieces of wood you’re joining 2.5" or 63.5mm from each end, with a third mark in the middle of the piece, this prevents the cut from breaking out of the end grain.
With your router installed in the Trend CRT/MK3 table, and your cutter installed in the collet to the depth of the "K" mark on the shank and the height of the cutter should be at the middle of the timber, the face fence on the table should be open to around an 8th of an inch either side of the cutter.
Now it’s a case of cutting the slots for the biscuits.
To do this, line up the pencil mark with the right-hand edge of the opening in the face fence. Start up the router and gently push the wood up against the face fence and move it to the left until the pencil mark is in line with the left-hand edge of the opening.
Repeat for each 3 cuts.
Now you’re ready to fit the biscuits and perfectly join those two small pieces of wood!
To learn more about the Trend CRT/MK3 router table, watch our demo video on Toolstop TV.