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Old 03-23-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
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Newbie to the forum, moderate woodworking skills (provided nobody has to look at the end product in bright light, that is).

I am in the process of redoing the space under the basement stairs and am putting in a set of built-in corner shelves. Space is limited, ie - as are my shop options.

I am using a project board from the local lumberyard - pine glued together in 16" and 20" widths. For a number of reasons, I am going to have to fasten two board edges together, one end and one side, as a shelf. The question becomes 'how'.

I have used splines before but have two concerns. The first is strength, even when glued, in the 'edge' board - the possibility of it splitting along the grain. There will be cans and such on these shelves, so some strength is required. The second is of course cutting the grooves - it's a table saw (experiments so far seem promising) or hand tools.

Not much experience with biscuits - no joiner as yet.

I've used dowels before but alignment is always a pain on such large pieces.

I had a thought a few minutes ago about a half lap joint, but have never tried it on such a scale.

Any advice would be welcome.

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:14 PM   #2
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Biscuits would result in the strongest joint I think. You don't necessarily need a jointer or a biscuit cutter to use biscuits if you have a table saw.

How about a simple cleat or two underneath?

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Old 03-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #3
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Thanks. I had thought of cleats underneath but would, if possible, prefer to avoid them. I suspect that may be a vain hope.

I've never heard of using biscuits with a table saw. How's that done?
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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Set the table saw rip fence so that with your boards (on edge) the blade is centered with the edge of the board(s). Clamp a board to the fence over the (lowered) blade and raise the blade into the board. Make a series of these cuts in both pieces to be joined.

The biscuits radius doesn't necessarily have to match the radius the blade will cut.

You could cut a continuous groove but that may only weaken the joint.

Works in a pinch or in the absence of the proper cutting tools.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:08 PM   #5
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Hello and welcom AJ1 to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

Bisquets, is one way to go, you know that dowels are a pain, do you have a router? how about a lap joint?

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Old 03-23-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Thanks.

The router is an idea.

I have been thinking of a half-lap joint. The joint itself should be good and strong, given the crossing grains. Maybe that's the way to go.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:34 PM   #7
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Bud Cline - Thanks. I will give that a try with some scrap.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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If you have a router with a slot cutter bit, that would work. But instead of bisquits, you would use a spline in the slot. If the edges are exposed, don't cut all the way to the ends.
You can do the same thing with a table saw.
Ron

Last edited by Ron6519; 03-26-2011 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:10 PM   #9
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Ron6519 - Thanks very much.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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There are many joint choices. If you have a Kreg jig, you can use pocket holes. If you have a router, you can use a half lap, spline, or biscuits. If you have a biscuit jointer, you can use biscuits. You can also use a box joint with either a router or tablesaw. If the pieces will not be visible, you can glue and screw the joint. The only joint I would truly stay away from is dowels, not very strong compared to the options.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:26 AM   #11
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Daniel Holzman - Thanks

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