Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Biscuts Anyone?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by JustPlay, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. JustPlay

    JustPlay Tele-Meister

    OK, so you were thinking this, right:


    Actually, I'm referring to something more like this:


    When you folks glue up a body made of several pieces of wood, do you use a biscuit joiner? Feel free to tell me that I'm "way over-thinking" this whole thing... Hey now, it wouldn't be the first time I've heard that!

    And for glue - Tightbond? Tightbond III? What do you folks like to use?

    Once again - thanks!
    Will ~

  2. Glen Smith

    Glen Smith RIP

    Aug 20, 2011
    I feel the biscuits are useless because there is a lot of slop in a biscuited joint so the biscuits don't assure a good alignment.
    Just my opinion.

  3. jpbturbo

    jpbturbo Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 30, 2010
    Banner Elk, NC
    I prefer pancakes.


    Biscuits aren't needed with a proper glue joint.
    If the wood to be joined is flat and smooth and you clamp it well then you should have no problems.

    Titebond original with the red label is the normally recommended wood glue.

  4. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 15, 2005
    Chicago 'Burbs
    Nope, I don't use 'em- no need. Titebond Original for me.

  5. JustPlay

    JustPlay Tele-Meister

    OK then - once again, good "straight-up" advice -- much appreciated!

  6. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    Biscuits--the second type--not necessary. Joints are not really stressed very much, there's a large glue surface ratio to joined pieces, and alignment is easy.

    Most around here use Titebond I. Seems the later, more waterproof versions of Titebond (II and III) are more plastic when dry, MAY creep, characteristics which TBI has less of. Luthiers' Mercantile International (LMI) has a PVA luthier's glue made for the purpose--don't know how it works, but I've got a bottle in my fridge waiting for my next build.

    The "right" adhesive for musical instruments is hot hide glue--it hardens quite hard, does not creep, and because of its hardness, inhibits vibration less between the pieces than a more plastic adhesive. It's a PITA requiring a heating device that keeps it at a constant temperature, goes bad and smells terrible, and does not smell all that great when it's not bad.

    Long way around to say Titebond I, widely available, and reasonably priced--will work just fine. And if using biscuits would make you feel more confident in your glue up--go for it.

  7. kwerk

    kwerk Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2010
    New Zealand




    BTW what is that white stuff in the earlier pic? Please don't tell me that's "gravy". :eek:

    As far as biscuits for guitar building? My first instinct would be to shy away from chocolate ones, they may ruin your prospects of a good finish.

    My second instinct would be to say they simply aren't necessary for guitar building. A good smooth glue joint is all you need. There is not sufficient pressure, shear, weight, distance or any of the other reasons why use of a biscuit might be necessary.

  8. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Dec 31, 2009
    Queensland Australia
    I have done spline joins on a three piece body I did long time ago, but I think it was overkill, but easy enough with a router table. Titebond original and a good clamping and you'll be ok.

  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I think the only place where a biscuit could be useful would be in a neck through glue up where the wings are cut and thicknessed before gluing to the neck through section which is also cut and shaped. I've made guitars like that a few times and regular clamps have managed to hold the pieces while gluing it up. I thought I needed a biscuit joiner when they first came out years ago and I can't say I ever used it on anything.

  10. Bronkowitz

    Bronkowitz Tele-Meister

    May 20, 2011
    If it were end grain you were gluing, a biscuit would help quite a bit. But since the body is a butt joint between pieces of face grain – and because there will be almost no torque, torsion, or shear forces applied to the joint – the glued joint will be much stronger than the wood itself.

  11. mngsp

    mngsp Tele-Meister

    Jul 30, 2009
    Mandan, ND
    Yes, that would be a sausage gravy. Yummy :)

  12. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Is there any other way to have them? :)

  13. JustPlay

    JustPlay Tele-Meister

    Thanks folks - It's "official" - I'm going to "pass" on the biscuits!

  14. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    @ Roger- with jelly/jam/preserves or apple butter

    Titebond I, good straight sides, and a glue up with pipe clamps have been working fine for me. The stress on a solid guitar body is parallel to the grain. I guess some people like biscuits for alignment, but the sides of a body blank are so short (20 or 21" at the most, unless you're doing an Explorer or something), that you can align them easily without biscuits. I suppose if you were doing an 8ft table from 8/4 lumber by yourself or something they might help you line it up in lieu of an extra pair of hands.

    I helped my neighbor build a ping-pong table last week. You can only get MDF in a 4x8' sheet, and a regulation ping-pong table is 5x9'. So we had to some creative joinery with large pieces. Of course, that was only 3/4" MDF, but we still had a time lining it up and clamping it without long clamps. I made a jig similar to a Kreg jig and we pegged and doweled it. The pieces were still like 1/32" out of alignment over the 5' of length, but a couple passes with an orbital sander got it good enough for gov't work.

  15. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2005
    motor city
    No biscuits - seems like a waste plus 3 more steps where something could go pear-shaped. I've never had a joint fail using titebond and clamps. I use the stuff in the red bottle.

  16. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Dec 29, 2010
    I use 'em. I know they aren't 'necessary', but if you've read here for long you've seen threads where blanks have had to be ripped, jointed and reglued because something slipped. I've never had that problem.

    It's worth mentioning, though, that if you're going to use a plate joiner, get a good one. The cheapies are miserable things, and probably responsible for a lot of botched projects.

  17. Brian blaut

    Brian blaut Friend of Leo's

    Feb 13, 2005
    SF North Bay
    you sold me. I'm making biscuits tonight when I get home! I don't have any sausage in the house, so I might have to make gravy out of bacon grease.

  18. Guitarz

    Guitarz TDPRI Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Miami, Florida
    If you own one nobody would ever know it was used. If you don't own one you wouldn't miss it.

    Now, I'm going to Cracker Barrel for breakfast...

  19. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    So Phil, since you call what we call cookies, biscuits, and what we call biscuits, scones, is there an edible thing in the old Britannic Empire named cookies, or is that word reserved for things that websites lodge in your computer, for better or worse?

    I've always wanted to visit a country and have afternoon tea and strumpets!:p

  20. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    Never used the biscuits but I used a lot of dowels for alignment purposes. Short pieces and a "dowel center" for gluing body halves together and longer pieces to help align multi piece necks with veneers and lots of layers so they can be glued in one shot. I'd place them in areas that wouldn't be in the final guitar.

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