How to Use a Biscuit Joiner to Make a Door Frame
A biscuit joiner is one of the easiest tools to use… Though it looks a tad intimidating, it really isn’t! I recently used a biscuit joiner to construct the doors on the bath vanity I built for my kids and I will share how to use a biscuit joiner to make a door frame that is easy with no extra holes to fill. Consider this frame a “practice piece” that can be used for other things!
- 1×3 lumber
- Biscuit joiner
- #20 biscuits
- Wood glue
- Frame clamps (or corner clamps)
I have another biscuit joiner that I purchased several years ago. It is a cheap, off-brand model that caused me more frustration in using it and I gave up on it. When I found this Ryobi biscuit joiner on clearance ($40!), I thought I might give biscuit joints a try again. A biscuit joiner is a tool that cuts an oval shaped slot. Glue is applied to the slot and an oval shaped “biscuit” is inserted into the slot cut into the pieces of lumber that are to be joined, creating a super-strong joint. The biscuit actually swells once it comes in contact with the glue and will expand slightly to fill the slot.
Biscuits also come in three common sizes: #0, #10 and #20, each a different length and width for different applications. For the door frame, I used #20 biscuits.
To build a frame, start by cutting the pieces to length. Lay the pieces out as they will be when the frame is assembled. Mark the center of the pieces, then number them. For example, mark the center of the 1×3 rail (the horizontal piece) which will be 1-1/4″ from the outside edge. Make a mark on the corresponding stile (the vertical piece) at 1-1/4″ up from the end.
Set the biscuit joiner cutter depth for the biscuit size being used (in my case #20), and align the center line on the plate – which will be the center line of the slot – with the mark on the boards. Turn on the cutter and make the cut.
Fill the slot with glue (a small paintbrush works well) and insert the biscuit. The biscuits I used were actually a tad wide for the boards.
Apply glue to the slot in the corresponding piece, then insert the other end of the biscuit.
I used a picture frame clamp to keep the door frame square while the glue dried. (I bought my clamps on eBay and they really come in handy!)
That is all there is to it! A piece of 1/4″ plywood can be attached to the back of the “practice frame” for corks to make a corkboard. Have any questions about how to use a biscuit joiner to make a door frame? Leave a comment below!