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View Full Version : Convert angle grinder to biscuit joiner?



gregl
06-22-2008, 11:20 PM
OK, so we're at least starting off in metal working before moving to wood.... but once every 5 years or so I could use a biscuit joiner. Not often enough to justify buying a dedicated tool.

And while we are machinists and can make anything, I've got enough shop projects to last several lifetimes. So:

Is there a conversion kit to make the change? I've seen one on an Australian Web site but nothing here in the US of A.

THANKS!

mechanicalmagic
06-22-2008, 11:38 PM
I bought a Horror Freight biscuit cutter for less than the cost of Aluminum to build an adapter for my angle grinders.
YMMV.

CCWKen
06-23-2008, 12:53 AM
That's what I did too. I couldn't spare the time to make one. I think I paid $30 at HF and then turned around and bought $20 worth of biscuits. It comes with about 10 of each size but I started putting biscuits in everything now and I'm one of those that gets confused past hammer and nails. My only gripe is the "scale" HF has on the guide to center/level the cut. Best take a couple of test cuts on scrap.

For doing mostly metal work, it turned out pretty nice. The bed and floorboard were assembled with biscuits.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CCWKen/Projects/Model%20T-TT/Completed-4.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CCWKen/Projects/Model%20T-TT/Completed-3.jpg

DR
06-23-2008, 03:40 AM
A wood router is a good choice for a conversion to biscuit joiner.

Correct size cutter and arbor are available for not too much bucks. Works well on a router table setup. Actually, for a lot of work I prefer it to a real biscuit joiner.

Asquith
06-23-2008, 04:07 AM
Greg,

Don't do it, unless you really don't want to add to the import bill! Buy a cheap new one as the gents said. I've just had a kitchen counter top fitted, and the fitter used a $34 biscuit jointer, and it worked perfectly.

Your Old Dog
06-23-2008, 07:00 AM
This was my first biscuit jointer adapter.

http://www.wolfcraft.sk/jcatalog_generated/en/products/product_groups/1011_product.html

Then bought a Veritas jointer. The wolcraft did the same job. If running two biscuits one above the other use a 1/4 spacer block like hardboard (masonite) to set the depth. I cut one set of biscuits and then go along and do the other with hardboard under the jointer and make another series of cuts. If you're doing furniture, make sure you don't sand while the glue is wet of your finish will have a dimple over each biscuit that swelled up do to the glue! Axe me how I know that!

I never used the alignment measurs on these things as they are not micrometer accurate and far to crude for close work. The masonite just works better.

Alan Smith
06-23-2008, 08:53 AM
CCWKen, your truckie looks great. Is the timber for the bed and rails ash?

gregl
06-23-2008, 10:11 PM
Thanks, guys, for the tips. I looked at the Horror Fright unit but the base/shoe or whatever you call it was plastic and not well formed or fitted. It didn't look like it would do a consistent job.

Your Old Dog: is that unit plastic or metal?


Ken: WAY COOL T-bone! Reminds me of the Model A I once drove from LA to New York and back. Old (really old) cars are just too much fun. By the way, this year is the 100th birthday of the Model T.

gmatov
06-24-2008, 12:57 AM
Gregl,

How come so many people won't say where they are from?

If you were anywhere near me, I would offer to sell you a very little used Delta bench mount, foot feed, biscuit cutter.

I prefer my Freud hand held. Of course I don't do much anymore, and it takes a lot less room.

Can't find the Delta I have, probably discontinued, have to get the numbers and search.

This one has a decent depth adjustment, but regardless, were you trying to use 2 on each edge of the join, different vertical placement, you would cut all the lower or upper pockets, adjust, recut each edge with the new setting. You don't need a masonite shim.

Biscuits are for alignment on edge gluing. Strength on miter or butt joints, as dowels are.

A good glue will hold so hard on edge glued joints that the wood will usually break on either side of the glue joint rather than ON the glue joint.

Demonstrated that many times with oak and cherry cutoffs from glued up widths. Only a starved joint will let loose at the joint.

Cheers,

George

gregl
06-25-2008, 07:49 PM
George:

I'm in central California. Thank you for your offer however I only need one of these once every five or 10 years or so. Since I made the original post, I found a friend who has one that is available to me whenever I need it. So I guess the problem is solved for now.

mark61
06-26-2008, 07:13 AM
Grizzly sells a kit for your router comes with a cutter bit and a guide for keeping the proper length. Think I paid just about $20 and mostly keep it on an plastic Crapsman POS I picked up for a few bucks at auction. Like has been said-you end up paying more for the biscuits than the kit real quick!
You COULD use a plunge mill cutter of aproaprate width on your metal mill for making them too! :)

mark61