Biscuit Joinery: How To Use The MLCS System


A standard woodworking operation, biscuit joinery is one of the strongest, fastest, and most accurate ways to join hard and soft woods, plywood, composition board, etc.—replacing many traditional techniques such as doweling, mortises, and tenons. Originally, you needed an expensive ($300 – $500) machine to make this easy and convenient joint. Now there’s a quick and easy MLCS system for less than $30!

MLCS Biscuit Joinery System

The heart of our system is a bearing guided slot cutter. It’s sized to the standard biscuit thickness of 5/32” or 1/8” thickness for the H-9 biscuit. The biscuits are industry-standard, made of a compressed beech that swells and locks the joint upon contact with common water-based woodworker’s glue (such as Elmer’s, Titebond, etc.). You can use the biscuit cutter either freehand or in a table-mounted router.

The basic edge-to-edge joint is easy to set up and create:

  1. First, install the bit in your router.
  2. Set the bit height to approximately the center of the wood thickness.

*Tip: It doesn’t have to be exact. The beauty of this joint is that both joining pieces register against the router base and cut the slot the same distance from the face of the wood. This makes the joint perfect every time.

  1. Next, run several 5” to 6” slots and put biscuits all along the joint.

*Tip: You do not need to make the slots any particular length or in specific locations. This eliminates tedious marking for center lines.

  1. Then spread glue in the slots.
  2. Place the biscuits.
  3. And clamp tight.

Biscuits are also used on miter joints and done with caution on a router table. Simply set up your bit as before. Then clamp a guide to the table for the work piece to ride against as you feed it into the bit.

*Tip: The round (#11) style biscuits work best for this application, as they are deeper and shorter than the #20 size. For particularly small frames, the #H-9 size biscuit is only 1-½” long and thinner (1/8”) than standard. With thicker wood, you can use a double biscuit for a super strong joint.


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