How sturdy are biscuit joints in MDF? TEST TUESDAY! [148]

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A short while in the past Keith Brown from Rag ‘n’ Bone Brown did some nice testing on end-grain to end-grain joints to see how a lot stronger the joints have been utilizing biscuits – the outcomes have been actually fascinating – there is a hyperlink to Keith’s video beneath! At present I’ll perform the same check however this time on end-grain to face-grain MDF, which is a joint I take advantage of very often within the workshop for MDF cupboards, shelving and the like. Let’s have a look at how sturdy these joints are with and with no biscuit – welcome again to Take a look at Tuesday!

Learn the total article and check specs right here:

Instruments & merchandise used, DeWalt DW682Ok Biscuit Jointer: (UK) (US)

Festool Fast Lever Clamps: (UK) (US)

No. 20 Biscuits (I used UJK biscuits for the check): (UK) (US)

Titebond II Wooden Glue: (UK) (US)


I take advantage of affiliate hyperlinks – these don’t price you a penny and assist to maintain this channel going – thanks a lot to your superior assist!

Keith’s superior biscuit joint energy check:

#TestTuesday #MDF #Woodworking


Ricky Mcgrath says:

I really want to see a shear test on biscuits. the “lever” tests all over YouTube are all virtually the same. Furniture and projects rarely use such a load. The load is almost always placed to create a shear force.

J. N. says:

I thinks its funny that you mentioned end grain to face grain in MDF. MDF has no grain my friend.

mrBDeye says:

They purpose of biscuits are for alignment.

johann mendelsohn says:

Interesting, maybe do a similar test on solid wood! What do you you think?

Yusuf Islam says:

This test placed an angular force on the join which is unnatural. I suspect a domino probably would've won this test but only marginally. It would be better to repeat the test using a 'H' shape with biscuits (and/or glue) on two sides and place the anchor in the middle of the 'H' so that the force is perfectly linear. I bet the results will be massively different, or at least the MDF will fail again and not the biscuits themselves. In this scenario I hypothesise that biscuits will definitely add strength especially when using a material other than MDF.

Gregory Londos says:

Hello happy holidays, I was always under the impression that biscuits weren't designed to be for strength but more to be for an alignment of parts they're not as solid as a Domino biscuits are made out of Beachwood, Correct…? That's my take on things…

Les Nightingill says:

Interesting experiment, but MDF is not a structural product. According to the Composite Panel Association, it's a "decorative surface panel". So if you're thinking of using MDF in an application where the joint strength (as measured here) is important, you might want to consider a more appropriate product.

Ray Smith says:

If there was more space between the biscuits would it be stronger, I wonder if you had used 1 biscuit in the centre if the result would be different.

Urban Woodworking says:

Thanks for sharing. Todays adhesives are very strong compared to those used 100 years ago. Anyone who has renovated old furniture will attest to that. But nobody can say what our PVA adhesive joint will be like in 100 years. Perhaps the biscuits in a housing joint will still keep the book shelf together after the adhesive has crumbled to dust. I prefer pocket holes. They are very strong and won't catrastrophically fail, and the joint can be dismantled if a change is required. I like to think that those wonderful stainless Kreg screws will not end up as powder after 100 years.

De Hunter says:

This is glue testing not the biscuit

Bob Christenson says:

What a waste of effort. Biscuits are for alignment not strength.

Chris B says:

But biscuits are more for alignment than strength?

Richard Habicher says:

I will now be looking for this. Very good show! It tells it all. Dado,s may get a rest now!

Christopher Claudio Skierka says:

Hello and a great video!!!. I have 2 questions for you sir, the first is would you use a biscuit joint for Birch Ply wood and also please can you tell me what size buscuit you would use for it presuming the thickness is 18mm. Many thanks and keep the videos coming 🙂

Ben Blackwell says:

I see you used the Dewalt biscuit jointer as they are one of your sponsors. I own the same jointer but also the equivalent Porter Cable. My experience is that the starting torque for the Dewalt causes the jointer to move to the left which takes it off the alignment mark; The Porter Cable moves less. I think there is a Dewalt design flaw in that the D-handle is attached to the plunge portion of the jointer. For the Porter Cable, the D-handle is attached to the stationary part of the jointer plus the entire face that mates with the work piece has a rough anti-skid material on it.

bighands69 says:

I would never trust the glue joint entirely.

CementRoots says:

I build a full size pinball machine cabinet jointed with biscuits and glue, NO nails, NO screws
and 5yrs later after aggressive nudging, shaking, and general abuse that pinball machines go thru its as solid as day one….
Photos below

bigjohnfl says:

. If you don't mind. Here's a good video that compares different joinery strengths

Tommy Hearn says:

This is a good test method but I think the main thing you have proved is that MDF is a weak material. Were you to repeat this using solid timber I think you would find that the joint would be stronger with biscuits. Thanks for all your fine work in producing these videos.

Jo Allan says:

I see someone mentioned modern glues are very strong, so pointless using biscuit jointing. What about Cascamite, its not modern, its used in boatbuilding,

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