Dowel pins or biscuits? Which type of these would be better to join two 1-3/4″ x 12″ x 60″ cedar planks? They will be used for a tabletop for a TV stand that weighs less than 40 lbs. Thanks for your help. – Gilbert Hernandez
Tim Inman: Without a question, if you have the ability to NOT use dowel pins, don’t. They are nothing but long-term trouble. I’ll make my answer brief and not go into the reasons why, but dowels are just not a very effective jointing tool. Biscuits are great. Splines are great. A simple butt joint can be very good. Dowels? Last choice for me, always.
Chris Marshall: Either biscuits or dowels could work fine for your tabletop, Gilbert. But, really, you don’t need either one to reinforce this glue joint. Wood glue will be plenty strong all on its own. You could use biscuits or dowels to help align the boards, but at 60 in. long, they’ll be pretty easy to line up anyway. I’d skip the extra work here and just edge-join those planks first, to make sure they meet in a nice tight seam. Then, glue them together with yellow wood glue. Spread glue liberally on both edges (it will soak into that cedar pretty quickly), slide the boards back and forth against one another to wet the joint thoroughly, then apply about six clamps along the length. You’ll have an unbreakable panel joint when it dries. I promise.