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Biscuits in a Little Free Library?

February 1, 2012

(This post written by Debbie Harbeson.)

On a recent afternoon, I began working with my friend Jim on our Little Library Project collaboration. If you remember, Jim had already cut and clamped together the main pieces so I could get an idea of how it was going to look. During this first work session, we were mainly working on what would eventually be the door frame, which will have a front window allowing passers-by to see all the great books inside!

Now, as anyone who has ever learned something new already knows, all subject areas have their own vocabulary and woodworking is no different. I learned a lot of new terms while working with Jim. Or, more accurately, the words were not new but the definitions were.

For example, the part of a woodworking machine that is used to help hold a board in place after measurements are made is called a fence. I also learned about biscuits, tiny pieces of oval shaped wood that are placed into the side of a board before gluing. The glue expands the biscuits, increasing the effectiveness of the bond. I was kind of disappointed when Jim explained this to me because I was getting hungry.

Two of the more interesting phrases I learned about had to do with very specific and detailed measurement: “a smidgen” and “a wee bit.” Then, later, when Jim forgot to lock up his fence on one of his gizmos, I learned a couple of four-letter words.

Okay enough about the vocabulary, let me show you what we did.

I used a miter saw to cut a board we were going to use for the frame. We needed four pieces.


I used a jointer to flatten the surface of the 4 boards.


I used a bench-top sander as well as a drum sander to smooth the boards.


We had to cut an angle in the board for our miter joints.  Here’s Jim working on his table saw making the angled cut we needed for our door frame. We also made a rabbet cut that the window will be placed inside.


Here I am using the biscuit joiner, the tool that makes a nice cut into the edge of the board you are about to glue together. You simply place a biscuit inside the slot created by this tool.


Then we glued the four boards together and clamped them together to dry.
Here’s the door frame so far and a close up of the rabbet edge.

Glued Door Frame

Corner Showing Rabbet Cut

More to come!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jim James permalink
    February 1, 2012 7:40 pm

    You told me you already knew all the four-letter words I used. Anyhoo, I’m working on that: Heck, Darn, Gosh, Egad, Rats. Better?

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