I have some planks and would like to make a wooden plate. So far I've seen this done by connecting the planks together but they've always had these prepared edges which hopefully the two images will describe better.

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What is the tool used to do this job?

4 Answers 4


The usual way would be to cut the grooves with a table saw and a dado set, and cut the floating tenon on the table saw as well, but for small stuff, biscuit joinery works much the same way. You could also cut the groove with a router table. (It would be hard to cut the groove on the edge with a router without a router table unless it's a BIG piece of wood.)

  • 1
    A slotting cutter could produce the groove with a handheld router, thoutb it might take multiple passes. Similarly it could be done on the table saw in multiple passes with a normal blade. The traditional approach would be to cut two saw kerfs and chisel out the waste between them.
    – keshlam
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 23:01
  • Drill bits with dowel rods as tenons could work on the cheap.
    – Evil Elf
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 13:36

I use a low-tech method called "biscuits," where you insert small, lenticular pieces of wood instead of the long spline. You need a "biscuit cutter," also known as a "plate joiner." Porter Cable makes a good one.

It's not fine woodworking, but I'm very happy with results I've gotten by this method.


Unless you have a table saw and want to shell out bucks for a dado set I would not attempt this. Even with good equipment it would take skill to make a joint like that.

I suggest using angle irons. Much simpler.


Depending on the length of the horizontal piece, a router might be the best tool. If the work piece is too long, it will be difficult to stand it on edge to run on a table saw (or router table for that matter). A handheld router has the advantage that you can lay the work piece down, and run the router along the edge of the work piece. Clamping the work piece vertically, then running the router along the edge, would also be an option.

Using a router to cut a groove in the end grain of a plank, could lead to chipping and terrible results. Depending on the width of the groove, and the species of wood. A router may not be an option.

You'll want to make a jig; or use a guide, as doing this freehand is not going to end well.

Depending on the application, biscuit; or possibly even dowel, joinery could be used.

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