Using a Biscuit Joiner to Patch Wood Flooring


The difficult part of patching a strip floor is making a clean, square cut in one piece of flooring without cutting into any adjacent pieces. Most folks drill holes along a line and then chisel out the cut.

Biscuit Joiner to Patch Wood FlooringI have discovered a faster and easier way to replace or repair a piece of wood strip flooring.

It doesn’t involve drilling holes, and it only requires a minimum of chiseling.

As shown in the accompanying diagram, I use a biscuit joiner to make the cuts. I have found that this method is much quicker and more accurate than the drill and chisel method. Here’s how to use a biscuit cutter for the job:

  • Set the depth of the cutter so that when it is fully plunged, the portion of the exposed cutter at the base should equal to the width of the flooring - typically 2-1/4 inches.
  • Once you decide where to make the cuts, lay your square on the floor with one edge lined up with the edge of the floorboard.
  • Put a knee on the square to hold it in place and mark the center of the floorboard on the square. This is the alignment mark for the biscuit joiner’s registration notch.
  • Now hold the base of the biscuit joiner against the square and plunge it straight down. Then, use a chisel to finish the cut.

By the way, it’s a good idea to use an old cutter for this operation because you might hit the occasional nail.

- David Hornstein, Lexington, Mass.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press

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