French Cleat question - biscuit spacers?

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Established Member
28 May 2023
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I saw on a youtube video a chap that was installing french cleats.
One of the additions he made, was putting biscuits on the back of the cleat, and when screwing them to the wall (Or in my case, board attached to the wall) go through the cleat and the biscuit.
The idea was to pull them away a tiny bit so that any dust that has aspirations of accumulation just falls through.
I have a homemade dust extractor which works pretty well - about half an hour today involved vacuuming off the filters - but you all know what it's like. Dust..... ummm... finds a way...

So this biscuit idea - Yay or nay?
The concept is sound.

A metal washer or two would likely be cheaper and comes with the benefit of being pre-holed.
Even the smallest biscuits waay too thick.
Washer better but unless it's a 40 or 50mm dia penny washer type the cleat strips won't be as well supported as without and will twist forwards.
Overall, you make a poorer job for the sake of solving a problem that isn't significant.
You could cut 1/8" deep grooves regularly spaced vertically across the back of the cleats on the table saw. Shuld give enough space for dust to pass through, or blow through with airline?
You could cut 1/8" deep grooves regularly spaced vertically across the back of the cleats on the table saw.

Following on from that idea, how about modifying one or both halves of the cleat to accommodate a build up of dust?

Trim the point off the mobile cleat (very easy) or make a groove in the fixed one (more work, less easy) or both options together.

I went ahead without the biscuits. Sacrificing strength for a small amount of convenience seems a bit pointless. I've seen tips like Chai Lattes though, apparently thats the current go- to anyway
My opinion is that you are finding a solution that is of dubious benefit to a problem that should not exist or where the solution is far more simple.

First point, is that while French cleats allow items to be moved about (for reference I have more than 100 meters of French cleat on my walls that have been there for up to 7 years, I keep adding to them) it is unusual to move things often, or ever if they are a cabinet fixture, and while even if you have a very dusty shop (or lots of geckos as I do) it is easy enough to run a vacuum.
Second point, that has been partially made, is that spacing the cleats off the wall by small bits of wood (biscuits) decreases the support that the structure provides.
Third point, in my opinion it’s an exercise in futility, if you have enough dust to make it necessary, you have enough dust to run a vacuum over the walls every day
forth point, if you have enough dust to make it necessary and you don’t run a vacuum over the walls then you are soon going to have enough dust (even with the spacers) to clog the cleats enough to interfere with their use.

NOTE dust doesn’t magically become static and contaminate free so it will fall down the gaps you have introduced leaving the mating surface clean.
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