Biscuits, which way up?

I am interested in starting to use biscuit jointing, as I like the features I see so far.
As far as I've read, I noted they come in 3 sizes (there may be more sizes, but they would appear be much less common in that case)
So, with regard to #0, #10 & #20 Which way do the sizes run through that sequence? Is #0 largest or smallest, and where could I find the specs and more detailed design info for this system?
Finally, has anyone tried "router bit" AND "dedicated machine" for this and what benefits and losses are there to each approach over the other?
Thanks for reading this. Any online info would be really helpful to me.
Take Care, Gnube
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Gnube wrote:

#0 is the smallest and #20 the largest. They are standard sizes - although I don't know where the "standard" came from. Lamello (sp?) possibly?

Yup - tried both. I started with the router bit set, and then got a dedicated machine.
The slight advantage of the bit set in a router is it's a bit cheaper (when I got mine, the dedicated jointers were a fair bit more expnsive then they are now - plus I had not looked up the price of the Trend bit set I bought before I ordered it!).
There are several downsides I found:
Hassle - if you are using the router for other tasks then you will find a need to keep swapping bits. Also changing biscuit size means taking the bit apart and swapping the bearing for one of the three different size ones, and reassembling.
Width of cut - because the router bit is made small enough to pass through the sole plate of most routers it does not cut a biscuit slot wide enough for the bigger biscuits - hence you need to plunge in and then slide the router to elongate the slot to the required width.
Angles - if you want a biscuit at an angle other than 90 deg then you will need to make a wedge or jig to tilt the router.
I also found using a router hand held in this way was slightly unnatural - you have to be careful to lower the bit into position but well away from the jointing edge - then slide it in sideways. The first time I used it I forgot this detail once and got a nice lump out of the top of the bit of wood I was jointing! In a table however it is a bit more easy.
Hence I went for the Ferm jointer. The first one I got seemed a little offset - the fence looked fine until you tightened it up. Then you found the biscuit would end up approx 0.5mm lower on one side than the other. So Screwfix swapped it for another one, which is fine.
It's much quicker and a more natural method than with the router I find - set the depth you want on the thumb wheel, and just plunge it in. The blade is wide enough to cut the correct width slot in one hit every time.
Having said all that I could see that if you had a router in a table with the jointing bit, plus another handheld router for other tasks, the bit set may work out quite well.
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 21:22:21 +0100, John Rumm

Thanks John that has really helped me understand quite a bit more than I knew about it before!
So it's depth of cut required (i.e. width of biscuit) and maybe length of slot (i.e. length of biscuit) that changes across the 3 sizes and the thickness presumably remains a constant reading between the lines?
As for the skirting board sub thread which has broken out, you lot must be psychic, as it had crossed my mind, but I wondered if it might be altogether too dangerous a proposition, but from what's said it might be interesting to find out - I was mulling over a small cheapy grinder and wondering what results that might offer too - but I am not clear on how flush to the floor one could get with that - I need a 2mm+7mm gap (underlay and laminate) I think it was, and I have no idea how close I could get to that with either method assuming they work at all - nails have to be a worry in that situation and maybe the grinder would be safer if there are any of those about! (quite probably I'd imagine!)
That said I have pretty much resigned myself to new skirting now, as I the chance to hide cable behind it in slots and stuff like that seems a great move of convenience. Wondering about screwing them on, as a future access feature though. (sods law says you'll need it if you don't do it!) ;O)
Take Care, Gnube
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Gnube wrote:

Yes that's right. The biscuits are all shaped with two curved edges
see picture here:-
http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 591&ts‘060
the radius of these is the same regardless of the size of the biscuit, and matches that of the cutter in the biscuit jointer. So when you plunge the spinning disc into the wood it leaves a constant thickness slot (4mm) that is deepest at the centre and tapers to nothing at both edges. The biscuit then fits snugly in this slot.

Not sure I fancy trying that with a grinder. The first problem is unlike a biscuit jointer, there is no "fence" on a grinder. So you would have nothing to control the depth of cut, or help the positioning and control of the blade. Remember that these small grinders will spin the disc at over 11,000 rpm. The last thing you need is a TCT toothed 4" disc snatching an angle grinder out of your grip and throwing it at you!

The biscuit jointer I have can place a slot within approx 3mm of its sole plate at a guess...

There is a problem there, in that blades that make a nice job of wood tend to be rather averse to nails and vice versa!

Maybe even Velcro ;-)
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Wed, 09 Jul 2003 23:57:50 +0100, John Rumm

Right, got it now. Thanks!

Well, I was anticipating building a fence/jig/sled of some sort for it; I noticed that many have more than one position for mounting the handle, and felt sure the right size bolt in those would have attached whatever I dreamed up! I was more concerned at this stage as to whether it would cut it or set fire to it by friction alone! ;O)

I am really starting to like the sound of all this for when it's used in it's more normal mode! ;O)

And they tend to make their displeasure known in a rather violent manner! Tools don't appear to understand the concept of "subtle"! ;O)

Tell me! ;O)
Hinges and push catches? (saves holding or homing the damn things too!) Velcro would then be spare for holding in the open position while you work! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube
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Gnube wrote:

You would have to use a TCT biscuit jointing blade rather than then normal abrasive discs I would have thought.... Just try to avoid any nails!
e.g.
http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part $0008
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Thu, 10 Jul 2003 00:25:43 +0000, parish <parish_AT_ntlworld.com> wrote:

Never knew they existed! Looks a bit like where we were probably going with the ideas too! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube
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On Thu, 10 Jul 2003 08:28:44 +0100, "Jonathan@Home"

Are there no structural issues at all with doing that. I'm asking from total ignorance but I am wary there might be repercussions as there always are!
I can't see it holding any building up of course, but it sure seems it must then rely on any other fixings within it's own structure more heavily if you're cutting it's feet out from under it so to speak.
Take Care, Gnube
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