Telegraphing biscuits...


There is a thread here every few months about whether or not biscuits show through. Most people say they have never seen it, but a few insist it happens all the time.
I made up a game board out of 1/2" ply recessed in a frame of walnut. I cut the biscuit slots off center so the thin side would be on the bottom. Unfortunately I screwed up in cutting the slots on the mating pieces and the spacing only worked with the plywood upside down, with the thin part on top. Normally I would have redone it, but this was for a project my son was doing for 6th grade and it didn't seem right to fuss too much over it; so I went with what I had. (besides, I could blame it on my son!)
Well, they didn't show at first and they still don't show a week later. If they don't telegraph through 1/16" of plywood it is hard to believe they ever do. And yes, they are nice snug fits; PC 557 and PC biscuits.
I have read that European biscuits are compressed, but PC found that they work the same without compression so PC biscuits are not compressed. Maybe that accounts for people's varying experiences?
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Who was doing the project, you say?
If you ARE intending to teach him, then do it right, and mark matching surfaces before routing.
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wrote:

We were. He didn't do all the work, but he did some of everything; except for making the lap joints in 1/8" x 1/8" stock.

But if it came out perfectly, why wasn't it right? Is there some higher standard than looking and working properly?
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In computer programming, it's called "elegance". And of course it's completely subjective.
Toller wrote:

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Elegant programs run faster, are easier to debug, and take up less space. If they didn't do those things, they wouldn't be elegant.
If two woodworking projects are indistinquishable, it is spurious to argue that one is elegant; heck, you couldn't even tell which one was supposedly elegant.
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Again from your former posting: "Well, they didn't show at first and they still don't show a week later."
So basically you've started a thread and an argument about something that doesn't happen?
Just incidentally, elegance implies beauty and simplicity both at the same time. Now ...back to something useful.
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On Fri, 30 Dec 2005 17:21:44 -0500, Guess who wrote:

This is Usenet. What is your point?
;-)
Bill
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That's not an industry standard definition of elegance as it applies to computer programming. In fact, speed, resources, etc. are frequently not considered at all for "elegance". Someone wants to show off by using recursion where it's clever but unnecessary, for example.
By your definition, a program that is "elegant" in one environment may be entirely inelegant in another (for example on a machine with lots of cpu power but little memory). So "elegance" would not only be subjective, but dependent entirely on current circumstances.
Toller wrote:

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Baloney! In computer programming, if it comes out perfect and works, it's called a bug.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Baloney, yourself! If that happens, the proper term is "miracle". <g>
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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So what does this mean?
QUOTE from your original post: Unfortunately I screwed up in cutting the slots on the mating pieces and the spacing only worked with the plywood upside down, with the thin part on top.
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wrote:

Exactly. There is no way to tell from that I did anything wrong. It is perfect in appearance and function. So, I didn't actually do anything wrong if it in indistinquishable from correct! I just thought I did because of the people here who say biscuits aren't usable because they telegraph through to the surface.
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wrote:

I think the thing is...YOU know you did it wrong. Since YOU mentioned it, YOU said you screwed up, so YOU know its wrong. But here's the thing. If it doesn't make a whit of difference to YOU, then it's just fine.
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That should probably be changed to read "PC found that they were cheaper to make if not compressed".

Maybe
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That'll teach you to ask a simple question. Your theory sounds good. Maybe I'll pick up some PC biscuits and do a little testing. Happy New Year, Hank
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Toller wrote: . . . but this was for a project my son was doing

You're some dad, allright. First you do the project the kid should be doing to begin with, then if he gets a shitty grade, it's down to him.
On a more related note - the only comment I've heard from Norm lately is that he's discovered that sometimes biscuits leave "depressions" in the surface of the wood above and below them so he seems to be moving away from their use.
FoggyTown
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I think the "telegraphing" phenomenon occurs only if the joint is sanded before the glue is completely dried. Moisture from the glue swells the wood in the area of the biscuit, the wood is sanded flush, the glue and wood dries, the formerly swelled area is now a depression in the shape of a biscuit. If you never sand, or sand only after the wood is completely dried, this is not an issue.
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