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Biscuit Sizes and Construction
Figure23-3. The three available biscuits are shown here.
Shopsmith biscuits are produced from select grades of beech. For maximum strength, the grain is oriented at a 45° angle to the long axis of the biscuit. During production, biscuits are exposed to many tons of pressure which compresses the fibers and produces a waffle-like surface for better glue absorption and adhesion.
When glue is applied to the biscuits, the moisture in the glue causes the biscuits to expand by about 15% of their original thickness and the joint becomes tight. Since this expansion occurs very quickly, glue should never be applied to the biscuits until you are ready for final assembly. Biscuits should also be protected against water or extremely high humidity. A coffee can with a tight fitting lid makes a good storage container.
Biscuits are available in three different sizes to meet a variety of applications (Figure 23-3). All biscuits are 5/32" thick.
#0 biscuits are 1-3/4" x 5/8". They are best for joining smaller workpieces and for edge-to-edge assemblies where high stress is not anticipated. They are also useful for joining narrow pieces such as cabinet frames end-to-edge.
#l0 biscuits are 2-1/8" x 3/4". They are recommended for general purpose joinery on all types of projects.
#20 biscuits are 2-3/8" x 1". They are recommended for use on larger projects or joints--such as a table skirt and leg--which will be subject to high stress or twisting forces. They also provide greater penetration and a larger gluing surface, so they are well suited for plywood or particle board applications.
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