WT294 – Biscuit Depression

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On today’s show we’re talking about designing your own projects, biscuit depression, starting a saw, and attaching a table top.

What’s On the Bench

  • Marc is working on his bed and contemplating wood for the panels.
  • Shannon is getting OCD about the cubbies in his sharpening station.
  • Matt is dovetailing a drawer

What’s New

  • Huck shared a video about Aurious rasps being made.
  • Woodworking in America is coming! Shannon is teaching but you should go anyway.


  • John has finally gotten his card scraper working properly.
  • Eric wants to know whether to buy English style or Lie Nielsen style mortise chisels.
  • Tim explained his fresh air kit a little better, its not just a hole in the wall.

Featured Topics

  • How do you make the transition from plans to designing your own stuff or reproducing from a photo?


  • Richard wants to know what happened to Kaleo Kala
  • Nate wants to know how to get rid of snipe in his bench top planer.
  • Jeff is getting air bubbles in his epoxy fixes.


  • Howard joined a panel with biscuits and now they are telegraphing through. What gives? He says.
  • John is struggling to get his carcass saw started and wonders if there are any tips or tricks for starting a handsaw.
  • Johnny wants to know how to attach a coffee table top to its base.

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9 replies on “WT294 – Biscuit Depression”

The “biscuit depression” issue – you said can be any joinery? So the same can be for dominoes used for panel glue ups as well. I remember an issue of NYW that Norm mentions this, and always assumed this would apply. But interesting that it seems to be a problem people relate to biscuits, not all joinery.

Gents – One thing you haven’t mentioned in combating snipe is to lock the cutter head before planning. I have a Delta RC-33 planer and if I don’t lock the head, it will get snipe. If I lock it, no snipe issues. The flexing of the adjusting mechanism for the head on most planers will cause the head to move then it gets near the end of the board, creating snipe.

Interesting information on Howard’s telegraphing issue. Biscuits are advertised as compressed and when glued they will swell to fill (maybe overfill?) the slot creating a “locked” joint. While Festool says of their biscuit: “the dense beech tenon will not expand or telegraph through material”.

So while joint swelling and then shrinking could be a factor in any glue joint, it may be more of an issue with biscuits.

I made some shelves from 5/4 poplar glued up from 2 or more boards, the mints had glue only and were clamped for about 30 minutes, they were then immediately planed and sanded, the next day you could see all the glue joints, milling too soon took of swollen wood and when it dried a divorce was left

On the topic of mortise vs bench chisels: I have noticed that my bench chisels aren’t exactly rectangular, being slightly wider near the handle than at the tip. This means that mortising with them causes the chisel to get wedged in the mortise, and perhaps twist. Is this actually what is going on, or am I imagining things?

Kickitty kickback

Thanks for the suggestions guys. You answered my question at the end of episode 294. I asked about table top fasteners for a coffee table. I ended up drilling a 1/4″ through the aprons and screwing in the top through those holes using a number 12 brass screw. I’m concerned that this isn’t enough wiggle room for the screws. I live in New York and we can get some fairly humid days in the summer which you guys know will make the wood expand. By the way, I’m using walnut for this build.

Thank you Marc, (new) Matt, and Shannon


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