19 February 2016

19 Feb 2016 Festool Domino


Festool Domino Cont.

I had tried every technique I could find for cutting perfect mortise and tenon joints. And while I was pretty happy with a plunge router with a spiral bit for the mortises and the dado blade on the table saw for the tenons, it was still very slow. With the Domino I can cut twice as many mortise and in half the time. It is everything it has been advertised as and more. It was worth every penny.

Since there are a number of YouTube videos on how to use the machine, I won’t go into all the details here. I’ll just point out a few of its features. It comes in a Festool stackable custom case (Photo 1), and all the parts fit in nicely for easy storage (Photo2). When I bought my Domino joiner, I also purchased a large supply of dominos in all the sizes that fit my machine. (Photo 3) There is a lot information online about making your own dominos with left over stock. I’ll probably do that in the future, but I knew I would want to start using it as soon as it arrived so I bought a supply to have on hand.

The Domino is a very precision tool that requires some initial set up (Photo 4). It does take a little getting used to, but once you understand all the settings it goes very quickly. All the measurements on the machine are in metric, and that takes a little getting used to. At first I was converting everything back and forth from imperial to metric and that got to be very confusing and time consuming. I quickly figured out after my stock was cut out in imperial I just measured them in metric and used that measurement to set up the machine instead of trying to convert all the time.

One of the biggest advantages of this machine, besides the perfect cuts, is that it clears the sawdust away as you go with a direct connection to a vacuum system (Photo 5). In fact, it clogs up very quickly if you don’t use a vacuum.

The next three photos show the perfect mortise I cut for the legs and rails of an end table I’m building. The last photo shows how flawlessly the pieces go together. If you get your material square and straight, then your guaranteed a seamless fit for every joint.