Domino 700

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Spectric

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Hi all

Just looking into woodworking joints and the different methods and tools around to compare everything possible and got a few questions for people familiar with this one.

I currently use a combination of loose M&Ts using a woodrat and router table plus a Dowelmax for doweled joints. The dowels are 10mm diameter and I aim for about a 60mm insert depth into end grain.

The 700 plunges to 70mm which is very handy, and there are a range of cutters albeit not cheap. How tight, accurate does this cut the mortice as I have noticed it has a setting for a wider/sloppy mortice that if it is accurate should not be needed?

Do people just buy the Domino biscuits which compared to dowels are extremely expensive or run stock through a router to produce their own which is what I currently do for my loose tenons?

I have also seen an adaptor for the 700 to allow the use of the smaller cutters from the 500, I know Festool are not happy because it makes the 700 more useful and the 500 less so but anyone any experiences down this route. I gather someone had some issues with a machine but cannot see why, if it can use a 14mm cutter and plunge to 70mm then using a smaller cutter is not going to make it sweat.

Any other info or experiences appreciated.
 
I run off lengths of domino stock and just cut to length as I need.
No, it doesn't have the glue-friendly grooving, but it seems to work just as well as the branded pieces.
It does help to have a drum sander so that you can dial down the thickness to be just perfect...
 
The slot is very accurate indeed with the bought dominos (which are compressed a bit and swell into place with glue, much like a biscuit, but hardly essential so making your own is perfectly viable). The looser settings just add some length to the slot, not width, so the cutter does a wider arc, the domino is just as tight in the slot in the narrow dimension. It's there because they are so accurate on the narrow setting that if you have a reasonably long run of dominos it is very hard indeed to get them into the second piece of timber. Using a narrow setting at one end to give a fixed point and then wider slots with a bit more length for the rest allows the room for them to go in on a diagonal as you work up the boards knocking them together. It's not because of a lack of precision, it's the opposite.
 
For external joinery I make dominos from the timber I’m working with as it’s recommended not to use the Beech dominos externally.
Personally I find this a little strange as over the years I’ve taken many factory made external doors out, when cutting up for fire wood I’ve noticed that the dowels are Beech in the joints which are still after many years in perfect condition. Obviously the shape of a dowel makes it less likely to rot than a domino 🤷‍♂️ 🤔 ;) :LOL:
 
Hi all

Thanks for the feedback, and looks like it produces accuracy with tight fitting joints so is comparable to a Dowelmax, albeit faster. Drilled 86 dowel holes today so can say that it is a slower process.

If I could only have one......

The 500

What is the reason for wanting the 500 rather than the 700 apart from cost? The 700 plunges upto 70mm, has a larger 720 watt brushless motor and uses 8,10,12 7 14mm dowels, and with an adaptor the smaller 4,5 & 6 so potentially everything in a single machine.

No, it doesn't have the glue-friendly grooving,

Steve when I make loose tennons I also run a fine groove up each face just so any glue beneath is not trapped and stoping the tennon sitting deep enough.

I have already looked at the Maefell jointing system and it is clever but ties you into having to buy those plastic fittings with no other option which you have with loose tennons.
 
Steve when I make loose tenons I also run a fine groove up each face just so any glue beneath is not trapped and stoping the tenon sitting deep enough.
That's a good idea. When I make mine I chamfer the edges, rather than round them over. That way there is a route for the air, yet it is easy to fit.
 
Having used both 700 and 500 extensively, both are super accurate. Very easy to set the tools up for consistent work, and easy to line up on the mark. I use the 500 far more because if I am doing larger work I tend to prefer to make a proper M&T. For edge jointing boards having a bit of slip room laterally can be useful.

In use the 500 is MUCH lighter, easier to put in place and less fatiguing to work with. Where possible I use the 500. I also just divvy up for the domino dowels as for me life is too short to make my own.

Never used the adaptor on the 700 - no need as I have the 500.

It is worth watching Peter Millard's video on the Festool v new Mafell v new Lamello Zeta. He ended up buying the Zeta system which is quite unique rather than the Mafell, but he already had a Domino.
 
.

What is the reason for wanting the 500 rather than the 700 apart from cost?.

I own both. I use the 500 much more regularly and it’s a lot easier to handle. There’s a much bigger scope of applications suited to the 500 than there is to the 700 IMO.

I think other than doors, the 700 has little over the 500
 
There’s a much bigger scope of applications suited to the 500 than there is to the 700 IMO.
Hi

Very interesting information and I am still learning as never had any training in woodworking since at school, it has been more metalwork for me so still plenty of voids to be filled.

The thing that caught my attention with the 500 is the 28mm plunge depth because with dowels I use 40mm to 60mm depth and loose tenons are at least similar or deeper and so the 70mm depth looked comparable. I think I need to look at M&T joints in more detail before looking at the means to produce, and also take a look at
Peter Millard's video on the Festool v new Mafell v new Lamello Zeta.
 
If you go on festools website you can request a demo of any tool they do. They normally come to you but at the moment they are doing face time/teams/what’s app video call demos. They are free and you don’t even have to leave your arm chair
 
Like others have said, the 500 will generally get much more use than the 700 unless you work mainly on larger projects. I only own the 500 but a friend has the 700 which I borrowed once for a large outdoor gate project. The 700 is also a great machine but it is much more unwieldy and I would be unlikely to want to use it for my day to day projects if given the choice.
 
I have already looked at the Maefell jointing system and it is clever but ties you into having to buy those plastic fittings with no other option which you have with loose tennons.
Do you mean the Lamello? I have the 500 and also the Lamello which i use for different applications. You don't need to just buy the connectors, I have a biscuit jointer blade in mine for cutting splines.....and also for biscuits.

The 700 has far fewer use cases than the 500, unless you're making doors all day
 
Give us a list of where and how you intend to use the domino and you’ll get clearer answers from experienced users.
Louis
I am looking at all the different options and tools for joining wood so that I can get a better and more in depth understanding of the subject. Because my background has been with metal and I used to avoid wood at all cost unless it was a fence or shed I think my approach to wood is rather more industrial shall we say, and the only "systems" for joining wood I currently own are the Dowelmax, both the Kreg pocket hole systems and a Dewalt biscuit joiner.

I have already made a freestanding sink unit for our utility room that has a belfast sink, contains the washing machine, a cupboard with a drawer above, I used 4 by 2's for the main legs and 3 by 2's for the rest with 12mm ply panels and a 20mm Sapele T&G end panel to finish the exposed end. All joints were mainly 100mm dowels. The worktop is 700mm wide beech with upstand, 50mm thick. You see what mean about industrial!

Do you mean the Lamello?
Yes it is the Lamello, not the Maefell doweling tool I meant. Interesting videos by Peter showing the Maefell, Domino and Lamello.

Now this subject could invoke the phrase being used " Realwoodworker" so to prevent any war of words I have scrapped that term and replaced it with either a "Traditional woodworker" or a " Functional woodworker" and to classify a "Traditional woodworker" is someone who enjoys the journey as much as the destination and a " Functional woodworker" is someone who likes to shorten the journey to reach the destination quicker, I am in this category.

In theory I should like the Lamello because it uses mechanical fixings, but this looks like it is aimed at MDF. The nearest mechanical fixings I have used are 8mm barrels with threaded screws and then hid the evidence with wooden plugs.
The Maefell doweller could produce what the Dowelmax can but much faster, it has 32mm dowel centres compared to the 17.5mm centres of the Dowelmax but by just offsetting you could place four dowels at 16mm centres very quick, at a pace the Dowelmax cannot match. The Dowelmax is very accurate but keeps you on your toes because of ensuring the tick marks are aligned to the right faces, and for multiple rows you need to change the spacer on the reference side where the Maefell would be just change the fence height. Also the Dowelmax comes with 10 mm dowels but at £110 you can have 6 & 8mm options. I use several drills with the Dowelmax because it makes it easier when you have say 40mm holes one side and 60mm on the other and this way you dont need to keep adjusting the drill stop. It is messy, and you have to keep extracting the drill to clear but does a good job slowly. So the Maefell looks like a good machine if you want fast dowels, its cost is around £860 compared to the Dowelmax at £170. What price is speed worth?

The Domino loose tennon system is unique, there is no other competition and as a result it is expensive, the 700 is all said and done a cross between a hedge trimmer and a biscuit joiner but I have realised you are not paying for the machine but its functionality, what it can deliver. Easy to justify cost if used by a business as capital expenditure but then I have come to think that you can also justify it as an expensive home workshop tool because it allows you to produce good M&T joints easily with little skill, ideal for someone like myself. I can cut mortices really easy on my woodrat, although on endgrain I am limited to 1500mm but the issue is marking out which takes time. I put this to the test and made a square frame with four M&T joints, the four mortices on the end grain took very little time as they can be clamped into the machine easily. The other four took longer, had to fit the mortice rail and setup. Total time was about an hour and a half. This does not include any time previously used to make lengths of tennon. So the Domino is going to be in a different league because it could probably have done these mortices in less than ten minutes.

So although the essence of woodworking is to shape and join wood it is much more complex and there is far more choice of tooling and methods than with metal, I admit I could never be a traditional woodworker because I have to relie on tools to get acceptable results, so I am going to continue my learning and maybe change what I am currently using and if I end up with a clear decision will ask father christmas for its delivery.
 
In theory I should like the Lamello because it uses mechanical fixings, but this looks like it is aimed at MDF.
I think it seems that way because its often shown together with "architectural design" (waffle), but actually it can be used for sheet or solid timber, I recently used it to attach an Oak mirror to an Ikea malm unit lol
 
In theory I should like the Lamello because it uses mechanical fixings, but this looks like it is aimed at MDF.

Festool have recently bought out a range of mechanical fixings for the domino, there is also a company making mechanical fixings for the domino though I can’t remember their name at the mo
 
Hi

Looking around I think it is fair to say that these dominos have a higher than most resale value compared to say a biscuit jointer where you are spoilt for choice.
 
The problem with used domino machines is the tool collectors don't sell them because there is no upgrade path to battery pack ones. Hence few on eBay. They are superbly well made and last forever.

I got lucky as some guy was giving up his 110v machines (700 and 500, and a vecturo and other stuff) so we did a deal on the lot. The Dominos are only used at the bench and as I rigged up 110v outlets there it makes no difference to me. I forget what I paid now but I think it was about £650 for all three tools. Pristine and in sustainers, plus a box of dominos and a spare box of cutters for the 500, that I paid about £50 extra for all in. That was a couple of years ago and they seem to have shot up in price on the used market for some reason.

The multitool is fantastic and I would not be without the 500 domino now. The 700 I sold to a friend for him to do a job (better than lending tools) and I recently bought it back from him. He didn't get on with it, but has now bought his own 500.
 

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