Festool Domino DF700 and Impact driver


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6 Oct 2011
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The Festool reps came to my workshop on wednesday and brought with them the new Domino DF700 and fresh-from-the-oven Festo Impact driver. AMAZING!

I'm a DF500 user as it stands but the XL is really exciting for me. I work as a furnituremaker/bench hand for a small joiner and contractor up here in Fife. As part of my job I make mortice and tenon constructed windows, glazed screens and shop fronts but mostly doors of all different types. Our workshop is hardly the most up to date or technologically advanced but I think we put out really nice stuff with the gear we have. The cost of a tenoning machine of any sort is prohibitive, our table saw is only for ripping timber and the spindle moulder only has a rip fence, so I cut the tenon shoulders on my Kapex (before that, the Radial arm saw) and cut the tenon cheeks on the narrow band saw. The mortices are made with an ancient but sturdy hollow chisel morticer which I keep tuned up but the process of cutting and fitting the joints is a little long winded.
The new Domino machine looks like it is going to be a game-changer for us. Two 14x140mm beech dominos per joint should be more than sufficient on internal doors and for external doors Festool now produce sipo (a hardwood i had never heard of before) domino rods at 750mm long which you can cut to any length you require. This machine will cut the time to build a door by a factor of four. The price may be a little much for non-commercial makers though. The cutter diameters overlap with the 500 i.e 8mm, 10mm but also does the larger 12mm, 14mm. The add-ons (trim stop, cross stop, handrail stop) fit both machines which means there is no need to buy a separate set of these accessories.

The Impact driver is fantastic too. I fell in love with my little C12 when I first bought it three years ago, after thousands of screws and holes drilled it still holds enough charge to last most of a working day on one battery but the impact driver should change things again. It works like any other impact driver (6x150mm screw into end grain douglas fir with no effort whatsoever) but it comes with an additional unit which locks to the front of the drill and acts as a damper to effectively turn off the impact mode. I was able to use my centrotec spur point drill bits to drill clean holes and drive 3.0x16mm screws precisely and with the utmost control. I know of no other impact driver with this facility. It is three tools in one with no compromise in quality for any of the functions. I also like the little light and double sided belt hook which my C12 doesn't have. :)

I'm sure this information is old hat to most of you savvy woodworkers out there but I thought I'd share anyway because I know I'd find it interesting if someone else posted similar!!

If anyone has any questions that the internet might not be able to answer (ergonomics etc) or wants to poke fun at me for rambling on, fire away.


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