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The wonder of the domino

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LBCarpentry

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I can’t praise this machine enough. If it broke tomorrow I’d buy another one in an instant. Other than amazing for jointing all sorts of timbery things, we use it loads for cutting in deadlocks & sash locks in doors.

And today I used it for precision morticing of 3 solid oak newels for a set of stairs. Took 20 mins to mortice the lot which is quicker then a morticer and I know it’s bang on central because I referenced off both sides.

Just simply an amazingly useful bit of kit

That’s all, thanks

Louis
 

DBT85

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I look forward to eventually receiving mine! I placed an order for one at the start of October and its still not arrived due to the delays getting a lot of things at the moment.

I'm sure others have used it in the way you just have, but the only useage I've ever seen in videos is just making normal domino holes.
 

RogerS

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I agree they are very handy, once you have one you just find uses for it. There is a number of excellent add ons to make it even better and easier. I was looking at this thing. Domino Alignment Jig System (DAJ) Deluxe | FC Tools its a bit expensive but looks great.

Ollie
Curious. Why would one need that jig ?

Louis...thanks for those alternative use suggestions. Kicking myself for not thinking about them for myself.
 

DBT85

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Louis out of interest did you do the full depth in the first pass or did you do it in multiple passes like you would a normal router?

EDIt: scrub that, you obviously had to do multiple plunges along the length of the mortice, not slide the domino along the mortice.
 
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Ollie78

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Just for very quick accurate use, I have the normal cross stop with the pins but find it a little flimsy and awkward sometimes. Its unnecessary I agree.

Ollie
 

LBCarpentry

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Think of it as a mobile morticer that can create many
Louis out of interest did you do the full depth in the first pass or did you do it in multiple passes like you would a normal router?

EDIt: scrub that, you obviously had to do multiple plunges along the length of the mortice, not slide the domino along the mortice.
One pass. Bosh and straight in without issue. Even with an old cutter and on the “wide” setting. The thing is a beast!
 

LBCarpentry

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EDIt: scrub that, you obviously had to do multiple plunges along the length of the mortice, not slide the domino along the mortice.
Ah I see! Yes plunge and move it’s the domino groove

Louis
 

Doug71

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I have said it before but I do think the Domino XL is probably the best designed tool out there when you take in to account ease of use, what it can do and the fact there is nothing else like it available.

I remember that lightbulb moment when I suddenly realised I could use it for fitting sash locks 🧐 💡 🤩
 

pcb1962

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Curious. Why would one need that jig ?
To save you drawing a few pencil lines?
There seems to be a sizeable industry built up around Domino and track saw accessories designed to part gullible people from large amounts of cash.
Always amuses me that these accessories are invariably made from 'aircraft grade aluminium', as if a piece of bog standard 6061 wouldn't be perfectly adequate.
 

DBT85

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Not to mention all the aircraft are composite now so it's all going cheap!

I'm joking

I guess if you have to make a ton of joints at the same place, that jig is worth it. For doing 6 its probably overkill.
 

NewbieRaf

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This leads to the age old question DF 500 or the 700 XL haha? @LBCarpentry what are your thoughts. I’m waiting for the DF500 just because it’s not a monster. Having said that you’ve got me thinking again as I always like to pay extra to future proof myself. I usually don’t go beyond 18mm boards but the Mrs is now I’m about a front door canopy.

Thoughts? And sorry to open that old chestnut again haha
 

AJB Temple

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This leads to the age old question DF 500 or the 700 XL haha? @LBCarpentry what are your thoughts. I’m waiting for the DF500 just because it’s not a monster. Having said that you’ve got me thinking again as I always like to pay extra to future proof myself. I usually don’t go beyond 18mm boards but the Mrs is now I’m about a front door canopy.

Thoughts? And sorry to open that old chestnut again haha
This to me is quite simple. The small one is the best bet for cabinetry. The large one is better for full size doors and quite large framing joints. However, if you are only doing a couple of doors the large one is not justified as you may as well save the cash and make M&Ts by hand.

I had both but sold the large one as I simply didn't use it and for my work I preferred trad joints on bigger pieces. The small one I use frequently. In fact it will be in action today to make some loft door frames.
 

custard

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I agree that the Domino can be a very useful machine, I use both the 500 and 700 in my workshop and I wouldn't be without either of them.

But a lot of the Domino lust that I sense on this forum isn't entirely justified. Because the Domino has some important limitations that don't get the publicity they deserve, and there are plenty of alternative methods of getting the same job done. After all lots of amazing furniture was being produced before the Domino was even a twinkle in Festool's eye!

The Domino gives you a decent amount of flexibility around the depth of the mortice, a bit less flexibility around the width of the mortice, but the thickness of the tenon is very, very limited. Consequently to get the best out of the Domino you need to design your furniture around the restrictions of the machine. That's something I really dislike, both for the limitations it places on my designs, but also because it ends up with everyone's furniture looking a bit "samey".

Before the Domino we would often use a router to cut a loose tenons, most craftsmen over a certain age will fondly remember the ingenious jigs we all constructed for the purpose! And I still regularly use a router for the same job today, taking advantage of the huge variety of cutters that are available and the inherently handier nature of a router. For the really complex, compound angled loose tenons, or those cut in curved components (and most jointed chairs for example will usually feature joinery like this) a Domino rarely provides the flexibility required, but it's often the humble dowel that comes to the rescue. Likewise, for many mitres I'd rather use a biscuit than a Domino, as the rugby ball shape often gets support further out to the very edges, preventing the joint opening up in future years.

I'm not having a go at the Domino, as I said I use two of them, just pointing out that it's far from a silver bullet solution for all your joinery needs. Consequently the hobbyist, especially one with limitations on space or budget, should look beyond the hype before deciding if it's a tool they should invest in.
 

LBCarpentry

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This leads to the age old question DF 500 or the 700 XL haha?
If your doing cabinetry then 500. Without a doubt. I use my 500 a lot more than the bigger.

Of course they have limitations but doesn’t everything? I think the idea of a hobbyist purchasing a domino is a bit ridiculous.

Depth of cut is 70mm for whoever asked

Didn’t intend to start an argument. Just sharing my love for what is essentially a hand held mobile mortice and tennon machine that can be adapted For other tasks and is accurate and fast. Impressive in my opinion. 👍

Louis
 

DBT85

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Of course they have limitations but doesn’t everything? I think the idea of a hobbyist purchasing a domino is a bit ridiculous.
It's one of the few tools you can get most of your money back on if you sell it on, and all I hear is that you find new uses for it when you on one and that it's very fast for lots of jobs. When the time you get in a workshop is limited I get why people want one, especially as you can get most of that money back if you want to.
 

Benchwayze

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There are plenty of 'utility' style dining chairs still around and in good order. Now pushing 70-80 years. Most of these chairs were jointed with 3/8" dowels. If you like the style they are simple to repair/renovate and a single painted example looks well in a porch.

John
 

AJB Temple

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I think Custard has made good points here. As I think I said before I do have and use a Domino 500. I used it yesterday in fact to make some loft hatches where I wanted 100mm insulation filled frames on the inside. I would not use it for fine quality work, but that is partly because if I spend the time to make something of high quality with expensive materials, I like to do "proper" joints.

My Domino was bought second hand from a tool collector type, and it's second hand value has gone up. This is a bit bizarre really but the current fetish for Festool gear generally is partly responsible.

I don't have a biscuit jointer as I an just an amateur, and I don't have a dowel system either. What I like about the Domino is the ease of achieving great accuracy.
 
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