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Festool Domino

by reggiek
posted 07-11-2009 07:24 PM


35 replies so far

View Timbot's profile

Timbot

25 posts in 3805 days


#1 posted 07-11-2009 07:46 PM

From the looks of it, the Festool Domino seems like a fantastic luxury tool. As long as the price isn’t as extravagant as it is brand new, I’d probably go for it. The way I weigh the benefit of a tool that I might purchase is to think about how often it’ll be out of it’s case.

-- Timbot, So Cal

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4663 days


#2 posted 07-11-2009 07:46 PM

The biscuit joiner and Domino are two machines that seem similar but create distinctly different joints for different purposes.

The Domino machine cuts mortises and the Dominos are floating tenons.

Biscuits are not tenons. They are used for alignment when glueing up panels.

I have the Domino and it is an expensive machine. But I cannot make mortise and tenons as fast with any other tools as the Domino.

The Domino is an accurate, easy, and fast machine for creating joinery. I feel like it helps me make money every time that I use it.

But the most important thing to remember is that biscuits and dominos are two distinctly different types of joinery and should be used appropriately to create projects that will last.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 3834 days


#3 posted 07-11-2009 08:02 PM

Good info so far. I had never considered buying a Domino before as the cost for one is rediculous (IMHO). I only recently purchased a festool brand – track saw. I have nothing but praise for the saw so far but I still consider the festool brand way overpriced. I was curious when the guy said that he didn’t find the Domino tool “useful” and I agree that the dominoes appear as small tenons….

I only consider this as he is willing to take a lot less then he paid because he wants to get a table top mortiser. I was thinking that this might be a quicker way to join some items without having to set up a table saw, drill press and chisel set to make a set of mortise and tenons. A lot of projects I consider seem to use these joints….and it seems that I make a lot of them from time to time.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4663 days


#4 posted 07-11-2009 08:39 PM

If you build furniture, then you most likely need M&T joinery. This is the ticket!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Roper's profile

Roper

1389 posts in 4277 days


#5 posted 07-11-2009 08:52 PM

if you don’t need it let me know and i will buy it off you for what you pay for it.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

View Chiefk's profile

Chiefk

163 posts in 4335 days


#6 posted 07-11-2009 09:25 PM

I have a domino. I used to use my Kreg Pocket Hole jig a lot, but since I got the domino, I find I use the pocket hole jig much less. I recommend buying it, if you decide you don’t want it, you shouldn’t have any trouble selling it. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117793 posts in 4141 days


#7 posted 07-12-2009 02:56 AM

I don’t like being a spoil sport but I read a article about what joints were the strongest and domino rated far below M&T and just above dowels which are only a little better than a butt joint. I Know its an innovative tool but if it’s joints are not strong whats the point. Spend your money on a table or free staining mortiser.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 4045 days


#8 posted 07-12-2009 03:12 AM

The Domino is nice. I don’t know if it justifies the expense of the machine (I didn’t pay for the one at my shop) It works well in a place were a biscuit slot would be to wide and hold quite strong. If I had the choice, I’d have both a Domino and a biscuit joiner. My big issue with the Domino is the expendables, the Dominos them selves seem kind of pricey to me to replace a biscuit joiner, in my opinion.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View doyoulikegumwood's profile

doyoulikegumwood

384 posts in 4556 days


#9 posted 07-12-2009 03:37 AM

here’s my 2 cents on this i don’t have one but my tool seller loans out tools that you are thinking about buying i also read the article that jim read. imho the tool is ridiculously priced but will save tons and tons of time i do plan on buying one after having it in my shop for only 2 days you can use in place of many places you would use a biscuit making a very strong biscuit joint also i used it in place’s i would have use pocket holes it was faster and much stronger i would say it wont replace all of your M&T’s but in places where you normally wouldn’t bother with a M&T this will be far faster then any other joint you could possibly use this includes butt joints”no fooling around trying to line in up and fussing with the clamp to get it right I’m thinking” just my 2 cents i think in the end the machine will pay for it self. also in terms of price on the domino’s them self i don’t see why with a few set ups on a router table and the chop saw why one couldn’t make their own domino’s.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View tomakazi's profile

tomakazi

686 posts in 3846 days


#10 posted 07-12-2009 03:57 AM

I would say that if you are making $ in your shop get it. If it’s just for a hobby, the time you put into a m&t joint is very satisfying.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4663 days


#11 posted 07-12-2009 07:20 AM

I read the same article about joint strength and I still would maintain that the Domino has it’s place. I am discerning about what joints I use where. Using the appropriate joint on a project is just like using the appropriate tool to do a particular task.

Are the machine and the dominos expensive? Yes, and personally I am glad that I spent the money. But everyone should understand that I have different parameters for buying tools as a professional. These parameters are not the same for the hobby woodworker.

I have made my own loose or floating tenons and I would rather just buy them. But once again, my perspective comes from that of a business where time is money.

If it is a good price, I would buy it knowing that you could use it some and still turn around and get your money or most back out of it.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117793 posts in 4141 days


#12 posted 07-12-2009 07:35 AM

Hey Todd
I’m sure you figured out what works and what doesn’t. I thought about a domino and then that joinery test came out and I felt that having a multi router. a tilting head floor model mortiser and a table mount mortiser i was just wanting a new toy. The Domino is more portable but limited to one size were my tools are mostly way to heavy to take any distance but I have not found I need the portability. I’m sure you compensate for the strength issue by carefully selecting what you use the Domino joinery on. Congrats on your new live streaming cast and you resent exposure in wood magazine.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4688 days


#13 posted 07-12-2009 06:04 PM

The Domino is my default “how I put two pieces of wood together” tool, and there’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t attempt without it.

I don’t know which strength test people are referring to, I’ve seen critiques of the Fine Woodworking one that make sense, but I let my online subscription lapse so I can’t double-check. But if you’re concerned about the strength of a joint, I suggest you check out the contemporary Z chair, especially the picture of the three guys standing on the chair.

People complain about the cost, but if I did furniture and cabinetry for a living and wasn’t trying to reproduce a particular style (ie: through tenons, or whatever), I can’t imagine being without it. If you run a commercial shop it’ll pay for itself right fast. If you do this as a hobby, you have to ask if having it in your shop lets you turn out work that gives you enough pleasure to warrant the tool. For me it’s a no-brainer “yes”.

And, yes, like Todd, I also have a biscuit joiner, and it has its place too, but if I could only have one it’d be the Domino and I’d use it for biscuit jointing like tasks.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4663 days


#14 posted 07-12-2009 10:01 PM

I second Dan’s final comment.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117793 posts in 4141 days


#15 posted 07-12-2009 11:14 PM

Hey Guys
In all tool discussions it all boils done to what your use to using and possibly what generation your from ,what television or pod cast you watch an like many things weather your economic situations is so that we can afford what that magic tool is, and what kind of projects you make . There are many ways to skin a cat(who would want to) so if it(whatever it is for you) works for you go for it and enjoy. Most of us don’t buy expensive tools and say what an idiot I was to buy this $$$$ tool and it sure is terrible unless that tool is a total failure all the way around. Just for the record I never said that the Domino was a terrible tool only that I had other alternatives.

View Billbo's profile

Billbo

3 posts in 3833 days


#16 posted 07-12-2009 11:38 PM

If you’ve got the $$ – get it.

I have the Festool Domino – GREAT (but expensive) tool. It makes strong joints accurate and fast.

I’m a hobbyist, but I have limited shop time and the Domino (and other Festools like their plunge saw and sanders) makes my “hobby time” more productive.

Billbo
Smyrna, GA

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4663 days


#17 posted 07-13-2009 02:56 AM

Jim makes a valid point as well.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3850 days


#18 posted 07-13-2009 05:20 PM

While on both sides of the fence, Jim & Todd (and others) have both brought out some very valid points. Tool buying becomes a very personal thing. What works for me might not fit in with your shop, and your way of doing things. Price is always a major consideration. So is versatility. Can you afford the luxury of dedicated tools, or do you need more multi-function tools. I have the Festool Domino, and love it. Can I do without it?—Yes, I did for years. Would I want to give it up now?—-No. Is it overpriced? I don’t know. Festool’s quality is very impressive. Have you priced a Lamello Bisquit Jointer? You can’t compare a Festool to a DeWalt, Freud, Poter Cable, etc. There is no comparison.

Good Luck on you choice.

-- http://shepherdtoolandsupply.com/

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 3834 days


#19 posted 07-13-2009 07:57 PM

Great info here. I spoke with the seller and asked him to let me try a few dominoes on a small set of joints I was making for a jig saw stand. I was impressed by the machine itself. Festool is indead one solid machine from one heck of a manufacturer….just like my track saw…(I am still not sold on their prices though). The machine is quiet, solid and cuts quickly/cleanly. I glued up the joints and am awaiting them to cure as I write this. All in all the tool did as advertised….

I think we all can agree there certainly are many methods to do certain cuts, joints…etc. I am a bit of a perfectionist myself…so I tend to like more manual involvement in my projects…though I am not a purist…machines definitely have a part to play in my shop and they can make difficult work so much easier.

I will post a bit more once I see how the joints turn out…thank you all for your interest and input so far.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4663 days


#20 posted 07-14-2009 06:18 AM

I look forward to seeing if you get it and what you think after using it on a real project.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 3834 days


#21 posted 07-15-2009 03:49 AM

Got home from a miserable job day (105+ degrees in the shade) to inspect the joint made by the Festool domino joiner.

I applied the dominoes in a rectangular frame made from two 2×2 pieces of oak (this will support the table top for my sabre saw stand and hold a small drawer I am putting on it to hold blades and sanding disks (I have a dremel with the circular sander on the side). each piece is butted together at a 90 degree angle and milled flat to insure no gaps -then there is a cross brace through the middle of the longer square. The dominoes are inserted into the ends of a cross member and in the joints between the outside frame

The joints appear stable and very secure. I tried flexing it several ways by hand and with various pressures and was unable to get any significant wobble. I even tried applying all my weight accross the bias and it still held. All in all it is a decent joint though there is some wobble after putting additional weight on it (I set it between two 4×4s and hopped a bit on it – I wasn’t trying to break it)....but I wonder if the glue was overheated during the curing process (it was hotter then hades up here today)....I used PVA on one set of dominos and Polyurethane on the others (just to see if the type of glue made any difference). The PVA seems to be holding better (less wobble) which I would not have guessed…I like the polyurethanes for its ability to foam up the gaps (there wasn’t alot of gap on the domino mortises though).

All in all I’d say it is a nice joint for a quick project but I would probably not recommend it for one that is going to get some flexing and or some significant pressure along the bias…I am now making the same frame using a MT on my table saw/drill press to see whether the domino can compare in that respect.

After that I am left to do some deciding as to whether I will have a lot of use for this tool….I have a few purchases I really want to make to help me fill up the “extra” room in my new shop so it all comes down to whether I think this will get some good use…or just fill space on the shelf.

One last thing though….I have to give credit to Festool….this is a very nicely engineered machine. Quiet and steady with a very clean cut. I did not have to clean the mortises other then blowing them out in order to put in the dominoes….I made them too tight on the first set but then followed the directions to enlarge them enough to fit snugly.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3850 days


#22 posted 07-15-2009 04:20 PM

If you don’t have the Festool Dust Extractor, I would highly recommend it. (I know—-more money)
It does do an incredible job on all their tools though.

Just a thought.

-- http://shepherdtoolandsupply.com/

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 3834 days


#23 posted 07-17-2009 01:44 AM

Update

I decided not to buy the Festool Domino, If anyone is interested pm me and I will pass on the sellers information…Although – I just saw a LJ listing one for sale too.

I just do not see myself using it that much and I also decided to upgrade my lathe instead.

Thanks all for your assistance and advice it was very helpful..

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117793 posts in 4141 days


#24 posted 07-17-2009 05:04 AM

How Much
just kidding

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3850 days


#25 posted 07-17-2009 04:47 PM

Jim, are you already shopping for my Christmas present?

—Just kidding, also

-- http://shepherdtoolandsupply.com/

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117793 posts in 4141 days


#26 posted 07-17-2009 05:08 PM

Hey Kent
I guess you need one for each hand since you have one already. I know your a woodworking dynamo but that I wood like to see . :-)) Just kidding around Bud.

View TerryF's profile

TerryF

5 posts in 3789 days


#27 posted 07-27-2009 01:39 PM

G`Day from down in Australia, its my first post after coming across this forum for the first time (a link to the bridge city kerf jig) I have had the Domino for over 3 years now and its the best machine i own. I just love it to death. Its much more than a tool to join 2 boards together. So far i use it for -

3-way mitres.
Domino drawers
Table button mortiser for table rails.
Breadboard end joining tool. (Perfect for elongated end mortises and the underneath recess for the slotted screw) this machine was made for this traditional join.
Traditional tenons. (not lose tenons, but real ones)
Marking and measuring gauges.
Bench dogs. Domi Dogs :)
Adjustable shelf holes (2 kinds) and matching pin making and/or shelf slotting.
Decorative mitre corner splines (3 kinds so far)
Traditional Dovetail sockets.
Handmade Furniture Cabinet handles.
Door and drawer pulls

Its a real cracker. Get one and let your imagination run free :)

View Schummie's profile

Schummie

203 posts in 4328 days


#28 posted 07-27-2009 02:34 PM

Dear Jim,

do you ever used a Festool Domino for a longer time? When not, than I think you can not tell off the tool
is good or bad.
I think when you use a tool for a longer time, you can tell what is good and what is bad.
And what is by everything, don’t believe everything you read, do first your ohne research.
Off course it has maybe not the best strange, but what is strange, do you need this kind off
strange in furniture.
And off course for everything is a alternative, but maybe there are people who are happy with there Domino.

Jim, I think you want a Festool Domino, I think your jealous ;-) also kidding . . . . . .

Schummie

-- Greetings from the Netherlands.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117793 posts in 4141 days


#29 posted 07-27-2009 04:37 PM

Hey Schummie
Did you ever try a multi router for a longer time? Why Not if you haven’t tried one than I guess you wouldn’t know if its better than a Domino or not. :-)) If you read my comments you’ll see I’m not jealous I just have a tool I feel is better for my use. I the think the Domino is a fine tool . So Have a most wonderful day My friend
I hope all is good with you in you world.
JOY to you and yours.

View Schummie's profile

Schummie

203 posts in 4328 days


#30 posted 07-28-2009 02:49 AM

Dear Jim,

I don’t mentioned a multi router is my post, Jim, I don’t know or a multi router is better, because
I never used it.
Yes, I have a wonderful day and I’m full off joy, thank you for that, I thought you know better.

Schummie.

-- Greetings from the Netherlands.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117793 posts in 4141 days


#31 posted 07-28-2009 03:11 AM

Hey Schunnie
Here’s the post 19 up that I mentioned the Multi router.

Hey Todd
I’m sure you figured out what works and what doesn’t. I thought about a domino and then that joinery test came out and I felt that having a multi router. a tilting head floor model mortiser and a table mount mortiser i was just wanting a new toy. The Domino is more portable but limited to one size were my tools are mostly way to heavy to take any distance but I have not found I need the portability. I’m sure you compensate for the strength issue by carefully selecting what you use the Domino joinery on. Congrats on your new live streaming cast and you resent exposure in wood magazine.

I guess it’s hard to read all of the comments sometimes?

Peace

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4663 days


#32 posted 07-28-2009 03:27 AM

a1Jim – yes, it is difficult to get around to all the comments. I just happened to stumble back across this post.

I have been drooling over the MultiRouter for a long time. I think that it is an awesome machine. Although I have not had the chance to use it in the shop, I did get to try it at a dealer in Ohio. Yep – Loved it!

You are right, I am discretionary with my joinery just as I am the use of any tool. I am not hindered by the joint test though.

I have done some testing on my own in the shop and that was before the published test. I was impressed with how much power it took to destroy the joints and I feel confident about it’s use. I did not use any device to measure the breaking point, just my own body power, clamps, and vise.

I do not feel that most furniture is enduring that kind of stressful abuse. Daily wear over the years exerts a different kind of wear and stress. One of the worst things is probably someone leaning back on a chair.

Anyway, I use it appropriately and I am very happy with it. I have done floating tenons and they are extra labor. The Domino has been fast and reliable so far for it’s intended use.

I will admit tool envy over your Multi Router and someday I will own one;)

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Ken Reed's profile

Ken Reed

156 posts in 3748 days


#33 posted 09-07-2009 08:19 PM

So….what became of the tool? Do you know if it’s still for sale? I’d be interested. I already have one, but a couple of my buddies are looking.

Great tool!

Thanks.

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 3834 days


#34 posted 09-07-2009 08:38 PM

Ken, I contacted him for another LJ a while ago, but he had already traded it. He said the guy who got it might be interested in selling/trading…but he never got back to me with a contact. He was off to visit family in MN so I hadn’t been in touch with him. I sent him an email as soon as I got your message…I will forward you anything he sends to me if the tool is available….From what I have seen….it is very very rare to find these or any other festool being sold second hand…I guess I should have gotten it and could have passed it on to someone here who would want it….I kick myself for the stupidity….I just had so much going on at the time…I didn’t think it through.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View ondablade's profile

ondablade

105 posts in 3762 days


#35 posted 09-08-2009 04:43 AM

Interesting thread, and lots of insightful views guys. I’m in the middle of trying to decide whether to buy a hollow chisel morticer (e.g. Jet/Powermatic 719A) or a Domino with a view to using my router table and/or Woodrat for larger mortices.

The major disadvantage i see with the Domino (other than the price – which gets really hairy when you add in the probably necessary accessories – the price of quite a decent hollow chisel morticer) is the relatively small 10mm of its largest tenon. But against that what flexibility, adaptability and ease of use. Even the smallish tenons i suspect can possibly be got over to a fair degree by cutting slots overlapping end to end or one above the other for larger DIY floating tenons.

I’ve a Woodrat too which i’ve only dabbled with, but am hoping i can use for larger mortices too – especially slots for ply reinforcing in a three way mitre in the end of the leg of a table design i’m playing with. I’ve not figured the details out yet though, but have thoughts that i may be able to run a longish morticing cutter as used in horizontal European (milling) style slot morticers in it.

The big problem with a hollow chisel morticer i can’t seem to get past is that while its excellent for e.g. large square set mortices as on a traditional table, it’s very expensive to get into a tilting morticer (here in Ireland – Jet don’t sell their 90 deg tilting models here or in the UK, and the tilting Multico seems very expensive for what it is), and a fixed table item is not (as far as i can see) well adapted to morticing the end of a longish piece e.g. a leg. Even angled pieces will presumably require angle blocks for packing.

Maybe i’m missing something….

-- Late awakener....

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