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Loose tenon wood species

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Forum topic by Derrick posted 07-30-2021 05:35 AM 518 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Derrick

250 posts in 2354 days


07-30-2021 05:35 AM

I recently picked up a Domino joiner and I’ve been trying to learn as much as possible about it before I put it to work.

I’ve been looking into making my own dominos. Not because of price of buying them, but more so because I have a seemingly endless supply of hardwood offcuts. A local cabinet shop, puts out their offcuts for the public to grab as much as they want, as long as we keep things tidy. It’s a big outfit, so their carts are full every week.

On good days, I’ve picked up walnut, Purple Heart, white & red oak. Normally they have tons of poplar, that I always pass on.

I’m wondering if poplar would be good, if I was only using the dominos for alignment? I don’t think I’d bother for anything structural. I’m not worried about speedy production or anything like that. I’m just thinking of how I can make better use of this free lumber that is plentiful and always available. This place is in my normal route, so I swing by a couple times a week to see what they have.


34 replies so far

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LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#1 posted 07-30-2021 06:36 AM


... I’m not worried about speedy production or anything like that. I’m just thinking of how I can make better use of this free lumber that is plentiful and always available…
- Derrick

Put a realistic hourly rate on your time Derrick and I’d consider the time it takes to make your own dominos vs purchase… You’d probably be better off using those free offcuts for some fancy cutting boards, intarsia or pen turning, just for a start.

If only dominos were visible… then maybe some featured purple heart… but…?

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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Derrick

250 posts in 2354 days


#2 posted 07-30-2021 06:53 AM


... I’m not worried about speedy production or anything like that. I’m just thinking of how I can make better use of this free lumber that is plentiful and always available…
- Derrick

Put a realistic hourly rate on your time Derrick and I d consider the time it takes to make your own dominos vs purchase… You d probably be better off using those free offcuts for some fancy cutting boards, intarsia or pen turning, just for a start.

If only dominos were visible… then maybe some featured purple heart… but…?

- LittleBlackDuck

I get your point on that. At this point in the hobby my time isn’t worth much of anything. There is no money to be made or anything like that. I just pick fun projects around the house and go from there. The occasional project at the in-laws or my own parents pops up every now and again, but nothing more than that. If the day ever comes where time/money/etc factor in to a project, I’ll reassess.

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LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#3 posted 07-30-2021 07:46 AM



I get your point on that. At this point in the hobby my time isn’t worth much of anything. There is no money to be made or anything like that. I just pick fun projects around the house and go from there. The occasional project at the in-laws or my own parents pops up every now and again, but nothing more than that. If the day ever comes where time/money/etc factor in to a project, I’ll reassess.
- Derrick
Der’, believe me, making your own dominos is not a fun project… even if you have nothing to do. BTDT… not to save money but I also thought it’d be a neat thing to do.
I screwed up some tenons using my Leigh FMT,

and thought, I can make dominos on demand,

(out of hardwood, not pine).
I might not give you good woodworking technical advice, but believe me on this one.

Regardless of your situation, put a nominal hourly rate on your time and always factor that into any decisions you make about projects regardless of workloads… I’ve seen (heard of) people take days to make a new component because they were too tight to pay $15 for a replacement part that they urgently needed to meet a deadline for an important project.. bet you think I’m joking… NOT!. Even sweat labour pays more than $15 for 2 days work.

You want a fun project… make something using the Domino’s knokdown hardware and save me the hassle of getting off my rrrs to write a review.


...my time isn’t worth much of anything…
- Derrick

That is utter bullshit. I had that attitude in my youth, and wasted a lot of time… Took me a while to realise my time left on this earth is my most valuable commodity… I may waste my time drinking, but $10 for a cheap cask of vino, I factor in $100 for 2 hour wasted time drinking… $110 thank you!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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StevoWevo

28 posts in 65 days


#4 posted 07-30-2021 09:52 AM

I roll my own on occasion. I made some from cypress about two months ago for a storm shutters project. I didn’t know if the beech ones would be ok for an outside project. Rip, rip, planer, router table, chop chop chop chop chop till ya puke. Didn’t seem overly time consuming for the amount I needed but not something I’d want to deal with for every domino project.

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Fred Hargis

7197 posts in 3709 days


#5 posted 07-30-2021 10:23 AM

I make my own, especially for the larger sizes (the 14Mm tenons cost almost $1 each last time I looked). On a few I didn’t even bother to round over the edges, just make them squareish and they seem to work fine. That said, for the smaller sizes the next time I buy some it will be from Taylor Toolworks have some of the smaller sizes in an aftermarket brand that are less expensive. The small ones (to me) are much harder to make.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5743 posts in 2438 days


#6 posted 07-30-2021 01:33 PM

I, being a registered cheap a$$, make my own dominos.

I plane/drum sand the stock down to thickness then round the corners on the router table with the appropriate round nose bit:

3/8” gets the radius close enough to the 10mm slots rounded ends, but plenty of 10mm or what ever size cutter you slot with half round bits available for the perfectionist.
If I don’t really care about ultimate strength (shop projects, etc.) I’ll just leave the edges square like Fred mentions

I believe the Festool’s are made from beech, but I’ll use whatever I have handy, including poplar which is strong and mills up easily.

There are uses for exotic wood dominos, there is a fella who makes closet build-ins and uses dominos for everything, including attaching drawer sides to the drawer fronts. He makes through cuts on the faces and slips the dominoes in until they are flush, nice contrast effect.

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Derrick

250 posts in 2354 days


#7 posted 07-30-2021 01:43 PM

Well,

I was really just worried about poplar as being a viable candidate or not, but I’m walking away with WAY more knowledge than anticipated.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this topic!!

View Ed Weber's profile

Ed Weber

74 posts in 98 days


#8 posted 07-30-2021 01:56 PM

If you’re only using them for alignment, poplar will be fine, you just don’t want to go too soft.
Making your own, a bull nose cutter is the easiest IMO
Standard Domino’s are made of beech, I don’t know what exact species

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7197 posts in 3709 days


#9 posted 07-30-2021 03:38 PM


Well,

I was really just worried about poplar as being a viable candidate or not,

- Derrick

Oops, forgot that was the question when I replied. Remember the forces the tenon will take is shear across the grain, and tension with the grain. In either case I think the poplar will be more than sufficient. You don’t need the strongest joint possible, just one strong enough to do the job…and poplar would be plenty for that except for maybe the smallest tenons.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

470 posts in 1175 days


#10 posted 07-30-2021 03:42 PM

Poplar works fine.

Making your own is relatively quick. I could likely make a few thousand in a hour or so.

View brtech's profile

brtech

1163 posts in 4138 days


#11 posted 07-30-2021 04:21 PM

The regular dominos are beech. They have outdoor tenons that are made of SIPO Mahogony. Woodpeckers is making stock in Beech and Oak and promises more species eventually. Once you get the hang of it, I think you will find that you use it in nearly every project. It’s so fast and easy to get a strong joint with nearly perfect alignment, that it’s hard to imagine using anything else. Dovetails, box joints and hand chopped MT excepted, of course :)

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8656 posts in 1790 days


#12 posted 07-30-2021 08:35 PM

I have been getting mine from Taylor Tools who is selling Domino’s and also a few brands of cutters, all well below Green $$$$$ prices.

https://taytools.com/collections/hardware-joinery/products/taytools-100-pack-10mm-50mm-24mm-beechwood-loose-tenons

They work just fine too.

As to looking, STOP NOW. Start using the darn thing, you will learn, and retain much faster. Just join scrap if you need to do something. Fastest way to learn any tool, no difference there either.

-- Think safe, be safe

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xedos

414 posts in 516 days


#13 posted 07-30-2021 09:05 PM

Poplar will be fine for alignment. It’s fairly stable. But I’d question why not just use a biscuit which is faster, easier and cheaper. Win,win,win.

I buy some it will be from Taylor Toolworks have some of the smaller sizes in an aftermarket brand that are less expensive.

Taytools is a good source, but their dominos aren’t really much cheaper that the orig. ones at the end of the day. In some scenarios they are more money. So, unless you’re using them everyday by the gross, there’s little incentive in my view. Even then, you’d be better off finding an alternative method of joinery that would be more efficient.

View Derrick's profile

Derrick

250 posts in 2354 days


#14 posted 07-31-2021 01:28 AM

It’s good to know that poplar is good for at a minimum, alignment. I’ve got access to a ton of it. Now I know what I can use it for. I’ll play around with things.
If/when I decide to just buy them and forget about making my own, Taylor Tools looks to be a good source. I found D Chenney as well. https://dchenney.com/shop/ols/products/14mm-loose-tenons. Lots of options.
Thanks for all the ideas!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#15 posted 07-31-2021 02:01 AM


Poplar works fine.

Making your own is relatively quick. I could likely make a few thousand in a hour or so.

- Jared S


Sorry Jarred S, Is that a power feeder and some heavy machinery you’ve invested in to make some dominos?

Not trying to be critical, however, I feel that my point of simply making dominos is not necessarily... simple, quick and cheap!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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