(Warning - large rambling post ahead)
One day after watching one too many DIY shows, I decided to get into
woodworking. I built a shop, bought some tools, and can now honestly say
I've experienced the joy of router tear-out. I haven't been at it for
very long, long enough to know you can never have too many clamps, but
not long enough to actually build my own clamp rack. That's going to
take _at least_
two more months.
I have a table saw and a router, plus a variety of portable power tools
(jig saw, sanders etc.). On my list of things to get were a biscuit
joiner and a drill press. The biscuit joiner seems like it would be
really helpful when building furniture - bookcases, cabinets, clamp
racks etc. It would certainly cut down on filling nail- and screw holes.
The drill press would be used for making mortises, among other things.
So I Google for "absolutely the best biscuit joiner for cheap" and
"complete comprehensive review of all biscuit joiners ever made" and
read all 12,235 returned documents. Porter-Cable, DeWalt, all the usual
suspects are there. Emotional arguments about whether PC's Face Frame
biscuits is more important than the DeWalt easy adjustment.
I then come across this thing called a Domino. It's a bird! It's a
plane! It's....well, green. And expensive. It's a Bijolotemo (biscuit
joiner loose tenon mortiser)!
I was intrigued by a comment in one of the reviews. I didn't bookmark
it, but it basically said "Don't let this tool fall into the hands of
novices, because they can do seriously professional stuff with it". I
like the fact that it's more difficult to mess up the "little things".
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I could make some very creative mistakes
with this tool, but it sounds like you have to worry less about having
to make small adjustments because you mis measured by 1/32".
The question is not whether I want this tool. If it was $99, I'd already
have one (and so would you!). Even if it was $399, I'd already have
ordered it. But the kit, with the accessories, cutters and Domino's is a
thousand dollars. That's close to what I've spent on all my other power
tools combined! For that kind of money I can get a good biscuit joiner,
replacement blade, biscuits, (simple) drill press and mortising set,
a few clamps.
There was a point to this story....or a question. Yes, a question. Three
(1) Given that I'm pretty much a complete beginner (Look what I made
tonight honey! Sawdust!), will I get enough value out of this tool?
(2) Domino owners: are your biscuit joiners and mortising tools
gathering (saw)dust now?
(3) Non-domino owners: If your biscuit joiner and mortising tools (MR,
drill press etc.) broke tomorrow, would you be more inclined to get a
I know, I know, these questions are like throwing a grenade into a dust
collection system. Or a homeowner asking a question in alt.hvac. But I
the Domino, I just need some people to tell me it's the right
thing to do.