The price compares to a Lamello biscuit joiner both about $700.
As a hobbiest woodwoker time is my biggest challenge, if this tool
saves me just 2 hrs on each project then the cost pays for itself in
no time. Where as a professional has to be able to recoup part of the
cost then the price may not be worth it.
The ability to take the $660 tool to the wood unlike a $3000 multi-
router is were I think this tool really shines.
FYI McFeely's is selling smaller batches of the dominos.
Also what's to prevent someone from making their own tenons. As for
the radius of the mortises its the same as the cutter.
For me the joint cutting is the time consuming and tedious part of
building a piece of furniture. I can sort of mindlessly square and
smooth the pieces to be used in the furniture. But when it comes to
actually getting the pieces together, that is where the important part
happens. I've spent lots of time setting up routers and drill presses
to cut mortises. And table saws with dado blades to cut tenons. And
shoulder planes to fit. I think the Domino can eliminate this time
consuming and tedious portion of furniture building so all you are
left with is the pleasant part of making the individual pieces. I
find the piece making sort of pleasant. Still have the finishing to
make better and easier.
How much is it worth to cut out the difficult part of furniture
making? But still have good, solid, strong, nice mortise and tenon
jionts holding your nice piece of furniture together? I don't and
won't use bisuict or pocket screws to hold my nice pieces of furniture
together. The joints. I use biscuits for gluing together panels.
Mortise and tenon or dovetails are the only ones I like and use on
nice pieces of furniture.
You will still spend time making the piece of furniture. But it will
all be productive time. No minutes and hours setting up and getting
out and putting away routers and jigs to cut mortises. No putting the
dado blade on the saw and test cutting to get the height just right
for the tenon. This is not productive woodworking time. I get no joy
out of setting up machines and doing test cuts. I want to do the real
cuts. How much is it worth to eliminate all of the wasted setup time
from your furniture making? My shop time is about 90% waste time
now. If I could get that down to just 50% waste time, I would be much
more productive. And I get some joy out of actually making a piece of
As Renowood says below, I think the hobbyist will benefit and
appreciate the Domino the most. Hobby furniture making will be more
fun, enjoyable, productive.
I have and occassionally use my cheap screaming shop vac. Only with
ear plugs. It will work just fine with the Domino and some duct tape
to hook up the hose. Actually none of my tools are loud since I
always wear hearing protection. So I get no real benefit from the
quiet shop vacs because my hearing protection reduces the sound level
on all of them to easily tolerable.
Putting out an additional $250-$300 for a good and quiet
True. A trestle table and I would use big tenons and mortises and not
be able to use the Domino. But I only plan to make about 1 trestle
table in my life. Most big furniture is really a collection of
smaller modules. Huge entertainment centers and bookcases are usually
3 or 4 pieces screwed together. Its hard to move from house to house
huge pieces of furniture. For the few times in your life you make
huge furniture, then you will have to come up with another way. But
for the 99.99% of the other times, the Domino may be just perfect.
When I buy stuff I try to get the thing appropriate for 99% of the
time and cross the 1% bridge when I get to it. Kind of like the
people who buy Hummer vehicles to commute in rush hour from their
suburban home in San Diego to their downtown office. When the
blizzard hits, they will be ready. But for the 99.999999999999999% of
the non blizzard days in San Diego, its not a good choice.
If your work requires you to make huge furniture a majority of the
time, then the Domino probably is not for you. Most people's work do
not require them to make huge furniture more than once or twice a
How many big jobs are there that you do? Trestle table, not for the
Domino. Headboard? I think the Domino would be fine for this since a
headboard does not move. For most folks anyway. Bedroom drawer
chests are big but the joinery of the casework is easily handled by
the Domino. End tables, Domino. Couch, maybe not for the Domino.
Entertainment centers and bookcases are many modules hooked together
to form a big piece. Just casework mainly. Domino would be
appropriate. Coffee table and benches, Domino would work. Smaller
tables, Domino would work. Chairs, Domino should work. I'd say 95%
of thee furniture in a house would easily be handled with the sort of
small loose tenons the Domino uses. Entry doors of solid wood, the
Domino would not be my choice.
But an addition that can do the job of almost all of the other tools
so much faster and easier. I don't think the rest of the collection
would get much use except for the rare instance of extra large or
extra small work where the Domino is not appropriate.
The tool certainly has it's place and I would love to have one. But the
price is the problem. I make mortise and tennons but most often cut the
mortises with a dedicated mortiser and cut the tennons on the router table.
It really has become a pretty quick operation for me.
It's all relative. For some the slow detailed work it the part that they
appreciate about woodworking. With practice and experience mortice and
tennons go pretty quickly although not as quickly as using the Domino where
the Domino can do an equal job.
The BIGGEST plus of using loose tenon joinery, IME:
__The ability to BATCH cut your cut list to ACTUAL project dimensions__
This makes for speed and goes a looooong way to guaranteeing SQUARE ... the
latter being the holy grail of the smart cabinetmaker.
Any tool that can help with both is worth the investment for those who take
in paying woodworking jobs.
I used to hate shopvacs. I got one of the newer Rigid ones with noise
reduction and now I actually use it. Obviously, it's not totally
quiet, but you can actually use it without feeling the need for
I think it was around $60 after a rebate.. Maybe the original price
was $80.. Might be worth looking into. I actually like this shopvac.
I'd have to see it to believe it. A Festool dealer carrying the whole
line of tools you can walk in and buy off the rack? All of them. Not
just one or two of the tools such as a sander like the Rotex or 5" or
6" ROS. Does your dealer carry all three routers in stock and on the
shelf? Rotex and 5" and 6" ROS? All 3 or 4 or 5 shop vacs? Mini,
22, 33, etc.? Both saws, 55 and 75? Both jigsaws, barrel and top
handle? All sizes of guide rails for the saws and routers? Both MFT,
880 and 1080?
Does your Festool dealer stock them like PC or Bosch or DeWalt or
Milwaukee or Makita tools?
Couple years ago a local big store had a grand opening and two Festool
reps were there with almost all of the tools. But it was still test
them and place an order. Not buy them and take them home right there
and then. The local store has most/many of the tools on site for
testing all the time.
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