I think Swingman has mentioned a time or two getting the bigger Domino.
I think for a furniture and cabinet builder that the 500 is perfect.
While the big one would be nice to have, I seriously doubt that a
furniture/cabinet maker would ever need more than the 500.
The Domino makes quality builds a dream come true with its accuracy and
lightning speed compared to conventional machinery like a mortiser.
I am convened that a woodworker that is serious about building quality
furniture that the Domino is an answer to many how do I do it questions.
In Clark's case he has a particular need and the 700 could possibly be
"the answer" if "he" can make it work. IMHO if he could make it work
the 700 would be used much more in future projects than a mortiser.
That was exactly my point. Unless you're a door-maker or
butcher-block maker (are there any of those?) I don't see the need for
the 700. Maybe if you want to build a house without nails... ;-)
The 500 is probably the slickest tool around, though.
Near as I can tell, there is one thing that the 500 will do that the 700
will not--the 500 has an extra width setting (its settings are an exact
fit, 6mm wider, and 10mm wider, the XL only does the exact and 6, not
the 10). I thought this would matter but there aren't wider tenons to
take advantage of it near as I can tell and cutting wider seems pretty
easy anyway. That makes the 700 a very easy decision and at this point
I'm leaning in that direction. In fact I'm leaning pretty hard in that
direction. I'd be making storm windows with it right now if I hadn't
found out when I got to Woodcraft that I had FORGOTTEN MY DARNED
WALLET!!! Turns out that that Festool even has instructions in the user
manual for using it with coped sash.
The wider cut than exact fit is NOT for wider tenons, it is to allow
wiggle room and in so much that I never use the widest setting, the
"just" wider than exact fit works well.
I'm not sure if you saw my comment about using exact fit on one side of
the joint and the wider cut for the opposite side but that certainly
makes life easier. I doubt you will ever see any loss of strength by
using the wider mortise cut for all of your joint unions.
That makes the 700 a very easy decision and at this point
Turns out that that Festool even has instructions in the user
And one last thing, when at all possible, which is most of the time, do
not use the bottom of the Domino as the reference to a work surface, use
the fence on the material. If you use the bottom and the material is
warped/bowed or has any debris under it, it will not set flat on the
work surface and your mortises will be cut too low.
This goes for biscuit cutters too.
Since I use a Multi-Router for floating tenon joiner and I make all my
tenons myself, begs a question:
If the need arose is there any reason you can't cut a wider mortise with
the domino (say one and a half or two passes) and make your own tenons?
The internet abounds with method of making your own dominos. Google
"DIY domino tenons".
If you're picky about fit and doing it in volume the roundover on the
edges can be an issue--in principle it's easy with a router and a
roundover bit, in practice try to find a 7mm radius roundover bit in the
This table was posted on the Festool forum by Gregg Mann:
5mm-use 3/32 rad. (If you can find them in each case)
Others just chamfer the ends, use a block plane, sand them, or even use
I susspect that somebody would do well producing a purpose made set of
bits to cut dominos.
I considered making my own 8 years ago when, like you, I was doing tons or
research. But after considering how many domino tenons I was using I
decided that they were not cost prohibitive. My time is more valuable than
the cost of the tenons. While the larger tenons are more expensive you
will likely, in the long run, use more of the less expensive tenons. Now
I realize that you mat not use any 5mm tenons but those are on par with
large biscuits when bought in case quantities. Plus all Domino tenons have
small impressions on both sides to retain glue while you tap them in.
It is relatively easy to make a tenons but not so much, precisely sized. A
little to thin and alignment problems on mating pieces show up. The
question to ask is, do you want to spend time building or maker tenons?
I wonder how long and at what cost 6,000 5mm tenons and materials and
router bits would cost me? Buying pre made has cost me between $225-$250
over 8 years.
That's why I usually buy from Highland. It's "local" (but free
shipping for Festool, I think) and they stock everything green (and a
whole lot more)[*]. They make Woodcraft look sick, though I did go to
a really nice Woodcraft in Columbus, OH.
[*] They've had a lot of trouble keeping Lie Nielson in inventory,
though. Been getting sold out within a week after they receive it.
Well, got no more excuses. Dropped the hammer on the XL tonight and the
8-10mm tenon package. Also an impulse buy--confronted with $160 for the
magic vacuum hose that actually fits the thing and connects it to a
regular shop vac, or $495 for a Festool vac, I went for the vac. Yeah,
the green guys saw _me_ coming.
So hope to have the first of the storm windows together this weekend.
Once all the storms are done then I can start on the primary windows.
Looks like I won't need screens for a while.
A Festool dust extractor has made me just as much in cleanup, and thus
saved time, as the tools that will attach to it.
Not unusual, when I leave it on a remodel where the house remains
occupied, for a client to ask if they can use it overnight. It was a
tossup at first, but now glad I bought all its vacuum cleaner type
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