The Woodcraft catalog came in today with quite the interesting new jig
on the cover:
Looks like sort of a long shanked end mill that you stick in a drill,
then the jig has a guide bushing inside of a bearing and a crank to
move the whole shebang back and forth.
I knew something like this would be coming, but I was expecting it to
use a trim router not a drill.
I would like to see some video of it in action. Making it a jig instead of
a motorized unit certainly saved some money. I just wonder how strong it is
when you start applying a sideways stress on a drill bit, even if it is in a
bushing. But a drill is easier to handly in many different positions than a
I keep thinking of the beadlock system. This is kind of like that, but
instead of drilling individual holes, you drill a very wide hole for the
I don't know if it is a direct competitor for the Domino. But it si
definitely another loose tenon system. The more the merrier as far as I am
Me too, I wonder how awkward it is, and you need to control the depth
yourself other than the collar on the bit. I presume you don't go all
the way in and then sideways but go in a bit, sideways, in a bit,
sideways, and you'd have to do that on your own.
The prefab tenon stock is 1-1/8" for the 1/4" size, so 9/16ths deep
which isn't a lot, and a bit shorter than the Domino if my metric
conversions are right. When you think about it, it may get the guide
bushing closer to the work than you could get the collet with a router
Yup. I think it's competition in the sense that it makes the same
type of mortise, and it accomplishes it in a similar but less slick
manner. I also think there's more of this type of thing on the way,
this is just the first shot across the bow.
Slot mortising machines have been around for many
Swingman even has one...(more modern version)
and a "oldie" http://www.owwm.com/photoindex/detail.aspx?ids1
and a real scary looking dude
I have bought Jessem products and they make some nice
The "special" drill bits look like a common end mill.
I don't know about it being a direct competitor. With the Domino you
can literally just push it against a surface (like a biscuit machine)
and it will cut a slot. So that means you can just about cut a slot
wherever you can get the machine.
I am thinking here of curved table legs, long unwieldy pieces of
lumber, and such that would make it difficult to attach a jig. Since
you can pick the Domino up off the table and cut a slot in a few
seconds using a simple pencil mark as your guide, I am not seeing the
flexibility you get the green machine.
I would think this would be closer to the Multirouter than the Domino.
Imagine trying to get a regular mortising machine into position to
mortise the ends of a 6' long table top support (the valance)
connecting two legs into your mortising machine to mortise the ENDS.
How would you do that?
To connect furniture parts on an uneven surface such as a seat "hoop"
to slanted legs. How would you get the hoop into the mortise machine?
I am looking at that and just wonder if that is the route you choose
for loose M&T, you might be better off building your own. Maybe
not... I am not familiar with this new offering.
Like many, I will be interested to read the results of the tests.
It's a guarantee that the Domino would give much faster operation with a
minimum of effort. However, considering the difference in cost, a little
extra time for operation and marking would seem a very reasonable trade-off
when using the JessEm just as long as it really does give essentially the
same quality of joinery.
Let's face it, there can't be too many home woodworkers, even advanced ones
who'd truly benefit day in and day out by having device that's as capable as
the Domino. The JessEm likely has a ready and willing market since the
Domino has opened the eyes of many when it comes to loose tenon joinery. But
again, only if it gives the same quality.
Not with this thing.
The biggest hurdle the DOMINO has, aside from its "heart stopping
price tag" of course, is getting acrossed HOW it does what it does
so easily, accurately, quickly and well - and WHY. To appreciate
the DOMINO you almost have to have done loose tenon mortises
- on a few actual projects - with at least one of each of the "other"
jig/tool/machines to which the DOMINO is being compared - before
trying the DOMINO - on a real project.
I started doing M&T joints with a mallet, chisel and handsaw (ok
so I also used some bench chisels and a shoulder plane). And I used
the horizontal boring/mortiser on my X31 combination machine.
Then I got the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System with router
table and used it to do M&T joints. Then I got the General
International 75-075M tilting head, XY table chisel and bit
mortiser and used it before "discovering" loose tenon M&T joinery.
I made a router jig to cut mortises for loose tenons and then bought
the TREND M&T JIG and used it.
All along the way I noted all the layout, alignment, stops setting
and clamping "challenges" - with their corresponding "opportunities"
- to screw something up. YES - I COULD cut mortises for loose
tenons, and yes, I could make joints that fit well - and where I
wanted them. BUT the time and effort involved and the attention
to all the details was still a hassle. I didn't want to have to draw
a bunch of layout lines, do a lot of set ups, keep track of how
parts needed to be manipulated to accomodate the jig or machine
or mess with figuring out how to secure a part to the jig or machine
with clamps that often had to be taken off and remounted in
a different orientation or position.
What the DOMINO does is what I'd been searching for.
I'm in the Buy Once, Cry Once camp. And had the DOMINO been
available earlier in my woodworking journey - I'd have saved a LOT
of time, effort and grief - and some money.
Yes, this thing will cut mortises for loose tenon M&T joints.
That's where the comparison to the DOMINO ends.
If Festool took a page out of WoodMizer's play book, they'd
compile a list of DOMINO owners who'd be more than happy
to demonstrate the DOMINO for prospective buyers 'cause
once you've used it you'll want one - and start squirrelling
away the money for it.
Sure, you're right about all of that. Minimum setup, you can draw one line
and line up the Domino for it's cut. Same as a biscuit joiner except that we
want loose tenons not biscuits. At what point do you decide the Domino is
worth the cost? What if this new jig will do the same thing with only two
layout lines? Still spend the money on the Domino? Maybe. There will come a
point where the decision about what to what to buy might become
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