Author Topic: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues  (Read 5832 times)

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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2020, 09:57 PM »
At 5:33 (your last cut -- #4), you were not using the paddle to register your stock as you did in other cuts!

I did not use the paddles on any plunges as they’re misaligned.  I’m using the plastic cursor which needs slight adjustment also but is much closer than the paddles.  That said, the reference lines were close to the edge and the pin was just on the edge of the wood so it probably looked like I was using it ... good eye!!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 11:54 PM by Bugsysiegals »

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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2020, 09:57 PM »
A weird thought, but are you moving from your shoulder/arm or from your hip?  If you are in fact lifting, you might try letting your body move a little more with the plunge and see if that helps. If you're experimenting, it might be worth trying.

I’m using my wrist and pushing from my elbow/shoulder I guess but not my hips.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2023
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2020, 06:16 AM »
If it was me, I’d return the tool for a new one. My very first cut with the 500 was perfectly aligned vertically and horizontally. Given the cost of a Domino it should be perfect out of the box. When I bought the 700XL the fence was out of alignment. I returned it within 30 days and the new one yielded a perfect cut the first time. My point  is that the Domino should not present the problems you’re having. If you have problems with the second one it’s most likely your technique.
Randy

Offline Mike Goetzke

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2020, 03:27 PM »
I know you checked pieces for square with each other did/could you do this with a true square on a flat reference table like a table saw?

Do you have a dial indicator on a base that you could measure the offset of the surfaces?

I've been using a track saw and table saw for many years and found especially if you don't use use the tools every day you need to make test cuts to make sure the cuts are square.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 565
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2020, 03:38 PM »
I know you checked pieces for square with each other did/could you do this with a true square on a flat reference table like a table saw?

Do you have a dial indicator on a base that you could measure the offset of the surfaces?

I've been using a track saw and table saw for many years and found especially if you don't use use the tools every day you need to make test cuts to make sure the cuts are square.

I assume when you say checking for square you’re referring to my analysis of whether the pieces are flush after joining?  If so, I do have a magnetic dial indicator and can set the pieces on the table saw and use it. Let me know if you meant something else ...

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2020, 04:02 PM »
Suggestion -- One last check (I think you've done enough test cuts):

Lock the fence somewhere in the middle at right angle, check if the bottom side of the fence is parallel to the base of the machine. If it's, something could be wrong of the cutting action itself. Send the machine to Festool for investigation.

Offline Doug S

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2020, 04:20 PM »
I would send it in to be checked.

The whole idea of the Domino is that it is quick and simple to use.

You should be able to just set the height and depth then plunge away without even thinking about it.

I would guess the fact that you are struggling with it means there is something wrong with it.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 565
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2020, 04:33 PM »
I assumed it’s the machine but as somebody else pointed out, since I had the same issue with my DF 700, that it’s likely me ... based on the video, and the slight movement I have, is it me?

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2020, 06:29 PM »
Practical Advice - Return the tool and get a replacement.  Even if it could be racked up to operator usage, after trying for a couple of weeks to work this out you will never have faith in your edition of this tool.

Not dissing you at all.  Just passing on my observations after watching the forum from a different point of view of many.

Peter

Offline Doug S

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2020, 07:12 PM »
Don't know if this will help but you could try a different grip on the Domino.

I have always used mine by holding it around the handle much closer to the front then most people recommend, I wrap my hand around the handle and push with the side of my thumb and forefinger against where the handle stops and the motor housing starts. Feels to me that is how it's designed to be used.

Always used it like this and never had a problem. It was on this site where I first saw people talking about pushing from the very back, when I try that I generally get some vertical movement.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 565
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2020, 07:34 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I’ll exchange it and see what happens. If it’s the same I have to assume it’s me and will try a new grip to minimize vertical movement even more but hope it’s just the tool...

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2020, 09:31 PM »
I see that you are in Wisconsin....wish you could pop into the Woodcraft store in Chattanooga for some play time with your D500 and the store demo one. One technique I noticed was when you were doing the horizontal plunge using the paddles that you would get the machine in place and move it sideways into position. I was taught to approach the edge from an angle and use the pin/paddle as a pivot to position the tool for plunging from the edge....one other thing I noticed from plunge #4 in your video was that it seemed to my old eyes that the right side of the tool had a slight gap between the vertical surface of the tool and the vertical surface of the plywood. Also, were you using tight settings on all four plunges? Usually, when I'm doing a joint with a domino that I want to be flush on one edge, as in the top/bottom and sides of a cabinet front, I will use tight settings based off the reference pins for side plunges and top and bottom plunges. Then for the other plunges I will use tight in one member and middle/loose in the other. For cabinets, for instance the tops and bottoms receive all tight plunges in the "end grain". The sides get a tight plunge for the frontmost mortises and all the rest are middle/loose plunges.

    How is your alignment along the horizontal surface? In any case, best of luck in solving your problems and please let the group know what your resolution is.

Regards,
JC
Festool Leprachaun 8)

Oh yeah, you might want to adopt the Greg Paolini pinch technique for turning on the tool.
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2020, 09:42 PM »
Snip.
 the right side of the tool had a slight gap between the vertical surface of the tool and the vertical surface of the plywood.

    How is your alignment along the horizontal surface? In any case, best of luck in solving your problems and please let the group know what your resolution is.


Even there was a hair gap, it shouldn't affect the "flushness" of the tops -- it'd affect the depth of the mortise only. But if the OP could bring the DF over to your store, that might reveal once and for all if user error or machine defect is the main cause for the problem he experienced. 

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 565
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2020, 11:04 PM »
I see that you are in Wisconsin....wish you could pop into the Woodcraft store in Chattanooga for some play time with your D500 and the store demo one. One technique I noticed was when you were doing the horizontal plunge using the paddles that you would get the machine in place and move it sideways into position. I was taught to approach the edge from an angle and use the pin/paddle as a pivot to position the tool for plunging from the edge....one other thing I noticed from plunge #4 in your video was that it seemed to my old eyes that the right side of the tool had a slight gap between the vertical surface of the tool and the vertical surface of the plywood. Also, were you using tight settings on all four plunges? Usually, when I'm doing a joint with a domino that I want to be flush on one edge, as in the top/bottom and sides of a cabinet front, I will use tight settings based off the reference pins for side plunges and top and bottom plunges. Then for the other plunges I will use tight in one member and middle/loose in the other. For cabinets, for instance the tops and bottoms receive all tight plunges in the "end grain". The sides get a tight plunge for the frontmost mortises and all the rest are middle/loose plunges.

    How is your alignment along the horizontal surface? In any case, best of luck in solving your problems and please let the group know what your resolution is.

Regards,
JC
Festool Leprachaun 8)

Oh yeah, you might want to adopt the Greg Paolini pinch technique for turning on the tool.

I was down in Hurricane Mills this summer for a Mx race ... not sure how far away the store is but maybe next time.

I was not using the paddles and was using the cursor which is why you see my jiggle it to the side. ... on 2 of the plunges the paddle had to be pushed in in order to center the line on the cursor.  I just watched the video again and I lifted the Domino up and slid it over as I couldn’t reach the line because of the paddle. I didn’t notice the fence lift off the piece at all and had it held firm with one hand before plunging.

Thanks for the tips!

« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 11:10 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Just Bill

  • Posts: 29
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2020, 10:04 AM »
Bugsy,
Your technique seems to be fine to me from the video. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see the answer to the most important question: Is the joint flush at the two faces above the exact location of the Domino mortises?
For example, your pictures in your latest post seem to show a very slight misalignment of the faces at the EDGES of the plywood. But there is no Domino joint on the EDGES of the plywood and therefore we cannot expect that the two faces will be flush at that location. The Domino cannot be expected to perfectly align the two faces of the plywood being joined except where the two pieces of plywood meet directly over the Domino joint. Using your finger, can you feel any misalignment of the two faces of the plywood directly over the Domino joint where your pencil lines are?
Does that make sense?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 11:08 AM by Just Bill »

Offline Just Bill

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2020, 12:16 PM »
Bugsy,

I just went out to my garage and did some test mortises with the Domino in plywood. I don't typically join plywood together edge to edge, so I was interested to see my results. I noticed two things:
1. I could not get consistently flush joints with my Domino. Same as you, the joints were often slightly mis-aligned directly above the Domino mortise locations.
2. The dominos themselves were quite loose in their mortises compared to when I use the Domino to mortise into solid wood.

I then did multiple test cuts on solid wood. Every joint was perfectly flush and all the dominos fit snugly in their mortises. I am now wondering if your alignment issues have to do with the way the Domino cutter cuts into plywood? The different plys may make it difficult to get smooth mortises? Maybe someone else can weigh on any differences they have seen when mortising into the edge of plywood vs solid wood?

As a final thought, maybe try some tests with solid wood and see if you have the same alignment errors that you are experiencing with the plywood.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 12:19 PM by Just Bill »

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2023
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2020, 02:06 PM »
@Bugsysiegals I agree with Peter. Just return the tool for a new one. Shouldn't be any questions asked. It just doesn't seem to be right in some way. You shouldn't have so much trouble getting excellent results. Plus, as Peter says, you just won't have confidence in the tool after all the testing and negative results you got already. I know from personal experience, it's just best to start over. You shouldn't have as much difficulty as you have had. I have joined plywood a number of times without a problem, so it's hard to believe that the fact you are using plywood is the problem.

One thing I have noticed with the Domino is that, initially, a little bit of practice is a good thing to get the feel of the tool and your technique down. However, with all the testing you have done, it appears that you have had some practice.

If you live near Madison or Milwaukee in Wisconsin, you might call the Woodcraft store in either place. I have had great experiences with both (more with the Madison store). They might be able to provide some guidance, especially if you return your Domino to the original place and buy a new one there. Good luck. Sounds like you have had a frustrating experience.

Really . . . return it for a new one.
Randy

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2020, 02:33 PM »
There’s a Woodcraft about 35 minutes away while the lumber/hardware store I bought it from is about 10 minutes away.  I know they were planning to put on a Festool get together with tools demo’s before COVID so maybe I can ask them whether they’ve an MFT/3 and can demo the replacement tool so I don’t seem crazy should I have that bad of luck. If they cannot, I’ll connect with Woodcraft, thanks for the suggestion!

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 565
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2020, 11:59 AM »
Well, I went to my local Festool dealer this morning and exchanged my DF 500.  This time, I was surprised with a locking adapter which I did not receive in the previous package.  This was exciting but I was more worried whether the Domino would perform as expected ...

I performed the same test as before and to my surprise the joints feel flush!  I'll make a few more tests to ensure this isn't luck but so far I'm very happy in this regard; however, I noticed the tool is missing the White markings which show the mortise width and as I looked more closely at the tool I also noticed all the Green pieces appear to have some light grease/dirt stains on them ... is this just from somebody with a dirty glove on the assembly/calibration line or is it possible Festool would recondition a tool, or use reconditioned parts, and sell it as new?

322739-0322741-1

322729-2322731-3322733-4

Other than this, the cursor is a good deal out of alignment but this should be able to be calibrated.

322737-5

The paddles are only slightly out of alignment which I hope can be calibrated?

322735-6

« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 12:03 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #49 on: November 02, 2020, 12:20 PM »
I suppose you were too excited to see the missing white marks or you could've asked the store staff on the spot for an explanation.

Yes, those can be calibrated properly by following the steps laid out in the manual.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 12:25 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #50 on: November 02, 2020, 12:56 PM »
I suppose you were too excited to see the missing white marks or you could've asked the store staff on the spot for an explanation.

Yes, those can be calibrated properly by following the steps laid out in the manual.

Yes, I was definitely eager to get home, use it, find out it works well, and rest assured it will perform well whenever I use it. 

Do I go back to the store and have them swap the top piece from my old Domino, calibrate the scales, and leave it at that?  Should I be concerned it's missing the marks, looks possibly used/reconditioned, and ask them to order another from Festool risking the alignment may not be as good as this one?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 01:04 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2020, 01:08 PM »
I don't think it's a good idea to swap parts at all. I'd call the store and ask about the missing marks and other observations you have about the machine. If need be (i.e. you're not satisfied with their explanations), I'd rather get a third new DF500 from them.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2020, 01:56 PM »
I called the store and they were unaware why it would be in this condition.  I'm almost wondering if somebody didn't use the tool and then try to use a cleaning agent to clean off the dirty Green buttons which accidentally removed the White markings ...

Since they've no more DF 500 in stock, I asked them if they could order another from Festool.  They took my number and called back, didn't mention how long it would take for a new one, and instead left a voicemail informing me they could swap out the unit for the one they have on display.  I assume the display unit has not been demo'd but am not sure how it has been handled and if that's acceptable for a brand new purchase at this price ...

Would you swap it out for the display unit and worst case return it for a 4th unit, ask for a brand new one (assuming the will not put the display one in the case of the new one ... if somebody used the tool and wiped the markings off they're not trustworthy), or cancel the order and order from Woodcraft and wait until Dec 11th?  It's not urgent that I have the tool and Woodcraft is about 40 minutes away if I need to return yet again whereas this store is 10 minutes away.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 02:15 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #53 on: November 02, 2020, 02:28 PM »
Any Festool machines on display are not the same as brand new machines because they're on display for both staff to demo and customers to try out (under staff guidance or supervision). Some display units could be for years in the showroom depending on what they're.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 02:47 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Rick Herrick

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #54 on: November 02, 2020, 02:37 PM »
When I went to my store to look at both the 1010 and the 1400.  I asked questions because the 1400 looked kind of 'used'.  He checked and its been on their demo bench for 10 years.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 565
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #55 on: November 02, 2020, 02:53 PM »
Wow, I figured if in the box it was new, good to know.  I'm headed back up to the original store where they have 2 available ... I'll check it out to confirm it doesn't appear used, and hopefully it will cut as flush as the current replacement did ...

Offline Cheese

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #56 on: November 02, 2020, 02:56 PM »
Wow, I figured if in the box it was new, good to know.  I'm headed back up to the original store where they have 2 available ... I'll check it out to confirm it doesn't appear used, and hopefully it will cut as flush as the current replacement did ...

Bring some ply with you and check it out in person.

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #57 on: November 02, 2020, 03:23 PM »
Bring some ply with you and check it out in person.

Good suggestion. You don't deserve more frustrations (or trips). If you don't get the results you're looking for, hand the spare pieces to the store staff and let her or him try the cuts.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2020, 04:36 PM »
And don’t forget the Dominos, the store may be unwilling to open a new pack of 200 for 3 test Dominos.

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #59 on: November 02, 2020, 05:34 PM »
Any Festool machines on display are not the same as brand new machines because they're on display for both staff to demo and customers to try out (under staff guidance or supervision). Some display units could be for years in the showroom depending on what they're.

   This is incorrect. In our store, we only have singles of some models. They are never used for demo purposes, ever. If any employee uses a display tool for demo, he or she has bought it and we make that known. We do have demo models of most of the tools we sell. Further, I suspect that there is something in the dealer contract with Festool USA, or other national Festool operations to prevent selling a tool that has ever been used. If a dealer sells a used tool as new, the customer should contact Festool directly. One other thing, some tools that don't sell often can sit on the shelf for a long time. If you look at the nameplate with the serial number etc. you can find the month and year of manufacture. Also, you can look at the systainer label to insure it matches the tool serial number.
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN