Author Topic: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues  (Read 5935 times)

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Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« on: October 17, 2020, 11:12 PM »
I bought a DF500 today, figured I’d better test it before 30 days is up, and I really can’t believe my eyes ... I’ve not been able to make one flush joint yet!!

Here’s what I’ve done so far ...

I pushed some strips of 3/4” Maple Plywood up to my bench dogs, clamped the wood, set the DF500 on top of the MFT/3 table, aligned the finger with the edge of the wood, the face of the Domino tight to the face of the wood, and plunged slowly (7-10 seconds). I repeated this on the other end and then on the other piece of plywood.  Afterwards, I could see the surface wasn’t flush and my fingernail catches if I rub it across the pieces. When looking at the end, I can see the offset of the layers in which I’d be likely to sand through the thin veneer which seems terrible. How much variance/offset should be considered normal/acceptable?

I repeated the process above using different clamp pressures to ensure I wasn’t deforming the board, moved the clamp in different positions, and had the same end results.  I then tried several tests with the fence in the down position, with the bottom not touching the MFT/3, and had the same end results.

At this point I felt like Deja Vu as this was the exact same experience I had with my DF700. I decided I better check the wood is flat before my next test since I’d not done that previously and to my surprise, the pair I was going to use next were not completely flat. I’m considering the previous tests inconclusive and confirming the wood is completely flat before all future tests.

I couldn’t find any scrap Maple which would align perfectly but found some 5/8” Baltic Birch which did when checked on my table saw so I figured I’d give it a try; however, when I re-checked it on my MFT/3, I found it was no longer perfectly flush! While not terrible, it’s not completely flat, so I figured I’d need to eliminate the MFT/3 from the variables.

I then moved over to my table saw, locked the fence, clamped a stop block to it, wiped the table and plywood, put the plywood up to the fence under my JessEm Clear-Cut TS Stock Guides, and pushed it up against the stop block. I then wiped the bottom of the DF500, laid it on the table, ensured it was resting flat without any wobble, and plunged. The joined pieces were no longer precisely flush and actually have a slight bowing when joined. I thought perhaps the edges weren’t 90 degrees so I separated them just a bit but the pieces remained bowed. It seems either the Domino isn’t cutting parallel, I’m not holding it flat (definitely am), I’m plunging at the wrong speed and the bit is wandering, or the wood somehow lifted as I plunged.  I’m going to test again but find a different method to clamp the wood so I know it’s not the wood lifting.

All that said, please help me understand the best way to test the tool to determine if it’s the tool or me...

What wood should I use to test with?  Should I buy something like MDF, try to find some plywood that’s flush, or mill some hardwood?

Should I stick with the table saw surface to ensure I’ve the best flat reference for the wood/Domino or should this really not matter?

Should I continue to set the base on the surface, rather than using the fence, to ensure it remains parallel throughout the plunge?

Is there anything else I might be doing wrong or overlooking?

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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2200
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2020, 12:09 AM »
A few photos could've been much more helpful to understand what you had been trying..but were you resting your doimino joiner's fence on the reference face of both boards or were you placing the machine base on the table saw or mft?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 12:12 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020, 12:15 AM »
A few photos could've been much more helpful to understand what you had been trying..but were you resting your fence on the reference face of both boards or were you placing the machine base on the table saw or mft?
I don’t have photos at the moment but will try to upload some tomorrow. 

I tried it with the machine base flat on both the table saw and MFT/3 as well as resting the fence on the reference face of both boards while the boards where clamped to the MFT/3.

I figured the machine base method is more foolproof than the fence which is why I started with it but didn’t rule it out of my testing.


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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2200
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2020, 12:32 AM »
Boards can vary in thickness or flatness, so any test should be done registering the fence against the top & reference face of the boards to be joined, not by resting the machine base and boards together on a surface.

Even if the table or surface upon which the boards are placed is not dead flat, it doesn't affect the result.

Make sure the end of the boards overhang from the table saw or mft edge before you make the plunge. Lock the fence tight too.

It's not acceptable to me if the boards properly mortised are off by the amount you described. No sanding should be needed to bring them flush.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 12:39 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2020, 12:37 AM »
Thanks @ChuckM, I tried using the fence for this reason but when it didn’t work I went back to the base method thinking it would be more foolproof.

It’s clear now that using the fence will align the top and using the base will align the bottom; however, the fence, assuming you hold and plunge the Domino correctly, will be more accurate since the base is affected by uneven warped surface like MFT/3, clamping pressure school may compress layers, etc. 

I’ll follow your suggestions and run several tests tomorrow or Monday with the Maple plywood since it’s what I’ll build cabinets from and attach some pics.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 07:44 AM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Just Bill

  • Posts: 29
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2020, 10:59 AM »
It seems to me that if you use the base of the Domino referencing on the table of.....anything, you will introduce the possibility of an error (warped table, different clamping pressure, debris under the Domino, the wood not lying flat on the table, etc.) I always use the Domino fence against the reference faces of the pieces I am joining, unless this is not possible for some reason.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned, but you need to check, is to make sure that your Domino fence is locked down well with the locking lever and that you have checked that it is square to the Domino cutting surface. The detent stops should be accurate, but need to be checked to rule that out. In other words, it is crucial that the cutter plunges into the test pieces precisely parallel to their faces.

I would also suggest trying a pencil line across the two boards you are joining and use those as your marks for your mortise locations. This will guarantee that those two faces will be oriented correctly when you check for fit (make sure you see both pencil lines when you are checking for fit or else you have inadvertently turned one of the boards over.)

Once you are referencing both mortises off of a locked-down, square fence, apply downward pressure and pressure into the wood you are mortising and then plunge. A five second plunge rate for each mortise seems to work well for me. Consistent downward pressure so the fence doesn't come off of the face is most important part of the technique. The Dominos should fit into each mortise snugly on their faces. If you do all of this and are still getting finished surfaces that aren't flush, it seems to me there is nothing else to check or try on the Domino machine itself. I'm not really sure what defect there could be in the Domino machine though that could cause the misalignment and would still suspect an operator error of some sort. Although there are a lot of settings, it is really a pretty simple machine.
 
Two more things to remember (which may or may not be obvious):
1. You can only expect for the reference faces to be flush unless the two pieces of wood are exactly the same thickness (plywood is notorious for thickness irregularities throughout the same sheet and may not be flush on the non-referenced sides.
2. You can only expect for the reference faces to be flush directly over the locations of the Dominos.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 12:15 PM by Just Bill »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2200
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2020, 11:10 AM »
To be clear, even if two boards are not the same in thickness, they can still be flush on the reference side when the mortises are properly cut.

The machine's base is not designed to be used in the manner the OP described for joining. In a joining operation, the fence should be used.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 11:13 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2020, 07:06 PM »
To be clear, even if two boards are not the same in thickness, they can still be flush on the reference side when the mortises are properly cut.

The machine's base is not designed to be used in the manner the OP described for joining. In a joining operation, the fence should be used.

FWIW - I always lower the fence with it upright and gently set it in place before securing it firmly.  I then lower the fence and ensure it's firmly secured.  I checked the fence height on both sides with the base sitting on my table saw and they seem very close in measurement and I'd say for sure less than 0.10mm and probably less than 0.05mm (hard to hold it absolutely still).

I’ve cut several pieces of Maple plywood to the same length, squared pieces next to each other, and put 2 lines on each piece for visual reference only as I'm using the alignment pins.

322275-0322277-1322279-2

For Test #1, I clamped the wood so the end was hanging off the table, slid the Domino up against the reference pin, squared everything up, clamped the fence to the board, and carefully plunged while keeping an eye that the White dots didn’t raise (rear raising) and that the fence where the dots are located didn’t create any gap (front raising). One end seems close while the other is not.

322281-3322283-4322285-5322287-6322289-7322291-8

For Test #2, I repeated the steps above but didn’t clamp the fence to the wood. I’ve similar results.

322293-9322295-10322297-11322299-12322301-13 [ Specified attachment is not available ]

Before I perform anymore tests, should the lines I drew before joining be this far off when using the reference pins?  I suspect most people use these if you only need to place a Domino at each end of a shorter board but every piece I've done with the pins would require clamping and forcing to make flush which seems to defeat the purpose of the pins...

Any other feedback and what I should do differently in the next plunges is much appreciated.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4186
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2020, 07:23 PM »
When you say you clamped the domino fence to the board, what do you mean?
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Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2020, 07:30 PM »
I used an Irwin Quick Clamp to secure the fence to the work piece in order to rule out operator error of tilting the Domino. I did not use the clamp on Test # 2.

To further rule out operator error I could flip the Domino upside down, clamp the work piece to the fence, and plunge it in this way if it’s helpful?  I’m not happy with the quality of the images here so I may re-rip the wood with reference side up to get better clean lines?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 07:37 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2200
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 08:04 PM »
A few things:

P. 21 of the manual shows how to calibrate the Edge Stop Dogs/paddles/stop latches, if your machine's paddles caused a misalignment of the pencil lines.

I set the fence height with the fence in its folded position, lock it before setting the fence to 90* and lock the fence (I read somewhere that setting the fence height while the fence is at 90* could move the fence as the fence is tightened or something like that.)

Based on your tests, the problems described didn't seem to be caused by user errors.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4186
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2020, 08:05 PM »
Hmmm -- I would probably not clamp the fence down to anything for danger of material and machine flexing.  Have you watched videos of normal plunging operations just to get a sense of what the standard operating procedures are?

I would say that to do eliminate variables for a proper test, I would use plywood that is wider than what you've been using with the test pieces.  Something wide enough (4+ inches) so that no portion of the fence is hanging off the piece.  And I would always use the fence when horizontally plunging on a board edge, making sure that the base is not touching any surface that could mess with the flat referencing of the fence on the wood.  Although there are a few rare occasions where referencing off the base on a horizontal plunge may be useful, normally you should do this only on vertical plunges.

It also sounds like you may be experiencing some issues with the pins and/or cursor.  There are a couple of calibration exercises you could go through that may help, including the cursor adjustment mentioned just above (I see @PaulMarcel on the Forum so could also give it to you straight from the horse's mouth):



In terms of mortise width for edge joining, normally you only want one pair of narrow mortises at the edge you want flush.  All the others can be on the medium setting to aid in fitting.


 
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T 18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TID 18 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • AGC 18-115 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3 • STM 1800

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4186
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2020, 08:14 PM »
You could also check to see if the mortises are skewing relative to the plane of the workpiece (which would be caused by a skewed fence).  Check with digital calipers the distance from the top of the board of either side of a mortise plunged at the widest setting.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T 18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TID 18 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • AGC 18-115 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3 • STM 1800

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2200
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2020, 09:09 PM »
Snip.

I would say that to do eliminate variables for a proper test, I would use plywood that is wider than what you've been using with the test pieces.  Something wide enough (4+ inches) so that no portion of the fence is hanging off the piece.
 
[/quote]

Good point.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2020, 09:31 AM »
It seems to me that if you use the base of the Domino referencing on the table of.....anything, you will introduce the possibility of an error (warped table, different clamping pressure, debris under the Domino, the wood not lying flat on the table, etc.) I always use the Domino fence against the reference faces of the pieces I am joining, unless this is not possible for some reason. 

Excellent point!

One thing that hasn't been mentioned, but you need to check, is to make sure that your Domino fence is locked down well with the locking lever and that you have checked that it is square to the Domino cutting surface. The detent stops should be accurate, but need to be checked to rule that out. In other words, it is crucial that the cutter plunges into the test pieces precisely parallel to their faces.

I put the fence in the 0 degree position, raise and gently lower the height of the fence, move the locking mechanism as far as it can move, lower the fence 90 degrees, and move the locking mechanism as far as it can go.  I've cleaned off my table saw, the Domino base/fence, and measured with calipers ... I've 0.13mm difference between the front sides of the fence to the table.  I've tried re-adjusting the fence several times and have the same result.

I would also suggest trying a pencil line across the two boards you are joining and use those as your marks for your mortise locations. This will guarantee that those two faces will be oriented correctly when you check for fit (make sure you see both pencil lines when you are checking for fit or else you have inadvertently turned one of the boards over.)

While I didn't mention it, I always draw 2 pencil lines to see if they align back together afterwards and also to ensure the work piece is in the correct orientation.  I'm using the reference pin rather than the clear scale as I know it's not aligned but neither are the reference pins.

Once you are referencing both mortises off of a locked-down, square fence, apply downward pressure and pressure into the wood you are mortising and then plunge. A five second plunge rate for each mortise seems to work well for me. Consistent downward pressure so the fence doesn't come off of the face is most important part of the technique. The Dominos should fit into each mortise snugly on their faces. If you do all of this and are still getting finished surfaces that aren't flush, it seems to me there is nothing else to check or try on the Domino machine itself. I'm not really sure what defect there could be in the Domino machine though that could cause the misalignment and would still suspect an operator error of some sort. Although there are a lot of settings, it is really a pretty simple machine.

I've adjusted my plunge rate, thanks for the suggestion.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2020, 09:34 AM »
A few things:

P. 21 of the manual shows how to calibrate the Edge Stop Dogs/paddles/stop latches, if your machine's paddles caused a misalignment of the pencil lines.

I set the fence height with the fence in its folded position, lock it before setting the fence to 90* and lock the fence (I read somewhere that setting the fence height while the fence is at 90* could move the fence as the fence is tightened or something like that.)

Based on your tests, the problems described didn't seem to be caused by user errors.

Thanks @ChuckM ... I've not read the manual yet and am relieved to know the paddles are adjustable.  I think I'm setting the fence the same as you, locked in 0 degrees, set height, then fold down to 90 degrees, all knobs locked as far as they can go?

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2020, 09:39 AM »
Hmmm -- I would probably not clamp the fence down to anything for danger of material and machine flexing.  Have you watched videos of normal plunging operations just to get a sense of what the standard operating procedures are?

Yes, I've watched many of @PaulMarcel videos including this one.

I would say that to do eliminate variables for a proper test, I would use plywood that is wider than what you've been using with the test pieces.  Something wide enough (4+ inches) so that no portion of the fence is hanging off the piece.  And I would always use the fence when horizontally plunging on a board edge, making sure that the base is not touching any surface that could mess with the flat referencing of the fence on the wood.  Although there are a few rare occasions where referencing off the base on a horizontal plunge may be useful, normally you should do this only on vertical plunges.

I was worried about using thinner material which is also why I clamped the fence to the work piece but appreciate the suggestion ... I'll rip down some wider pieces for the next set of tests.

It also sounds like you may be experiencing some issues with the pins and/or cursor.  There are a couple of calibration exercises you could go through that may help, including the cursor adjustment mentioned just above (I see @PaulMarcel on the Forum so could also give it to you straight from the horse's mouth):



I figured it would be easier to use the pins and that I should ensure it's working well before spending time to adjust the cursor but I can align it and do a test with the cursor rather than the pins; however, I wonder if I'll be able to get good alignment regardless with the 0.13mm fence height difference per side...

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2020, 09:41 AM »
You could also check to see if the mortises are skewing relative to the plane of the workpiece (which would be caused by a skewed fence).  Check with digital calipers the distance from the top of the board of either side of a mortise plunged at the widest setting.

It's a bit difficult to get an accurate measure with the wood being soft, etc. but it's a good idea to get a ballpark although I know the fence is not parallel so I'm fairly certain they mortise will not be either.

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 588
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2020, 01:31 PM »
Maybe it's just me but your ply seems to have variable thickness in the photos.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2020, 01:39 PM »
Maybe it's just me but your ply seems to have variable thickness in the photos.

You're correct; however, as stated previously, the distance from the reference surface to the mortise remains consistent, and therefore the joined reference surfaces should be flush with all inconsistencies on the bottom which nobody sees.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2020, 01:41 PM »
I've ripped 2 strips 4" wide and about 4' long.  This is the last of the excess material I've laying around and don't want to waste it in case I need to exchange for another Domino and test it.  That said, should I crosscut these to the longer sections like I was doing or just make little 4" x 6" blocks with 1 domino?

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4916
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2020, 01:52 PM »
Since you’re experiencing the same issues with the 500 that you encountered with the 700 machine there is most likely some operator error. If you could make a video of what you do someone might spot something you could correct and then get good results.

Until you get comfortable using the machine only use work pieces that are big enough that you can secure them to the workbench independent of the machine. Hold the machine in place on the workpiece by applying pressure to the fence with one hand after pushing the front of the tool snug against the work while balancing the machine with the other hand. Then plunge slowly.

The fence (or Seneca plate) should always be registered to the top of the work so you can see that the surface is clean and debris free.

There is a small issue with the fence. It’s secured by only one post and often the mortise is slightly out of parallel with the wood surface. That is a problem when only one Domino is used. Simply use a minimum of two Dominos and the two pieces of wood will be coplanar and flush.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4916
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2020, 01:57 PM »
I've ripped 2 strips 4" wide and about 4' long.  This is the last of the excess material I've laying around and don't want to waste it in case I need to exchange for another Domino and test it.  That said, should I crosscut these to the longer sections like I was doing or just make little 4" x 6" blocks with 1 domino?

Leave them long. Put the two strips together and strike two marks across both pieces a few apart. Make the mortises and put two Dominos in and push the strips together.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2020, 01:18 PM »
I've cut 4 pairs of boards and should have time to test the Domino again.  Would you recommend I plunge horizontally with the material over the edge of the MFT/3, vertically with the material clamped to the MFT/3 (perhaps can help to rule out horizontal movement of the DF 500), or a mix of both?

322638-0

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2200
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2020, 02:03 PM »
I'd do the tests in the same way or ways that I'd use to cut the mortises in the future. If you plan to use different methods, then test them in those different methods.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2023
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2020, 03:16 PM »
I didn’t see this in the posts and it might be obvious, so don’t offense. Verify that you are assembling the joint with reference faces - on the same side if joining two pieces horizontally such as when you glue up boards edge to edge to result in a wider board and
- the reference faces assembled correctly as mortised for butt joints or face frames.

The only alignment I have ever had with my Domino have been my fault through not holding the Domino without movement while plunging, accidentally raising or lowering the back end while plunging, referencing the base rather than the fence, or inadvertently cutting the slots using the wrong reference face on one board or assembling the boards using the wrong reference side on one board.

I have made these mistakes at least once each and have made one of them more than once on a day when I wasn’t concentrating or just being a little impatient.
Randy

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2020, 03:59 PM »
Thanks and yes I’ve made lines across the faces I’m joining, plunging those lines with the cursor aligned to them, and assembling back together the same way ... no offense taken ... you can’t tel what somebody’s doing on the other side of the internet.

I’ve made a video of me setting up and plunging the first set of boards which I’m uploading and will share shortly ... one side is near perfect while the other is slightly off ... hopefully you can see if I’m doing anything improperly and if not I’ll move onto some more tests with the results.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2020, 09:09 PM »
Here's photo's of the boards before the test where you can see one end is near perfect and the other with wood "hang nail" is slightly out of flush.

322642-0322644-1322646-2

Here's the video of me using the Domino DF 500.  BEWARE: Please turn down the volume when I'm plunging so you don't blow out your eardrum ... This is straight off my GoPro Hero 7 and I'm not sure how to edit video ... what do you use for editing video's to lower volume during these spots in the video?



I've used a piece of paper on my screen at the base of the Domino as a visual reference guide to see how much the Domino is moving during the plunge.  Do you agree with my analysis?

Plunge #1 - This plunge seems to have only a minor vertical change throughout the cut.
Plunge #2 - This plunge seems to have a minor vertical lift at the beginning with more near the end and some drop on the release.
Plunge #3 - This plunge seems to have only a minor vertical change throughout the cut.
Plunge #4 - This plunge seems to have only a minor vertical change throughout the cut.

Besides plunge #2, is the vertical movement acceptable or do I need to have even less vertical movement on # 1,3, and 4? 

Besides being more aware of my need to continue holding firm after plunging, is there any technique for releasing which has least chance to move vertically and create misalignment? 

Besides thinking my Domino is a cordless tool, do you have any other critique to improve for test #2?

And finally, here's the result ... even with the movement seen above, the end which was perfect before the test remains the same and the one with the hang nail of wood is still the same ... I thought it would bring it flush but perhaps is from the vertical movement ... nonetheless, it's probably fixable with a light sanding so I'd consider acceptable and will hopefully improve as I learn to hold more steady ...

322648-3322650-4322652-5

« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 09:16 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 431
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2020, 09:24 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.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2200
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2020, 09:36 PM »
At 5:33 (your last cut -- #4), you were not using the paddle to register your stock as you did in other cuts!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 09:41 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
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 »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


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

  • Posts: 588
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: 617
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

  • Posts: 2200
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

  • Posts: 523
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: 617
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: 617
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: 617
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

  • Posts: 29
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

  • Posts: 617
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: 617
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

  • Posts: 617
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

  • Posts: 617
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

  • Posts: 349
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: 617
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

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #60 on: November 02, 2020, 05:44 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.

Terminology difference only: On display in my post = Demo models in your post. At my local vendor, all new stock is kept in the back/warehouse; anything on display (not counting pre-packed items like jawsaw blades, sandpaper, etc.) is for demo, etc. Whether it's the Kapex or XL (all unplugged), customers can handle them.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 05:48 PM by ChuckM »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #61 on: November 02, 2020, 06:31 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.

Unfortunately I hadn't seen this before I was already on my way.  I've Domino #3 home but need to cut some fresh boards as I used up the previous stock.  I'm running low on 3/4" Maple cutoffs, prefer not to break down a brand new sheet, and wonder if 3/4" MDF would be an acceptable stock to test with or not?

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #62 on: November 02, 2020, 06:38 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.

This is interesting ... the new Domino says (11) 200331 ... has this really been on the shelf since 2003?  This would mean it has the fence locking issue?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 06:47 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7876
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #63 on: November 03, 2020, 09:05 AM »
I think this display/demo thing is really store dependent. The bare tools on display at the local Woodcraft store are used both as store display models and also as functioning demo tools for customers and store employees. On more than one occasion a store tool was being demoed in the back shop area and a new version of the same tool was then opened up and used for comparison purposes, I have no idea why as I was was on the other side of the glass wall. So what happened to that new model tool that was just demoed? Don't know...

Last year Woodcraft was selling some of their demo tools. An absolutely spotless OF 1400 in a T-Loc and a pretty ratty OF 1010 in an original Systainer...how many years ago were original Systainers used by Festool?

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #64 on: November 03, 2020, 03:20 PM »
I've done 5 different tests with Domino #3 and am averaging about 0.04mm difference between each side of joined panels whereas Domino #2 averaged about 0.02mm.  While the difference is double Domino #2, it seems small enough that I can sand smooth without burning through the veneer.  Have you all measured the difference and would you agree 0.04mm is acceptable?

Finally, I believe I read about a fence drift/sagging issue which was addressed with some changes ... based on the sticker, was this made in 2003 meaning it's possible I'll be going through more misalignment issues in the future?

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7876
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #65 on: November 03, 2020, 04:05 PM »
.04 mm is equal to  .0015”, tough to get any better/repeatable results with any hand held tool.  [smile]

Most already applied veneers are around .012”-.015” thick.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2023
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #66 on: November 03, 2020, 04:30 PM »
I do notice extremely minor imperfections at the points that the joints meet, but these can be eliminated during clamping and only result in minor sanding sometimes. In general, I have always believed that, to some degree, these occur because of imperfections in the wood and due to some slight, unnoticeable movements of the tool by me during cutting of the slots. Nothing is perfect,  but the results you're getting are extremely close and might even get better over time as you gain some experience with the tool.

I have never bought a tool from the Woodcraft store I most often do business with in Madison, Wisconsin which showed any evidence of being used in anyway. That, and the fact that they have always given me good advice and help when I needed it, are the reasons I continue to buy my Festools from them, as well as most of my woodworking supplies and other tools. Nothing can be great service, knowledgeable staff, and being able to see the tool in advance of buying if desired. That describes the Madison Woodcraft Store.
Randy

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #67 on: November 03, 2020, 04:32 PM »
.04 mm is equal to  .0015”, tough to get any better/repeatable results with any hand held tool.  [smile]

Most already applied veneers are around .012”-.015” thick.

Average thickness of standard copy paper is 0.05 to 0.10mm or 0.002 to 0.004" so I'm off by the thickness of the thinnest copy paper.  According to your #'s, the veneer is at minimum about 6 pieces of the thinnest copy paper so I'd agree I have plenty of room to spare if I can keep this consistency and the fence doesn't drift or sag on me.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #68 on: November 03, 2020, 04:36 PM »
I do notice extremely minor imperfections at the points that the joints meet, but these can be eliminated during clamping and only result in minor sanding sometimes. In general, I have always believed that, to some degree, these occur because of imperfections in the wood and due to some slight, unnoticeable movements of the tool by me during cutting of the slots. Nothing is perfect,  but the results you're getting are extremely close and might even get better over time as you gain some experience with the tool.

I have never bought a tool from the Woodcraft store I most often do business with in Madison, Wisconsin which showed any evidence of being used in anyway. That, and the fact that they have always given me good advice and help when I needed it, are the reasons I continue to buy my Festools from them, as well as most of my woodworking supplies and other tools. Nothing can be great service, knowledgeable staff, and being able to see the tool in advance of buying if desired. That describes the Madison Woodcraft Store.

We've a Woodcraft in New Berlin/Milwaukee just 35 minutes from me.  FWIW - the people at the store I was at said they don't have time for me to bring wood/domino's and demo the tool with them and that they'd just replace it as many times as it takes.  I guess this is good for the customer, no questions asked, but not that great for Festool and I'm surprised they wouldn't be trained and have you demo it so you're not stock piling the FestoolRecon site.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 06:29 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #69 on: November 03, 2020, 04:36 PM »

This is interesting ... the new Domino says (11) 200331 ... has this really been on the shelf since 2003?  This would mean it has the fence locking issue?

   Sorry for the delay in responding....I don't have access to this group at work. The format of the date is european format....first two digits are the year, second two digits are the month and third are the day. So, March 31, 2020.....
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #70 on: November 03, 2020, 04:44 PM »
I think this display/demo thing is really store dependent. The bare tools on display at the local Woodcraft store are used both as store display models and also as functioning demo tools for customers and store employees. On more than one occasion a store tool was being demoed in the back shop area and a new version of the same tool was then opened up and used for comparison purposes, I have no idea why as I was was on the other side of the glass wall. So what happened to that new model tool that was just demoed? Don't know...

Last year Woodcraft was selling some of their demo tools. An absolutely spotless OF 1400 in a T-Loc and a pretty ratty OF 1010 in an original Systainer...how many years ago were original Systainers used by Festool?

Hi Cheese,

    You are, of course, correct. Our Woodcraft franchise policy is as I stated. Others may differ. In fact, while I can't remember which Canadian dealer it is, there is one that has a ton of MFTs with various tools on each MFT for demo purposes. I only wish we had the space and resources to dedicate to such an approach.

    That said, no Festool should be sold as new if it's ever been used. That is one reason that, for instance, returned tools during the thirty day window are sent directly back to Festool where they are probably refurbed and sold on the refurb site.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #71 on: November 03, 2020, 05:30 PM »
Others may differ. In fact, while I can't remember which Canadian dealer it is, there is one that has a ton of MFTs with various tools on each MFT for demo purposes.

Lee Valley Tools is definitely one of them. Both corded and cordless tools are on display for customers to handle. For safety, except the drills, tools are unplugged until staff set them up for power.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #72 on: November 03, 2020, 06:30 PM »

This is interesting ... the new Domino says (11) 200331 ... has this really been on the shelf since 2003?  This would mean it has the fence locking issue?

   Sorry for the delay in responding....I don't have access to this group at work. The format of the date is european format....first two digits are the year, second two digits are the month and third are the day. So, March 31, 2020.....

Perfect, it seems I finally have a Domino that I can be happy with!  Looking forward to trying out some butt joints now and getting things calibrated.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #73 on: November 03, 2020, 08:24 PM »
I've swapped the alignment pins in the 3 possible configurations.  Replacing the Right pin seems to bring the lines slightly closer than stock.  Replacing both pins brings them even a bit closer and replacing the Left pin may be the same as both but with the line on the opposite side ... is there a way to get them closer without replacing the Left pin and slowly filing a little off the stock Right pin?

Stock
322767-0

Right Pin Only Replaced
322773-1

Both Pins Replaced
322771-2

Left Pin Only Replaced
322769-3
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 08:33 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline Bohdan

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #74 on: November 03, 2020, 09:16 PM »
Are the pins symetrical? i.e. see if swaping the Left with the Right makes a difference.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #75 on: November 03, 2020, 09:27 PM »
The pins look like you could possible push the mounting pin through and use them on an opposite side, and I considered trying this but wasn’t sure and didn’t want to break it. Can anybody confirm if they work in this way?  It’s a shame but maybe these aren’t meant to be that accurate?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 09:31 PM by Bugsysiegals »

Offline grbmds

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #76 on: November 04, 2020, 09:18 AM »
If it were me, I'd just keep returning then until you get one that performs to your satisfaction. The Domino is a great tool but only if it performs as it is supposed to. I guess I feel lucky I have never had the problems with Festool or the places I've bought the tools from that you are experiencing. Maybe it just is a sign that Festool's quality control has slipped over the years. I haven't bought one for at least 2 years so I can't tell about present quality. Good luck.
Randy

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #77 on: November 04, 2020, 09:57 AM »
If it were me, I'd just keep returning then until you get one that performs to your satisfaction. The Domino is a great tool but only if it performs as it is supposed to. I guess I feel lucky I have never had the problems with Festool or the places I've bought the tools from that you are experiencing. Maybe it just is a sign that Festool's quality control has slipped over the years. I haven't bought one for at least 2 years so I can't tell about present quality. Good luck.

Do your paddles actually align better than mine and do you use the paddles?  I assumed they'd be useful for quick corner joints on shorter lengths since you can avoid laying out lines but in reality maybe their seldom used?

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #78 on: November 04, 2020, 01:58 PM »
I don’t trust the locators on either my 500 or 700. Just not accurate unless I’m doing narrow/wide mortises. The pins on my Mafell Doweler are dead nuts accurate.
Birdhunter

Offline BarneyD

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #79 on: November 04, 2020, 04:26 PM »
I've also never used the paddles. In fact, I keep mine locked in the retracted position so they're not in the way. I just make lines.
Barney

Offline grbmds

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #80 on: November 04, 2020, 05:11 PM »
If it were me, I'd just keep returning then until you get one that performs to your satisfaction. The Domino is a great tool but only if it performs as it is supposed to. I guess I feel lucky I have never had the problems with Festool or the places I've bought the tools from that you are experiencing. Maybe it just is a sign that Festool's quality control has slipped over the years. I haven't bought one for at least 2 years so I can't tell about present quality. Good luck.

Do your paddles actually align better than mine and do you use the paddles?  I assumed they'd be useful for quick corner joints on shorter lengths since you can avoid laying out lines but in reality maybe their seldom used?

The only time I use the paddles is if I want Dominos the same distance from each edge of a board. If I’m putting more than 2 Dominos then I usually mark the internal slots and may use the paddles for the two outermost slots. I’m unsure how you are using them but, if it’s to locate a slot on both boards the same distance from an edge on each, I don’t understand how that could be misaligned. I do find that I mostly just put the boards together, mark the locations on both, and cut the slots. As for side to side alignment I many times cut 1 slot with the small width and the others with the mid-size slot to allow some adjustment. However, I have cut all the slots the same size and usually get great results. Don’t know if that helps.
Randy

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2020, 05:20 PM »
If it were me, I'd just keep returning then until you get one that performs to your satisfaction. The Domino is a great tool but only if it performs as it is supposed to. I guess I feel lucky I have never had the problems with Festool or the places I've bought the tools from that you are experiencing. Maybe it just is a sign that Festool's quality control has slipped over the years. I haven't bought one for at least 2 years so I can't tell about present quality. Good luck.

Do your paddles actually align better than mine and do you use the paddles?  I assumed they'd be useful for quick corner joints on shorter lengths since you can avoid laying out lines but in reality maybe their seldom used?

The only time I use the paddles is if I want Dominos the same distance from each edge of a board. If I’m putting more than 2 Dominos then I usually mark the internal slots and may use the paddles for the two outermost slots. I’m unsure how you are using them but, if it’s to locate a slot on both boards the same distance from an edge on each, I don’t understand how that could be misaligned. I do find that I mostly just put the boards together, mark the locations on both, and cut the slots. As for side to side alignment I many times cut 1 slot with the small width and the others with the mid-size slot to allow some adjustment. However, I have cut all the slots the same size and usually get great results. Don’t know if that helps.

The results I've shared are with me aligning the edges, drawing a line, and joining with one single Domino on narrow setting.  The misalignment comes when you have a difference in distance between the edge of the mortise and the pin on either side.  This is why the replacement/calibration pins are slightly thinner as to allow the mortise to be offset more on one side and bring the line into alignment.

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #82 on: November 04, 2020, 06:04 PM »
Calibrate the paddles by following the steps shown in the manual until they offer the desired (perfect?) results. I've used paddles since Day 1 the machine was brought home.

Unless you can eyeball and align the machine with pencil lines every time when using the narrow setting on both mating mortises (I can't, my success rates vary around 50% to 60%), calibrated paddles give you built-in repeatability and accuracy.

Of course, you don't need to use the narrow setting for every mating mortise. When you do as in the case of doing shelf/partition joints (where the show edges must meet flush), the paddles excel -- without failure.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2020, 06:15 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #83 on: November 04, 2020, 06:22 PM »
Calibrate the paddles by following the steps shown in the manual until they offer the desired (perfect?) results. I've used paddles since Day 1 the machine was brought home.

Unless you can eyeball and align the machine with pencil lines every time when using the narrow setting on both mating mortises (I can't, my success rates vary around 50% to 60%), calibrated paddles give you built-in repeatability and accuracy.

Of course, you don't need to use the narrow setting for every mating mortise. When you do as in the case of doing shelf/partition joints (where the show edges must meet flush), the paddles excel -- without failure.

I followed the instructions of removing the set screw, flipping the paddle upwards, removing it, installing the replacement which has thinner paddle, pushing it back down, and re-installing the set screw.  I did this on the Left pin only, Right pin only, and both pins replaced, which are the photo's I've taken.  I'll run through it again just to double check there wasn't some tear-out fiber which got in between the paddle and edge.  Is there some recommended way of sliding the Domino up to the edge for consistency?

Offline darita

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #84 on: November 06, 2020, 09:45 AM »
Haven't read thru all the replies, so I'm sure this has already been mentioned...I had my Domino for a short time and thought I knew what I was doing.  All of a sudden, like you, I couldn't get the faces of boards flush to one another.  I finally realized that the boards I was machining were slightly thinner than the distance from the Domino fence face to the table top I was using.  This caused the fence to be raised up very slightly off the workpiece face, resulting in the misalignment of the faces.
Once I realized this, I put a piece of stock under the workpiece, raising it off the table top, allowing the fence face to sit flush on the face of the workpiece.  All was good after that.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #85 on: November 06, 2020, 09:50 AM »
Haven't read thru all the replies, so I'm sure this has already been mentioned...I had my Domino for a short time and thought I knew what I was doing.  All of a sudden, like you, I couldn't get the faces of boards flush to one another.  I finally realized that the boards I was machining were slightly thinner than the distance from the Domino fence face to the table top I was using.  This caused the fence to be raised up very slightly off the workpiece face, resulting in the misalignment of the faces.
Once I realized this, I put a piece of stock under the workpiece, raising it off the table top, allowing the fence face to sit flush on the face of the workpiece.  All was good after that.

Yep, I've the edge having over the edge of the MFT/3 so I'm referencing with the Domino fence rather than base but thanks for pointing it out.  The horizontal alignment is only off by about the thickness of a piece of copy paper which is totally fine but now the paddles/alignment pins do not align even after swapping out the other paddles in the package for calibration ... hoping to be able to double check today.

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #86 on: November 06, 2020, 11:05 AM »
Yep, I've the edge having over the edge of the MFT/3 so I'm referencing with the Domino fence rather than base but thanks for pointing it out.  The horizontal alignment is only off by about the thickness of a piece of copy paper which is totally fine but now the paddles/alignment pins do not align even after swapping out the other paddles in the package for calibration ... hoping to be able to double check today.
Hey Bugsy,

    One other thing I wanted to mention. What was your plunge speed? When I was learning from the Festool folks, I was told a slow, steady plunge works best. Here's the theory behind this and as a longtime router user, it immediately made sense. The Domino is essentially a waggling router. When it waggles one way it's a regular cut but when it waggles the other way it becomes a climb cut. A climb cut will push the work away from the cutter. In any case, if you are suffering from loose tenons, (sounds like a drug commercial) try counting to eight for your plunges. My experience was that getting that chop down developed a bit of muscle memory such that I can now tell by the feel of the cutter in the material if I'm going too fast. Also, the typical overly fast plunge will result in a tombstone cut on the top of the mortise. Not sure if this helps, but keep up the good work....
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #87 on: November 06, 2020, 11:22 AM »
Hey @jcrowe1950, yes my plunge speed is about 8 seconds as you'll see in the video.  I definitely don't push hard and fast as I don't want the climb cut or for the bit to nut cut fast enough and the tool to deflect and come out of parallel with the fence.  I'm really looking forward to making some cabinets/bookshelves with the Domino and hope I can sort out the side to side alignment with the pins as it could really speed things up on shorter pieces...

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #88 on: November 17, 2020, 06:46 PM »
Hey @jcrowe1950, yes my plunge speed is about 8 seconds as you'll see in the video.  I definitely don't push hard and fast as I don't want the climb cut or for the bit to nut cut fast enough and the tool to deflect and come out of parallel with the fence.  I'm really looking forward to making some cabinets/bookshelves with the Domino and hope I can sort out the side to side alignment with the pins as it could really speed things up on shorter pieces...
Hey Bugsy, et al,

     Not to revive this thread but last night I discovered a glitch with my D500 and remembered Sedge talking about the fix. I was dominoing fronts/backs of drawers to the sides. I began to notice during dry fit that the edges were not flush and I had been very careful in my process. Then I checked my setting on the fence with my setup blocks and, indeed, they had drifted off by enough to irritate me. What I did was to reset fence height locking lever to make it tighter. You do this by taking out the small phillips screw, removing the lever from the splined shaft and rotating it a little counter clockwise before replacing it. Then you replace the screw and away you go....this may have nothing to do with your issue but it did solve mine.

Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #89 on: November 17, 2020, 08:24 PM »
I fixed mine from Day 1 when the factory setting wasn't quite right (the lever went beyond the fence when tightened). Luckily, as a newbie, I tracked down what to do in the manual.

Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 617
Re: Domino DF500 Accuracy/Alignment Issues
« Reply #90 on: November 17, 2020, 11:18 PM »
Hey @jcrowe1950, yes my plunge speed is about 8 seconds as you'll see in the video.  I definitely don't push hard and fast as I don't want the climb cut or for the bit to nut cut fast enough and the tool to deflect and come out of parallel with the fence.  I'm really looking forward to making some cabinets/bookshelves with the Domino and hope I can sort out the side to side alignment with the pins as it could really speed things up on shorter pieces...
Hey Bugsy, et al,

     Not to revive this thread but last night I discovered a glitch with my D500 and remembered Sedge talking about the fix. I was dominoing fronts/backs of drawers to the sides. I began to notice during dry fit that the edges were not flush and I had been very careful in my process. Then I checked my setting on the fence with my setup blocks and, indeed, they had drifted off by enough to irritate me. What I did was to reset fence height locking lever to make it tighter. You do this by taking out the small phillips screw, removing the lever from the splined shaft and rotating it a little counter clockwise before replacing it. Then you replace the screw and away you go....this may have nothing to do with your issue but it did solve mine.

Hi, thanks for the suggestion. Thankfully all the Domino’s have come with the knobs adjusted so they’re fairly tight by the time they reach the bottom. I know what you mean about adjusting the knobs as I’ve done this on the quick clamps for the guide rails to get them fro being to lose or to tough to put on.

The current Domino doesn’t have fence drift but rather the paddles don’t create a joint in which the edges are flush, even after swapping paddles.

The previous Domino made perfect joints, couldn’t even feel any lip, but the body was missing the mortise width markings and seemed to have been dropped as the fence with stiff and scratchy feeling. I’m probably going to return again and hope the next one will remain with at least as good of face flush ness, only a paper thickness difference, but fix the paddles so edges are flush enough to at least clamp without marring the wood.

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