Author Topic: My first impressions of Domino  (Read 7307 times)

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Offline clintholeman

  • Posts: 301
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • Clint Holeman, Fine Furniture and Cabinets
My first impressions of Domino
« on: February 23, 2007, 11:05 PM »
it is an incredble and wondrous machine!  It will, for those who get them, change the way you build!  I have some early thoughts over on my blog and will posting more here and at my blog over the next few weeks. 

Try [http://woodnsoul.blogspot.com] for my blog ---

It is even better than I had hoped it would be!  Here are a couplke of images of the first simple test I did - using 2" pieces for rails and stiles - I do m&t joints for face frames and the like by the boatload.  This is pure joy!  Here are a couple of test project shots from my blog.
Clint Holeman

clint@clintholeman.com
http://www.clintholeman.com

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Offline richard.selwyn

  • Posts: 635
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2007, 09:07 AM »
Being in Europe, I've had the Domino for about a year and use it on and off.  I used it yesterday and had a problem that has occured before.  When using the retractable stops to line up a series of holes, after the first couple the holes stop lining up.  I can overcome the problem by increasing the slot width, but that is not always appropriate.  If I use pencil marks as I do with the biscuit jointer I never have a problem.  I was being particularly careful to maek sure, or so I thought that the stop was correctly lined up in the slot and was particularlt furios when the holes failed to line up by several mm's, particularly as the client was there watching and waiting for his "quick fix"

Can anyone tell me where they think I am going wrong?  The slots were being made in pine boards - could it be that the pine is too soft and the guide pin is deflecting the wood?  I am using a vacuum and proceeding much more slowly than I would with a Lamello.

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1906
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 09:41 AM »
Being in Europe, I've had the Domino for about a year and use it on and off.  I used it yesterday and had a problem that has occured before.  When using the retractable stops to line up a series of holes, after the first couple the holes stop lining up.  I can overcome the problem by increasing the slot width, but that is not always appropriate.  If I use pencil marks as I do with the biscuit jointer I never have a problem.  I was being particularly careful to maek sure, or so I thought that the stop was correctly lined up in the slot and was particularlt furios when the holes failed to line up by several mm's, particularly as the client was there watching and waiting for his "quick fix"

Can anyone tell me where they think I am going wrong?  The slots were being made in pine boards - could it be that the pine is too soft and the guide pin is deflecting the wood?  I am using a vacuum and proceeding much more slowly than I would with a Lamello.

Richard,

Are you absolutely sure you are setting the stops to the same mark on both wings. I have only seen the Domino once and I believe the detents are about a mm each. If you happened to be off by one detent it would start accumulating a mm per slot compared to the other wing. I would start by comparing the distance between a mortice when done with one wing compared to the same setting when done with the other side. If they are not identical then something is wrong with a wing.

Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5135
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2007, 09:43 AM »
Being in Europe, I've had the Domino for about a year and use it on and off.  I used it yesterday and had a problem that has occurred before.  When using the retractable stops to line up a series of holes, after the first couple the holes stop lining up.  I can overcome the problem by increasing the slot width, but that is not always appropriate.  If I use pencil marks as I do with the biscuit jointer I never have a problem.  I was being particularly careful to make sure, or so I thought that the stop was correctly lined up in the slot and was particularlt furios when the holes failed to line up by several mm's, particularly as the client was there watching and waiting for his "quick fix"

Can anyone tell me where they think I am going wrong?  The slots were being made in pine boards - could it be that the pine is too soft and the guide pin is deflecting the wood?  I am using a vacuum and proceeding much more slowly than I would with a Lamello.

Just guessing since I don't have a Domino yet. If this is wrong please excuse me.
I gather that the pin registers in the side of the previous mortise rather than the center. For this system to remain accurate over several positions each mortise has to be exactly identical in width. Anything that can affect mortise width will introduce error in the spacing and errors accumulate making the pattern worse as you go on. A few of the things that can affect the mortise width are, lateral movement of the tool while mortising, residual dust in the mortise, soft wood allowing the pin to mis-register.

In the FestoolUSA.com knowledge base I read this;

"Cutting your mortise to the exact size by using the first setting on the mortise width dial will allow you to use the Domino for registration to perfectly align your work piece. When using the Domino for case work, or for running Dominos in series, we suggest that you use the Dominos at both ends for registration. The mortises in the field can be laid out and cut using the cross-stop and one of the wider mortise settings to provide side-to-side play for quick and easy assembly."

 

Offline richard.selwyn

  • Posts: 635
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2007, 09:55 AM »
Thanks for that - I think I'm going to follow the tip in the knowledge base in future - wish we had a knowledge base here in France.

Offline clintholeman

  • Posts: 301
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • Clint Holeman, Fine Furniture and Cabinets
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2007, 12:09 PM »
It sounds like Michael has the approach I would take.  Also, if I were only doing a few, I think I would still mark them and double check registration.  Sort of the old, measure twice, cut once philosophy. ;D

As I'm testing Domino, I'll check it out and give you my impressions.
Clint Holeman

clint@clintholeman.com
http://www.clintholeman.com

Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2007, 12:38 PM »
Hello Richard,

Hope things are well over there, apart from your little Domino problem. 

My hope is that some of those members here who have been using the Domino for at least several weeks would comment on your question.  As one who has only used the tool in a "demo" situation in a store, I cant add much from experience.  But logic tells me that the spacing of the cut from the retractable pins is purely a physical-mechanical matter.  That is, it has to be the same distance from cutter to pin each time, unless the cutter moves laterally (that would be a significant machine problem) or the pin moves laterally (same) from one plunge to the next.

I can, however, see where the distance from the right pin to cutter might be slightly different that from the left pin to the cutter.  And my understanding from Bill E's excellent introductory review of the Domino is that at least of the pins has an eccentric adjustment to remedy exactly that problem.  Could that be the issue that you're having?  You should be able to determine that by measuring distance from edge of board to edge of mortise on plunges cut from each pin.

Otherwise, it would seem that the observations by Michael and Greg below would cover the logical possibilities.

Offline clintholeman

  • Posts: 301
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • Clint Holeman, Fine Furniture and Cabinets
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2007, 06:58 PM »
Richard-

When you are making a series of mortises, it is my impression that the first one on each end is "tight" and the interior mortises are made using the looser setting.  There are several reasons for doing this that I can see - alignment being one and expansion for another.

Is the problem that the interior mortises aren't lining up while using the "tight" setting?

Just trying to fully understand the problem so I can go and repeat it in my own shop.
Clint Holeman

clint@clintholeman.com
http://www.clintholeman.com

Offline richard.selwyn

  • Posts: 635
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2007, 06:43 AM »
Clintholeman wrote
"When you are making a series of mortises, it is my impression that the first one on each end is "tight" and the interior mortises are made using the looser setting.  There are several reasons for doing this that I can see - alignment being one and expansion for another.

Is the problem that the interior mortises aren't lining up while using the "tight" setting?

Just trying to fully understand the problem so I can go and repeat it in my own shop."

That's exactly it - I was joining two 'nasty/cheap' 19mm pine boards for someone and somehow thought that if all the slots were tight it might make the thing stronger.  On reflection that's a bit daft, but in principal I SHOULD be able to get them all to line up using the pins.  When I mark and cut I have lined up a row of 10 to 15 dominos with no problem (but I have to put my glasses on!).
One thing I haven't looked at is the possibility of adjusting the pins - I'll check that next.  I love the tool in general, but still don't feel as confident with it as with the Lamello biscuit jointer.
Thanks to everyone for all your feedback.  I'm now so addicted to it I've got a computer in the workshop! - please keep it coming.

By the way, as I too am PC challenged, how do I make someone else's quote appear in a nice blue box?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2007, 06:45 AM by richard.selwyn »

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3758
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2007, 07:56 AM »
Clintholeman wrote
"When you are making a series of mortises, it is my impression that the first one on each end is "tight" and the interior mortises are made using the looser setting.  There are several reasons for doing this that I can see - alignment being one and expansion for another.

Is the problem that the interior mortises aren't lining up while using the "tight" setting?

Just trying to fully understand the problem so I can go and repeat it in my own shop."

That's exactly it - I was joining two 'nasty/cheap' 19mm pine boards for someone and somehow thought that if all the slots were tight it might make the thing stronger.  On reflection that's a bit daft, but in principal I SHOULD be able to get them all to line up using the pins.  When I mark and cut I have lined up a row of 10 to 15 dominos with no problem (but I have to put my glasses on!).
One thing I haven't looked at is the possibility of adjusting the pins - I'll check that next.  I love the tool in general, but still don't feel as confident with it as with the Lamello biscuit jointer.
Thanks to everyone for all your feedback.  I'm now so addicted to it I've got a computer in the workshop! - please keep it coming.

By the way, as I too am PC challenged, how do I make someone else's quote appear in a nice blue box?

Having only looked at and drooled over the Domino, there is not much I can help you with for your original question.  I think I can help you with the Quote problem.  Just look in the upper right hand corner of each post.  You see a little picture that is labeled "Quote".  Just hit that and you are in business.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5135
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2007, 09:58 AM »
... but in principal I SHOULD be able to get them all to line up using the pins.  When I mark and cut I have lined up a row of 10 to 15 dominos with no problem (but I have to put my glasses on!)....

In theory, or principal, all the mortises should line up. But, in the real world it is nearly impossible for an edge-of-hole registration system to provide accurate results. A center of hole registration system would be better but difficult to implement so Festool chose the sensible solution of providing a way to widen the intermediate mortises so registration in that axis is tolerant of small errors while maintaining the tight tolerances required for surface alignment. I built a series of integrated cases using dowels and it was a real pain. I used dowels because of the need to securely dry fit the corner case in order to make measurements from it and biscuits don't cut it for dry assembly. Sure wish I'd had a Domino for that project. To drill the intermediate dowel holes I used the LS 32 system. With the Domino you only need a straight edge.

Even though it is practically impossible to get tight lateral alignment over several increments the mortises should still be closer than several mm so the suggestions to recheck the positioning and adjustment of the pins is the place to concentrate.

Offline clintholeman

  • Posts: 301
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • Clint Holeman, Fine Furniture and Cabinets
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2007, 02:06 PM »
Being in Europe, I've had the Domino for about a year and use it on and off.  I used it yesterday and had a problem that has occured before.  When using the retractable stops to line up a series of holes, after the first couple the holes stop lining up.  I can overcome the problem by increasing the slot width, but that is not always appropriate.  If I use pencil marks as I do with the biscuit jointer I never have a problem.  I was being particularly careful to maek sure, or so I thought that the stop was correctly lined up in the slot and was particularlt furios when the holes failed to line up by several mm's, particularly as the client was there watching and waiting for his "quick fix"


Richard-

I've tried to duplicate the errors you had and can do so by:  not ensuring that that pins are all the way over in the "indexing" mortise and/or having a little piece of wood left in the mortise that interferes with the indexing pin.  Using the tight setting for the internal tenons, one can be a victim of Domino's precision.  I couldn't duplicate the errors any other way - though I tried - and I'm good at making all kinds of errors ::).  I used some old, somewhat dampish, scrap pieces of pine and there were some small chips left in a couple of the mortises -- easily removed by blowing on them.

I still think I would use the wider setting for the inside mortises, just like breadboard mortises as I mentioned in my earlier post.

If you're still having problems, let me know and I'll work on it some more.

I have to say the more I test Domino, the more excited I get about it - its precision is amazing to me.  I will be using it for a couple of pieces in my shop now -- the first will be a bench - then a couple of small tables, then a larger table - and so on.
Clint Holeman

clint@clintholeman.com
http://www.clintholeman.com

Offline bill-e

  • Posts: 504
  • Rindge, New Hampshire, USA
    • New Hampshire Woodworker
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2007, 09:56 PM »
Another thing that could have caused your problem is if you left the Domino/Vac running when moving from mortise to mortise.

Especially without your glasses :), the suction of the domino is so strong that the Domino can stick to the work and feel like it is hooked in the mortise, when in actuality it is not.  Also, even if the Domino/vac are off, the friction bumpers can really grab the work at times.  I found that I needed to visually confirm the pin in the mortise, whether it was the index pin or the stop pin on the Cross Stop accessory.

My Domino was right on from an index pin perspective as was demonstrated in the test I did.

With the exception of that test, I did all my edge joining with middle width mortises.

Offline john stevens

  • Posts: 819
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2007, 09:51 PM »
Would somebody please tell me if I understand  all the possible sources of problems like Richard's?

  • pins on the opposite sides of the cross-stop not being calibrated at intial set-up after purchase of tool
    pins on the opposite sides of the cross-stop not being set equidistant before making mortises
    debris left in one or more mortises
    small, random variation in the widths of the mortises even though the width setting has not been changed
    user error in locating the pin at the edge of the adjacent mortise, due to friction of vacuum and non-slip pads
    deformation of work piece at edge of mortise where pin makes contact

Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline clintholeman

  • Posts: 301
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • Clint Holeman, Fine Furniture and Cabinets
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2007, 10:20 PM »
Would somebody please tell me if I understand  all the possible sources of problems like Richard's?

  • pins on the opposite sides of the cross-stop not being calibrated at intial set-up after purchase of tool
    pins on the opposite sides of the cross-stop not being set equidistant before making mortises
    debris left in one or more mortises
    small, random variation in the widths of the mortises even though the width setting has not been changed
    user error in locating the pin at the edge of the adjacent mortise, due to friction of vacuum and non-slip pads
    deformation of work piece at edge of mortise where pin makes contact

Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards,

John

I'm not sure about the pins being calibrated [or not], nor the mortise width changing at random, but I think the rest of them seem right - or thereabouts. ;)

One of the things I am learning to keep in mind is that Domino is one of the most precise pieces of equipment in my shop.  I really like that and one must use it with that in mind.
Clint Holeman

clint@clintholeman.com
http://www.clintholeman.com

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5135
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2007, 10:34 PM »
Hi John, do you have the Hoffmann dowel machine? I know at least one of our group has it. Since dowels require more precision than Dominoes are there similar problems using the Hoffmann machine? If not, how does it repeat positioning?

Offline john stevens

  • Posts: 819
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2007, 09:48 AM »
Michael, I don't have the Hoffman doweling machine, but that's an interesting thought.

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline Mike Chrest

  • Posts: 386
  • N.W. New York State
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2007, 11:53 AM »
Michael,
   The Hoffman dowel machine has an extrusion with notches in the edge for indexing long rows of holes. I guess (I don't own one) you can use the index pins as well but it would be way more fussy than the Domino.
Mike

Offline Dan Uhlir

  • Posts: 138
    • www.danuhlir.com
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2007, 01:35 PM »
Hi Clint

          Thank you for sharing your impressions, of the domino.Recently, I attended a woodworking show and saw a demo on the domino looks like a great tool.I was wondering about the square in the photo, what kind it is? I'm looking to pick up a new square and I'm all over the map as usual. Thanks Dan

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5135
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2007, 02:03 PM »
Michael,
   The Hoffman dowel machine has an extrusion with notches in the edge for indexing long rows of holes....
Mike

Now I do recall seeing that notched positioning bar at Hoffman's web site. That's a positive solution to the problem. When I did a big project with dowels I learned the hard way that mechanical positioning was required. To get satisfactory results I used the dowel template on the VS 600 (and the OF 1000) to drill holes into the ends of boards and used the LS 32 system to drill holes in the sides of boards. It was still a pain.

Offline clintholeman

  • Posts: 301
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • Clint Holeman, Fine Furniture and Cabinets
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2007, 04:13 PM »
Hi Clint

          Thank you for sharing your impressions, of the domino.Recently, I attended a woodworking show and saw a demo on the domino looks like a great tool.I was wondering about the square in the photo, what kind it is? I'm looking to pick up a new square and I'm all over the map as usual. Thanks Dan

Dan-

It is a very fancy and expensive Stanley - about $10 maybe less. ;)  Had it for quite a while and it seems to work.  I would like to go and buy a really cool and pricey square that they have at my local wood supply house, but kind of hard to justify when this one works well and when I drop it I'm not dropping a $100 bill.
Clint Holeman

clint@clintholeman.com
http://www.clintholeman.com

Offline Dan Uhlir

  • Posts: 138
    • www.danuhlir.com
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2007, 10:39 PM »
Hi Clint

     Thanks for the quick response, I think I'll go looking for the same model, price seems great, and I figure if it's good enough for you, it's good enough for me. Thanks again Dan

Offline clintholeman

  • Posts: 301
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • Clint Holeman, Fine Furniture and Cabinets
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2007, 11:36 PM »
I have been working with Domino for part of the day today.  Doing some mortises for a bench.  A simple project and a good test for Domino - ok, a good learning tool for me.  Using Domino is kind of like going to dog obedience school - it is the owner who gets trained.

I've got a write up on my blog with some pix of what i was doing with Domino today.

An interesting find today.  There is this mark on the right side of the frame indicating where the centerline of the cut is.  Makes setting up for a mortise on a slab of wood, like a wide leg or cabinet side, a trivial exercise:  precise and fast.  Even though I am still WAY up on the Domino learning curve, it took only a small fraction of the time to do the mortises compared to the old way -- and though I may not like to admit it - they were really precisely placed!
Clint Holeman

clint@clintholeman.com
http://www.clintholeman.com

Offline richard.selwyn

  • Posts: 635
Re: My first impressions of Domino
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2007, 10:29 AM »
Thanks to everyone with suggestions about my alignment problem.  Now all I need is another job to try them out.