Author Topic: My first Domino project  (Read 13418 times)

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Offline T. Michael

  • Posts: 63
My first Domino project
« on: February 16, 2007, 11:19 AM »
(This is my third attempt at sending this; please forgive me if all three arrive eventually)

Hi,  I promised to keep you posted on my first Domino project.  The day I won the domino, I bought 40 bf of alder to make a sofa table, Greene and Greene style.  I was going to build it anyway, but what an opportunity to test out the Domino!.  While waiting for delivery, I cobbled together a full sized mockup out of scraps of wood in the shop to test size, ratios, and style on the spouse, using the MultiRouter for the loose tenon joints.  Got all that done, decided on the final look, and ruff milled my lumber; awaiting Domino day.

And it came, Monday before last.  Wow, what a beauty.  Took it right down to the shop and read the brief manual.  Had to figure a few things out, like there are two vertical scales for setting the position of the mortise from the top of a board.  The big one is actual distance in mms from the top of the board to the center, so what you see is what you get.  The other scale is on the little step adjuster on the lower left side, where you input the whole thickness of the board (in preselected set mm dimensions). 20, 22, 28, etc.  This then moves the horizontal fence up half that distance from the center of the cutter.  Very convenient, but confusing at first.  Luckily, I made 5 legs for my 4 legged sofa table, so practiced a few cuts before drilling into the real thing.

I know this is a fast machine, but I took 2.2 hours from picking up the manual to having 4 legs, 4 aprons, 2 stretchers joined together and standing with 24 dominoes, 48 mortises.

Only made two mistakes, (so far) both non fatal.  When I was transferring dimensions from the stretcher rd to the leg, I mis-measured by 1/8 of an inch for the offset between two mortises; that combined with me being a bit tricky, keeping the 8 mm Dominos close togeher in a 3" wide stretcher, I had plunged both holes in the tight hole configuration (13mm + bit diameter), and relieved one of the holes on the leg side with the medium slot (19mm + bit diameter).  But it didn't quite fit.  At first I thought that the slot offset was asymetrical, then found out I'd mis-transferred the center to center distance.  Of course.  So, a little hand chiseling and she fits fine.

The second problem came when glueing up the top.  I was joining 2" side rails to each side of a 10" field board. Did the recommended procedure of small dimension moritise at the end, reset the width, then cut all the rest at the medium width.  Moved progressively down the line using the wing spacing accessory at 200 mm.  Very cool.  However on one of the 4 passes, I made two of the tight slots in a row, then all the rest the medium.  Oops.  Of course, the error progresses down the line as you go.  First few dominoes fit, but the last 4 did not.  Just reset up, cut the slots in the right places.  Now I have some Very WIDE mortise slots; but they fit fine, and glued up straignt and tight.

Also found a good solution for putting mortises into the middle of a wide board (for the horizontal slats to hold up the lower level decking).  I used Jet clamps, which include 3/4" posts you can screw on the bottom, giving you vertical clamps for your work bench or MFT. Then mark, set the offset to suit, and you're there. (see pic)

That's where I am so far.  Off on a weeks trip, and when I come back will put the breadboards on the top, then start shaping the curves and edges on the project.  The Breadboards will be pinned in the center with Dominos, the outsides will have dominos glued into the table top, but loose in the breadboard with elongated holes giving the dowel pinning them together room to move as the top changes dimensions.

Impressions.  First, it is a very handsome, mechanal marvel.  Easy to set up, very easy to use.  Makes the cutting of mortise almost anticlimatical, and it's over in nothing flat.  All the rest is stock preperation, layout, checking dimensions, a bit of testing then Wham.  you're done.  I even got to feeling guilty over it being so easy.  I will get over that and find much more for this tool to do. 

Getting after a project right away has been a great way to start learning the Domino and a very fulfilling experience.

A few pics below; 1. dry fit of first 48 mortises in front of prototype; 2. slot width correction due to progressive error; 3. JET clamps for holding wide boards vertical over work bench;  4. Table in its semifinshed state with top and slats. Breadboards not yet installed.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 11:23 AM by T. Michael »
T. Michael Ward

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Offline Dan Clark

  • Posts: 540
    • talkFestool
Re: My first Domino project
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 06:44 PM »
I even got to feeling guilty over it being so easy.  I will get over that and find much more for this tool to do. 
In a week or two, if you're still feeling guilty and feel the need get back in touch with your inner woodworker, just send the little puppy to me and I'll see that it gets to a good home!  (Guess which one.)   ;D

That is some VERY nice work!   It's great to see that you are enjoying it.


Offline Lou Miller

  • Posts: 480
  • North Wales, PA
    • Some of my work
Re: My first Domino project
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2007, 07:06 PM »
Okay, you're a member of the forum that actually posts, you kept your word, and you did nice work with it. I still don't like you though!

Cause you won one and I didn't...  :P

I don't like the other two guys either. :)