Author Topic: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller  (Read 13988 times)

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Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 341
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2018, 08:16 PM »
Yes, I am a bonafied Plug-It fan! Considering how few corded machines I have left nowadays I am glad to have them all fitted with the Plug-it system for convenience. Still bugs me that I can't do it with the Mirka sander...

You could always try an alternative labelled sander with Mirka's motor & mechanism:  Sumake, Rupes, Carsystem, Delmeq or Indasa.  All these have fixed cabling systems.  Only Mirka & Metabo seem to share their own proprietory plug-it cabling.  Alternatively, you could always ditch both the Mirka & Tooltechnic plug-it tools & just buy fixed cable machines & install your own system instead.  Some are apparently pretty reliable, giving reputedly more glitch-free performance than the abovementioned two.  Festool once offered a proper fixed cable alternative, but I haven't seen any in their current catalogues for a few years.

For what it's worth, I've sampled an assortment of plug-it systems from not just Festool & Mirka, but also B&D, Elu, Kango, Atlas Copco, Milwaukee & Eisenblaetter over the years (30 odd?) with nary an issue ever.  But I don't ever exchange cables between tools.  To me it's a waste of my time, in Mirka/Metabo's case difficult to accomplish with a vac hose installed, and all but guaranteed to increase the incidence of bad connection through repetition.  Every required tool remains plugged into a power board on or near the vac.  I just exchange vac hoses as required.

I also noticed recently that Mirka now offer a rewirable plug-it female plug, thus negating the potential expense of cable replacement.

More important to me is the current prevalence of poly-vinyl chloride power tool cabling.  It's cheap, nasty, occasionally unsafe & in many ways & instances unsuited for some of the tools to which it's installed.  Thankfully, the very best tool companies still incorporate rubber sheathing & high-purity microstranded copper flex on their premium tools.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 02:59 AM by aloysius »
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Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2018, 02:42 AM »
Most of the corded tools I've kept have their own Plug-it cable attached to it in the Systainer. A few of them I don't use that often but travel together so they get to share a cable on site.

In the shop switching cables is unfortunately a necessity since I have a cable attached to the shop vac hose and that is getting quite a workout some days, switching between two/three machines at times. I do have the OFK500 on a separate cord since I don't use a vac for it so that keeps the switching down some for me.

I have yet to wear out a cable or fitting though my ETS EC 150 sander broke down just shy of the warranty going out, the machine end connector being the culprit. I think. I will never know as Festool misplaced the sander in house and I got a new one eventually, but no thanks to Festool. There was a small popping noise when attaching the cable so I think the ETS EC 150 shorted out due to something broken on the machine end. Cable was fine and fairly new and no other tools were affected. 

 I am keeping an eye on things and I am aware of the potential problems. As long as it is just a matter of replacing a cable I am fine with that though I hope I don't have to.
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline mcooley

  • Posts: 238
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2018, 08:22 AM »
For the price the plug-it seems like it needs to be reworked. My Domino 500 connector pin sheared clean off inside the socket and the Festool tech said it was probably a worn out Plug-it cord etc. You have to be sure the cord is turned all the way and doesn't loosen over time. Otherwise, it can introduce play and strain the connectors in the socket. I keep wondering what other Festool tool will do this next? I purchased a new plug-it cord since the metal pin was jammed inside it but as for the other cords no way can I afford to buy all new ones. At least like many people I only use a couple cords regularly. Who has ever heard of a $50 cord anyhow? Crazy. I mean the plug isn't exactly high tech and the fact you can't take it apart or repair it is more or less planned obsolescence. As a separate note the other end of the cord is just as unreliable by loosely fitting in the outlet which is completely contradictory to the whole premise of the system, no?   

Offline mcooley

  • Posts: 238
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2018, 08:27 AM »
One more note about the new Mafell. Maybe Festool will now finally step up on the ergonomics. I know they like the minimalist thing but the fact your hand has no definite place to grip the machine is something they need to fix. The Mafell at least tries. I have yet to handle one but I assume it feels more stable than the DF 500.   

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 252
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2018, 08:36 AM »
I think I push on the "butt" of the tool with my older duo-doweller much of the time.  Plunging into hardwoods requires some pressure.   Stuff like MDF plunges easily and alignment is more consistent.  I mentioned elsewhere that stationary dowel drills use clamp downs which the Mafell lacks.   It may be an acceptable compromise but from part to part the clamped parts are likely to come in with tighter tolerances.

Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2018, 03:45 PM »
A very brief write up on the topic (I have a longer version on the MUF though I am not sure linking is appreciated by the mod's):

The machine is bulkier.
But, the ergonomics are improved and the on/off switch is way better (if it lasts!) and overall balance is great.

Plunge speed is slower than the Domino DF500 and a little slower than the DD40G with 8mm bits. I find I have to use more force - despite the better ergonomics - to complete a plunge with the DDF 40.

My DDF40 was the MaxiMax version - all goodies included.

However they did not ship my unit with a plunge depth scale  [crying] which I realized early on in the thread on the MUF as I complained about having to measure up the depth of cut manually from the bits and another user wrote about the "scale on the side of the machine" - which turned out to be missing on my unit!  [big grin]

(The dealership has ordered up the spare part today...)

Being well familiar with the plunge action of the DD40G and Domino DF500 (and 700) I agree that the butt end grip works best. For the Domino I equipped it with a "D" handle sort of like the XL700 which has significantly improved plunge action and ergonomics on my DF500.

But I digress... 

...the DDF is slower to plunge, the depth scale was missing and the depth stop is mushy, the plastic tabs give a little when you reach the end of the plunge. It feels a bit cheap and makes it a little harder to know when you are done. On better quality MDF the DDF40 slows a little midplunge and requires more force to complete the plunge despite having better ergonomics. I tried various grips but decided the butt end is still the best and more comfortable than the DD40G and the Domino.

Despite all that the machine is a joy to register against the work piece and to work with, precision is excellent and with less slop than the Domino (for better or worse!)

Everything assembled has a snug fit with no play but without having to use excessive force to put it together. This is stellar performance and definitively outweighs the nitpicks - which still are annoying, I have to say.

The accessories are very well made and the alu adapter for the template rail works as a lateral support for surface plunging (perpendicular to the material). However my adapter did work itself a bit loose - twice - after a series of plunges so it is something I will have to keep an eye on. I did tighten it up I am sure and after the second time it worked one side a bit loose I was sure I wasn't imagining things, but with some mdf dirt and grime in there it will probably not unwind further down the line. ;)

It is surely not a Domino replacement but it will take a heavy toll on my Domino usage. Still, the Domino does things that are unique to it and has given me some good solutions for furniture making so mine is a definite keeper but I do appreciate the updated Duo Doweller as it has taken the older DD40G/P to the next level and made it as simple to use as the Domino has always been.

The DDF40 can also register on the inside side of cabinets which is nice - though the vac hose adapter has to be removed for the right side - and this came in handy for me today. 

If you are into the DDF I think it makes sense to get the MaxiMax with the goodies as it does expand the possibilities. Stocking up on Dowels is cheap too! :)

For anyone contemplating either the Domino OR the DDF 40 I am not sure which to recommend over the other.
As it stands today I think I would go for the DDF40 for cost over time, ease of use and the ease of finding and stocking up on dowels though I am very happy with my Domino. The DDF40 can do a few things related to cabinet building the Domino simply can't so if one is on a limited budget the DDF40 has a few key advantages.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 04:00 PM by Henrik R / Pingvinlakrits »
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2018, 03:53 PM »
I think I push on the "butt" of the tool with my older duo-doweller much of the time.  Plunging into hardwoods requires some pressure.   Stuff like MDF plunges easily and alignment is more consistent.  I mentioned elsewhere that stationary dowel drills use clamp downs which the Mafell lacks.   It may be an acceptable compromise but from part to part the clamped parts are likely to come in with tighter tolerances.

I fully agree with this. On MDF on the upper scale of the density range the DDF40 is a bit slower in use though. Still not too slow but a few plunges in MDF required more force than I expected. The Domino digs in differently and is not a fair comparison but is faster for sure. It is worth the extra effort for the extra precision though the "slop" in the Domino mortises are sometimes very beneficial for assembly.  There is not much wiggle room with the DDF40 but so far all pieces have come together just square, snug and perfect. Unglued MDF boxes are surprisingly stable.

Except for questionable QC at Mafell in recent years  (for me personally; issues with three out of six NEW machines ordered and a fourth one giving up the ghost which takes the total up to FOUR out of six purchases requiring warranty repairs...  ) I do think the DDF40 is a great upgrade to the DD40G and a worthy addition to any a workshop in need of a intuititive, hand held jointer.

To be fair I will mention that other people who have tried the new DDF40 have mixed results with plunge speed with the 8mm bits in MDF. At least one person finds it fast in plunge operation and YMMV but I find it a bit on the slow side. Slow, but precise.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 04:03 PM by Henrik R / Pingvinlakrits »
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2018, 04:10 PM »
As far as I can tell the only factor that allows the new model to drill lines is a new plastic tab thing with a 32mm offset which for some reason they didn't make for the older model.   The tabs may be backwards compatible.

There is a sturdy adapter for the Mafell LR32 template rails included in the MaxiMax kit and available as an accessory. "Auxilliary rest ZA".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Cj600bEjvqY


The tabs are not backwards compatible with the older model. There is a slight difference in the machining of the base plate receptacle. We did try fitting the new tabs to the older model.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 04:12 PM by Henrik R / Pingvinlakrits »
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2018, 03:48 PM »
Quick update: machine runs nicely.

It is not as forgiving as the Domino when it comes to placement/doweling and subsequent assembly.  After a few boxes with internal chambers done with both side by side it is hard to pick a winner - but for me I actually prefer the Domino, it plunges faster, is more forgiving and the end result is pretty much the same.

I say pretty much as the DDF 40 is capable of higher precision and is not very forgiving if you freebase it. Parts will come together and align perfectly or almost not at all. If any piece is out a fraction for any reason it might give you problems fitting it together.

I am not saying I am sloppy with the technique but the DF500 has some advantages for on the fly work whereas the DDF40 can do a little more than "just" dowelling pieces together. :)
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 252
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2018, 08:21 PM »
I intend to get some oversized 8mm bits for mine... or make a dowel plate for the dowels I have.  It's not that I have a problem with not drilling the holes accurately, just that when the glue is in and I'm putting things together it can be a little difficult.

Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2018, 09:33 AM »
I intend to get some oversized 8mm bits for mine... or make a dowel plate for the dowels I have.  It's not that I have a problem with not drilling the holes accurately, just that when the glue is in and I'm putting things together it can be a little difficult.

Yes, the oversized bits are a good idea for sure. I don't really have a problem aligning the holes but sometimes the extra wiggle room is handy on site - as with the Domino. Two pieces that are a fraction off in size will make it hard to put a box together. 

Arguably the DDF40 is more precise. I have had the Domino since it came out in the market and done thousands of holes with it. Still I was very impressed by how sturdy and precise the first box with the DDF40 came out - much more rigid before glue up than an identical box made with the Domino which was a bit wiggly in comparison.

I actually still prefer the Domino as I am so used to it but I am hoping to warm up to the Mafell.
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4170
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2019, 02:19 PM »
Just ordered a DDF 400. Question about bits, I want a pair of 5mm bits but don't want to pay $78 for them when there are so many for $15 a piece.

Are these bits held by the shank like router bits or do they screw on like Domino cutters?

I read above that they are 8 mm shanks so can they be used in a router too?

* Just got a call from Timberwolf to make sure I'm not a victim of credit card fraud, and asked about the bits, he thinks they are proprietary and ordinary bits won't work. He said that are held by the round shank but a flat =on the shank is clamped by a screw.*

Anyone find a less costly source for compatible bits?

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2657
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller Drills
« Reply #42 on: August 05, 2019, 04:35 PM »
The DDF bits have a flat on the shank that allows them to be locked into place. You insert the bit and then tighten down a set screw using the supplied Allen wrench.

The tool can be used with one or two bits. If you use only one bit, you must tighten down the set screw on the unused drive shaft. Please don’t ask how I know this.

 I would not try to use the DDF bits as regular drill bits. Likewise, a regular drill bit would not work in the DDF.

After many years of using both Domino machines, I found the DDF surprisingly difficult to push through the cut.

There are excellent videos on the Timberwolf site.



Birdhunter

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4170
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #43 on: August 05, 2019, 04:52 PM »
“After many years of using both Domino machines, I found the DDF surprisingly difficult to push through the cut. ”

I suppose it’s the swarf impeding the progress of the drill. since a Domino cutter moves laterally too the swarf is cast aside and the dust extraction pulls it out of the way.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1175
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2019, 04:53 PM »
Mine is coming tomorrow.  Couldn't pass up the opportunity on the sale price of $998 including the accessory kit.  It is a beast.  I got to play with one a bit while we were in Munich last month.  I hope my Festools don't get upset with a different color systainer in the sysport.
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, Trion, MFT/3, T15, OF 1400, RO150FEQ, TS55, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, CSX, C18, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE with router and jig saw plates.  Sawstop contractor.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4170
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2019, 05:13 PM »
After posting my question about the bits I found Iwoirhaye’s post about finding bits at RouterBit World.

Looked for the bit online but failed so resorted to picking up the phone. Very helpful guy there found the bit and confirmed the shank diameter is 8mm and already has the flat for the set screw.

Cost $11.04 each. Priority Mail shipping $5.

Before finding out about RBW I’d found and ordered a pair made by European Tooling Systems at Edge of Arlington Saw Co. Also 8mm shank but uncertain if there is a flat. Again, very helpful people and the pair will be drop shipped (for free) from the manufacturer’s distribution center in North Carolina. Total cost $30.14.

Four bits for much less than two of the Mafell. Good if they work...

One last thing, at Timberwolf the bits are described as “hardened steel”. Surely they’re carbide tipped instead?

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 27
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2019, 06:13 PM »
I have bits from CMT and Leitz - both brands were a lot cheaper than Mafell. BUT, there's just 'something' about the Mafell bits. They seem to plunge a lot easier and stay sharp a lot longer. I only use the other brands when the originals are out to be sharpened.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4170
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2019, 01:09 PM »
Received the DDF 40 and CMT bits.

The aftermarket bits are nominally 55mm but are actually 53mm. The Mafell bits are also “55” but are actually about a 1/2mm longer so adjustment has to be made if you want a mixed pair to cut to the same depth.

My observations about the machine match those posted above so I won’t duplicate.

I’m engaged in a wholesale makeover reorganization of my basement shop. During the chaos I’ve barely room to setup an MFT so I’m kit bashing IKEA cabinets (when weird spaces require custom) and thought the DDF 40 would be good for that.

It’s working great when it’s working. Right now I’m turning 2 foot deep base cabinets into 3 foot deep by adding a foot of white melamine particle board to the original with ten 30mm long 8mm dowels to a 30” butt joint. With the included extension jig I can get a pair of dowels in the middle with no measuring required and no alignment issues. I tap the extension panel onto the dowels enough to keep the pair together while I get it off the table then just use the mass of the bigger panel to hammer the two together by pounding it on the floor (on a floor mat) and set it aside for the glue to dry.

It’s a bit trickier to modify the side and floor panels in order to maximize use of the existing IKEA fastening hardware. This requires drilling both a 5mm and 8mm hole together so the opposite side of the panel requires the bits to be swapped. All of the adjustments required are easy to do with the well designed tool and attachments.

I bought a cheap jig from Amazon for drilling the 15mm cam hole.

But, sometimes the machine doesn’t work at all. There have been reports of incorrectly installed wiring at the power switch resulting in the switch not staying on. I’ve experienced that (at least). In my case the switch does stay depressed but the power isn’t getting thru? What’s worse is that it might just start running again well after the switch is pressed when I’ve picked the tool up off the work to check it out. Potentially dangerous.

This is the 120 volt, 60Hz, 900 watt version.

In addition to the flaky switch (or because of it?) there is a sickly crackling sound from the area of the commutator.

I’m going to try to complete the task with this machine then send it back to Timberwolf. I’m not interested in taking it apart to repair the wiring to the switch even if that’s all that’s wrong. I’ve haven’t yet decided if I’ll want an exchange or refund but I do like joining options and the DDF 40 makes dowel joints (the best for particle board imo) very straight forward.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4170
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2019, 09:16 PM »
Grrr, it’s going back for refund.

Well I’m going to try to return it.
Doesn’t look like Timberwolf has a satisfaction guarantee like Festool.

I was starting to enjoy the work flow but then had to move on to laying out drilling locations in more complicated parts. Spent more than an hour on that and then started drilling holes again. Managed to get three pairs drilled (took multiple switch presses) and then it wouldn’t start no matter how many times pressed. No burned electric smell, just no go.

But before starting the layout work I drilled a few pairs of 8mm holes 26mm deep. It was very hard to plunge to the full depth (in particle board) and I’m not weak. This difficulty is what has me throwing in the towel. I don’t want to work that hard when there are other options. I usually seldom use particle board so this tool will seldom be the better option. I saw the video demo using 12mm bits but I’m dubious. Maybe the bigger bit has bigger flutes to clear chips faster?

Sorry Mafell. I own at least two dozen Festools and only one has failed and only after a lot of use.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 09:38 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2670
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2019, 12:50 AM »
I think the original duo doweler does a good job with the bigger bits. It is more powerful. Too bad it did not work out for you.

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 27
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2019, 02:42 AM »
I've found that technique is everything, with the DD. Try pushing with the heel of your hand, palm up. Makes a huge difference.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 751
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #51 on: August 10, 2019, 04:00 AM »
@Michael Kellough  Do you think the difficulty in plunging/cutting, is because of the drastically reduced power output, from the original?

I am very much on the fence with this machine. I am a long time admirer or fan if you like of Mafell but, I’m not sure that the use of dowels isn’t going backwards in many ways?

I know we all have opinion on things, and it is just that, opinion but, I have never gotten too excited about the use of dowels, or pocket hole joints, even though I own several pocket hole and dowelling jigs, I know both methods are popular and loved by many but, mine have gathered a lot of dust.

The very rare time I might use a dowel, I would blow the dust off one of the jigs, and use that.
Am I missing something with the DDF 40, or is it just an expensive way, albeit very precise way, of applying dowel joints to a project?
The shelf pin facility sounds very handy, and I guess some would buy the machine just for this function.

Also, unlike a Domino machine, using a single dowel in certain applications won’t provide the strength or stability of a Domino or tenon.
Just wondered what your overall thoughts on the machine are, apart from the plunge issue?

Offline PatR

  • Posts: 190
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #52 on: August 10, 2019, 04:18 AM »
In theory this is a cracking machine, in practise it suffers from a number of problems which combine both quality/design control and user requirements.

Mine failed twice because the switch would not stay engaged and power the machine. It was fixed temporarily, as suggested by Mafell, by removing the cover and 'flattening' the wires going into the switch. I say temporarily as it worked for about 5 plunges and then reverted to the original fault. It was not the first time that Mafell had heard of it as a known fault and their response was either faulty switch, faulty wiring, faulty assembly or a dip in quality control.

Irrespective of all that, mine was returned. One stab at a first impression and all that.

When it was working I noted the following points:

1. Difficult to plunge in MDF and hard woods, it felt as if the machine was struggling (240v).

2. Absolute precision required in the finished cut surface and dimension of your material. There is no slack or wiggle room as there is on both my Domino machines which forgive a degree of innacuraccy and allow for a modicum of adjustment.

3. The depth stop moves forward when you plunge against it.

4. The red pin attachments are plastic and flex. I was concerned at their longevity and continued accuracy.

5. The shelf pin attachment is smaller than the 5mm hole the machine drills and must be pushed hard against the wall of the first plunge or you will introduce a cummulative error with each plunge. This results in shelf pins that are out of alignment and whilst I accept that is likely to be in-attention on my part, the rational of the machine is to speed up work. There is a cure for this by purchasing the template accessory but that makes an expensive machine even more expensive.

6. The Mafell bits are outrageously expensive and the CMT equivalents are as good, if not better, but are not the exact size in both diameter and length.

Back to the Domino's, my original metal prong 500 was one of the first in the UK and hasn't skipped a beat. It has plunged every size, has done so with absolute accuracy when required and allowed a bit of assembly wiggle when needed. My 700 has not done as many plunges but when it has I have experienced exactly the same results as its baby sister.

The Mafell was an enormous disappointment to me. I have several of their tools and love 'em but the DDF40 was not one of them.











« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 04:55 AM by PatR »

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 751
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #53 on: August 10, 2019, 07:21 AM »
Yes, to be honest, that doesn't make good reading, and also shatters the Mafell dream a little, as I've always held them in high regard but, being perfect with every aspect of every tool, is probably a tall order. It seems though, that they have gone back a little with this machine, instead of progressing. I don't remember hearing of these issues on the original?

The fact there is not wiggle room or tolerance on the cuts, isn't a concern for me, as i find that facility a contradiction in terms with such a machine. What I mean is, a joint should always be a tight joint to be durable and serve it's purpose. I never use the tolerance settings on my Domino machines, and certainly wouldn't want it when working with dowels but, that's opinion, and how i was taught as an apprentice.

I have a few Mafell tools now that I'm very happy with but, even with premium brands, I like to research. That's what makes this forum so good, there's lots of honesty.

I thought this machine might offer me some extra options, and it may well be the case but, I'm not so sure now is the right time to buy one. sounds like the design needs tweaking, and possibly the power?

I'm saving for an Erika anyway, so I think I'll move on from the DDf 40  [wink]

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2657
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2019, 07:39 AM »
I've had my DDF40 for a couple of weeks and have experimented with it extensively.

My only negative is that it takes a surprisingly large amount of force to drill the 2 holes with the 8mm bits (through MDF, pine, and oak so far). The motor does not sound like it is bogging down at all. My suspicion is that the bit design is a mismatch for the rotational speed. I have tried running the DDF directly from the wall socket and through my Festool vac thinking the vac limited the current available to the DDF. I could not tell any difference. Oddly, the force required seems to be slightly diminishing as I use the machine.

The build quality is amazingly good. The accuracy is exceptional. The ergonomics are just right. The accessories are truly useful.

If Mafell missed the boat on this machine it is that the Plug-it power cord would be great.

I have both Domino machines, and now, the DDF. There are definitely overlaps, but each machine has a sweet spot for which it is perfect. After using the DDF, I wish Festool would offer the pin locators on the Dominos instead of the flappers.

Birdhunter

Offline PeterJJames13

  • Posts: 136
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2019, 08:06 AM »
I'm certainly no expert on Mafell (or Festool for that matter lol), but I will say this. The DDF40 is new. The older model is the DD40P. The older DD40P has (I believe) a higher RPM than the new DDF40. 13,500 RPM on the DD40P vs the 8,000 on the DDF40. I do find the older DD40P is easier to plunge, but it doesn't have some of the newer accessories that the DDF40 offers. Just some food for thought.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4170
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2019, 10:24 AM »
If my DDF40 lived long enough to complete this one project I’d keep it even though it might be a long time before I chose it for a task over the Domino. I’d rather have more tools than fewer.

I am very impressed by the attachments, they’re excellent. Everything fits in the Sys in an easily accessible way. I even like the little glue bottle.

The electrical fault in my machine might be the control board rather than the switch so I’m not really sure the bits where spinning at the designed speed. The machine was quieter than I expected. The Domino 500 is noisier but it also has additional mechanical movements.

The “big” Duo bits spin 68% faster and the motor receives 11% more power than the DDF40 but as has been said it didn’t seem like the motor was struggling when I was (trying to apply enough force to keep the bits going forward). Maybe a bit redesign would make a difference.

It’s been said that you need to push the tail of the motor housing. This is true. Ignore the nice comfortable rubber over-molded grips behind the switch. Pushing from there will cause the machine to jam on the guide rails which are on the opposite side of the axis of the bits. The guide rails on the Domino are better positioned so grip position isn’t as critical.

The depth stop is soft, it’s just a small bit of plastic with a screw in the end for “fine tuning” the depth. Since the stop is so elastic there doesn’t seem to be much value in turning that screw. Should be aluminum at least.

On the fence, the reddish plastic depth indicator is prone to produce parallax error. When the quick stop is set to 11mm (fairly accurate) the red depth indicator can be read as anywhere from 10 to 12mm depending on your eye position so setting the fence to a custom depth could take while.

I’ll finish my IKEA cabinet mod project with screws and either hand jigged dowels or Dominos. It will take longer to use the dowel jig but I’d spend time beveling the ends of Dominos (so they don’t dislodge bits of particle board going in).
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 11:41 AM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Laminator

  • Posts: 343
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2019, 11:29 PM »
I've found drilling 8mm holes to be much easier if I sort of jam the dd40 in with a quick hard push on the heel of the machine.  The harder and faster I  shove the better.   Trying to plunge slowly simply does not work.  Most of my Dowling is with 8 x 50 mm dowels for which I plunge 26mm depth in MDF,  particle board, and plywood.   Shelf pin holes are super simple with yhe terribly expensive extension template.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2657
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #58 on: August 11, 2019, 05:31 AM »
I have been experimenting with the DDF with a project the incorporates 4 legs forming a double X. The 4 legs actually are formed in 2 pieces. There is a central “hub” that connects everything together. The hub is about 1” square and about 3” long.

I first tried the joining with Dominos, but the mortises ate up too much of the hub.

The DDF was bought just for this project (provided an excuse).

I was able to space 4 8mm dowels down each side of the hub and down the butt of each leg.

So, that is 16 dowels and 32 holes that have to line up perfectly. They did.

I have to admit I was a little surprised.

Birdhunter

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 820
Re: New Mafell DDF 40 Duo Doweller
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2019, 10:30 AM »
Yes, to be honest, that doesn't make good reading, and also shatters the Mafell dream a little, as I've always held them in high regard but, being perfect with every aspect of every tool, is probably a tall order. It seems though, that they have gone back a little with this machine, instead of progressing. I don't remember hearing of these issues on the original?

The fact there is not wiggle room or tolerance on the cuts, isn't a concern for me, as i find that facility a contradiction in terms with such a machine. What I mean is, a joint should always be a tight joint to be durable and serve it's purpose. I never use the tolerance settings on my Domino machines, and certainly wouldn't want it when working with dowels but, that's opinion, and how i was taught as an apprentice.

I have a few Mafell tools now that I'm very happy with but, even with premium brands, I like to research. That's what makes this forum so good, there's lots of honesty.

I thought this machine might offer me some extra options, and it may well be the case but, I'm not so sure now is the right time to buy one. sounds like the design needs tweaking, and possibly the power?

I'm saving for an Erika anyway, so I think I'll move on from the DDf 40  [wink]

It should not shatter your dream. It is one persons opinion and just that and it sounds to me like he was looking for a reason to not justify returning it. Everyone has different opinions and experiences so I am not discounting his, but there are plenty of others out there who are to the country. Try out the Mafell user group for some alternate opinions. Granted they are biased to a degree since it is a Mafell group, but Mafell is by no means involved in anyway with it nor is it as popular.