Author Topic: Domino slot width practice  (Read 2918 times)

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Offline Mark Katz

  • Posts: 24
Domino slot width practice
« on: December 19, 2018, 08:09 PM »
I'm a new Domino owner about to embark on my first journey into joining plywood panels at right angles. In this video:



@Phil Beckley, I believe, shows this process very well. When he cuts the mortises for four dominos across the width of the board, he cuts the first at normal width and the other three at the middle width setting. I understand that. What I don't understand is why he does that in both boards. Wouldn't it be sufficient to use the wider setting on three of the mortises of only one board. That would still allow a measure of misalignment but would hold all the dominos firmly in place in the other board.

Am I missing something?

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Online Bohdan

  • Posts: 912
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 08:33 PM »
I agree with you.

The two sets of wider slots are only required if you are a real sloppy worker and miss the mark by several millameters.

Personally I never use the wider setting as I seem to be able to hit my marks well enough that the dominoes all fit and the edges line up.

Offline Omoplata

  • Posts: 19
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 09:44 PM »
I didn't watch the video. However the way you described is the way I use my Domino. I cut regular width all in one board. Then in the second board you can cut the first one at regular width (if your lining up the two ends/edge) and then any other ones at the medium setting. There is no reason to cut BOTH boards at the medium setting. Also when doing the glue up, I usually glue the Dominoes in the board with the tight/small setting first. Then I glue up the other one. Hope this helps.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1522
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2018, 10:48 PM »
You’re correct.  I think he’s trying to illustrate how you can use the domino efficiently (eliminating the need to mark out the locations).  The wider mortises on both boards give you a little more wiggle room if you’re eyeballing the alignment of those mortises (with the panels stacked as he shows).
-Raj

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5785
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 01:17 AM »
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me...

I always mark the Domino centerline. It’s part of the process, part of the mantra, part of the holistic feeling when you’re working with the 500/700, that all’s right with the world.

I get it if you’re banging these items out at a production rate to support your wife and children, but probably 80% of us are just local Joes just having fun and enjoying using tools.

Enjoy the rhythm, enjoy the work flow, enjoy the moment when all 10 Domino mortises cut to the standard width on one board align with all 10 Domino mortises cut to the standard width on the mating board.

You then become a believer in yourself and in your capabilities. Push yourself and then relish in your own capabilities.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2481
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 05:45 AM »
I’ve done hundreds of Domino joints and never had any loosen.

I cut all narrow mortises on one board and all medium on the other board. I insert and glue the Domino tenons into the narrow mortises first then glue up the other board. Occasionally, I need to tap tap the second board into perfect alignment. This approach may not satisfy the purist, but it is a never fail technique.

If I’m doing a sequence of pieces, I use a story board to make sure all the mortises are exactly in the same place on each board. This way, if I mix up which A board goes with which B board, it doesn’t matter. I also use blue tape to mark the reference surface on both boards.
Birdhunter

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 509
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2018, 11:02 AM »
Phil’s technique will result in spot on results every time, but you need to work of a reference edge, using the tabs (pins) of the DF. As soon as you work of marks you will introduce slight discrepancies that will haunt you during glue up.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Phil Beckley

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Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 05:43 PM »
Hi
It all comes down to preference for the work carried out - the intention of the video is to show a preference and one that works without discrepancies for a flush face edge.
Rg
Phil
Festool U.K Employee | Festool UK Website


Offline Mark Katz

  • Posts: 24
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2018, 01:13 AM »
Thanks everyone, including Phil. I'm going to try my approach (one pair using minimum setting, the remainder minimum on one board and medium on the other board) within the next few days. I'll try that on my first joint and if all is well, I'll continue. Otherwise I'll try Phil's and Birdhunter's ideas.

Offline Stunt

  • Posts: 12
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2018, 01:36 AM »
Wish I'd thought of leaving some loose. Just picked up a 500 this morning and did 3 holes on both boards perfectly. Guess next time I'll try the loose technique, just in case I'm off next time.

Only real problem I had was trying to contain my excitement finally getting to use a Domino, been a dream for a few years.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 832
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2019, 09:15 AM »
Free hand: Like several people, one board with tight mortise and one board with medium mortise. Some times I forget to move it to medium, but it never been a problem to put the boards together.
Jig: I made a L shape jig with parallel fences, butt the two boards on the fences and make tight mortise. Overlap boards for when I do through mortises. Each board are maintained in place by two hold down auto-adjust clamps.

On my first real use beside practicing I made 25 drawers for systainers. The boards were 40mm width with one domino on each corner. The process went flawless and all 25 drawers were perfectly aligned. I'm planning to make a similar jig for cabinets where the width must be adjustable.
Mario

Offline James Biddle

  • Posts: 156
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2019, 10:21 AM »
We're good enough to align the first holes using tight dominos. Those two tight holes determine the alignment of the two parts.  But, we aren't good enough to continue that good fortune and need to use slots on the remaining holes?  I use the same technique but was pondering why when I last used the machine.  Is it that we don't trust side to side alignment using the markings and pins on the machine?

I used the XL with connectors to make a bed frame connection a few months ago where 3 tight holes are needed to make the connection.  The connections turned out fine, but I sweated over those cuts, mostly because I didn't intuitively believe that I could hit 3 in a row perfectly.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 925
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2019, 11:41 AM »

Snip.

Jig: I made a L shape jig with parallel fences, butt the two boards on the fences and make tight mortise. Overlap boards for when I do through mortises. Each board are maintained in place by two hold down auto-adjust clamps.



A photo or two for the jig?

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 832
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2019, 11:42 AM »
Please remind me when I get back home  [tongue] I'll do my best  [big grin]
Mario

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 925
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 11:47 AM »
 [thumbs up]

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 832
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2019, 03:47 PM »
Mario

Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2019, 04:59 PM »
Personally I am not a fan of making the slots wider than necessary. Especially not the whole mating end! Why would you have that one at risk of slipping sideways during glue up?  [eek]

I have done thousands of Domino joints and there have been a few times when I have needed the medium setting just to enable easy assembly.

What works _for me_ for larger carcasses is to join up the ends first, make a dry assembly - checking for square, which it usually is. After dry assembly I mark out the other domino joints where they need to be and make them after the first ones. Easy peasy and not very time consuming either.

For some longer joints/boards I shift the narrow setting just shy off the pencil mark and recut instead of going wider. I don't think I have missed a single Domino plunge this way for the last couple of hundred plunges.

For delicate surfaces (veneers for instance) I do the same except I sometimes use a wide, thin masking tape for the pencil marks. I don't worry about the masking tape shifting the Domino placement as it will be the same on both sides anyway and the wiggle room in the Domino biscuits allow for this anyway. 
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Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1258
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2019, 05:44 PM »
I only go wide on 1/2 the glue up, strictly for ease of assembly. The mated side is all narrow.
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Offline Mark Katz

  • Posts: 24
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2019, 04:50 AM »
OP chiming back in here.

So, I did my first big domino-based assembly - all narrow one board (of each joint) and one narrow and the rest medium on the other board. Worked just great.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 832
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2019, 06:42 AM »
OP chiming back in here.

So, I did my first big domino-based assembly - all narrow one board (of each joint) and one narrow and the rest medium on the other board. Worked just great.

Thanks for all the feedback.

 Well done [thumbs up]

A few thing to consider with both DF's

-Plunge slowly and steady
-Retract and wait 1-2 seconds to let your vac remove all dust
Mario

Offline bdiemer

  • Posts: 197
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2019, 06:50 PM »
Hi,  Is it ok to change the domino width with the machine in the off position? I may have missed an update or dreamed the whole thing up. Thanks , Barry                                                                                                                     

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 832
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2019, 09:27 PM »
Hi,  Is it ok to change the domino width with the machine in the off position? I may have missed an update or dreamed the whole thing up. Thanks , Barry                                                                                                                     

From the DF booklet it says to change the width while the machine is running. If by mistake you change it while off, give the motor some time prior to bite into the wood and it should be ok.
Mario

Offline bdiemer

  • Posts: 197
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2019, 09:44 PM »
Thanks Mario.
                  Barry

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 832
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2019, 10:12 PM »
Thanks Mario.
                  Barry

I'm not an expert about Festool tools, this is my recommendation only  [smile]
Mario

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1238
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2019, 12:23 PM »
Hi,  Is it ok to change the domino width with the machine in the off position? I may have missed an update or dreamed the whole thing up. Thanks , Barry                                                                                                                     

From the DF booklet it says to change the width while the machine is running. If by mistake you change it while off, give the motor some time prior to bite into the wood and it should be ok.
According to the manuals: Having the motor running for setting the width applies to the 500 only, on the 700 XL the width can be changed with the machine being off.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 228
Re: Domino slot width practice
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2019, 05:06 AM »
I always go for the precision (tight fit) which is really what we should aim for with joints, otherwise why go to the expense of a Domino?

I have various sized slightly sanded Domino’s to test if in doubt, if there is an alignment issue, the mortise can then be opened up a bit but, my preference is snug as a first option.

I would say, practice a little with some sanded Domino’s, and in no time you will become more comfortable with a firm joint.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 11:59 AM by Jiggy Joiner »