Author Topic: Festool DF 500 Domino and minimal plywood thickness  (Read 2832 times)

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Offline mystudio

  • Posts: 16
Festool DF 500 Domino and minimal plywood thickness
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:50 PM »
Today I bought the DF 500 Q. What an investment, hope it's worth the money.

Reason for this is I have to build 4 different cabinets for my new home and I want to do it as precise as can be. Most cabinets will be of 15 and 18mm plywood with HPL . Because of the HPL, I have to cut the edges to 45 degrees, so you won't see the plywood itself. And these 45 angels have to be glued together and that can only be done by using lamello's or domino's to align them really nice, I think. So, bought the DF500 for that. I'm using the smallest domino available, the 20mm domino (which is in fact 18,2 mm) and the 4mm domino bit. However, for some drawers I could use 12mm plywood, but, I'm not sure what the minimal thickness at 45 degrees is for the domino. I think 12 mm will not work for bevel cuts and joints. However, I can't find a table where the minimal thicnkess of material is related to the used domino in case of bevel cuts. Is there something available or should I try and error?

Giving this a thought, maybe the lammelo would have been a better option for this kind of stuff, because the 0 lamello is just 15 mm width, so, probably more suitable for smaller, less thick plywood. What do you guys think?

DF 500Q, DTS 400 REQ, SYS CTL, OF 1010 EBQ, TS55 REBQ, PS300, DTS 150, MFT/3

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Online DiscoStu

  • Posts: 153
Re: Festool DF 500 Domino and minimal plywood thickness
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 04:30 AM »
I've used 4mm dominos in 12mm ply to build drawer boxes previously and it worked really well. Although that's at 90 degrees. I think that's as low as I'd do because below that you're likely to be at 9mm so with a 4mm domino that gives you 5mm of material left which is only 2.5mm either side of the domino hole.

45degrees may work but you may find that your Dominos are too long. With a 90 degree angle you can offset the domino ie one end goes 14mm into the wood and the other side is 6mm etc. With 45degrees you can't do that.

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2147
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Festool DF 500 Domino and minimal plywood thickness
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 06:13 PM »
I don't like to do beveled joints with plywood. A bump cam expose the core material.

I use a solid piece of 1X1" hardwood at the edges. That eliminates all the Domino thickness issues. It also eliminates the bevel issues.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Festool DF 500 Domino and minimal plywood thickness
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 07:02 PM »
I am not sure exactly what @Birdhunter is saying, but I sense it is correct.
We probably need a picture.
(Well I would like a picture anyhow... some corner block with a 1/4-round would look a bit soft and Art Deco)

Material thickness:
The Lamello works fine on 1/2" (12-mm) material, but the end result can be not too stunning as there is not a lot of stiffness in a 1/2" thick sheet. The 16mm sheet, or thicker works better. I am using the smallest ClampX.

I think you got the wrong tool...
Basically the Lamello is the superior tool for sheets, as all the fasteners one needs are there... ClampX, Tenso, etc. and it only really does sheets.
It is not much use for solid wood, where the domino is better.

A lot of people make the domino work for that sort of stuff though.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 07:10 PM by Holmz »

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 339
Re: Festool DF 500 Domino and minimal plywood thickness
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 04:18 AM »
I also recently got a Domino and prefer it to the Lamello tremendously. I think you made the right choice.

What I found super helpful was a pack of Traxxas spring pre-loader spacers for RC cars. These let you limit the plunge depth by snapping them onto the piston...

This was mentioned in an "Additional Domino stops" thread here... look it up, it's full of good tips!

Part # 3769:  Spring pre-load spacers: 1mm (4)/ 2mm (2)/ 4mm (2)/ 8mm (2)  (They're even metric!)

I am currently working on a project, where I plunge dominos with 1-2mm of material left above/below some of them. Seems to work great! Got to be careful though...

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Online SRSemenza

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Re: Festool DF 500 Domino and minimal plywood thickness
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 09:50 AM »
    The center  depth of  a 12mm 45 degree bevel is about 8.5mm.  And on 15mm is about 11mm. Those are at the center line so  at 2mm (4mm domino) off the center it will be a little less.  I don't see that working on 12mm. Even on 15mm you will need to shift the mortise off center towards the inside and even then it will be very close , possibly too close for practical use on a whole lot of mortises.

   To make this work reliably you will need to make shortened dominos and restrict the plunge depth with some spacers as grobkuschelig suggested or something similar.

   One thing to note when doing connections of this type or in general is that the Domino mortise depths are accurate but the dominos are a couple mm short of the stated length.