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Author Topic: Domino 700 XL  (Read 1895 times)

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Offline MunsonT45

  • Posts: 3
Domino 700 XL
« on: December 12, 2017, 08:59 PM »
This is my first post on this site.  Seems like there are some very knowledgeable people on here.  I recently purchased a Domino 700 XL while Festool was doing the recon sale.  This is not my first Festool product, nor is it the first product I have acquired through the recon program.  The Domino showed up a few days later and was missing a few parts.  Most notably, it was completely missing the depth stop on the left side.  It and all the parts that were holding it on were missing.  I contacted Festool right away and the parts were promptly sent out in the mail.  I did not have any actual dominos, so I did not use the tool for a few days while I was waiting for time to get to the store to get some dominos.  I live in Houston, TX.  Yesterday the Festool roadshow made a stop at one of the woodworking stores in the local area.  So of course I went and enjoyed listening to the pros and drooled all over the tools.  I also picked up some dominos.  By the time I got back, the kids were getting home from school and I didnt have time to play in the shop.  So today I went out, installed the parts from the missing piece, and made my first domino

Now, this is not the first time I've used a domino.  My dad has the 500, and I was able to play with the 700 at the road show.  I felt pretty confident starting this.  I had some scrap pine from a previous project and set about doing a simple end grain to long grain joint.  I went 35 mil into the stile and 65 into the rail.  I was using 12x100 mil dominos.  Right away I could feel the tool torque in my hand when I sank the bit.  Not a big deal, I'm still learning how to use it.  Needless to say, the joint was not very good.  It was very loose and the pieces did not line up correctly.  2nd one I tried felt solid.  But the domino was still very loose.  I could push it in by hand.  The end grain mortise was so loose it had slop, if held upside down it would just fall out. The long grain mortise was tighter, but you could still push the domino in by hand.  And no, it was not set on the loose mortise setting.  Yes, it was a 12mm bit with 12mm dominos.  I cut 5 of them, and all 5 were the same. 

I know this is not how it is supposed to work.  I know it is supposed to be a tight joint.  I wonder if I was able to pick it up in the recon sale because someone returned it already with this problem.  I'm sure there is somewhat of a learning curve with this as there is with all tools. I'm aware that it could be due to my poor technique and over time it (me) will get better.  Has anyone else had a situation similar to this? Or should I go ahead and send it off to Festool.  My concern when I first received it and it was missing pieces was wondering what else they forgot to check on this thing.  Thanks in advance for taking the time to help out

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Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 791
Re: Domino 700 XL
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 09:19 PM »
Sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your recon 700.  I'd be concerned too!

Certainly the easiest course of action is to send it in.  But I can understand wanting to be sure there's actually a problem before going through the trouble. 

Couple of obvious things to check (I'm sure you did):
- Mortise width on smallest setting
- Fence knob tight - a little bit of fence drift could give you loose mortises
- Plunge speed - take it slow and steady
- Does the cutter look dull or damaged at all?  They can chip, especially if abused before the reconditioning.  You may not have another bit on hand to try, but that would be something to check if you have access to one. 

Do you have any other material you could try it on?  Same result?  End-grain pine can be nasty and I could see a little extra material splintering out if the cutter wasn't sharp or technique perfect.

After double-checking all of the above, I'd send it in with a note carefully documenting the problem.

Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1839
Re: Domino 700 XL
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 02:48 PM »
My first suggestion is to contact Festool Service. While recons might not be in perfect condition, my understanding is that they should operate as new. What good is a tool you got for less money if it doesn't perform as it was designed. It is possible that there is something which wasn't reconditioned properly.

Second, I bought a new XL earlier this year. While I have not used it much, I did notice that there is more power and more tendency  to shift when cutting the mortises; stands to reason since the mortises are larger and generally deeper than the 500 so more wood is being removed (although I don't know relative sizes of the motors). I found that I needed to be much more conscious of firmly holding the XL than I need to be with the 500. Plus, unless the fence is resting on a wider board, the XL can have a tendency to move. Even a slight shift could make the Domino fit looser.

If you can't find out what the problem is and Service doesn't respond in the way you feel they should, you can always message Tyler who I'm sure will work through the problem with you and get you in touch with whoever is necessary.

You are doing the right thing by trying to resolve now, right after you took delivery.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Domino 700 XL
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 04:01 PM »
Perhaps before you contact Festool service or whatever you should check your technique. A common mistake with both the DF500 and DF700 Domino machines is wrong settings. We all do it now and again and when you are new to the tool it can happen very easily.

For a regular domino fit the width setting needs to be on narrow. You need to make the plunge cuts quite slowly and with a 12 mm cutter going in 70 mm then you should take no less than 3 seconds for that cut. If you try and force it in too fast the quality of cut will not be good.

Be sure to keep the machine fixed against the stock as you plunge as you do not want any movement of the tool (X and Y) whilst you plunge (Z).

It is absolutely essential that you use a dust extractor when making any Domino cut.


Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1176
Re: Domino 700 XL
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 04:23 PM »
Similar to what Peter already stated: clamp the workpiece so your fence is located on the top and the machine body is horizontal (or tilted up to 45°) - then hold the machine by the fence handle only, it'll clamp itself in place from its own weight.
Plunge by pushing the back in slowly, do not support it with the back handle (as you have a nice lever when holding it there you're likely to leaver it out of alignment, so don't).

As you didn't write about it: the domino must be used with a dust extractor - using it without is guaranteed to give bad results and likely to massively reduce the lifetime you'll be able to get out of the machine. (TL;DR: using it without an extractor will quickly kill it, void the warranty and give questionable results).

In case the dominos you have are fresh out of the (recently opened) bag they might have low moisture, thus are thinner than ones that have been exposed to air for a while (a nice trick for dry fit/easy assembly is to microwave them a little so they dry, making them smaller). Possibly your issue with them being to small (or mortice seemingly being oversized) is that they could be perfectly dry. You could measure both the mortice and the domino with (good) calipers to find out what it might be.

Apart from that: you have service all included, give them a call.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 04:35 PM by Gregor »

Offline MunsonT45

  • Posts: 3
Re: Domino 700 XL
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2017, 01:01 AM »
I appreciate the responses gentleman. Yes, I do have a festool vacuum hooked up to the unit. I suspect the issue might be in how I’m clamping it. I have an MFT, but it was covered with junk so I just loosely clamped the piece to my table saw outfeed table. I also had shoulder surgery yesterday, so I won’t be able to use the machine again for about a week while I’m healing up. When I can get back out there, I’ll post and let you know my results