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Author Topic: Domino XL mortise not level  (Read 4323 times)

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Offline 808

  • Posts: 7
Domino XL mortise not level
« on: January 01, 2017, 04:44 AM »
Any way to adjust the mortise so it is level? On the wide domino setting, I have about a 0.30 mm difference measuring from the top of the workpiece to the domino mortise on the opposite ends of the mortise. In other words, the mortise tends to slant upward to the left. At first I thought it was just my eyes not seeing it right, but used a digital caliper to confirm I am consistently getting a slanted domino mortise. If I just use one domino and join panels together, the pieces don't line up and the error is doubled.

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Offline Edward A Reno III

  • Posts: 2873
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 07:32 AM »
When this happens, it is usually because the Domino itself is shifting slightly during the plunge, either because the fence is not fully flat on the workpiece, or the act of plunging is itself causing the shift.  Often the machine will tell you that it's not registering flat against the surface, and you will experience (not always, but frequently) a vibration/noise similar to what you get when climb cutting on a router.  Try doing some straightforward test cuts and ensure that you are fully flat on the wood, and that your plunging action is slow and even.   
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 07:38 AM by Edward A Reno III »
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Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 08:01 AM »
Reset the XL fence by loosening up the knobs and then tighten it down again.
Both the angle and height.

Then test again. If the slots still are off there are two possibilities: your machine base/fence is out of square or your plunging technique is off. I find the XL easier to plunge straight than the smaller DF500 but neither is a problem.

Try on a wide enough board/piece so that the whole base/fence is engaged and make sure the fence is clear from obstructions. Don't force the plunge and don't take to long either. If you don't retract the plunge in a straight manner  after plunging it and waiting for the cutting action to stop it could possibly throw it off a little?

Let us know how it works out, I am loving my XL. :)
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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 792
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 09:01 AM »
Perform a very shallow cut (1-2mm) and check the results.  If it's still slanted, zero in on the fence.  If it's not, it's the plunge technique.  The machine will want to twist as it meets resistance in the wood, the same way a drill would (worse actually because it's sweeping motion).  You just need to slow down a bit and keep pressure in the top fence to counter that twisting force.
-Raj

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1742
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 09:52 AM »
All good advice.

I'd also check one other thing. Lock the fence down at whatever height you are using for your mortises and measure the distance from the XL base to the fence on both left and right sides. This should tell you if the fence is level with respect to the rest of the unit. You can also measure the cutter distance from the fence and from the base with the cutter at its left and right extremes (power off please). These static measurements should tell you if the XL fence or cutter path are out of true.

The test with the cutter moving should give you the dynamic results to compare to the static results.

If the XL static measurements show the XL to be all true and the actual cutting results are out of true, the fault may lie with the technique or something not right inside the XL.
Birdhunter

Offline geoffshep

  • Posts: 117
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017, 11:03 AM »
There are previous posts about this on here:

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tools-accessories/domino-xl-crooked-cuts/

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tool-problems/domino-xl-fence-out-of-alignment/

Funny that many responses seem to suggest plunging more slowly to solve it, when the supplemental manual troubleshooting section suggest too slow a plunge can cause it.  In one case the machine went back for realignment.
Quote
Tilted or misaligned
mortise slots
►►Make sure the fence is set to the correct angle (e.g. 90 degrees).
►►Make sure to hold the Domino joiner firmly to the work surface.
►► Plunging too slow can cause the mortise slots to be tilted slightly.

I have also read, or seen, on one of the many reviews I have trawled through, a suggestion that it is best to set the fence height with the fence 'up' and only flip it down once the height is set.

In my own limited practice with the DF500, tool control seems to be the most critical (and difficult) thing to achieve.  Both the tool and the workpiece need to be secure.

Offline 808

  • Posts: 7
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 04:38 AM »
Thanks for all of the helpful advice. I did a number of test cuts with shallow plunges, moving very slow and steady, and supporting the entire fence on a flat work piece. I referenced off the fence and also did test cuts referencing off the base. All mortises were tilted high on the left side, averaging about 0.20 - 0.25 mm difference on the left (higher) than the right (lower). I also tried different sized bits with similar results. I'll have to give the static measurement a try to see if the bit is tilted slightly on the left vs. right.

I take it none of you have a tilt large enough so that when you put two flat pieces together dry fitting with only a single domino the pieces are flat and parallel? I don't know what the acceptable tolerance is, but with a 0.20mm difference, that error doubles when mating opposite pieces. It's like 4-5 sheets of paper thickness over less than a 1" distance kind of error.

Offline geoffshep

  • Posts: 117
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 04:59 AM »
Found the elusive clip on youtube here - (it should auto-start at 2:24).  It may be relevant or a complete red herring  [unsure]

https://youtu.be/Jfzp57WYrHs?t=2m24s

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1742
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2017, 06:07 AM »
I typically get a near perfect joints across the two pieces of wood using either my 500 or 700. The mortises have zero slant and are exactly parallel to the reference surface and all are exactly the same vertical distance from the reference surface.

The only errors I've gotten have come from three mistakes.

One, the Domino base was contacting my work bench and the fence wasn't in full contact with the reference surface. Fixed by being sure Domino base isn't touching anything.

Two, tilting the Domino during the cut. Fixed by applying equal pressure to front and back of Domino.

Three, fence wasn't tightened enough and mortises got further and further away from the reference surface.

Do you have access to a another Domino? It would be interesting to see if the problem transfers to another unit particularly if that unit hasn't had problems.

My gut feel is that your unit needs to go back for service. It probably needs some adjustment.

Birdhunter

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 792
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2017, 12:18 PM »
One last suggestion, do you have a fresh bit you can put in the machine? 
-Raj

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1781
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2017, 08:16 PM »
I don't believe it is operator error as the deviation seems consistent. It is pretty hard get consistent results thru poor technique. I don't believe we have suggested referencing off the base, although suggestions have been made to measure from the base to the fence. If the cut is not true to the base then it needs to go back for sure.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1742
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2017, 11:26 AM »
Please let us know how this turns out!
Birdhunter

Offline 808

  • Posts: 7
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2017, 04:17 AM »
I think I need to send the Domino in for servicing. Made sure the fence height was locked before moving it into the 90 degree position. Made sure Domino fence was flat on workpiece. Did a number of test cuts all with similar results. Just placed one domino to join two pieces and clearly there is a tilt as the pieces never line up. Previously anything i was connecting used multiple dominos and I would wonder why certain places on the top reference surface weren't flush. It is because of the slant, but when I used more than one domino, the next domino would force the piece down, leaving a slight bulge between dominos.

The picture is showing one domino used to join two pieces. Where the pieces are flush on the left is where the domino is. The right side shows that the pieces diverge because of the slant.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1742
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2017, 05:35 AM »
I'm sure we will all be interested in what Festool service finds. Did you do the static measurements?
Birdhunter

Online Gwerner

  • Posts: 232
  • They call me George...
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2017, 02:32 AM »
I think I need to send the Domino in for servicing. Made sure the fence height was locked before moving it into the 90 degree position. Made sure Domino fence was flat on workpiece. Did a number of test cuts all with similar results. Just placed one domino to join two pieces and clearly there is a tilt as the pieces never line up. Previously anything i was connecting used multiple dominos and I would wonder why certain places on the top reference surface weren't flush. It is because of the slant, but when I used more than one domino, the next domino would force the piece down, leaving a slight bulge between dominos.

The picture is showing one domino used to join two pieces. Where the pieces are flush on the left is where the domino is. The right side shows that the pieces diverge because of the slant.
(Attachment Link)

Please show a pic of the actual mortises. I have a hard time believing that the left side is flush if the mortise is slanted enough to show what we're seeing on the right side of that pic.

EDIT: I just saw that you said this was with the wide mortise setting which would explain what we're seeing. Can I ask why you're using the wide setting? In all reality, you should never need to use that setting. Even Greg Paolini who teaches Festool classes has said that he doesn't know why that setting exists. For the application shown in your photo, you should use the narrowest setting for your reference mortise on one end of each piece and then the middle setting on one of the pieces for the rest of them. Should be no reason to use that widest setting when joining boards that way.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 02:37 AM by Gwerner »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1742
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2017, 05:30 AM »
My feeling is that, if the plane of cutter movement is not parallel to the fence, all the mortises will be slanted. The wider mortises will show the slant more than the narrowest, but all would be slanted at the same angle.
Birdhunter

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 792
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2017, 06:10 AM »
One more thing you can try...clamp your work piece down to the table, put the domino on the table and create your mortise.  You're not using the fence, you're referencing off the table you're working on.  I'm assuming you've already confirmed the fence is properly aligned to the base. This little exercise will tell you if the base is correctly aligned to the motor.
-Raj

Offline TomE

  • Posts: 131
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2017, 11:20 AM »
If the guy is having that much trouble with the machine, it needs to be checked out by Festool service.

The point of these rigs is to simplify a process without going through contortions to get the machine to perform.

Yes, one needs to acquire technique to be proficient with tools but if finding that proper technique goes beyond the imagination then it's the tool.

Get it checked, verified and then work on the technique.


Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1742
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2017, 11:51 AM »
I did a test with my XL this morning. I cut a mortise in each end of a board using the fence. There was a slight offset much like the OP's picture, but not nearly as bad. A little finger pressure lined up the two boards.

I then cut a new set of mortises using the base of the XL. There was zero offset.

My conclusion is that the fence can create a skewed mortise. The degree of the skew probably isn't normally an issue on most XLs. If the skew is excessive, Festool probably can fix it.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 12:06 PM by Birdhunter »
Birdhunter

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3463
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2017, 12:00 PM »
If the guy is having that much trouble with the machine, it needs to be checked out by Festool service.
...

^wisedom here^

Similarly if I say my machine cuts good, that says nothing about someone else's machine.
Since he can get repeatable cuts which are all off, it does suggest that the machine itself could be dodgy.

Offline 808

  • Posts: 7
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2017, 03:37 AM »
I will be sending in the domino for servicing and hope for the best.

There was a question about whether the left side could really be flush, and technically, it is only flush in the vertical centerline of the domino and slopes in the opposite direction on the other side of the domino. I consistently get the slight slants so I have to believe its the machine. Also, I am using the tight setting in the attached picture.

I do use a domino plate since i'm working with thinner stock, but get the same results if I don't use the plate (picture shows both mortises with and without the plate). It is noticeable to the naked eye that the domino slants by looking at the plywood layers, although the plywood layers aren't perfectly uniformly thick. The reference faces I used are the outer surfaces of both work pieces, upon which the domino face would sit.

Offline bobfog

  • Posts: 785
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2017, 03:43 AM »
What size cutter are you using? They look quite small. Are you using an adapter for the 500 bits? If so is the problem replicated if you just use the 700 cutters?

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1742
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Domino XL mortise not level
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2017, 05:27 AM »
I went back to the shop and measured from the XL base to the fence at both sides. To the best of my measuring ability, the fence on my unit is exactly parallel to the base. However I got a tiny amount of mortise skew when using the fence and none using the base. Go figure!

I've never had any alignment issues using the XL to Domino boards together so I'm just going to ignore the minimal skew.

I hope the OP gets his problem resolved and let's us know how it was fixed.
Birdhunter