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Author Topic: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.  (Read 20787 times)

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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2018, 07:25 PM »
Well of course the tool could be sent into Festool for calibration.  They have a really cool jig designed just for that.

Peter

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Offline Dick Mahany

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2018, 07:49 PM »
Well of course the tool could be sent into Festool for calibration.  They have a really cool jig designed just for that.

Peter

That is what I would do in this situation.  I would want to be sure the tool (like any tool) is set up correctly to start with.  I have also learned that no how much I think I know how to use my tools, or how competent I may feel, that I can always learn more from an expert (think Sedge's Instagram tips !).  Perhaps the OP can reach out to an OEM expert for assistance. 

My DF500 has been a total game changer and a joy to use, but I did have a learning curve to get through.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2018, 12:08 AM »
If it’s the pin version, I’ll purchase it from you for the original purchase price, sight unseen...

Offline CirclDigital

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2018, 02:18 AM »
This tool has been worse than a write off for me.  It has been a huge waste of time.

When you don’t like a tool get rid of it.... it’s painfull even reading all your complaints about a machine that has been working great for thousands of us.

When you find fault with everything (not calibrated properly, the base is too short, the fence creeps, no use for mitres, etc) it might not be the machine but it might be just you. If you don’t have the strenght or the technique to operate the machine properly that’s tough and a real shame but you have to stop blaming the machine.

If something doesn’t work the way you work or want that’s fine, it happens to all of us. Just buy something that does and move on. No need to keep extending the drama, it’s not productive.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 03:29 AM by CirclDigital »

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2018, 05:36 AM »
Well of course the tool could be sent into Festool for calibration.  They have a really cool jig designed just for that.

Peter

I don't think the OP is interested in that otherwise he would have done it by now.

Perhaps it is technique as it is very odd that the machine has so many faults.

Was it bought new from a store or second hand?

What efforts did he make to sort this out with Festool before publishing his thoughts for all to see on the FOG?

Peter

Offline dckchk

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2018, 08:08 AM »
As my previous post should have made clear, all of my alignment problems using the DF 500 are the result of my having no correct center reference on the tool period.  Also I am not satisfied with joints that are 1/32" mismatched.  I expect much closer than that.  My open mortise experiment proved to me that all three center references on the tool have been lying to me.  I had long ago given up trying to make close fitting mortises and just stuck with the overly wide middle option.  My current project requires the snug fit mortises so I gave it one more try.  I'm going to remove the calibration window and modify it to allow greater offset.  My holding fixture allows highly accurate and repeatable positioning of the workpiece in relation to the cutter.  If that doesn't produce a good joint, it will mean I have an issue with repeatability of the cutter or plunge mechanism.  In any case I can't in good conscience sell a machine that seems to be a lemon.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #66 on: August 14, 2018, 08:26 AM »
As my previous post should have made clear, all of my alignment problems using the DF 500 are the result of my having no correct center reference on the tool period.  Also I am not satisfied with joints that are 1/32" mismatched.  I expect much closer than that.  My open mortise experiment proved to me that all three center references on the tool have been lying to me.  I had long ago given up trying to make close fitting mortises and just stuck with the overly wide middle option.  My current project requires the snug fit mortises so I gave it one more try.  I'm going to remove the calibration window and modify it to allow greater offset.  My holding fixture allows highly accurate and repeatable positioning of the workpiece in relation to the cutter.  If that doesn't produce a good joint, it will mean I have an issue with repeatability of the cutter or plunge mechanism.  In any case I can't in good conscience sell a machine that seems to be a lemon.

Then talk to Festool directly and consider sending it in for calibration.  When it comes back you can then make the decision in good conscience of whether it meets your needs or sell it and recoup your tool outlay cost.

Peter

Offline Cheese

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #67 on: August 14, 2018, 08:44 AM »
I'd also suggest sending it to Festool for adjustment. I've never measured my offset but using it for various projects including inserting aluminum dominos in walnut stock, it has to be within .010" and is more likely less than that, probably .005" or less.

Offline dckchk

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #68 on: August 14, 2018, 12:02 PM »
   I wasn't planning on carrying this further but my calibration process might be of interest since it was easy and conclusive.  The attached photos show my setup.  They were taken with an iPhone so the photo showing the closeup of the domino with boundary markers behind is misleading due to limitations  of the iPhone camera.  They are precisely located in the edge planes of the domino width.  I have not yet measured the error but it is plainly visible as unacceptable.  The photo showing the cursor window was taken after I filed the window edge and mounting holes to move it as far as possible with the supplied mounting bolts.  I need to get some longer bolts and washers to modify still further and achieve correct center alignment.
  I think this is a good method of checking the cutting accuracy of the Domino machine.  It involves no measurement transfers and depends only on making a cut close enough to the surface to allow registration with a good square.  I had a precision machined block to use as a side reference but that is of course not necessary.
  If I find that I am out of the woods after shifting the calibration window to a corrected position I will cut permanent reference lines into my fence with a scribe.
  It has been a long time since I purchased my DF 500 as an early adopter.  I had much difficulty from the very start and finally in 2010 I sent my unit back for recalibration along with the attached letter.
  My problems have not been due to inadequate skill or experience.

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #69 on: August 14, 2018, 12:13 PM »
 
  It has been a long time since I purchased my DF 500 as an early adopter.  I had much difficulty from the very start and finally in 2010 I sent my unit back for recalibration along with the attached letter.
  My problems have not been due to inadequate skill or experience.

Looking at your pictures, I tend to agree that the problem is unlikely a user skill issue. My DF 500 has been used as factory set and I have not had issues as you reported here (narrow settings); the logical conclusion is the machine needs to be examined. It is not unheard of that a machine that gets fixed becomes "unfixed" for a variety of reasons, including poor care during shipping etc.

The attached three mitre joint would have been a disaster if the setting was way off like yours.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 01:12 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2018, 01:02 PM »
The near impossibility of getting the centerline curser to match the actual center of the mortise (without modifying the plastic curser piece) was a well known issue with the early machines. (I hope they improved that)

What the OP is saying is that the entire mortising mechanism is offset a millimeter or so. That’s a defect I haven’t heard of.

My advice to the OP is to sell his Domino to Cheese. He has the ability to cope with the problem if not corrrect it.

The Domino is a wonderful machine when it’s working right.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 03:12 PM by Michael Kellough »

Offline dckchk

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #71 on: August 15, 2018, 09:33 AM »
I've decided to just open it up and see if I can adjust it myself.  Sending it back for recalibration didn't work and the returned tool showed no packaging damage.  I've really got nothing to lose.  I'd prefer to have the cut centered on the machined in center indicators but if that's not possible I'll just go through my cut location test again and implant permanent marks  on the fence.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #72 on: August 15, 2018, 09:43 AM »

My advice to the OP is to sell his Domino to Cheese. He has the ability to cope with the problem if not corrrect it.


That's funny Michael... [smile]

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2018, 01:09 PM »
With the lateral load on that mortising mechanism it probably has some kind of keyed fit to prevent it moving in the way your machine has. Might require some filing and a lot of trial and error to improve.

My old Walker Turner table saw has trunnions that key into slots in the mounts. Those keys weren’t quite in the right place so I could not get the blade parallel to the miter slot until I took it all apart and filed the keys. A royal pain in the butt but worth it in the long run. Been using it for twenty something years since the fix and more than a decade before.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2018, 01:44 PM »
Having seen part of the DF500 mechanism during a visit to Festool I would not want to tinker with it. I suspect an expensive paper weight is about to be created - get Festool to sort it out.

Peter

Offline dckchk

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #75 on: August 16, 2018, 01:37 PM »
   Festool has already had one chance to correct the calibration and they failed to do so.  If correcting the machine internally involves metal removal perhaps that explains why.
   After transferring the actual sweep of the cutter to the Domino fence I have been able to use these reference marks to calibrate the fences on my fixed-base jig.  This enables me to make accurate flush-fitting joints that fall within its range.
   I have also corrected the position of the alignment window by purchasing longer bolts and filing both holes and one edge to shift the marks into the proper position.  The center hole is offset but I will ignore that along with all other machined and cast alignment marks. 
   Up to the time I purchased this machine I had acquired a dozen other Festool tools, a vac, an various accessories.  This machine should have been replaced by the factory if it was determined not possible to bring it into proper calibration.
   

Offline Kodi Crescent

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2018, 09:07 AM »
I have a dumb question. 

Is the stock all machined to the same thickness?  I used to have horizontal alignment issues too.  However, when I ran all my stock through the planer prior to joining, the joints came out beautifully, as long as I clamped my workpiece down while cutting the domino.

Has this been tried?