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Author Topic: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.  (Read 11735 times)

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Offline dckchk

  • Posts: 16
    I bought my Domino machine right after it was first released.  I have never been able to depend on it to produce joints with the accuracy that I expect in the course of producing quality furniture joints.  I finally decided to abandon the fence and alignment pins entirely and rely on the base alone to establish a thickness reference to the face of a frame assembly as I normally do with a biscuit joiner.  The inadequate base size and lack of access to the base from above the machine means that it is too easy to let the back of the DF 500 drop while making the cut.  Even while clamping both mating pieces of wood to the bench and pressing vigorously on the base of the Domino, I just produced a joint that was vertically misaligned by nearly 1/32".  Had I used any of my three biscuit joiners I would not have been able to feel the discontinuity.
    The base of the DF 500 is simply inadequate to be used for joint making in this manner.  The machine should have been designed to facilitate this method which should normally be the most precise way to register a cut relative to the face surface of a face frame.
    I am going to screw my Domino machine to a large plate containing a couple of fences with adjustable stops.  This will hopefully keep the rear of the machine from sagging during a cut and otherwise generally improve joint alignment.  If I continue to experience these face surface discontinuities I will abandon the machine.  It certainly has not proved useful to me thus far.
    The Domino machine also has inexplicably not been designed to accommodate joining panels with 45 degree miters.  Apparently only picture frames are considered suitable for a 45 degree miter joint.  I have screwed a wood block with a 45 degree face to the fence through the triangular alignment holes to solve a problem which should have been addressed in the machine design.

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3190
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 05:37 PM »
Welcome to the FOG @dckchk Sorry you've had problems with the Domino from the beginning

Just to clarify, is the misalignment you're experiencing lateral/horizontal (like when you don't have a an even surface on a frame member), or vertical, like when you join two panels and one is slightly higher than the other.

Have you done any calibration procedures on the pins or cursor, like those described by here?: http://www.halfinchshy.com/2011/10/calibrating-festool-domino-cursor.html

Half inch shy's posts about using the Domino generally are also very helpful: http://www.halfinchshy.com/search/label/Domino

As far as the mitered panel joint, I'm not sure I understand.  I do that joint with the Domino all the time.
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Offline glass1

  • Posts: 312
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 06:08 PM »
Since it's such a piece of crap can I have it. I will pay shipping. Thx

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 06:53 PM »
I wished you had come here previously whereas you have had your tool and have experienced issues for 5+ years (I don't remember when the Domino was released).

Perhaps you will get some help here.  I hope that the issue won't end up being something that would have been covered by the 3 year warranty.

Peter
Scraps to Smiles.  To be continued.....  Stay Tuned.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3684
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 07:03 PM »
It seems unusual... Even I can get good results with larger model without being much of an expert at it.

If something is amiss then it should be easy to have fixed.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1098
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 07:31 PM »
"The base of the DF 500 is simply inadequate to be used for joint making in this manner. "

I think you're correct and that's why the fence (that you removed) is part of the tool in the first place.  Additionally the pins ( which have been replaced by plastic tabs because of patent infringement) wernt meant for vertical alignment in the first place.  They are a horizontal spacing reference - and I don't think the new tabs couldn't be used as vertical ref. at all even if you wanted to.

I'll bet if you post a video , the domino gurus will come up with something for the issue.  If not , there always seems to be a WTB classified ad looking for one and the orig. version with the pins is more desirable in my opinion.  You should have no trouble moving it for more than you paid for it - still giving someone a bargain in the deal.

The fence really needs to be attached to counteract the levering force one naturally experiences when plunging a tool of this type.  I can , and have, produce this type of error with my biscuit joiner - only it's not as big an issue because the slot is only a fraction of the depth and thickness of a domino tennon.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 07:34 PM by antss »

Online neilc

  • Posts: 2099
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2017, 07:50 PM »
Domino works well on miters.  You just have to keep it aligned and square to the face...

Here's a thread of a china cabinet I made with mitered corners.  Toward the middle of the first post of photos you can see the joints.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/walnut-china-cabinet/msg488008/#msg488008

I did not take a photo of cutting the slots, but I've found you can cut miters if you put the bulk of your weight on the front handle at 45 degrees and gently plunge from the back.  Take your time plunging with a vacuum attached.   

Welcome to the FOG, BTW and sorry you have owned the tool as long as you have and never found this forum.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 07:54 PM by neilc »

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2398
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 12:36 AM »
I wished you had come here previously whereas you have had your tool and have experienced issues for 5+ years (I don't remember when the Domino was released).

Perhaps you will get some help here.  I hope that the issue won't end up being something that would have been covered by the 3 year warranty.

In a couple of months it will have been 10 years since the Domino was released here in the US. The years just fly by.  [sad]
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1944
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 10:00 AM »
I wished you had come here previously whereas you have had your tool and have experienced issues for 5+ years (I don't remember when the Domino was released).

Perhaps you will get some help here.  I hope that the issue won't end up being something that would have been covered by the 3 year warranty.

In a couple of months it will have been 10 years since the Domino was released here in the US. The years just fly by.  [sad]
. REALLY.... [eek]. Geez.....
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline DrD

  • Posts: 395
  • I might not be fast BUT I sure am slow
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 10:59 AM »
I use mitered joints frequently, cutting them on the Kapex or MFT/3 using Qwas dogs.  Putting the 2 pieces to be joined together, I place a domino perpendicularly across the miter joint (for getting the right size domino and for locating the position of the mortise), and then with a straight edge, draw a line at the approx. center of the domino perpendicular to the angled surface.  By aligning the mark on the DF500 base with the drawn line, I plunge mortises into each face - voila. 

Following the technique reported by both Halfinchshy and erock here on the FOG, and others as well, I grasp the end of the DF500 barrel and plunge slowly - it does work.  I had to practice a fair amount to get the mortises centered, not curved or angled, but now it is a slam dunk.

I hope you have success with your DF; if you don't, contact me and I'll take it off your hands.

DrD
Dr.D

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3153
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 01:31 PM »
There is a slight learning curve involved...

However, I found that if I didn't grab the end of the DF 500 in a "death grip" but rather lightly using just 3-4 fingers, then the front of the DF 500 didn't lift and the positional locations became repeatable. This lighter grip also allowed me to feed the DF 500 into the wood in a more even/consistent manner.

Offline DrD

  • Posts: 395
  • I might not be fast BUT I sure am slow
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 02:29 PM »
@Cheese

Absolutely correct.  I think it was Halfinchshy that noted grip at the back AND grip lightly.  I found, that for me anyway, that's the way to use the DF500.

DrD
Dr.D

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7578
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 02:51 PM »
I'm mystified why anyone would want to own 3 biscuit joiners ...

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 976
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 03:42 PM »
I'm mystified why anyone would want to own 3 biscuit joiners ...
Says the guy who owns 45362 systainers...  [poke]
But seriously, you can have them set up with different cutters for different tasks ready to go.

Offline dckchk

  • Posts: 16
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2017, 07:31 PM »
  I probably shouldn't have posted as I realize it often takes more time to explain your problem to others than to sort it out yourself.  As you might guess from the time I've had this tool that I'm not an inexperienced user.  I'm not a pro but I've been doing woodworking and construction projects since I was a boy.  I'll be 80 in July.
   My primary interest in the DF 500 Domino was for quick frame and panel assembly.  After wasting much time with calibration (including sending it back for factory recalibration) and attachments, I finally decided to forget about trying to get precise horizontal (i.e. round edge to round edge) alignment. I reasoned that a joint made with over-wide mortises is more than strong enough for my purposes given the tight fitting domino faces.  I could therefore use the biscuit strategy and adjust the positioning during assembly.  All would be fine if the DQ 500 would produce mortises aligned vertically (flat face to one surface) to one consistently constant dimension.  Just as with a biscuit joiner, my preference was for that dimension to be defined by the height of the cutter above the base of the tool.  I preferred this as a default method specifically because it could never vary.  It could not be altered by a slipping fence and I don't have to remember where a fence was set.  The fact that the mortise is not centered is actually helpful in maintaining proper face orientation.  None of this is in any way related to pins or tabs - or to calibration of any kind.  The only thing the tool has to do is cut a hole at the same height above its base every time.  That it can do - if and only if I am excruciatingly careful to press the front of the tool while supporting the back and plunging in a properly smooth and controlled way.
   I should point out that recently I decided to use the tool to quickly make some small boxes with mitered sides.  The sides were 5/8" thick so if the assembled box is flat on a table the the dominos needed to be round edges up and down in the mitered joint.  Also the outside surfaces show so the slots need to be referenced to the outside.  This I believe is not a standard use of the tool.  I chose to do this by cutting a wood block with a 45 degree face and attaching it to the folding fence so that the sharp edge of the wood is against the fixed face of the DQ 500.  When set up in this manner a box side with a 45 degree edge is mortised on its 45 degree surface.
   While in the process of cutting these mitered box mortises I found the pins to be in the way and removed them after which I found that I was actually better able to align the machine by eye for all other applications.
   So -- at this point in time I am able to quite easily cut tight fitting mortises which are fairly well aligned in the horizontal which everyone seems to worry without using alignment pins.  What I cannot do is keep the vertical alignment consistently registered to one flat panel face without a very tedious attention to where forces are being applied and how things are being clamped during the cut. I takes too much of my time in contrast to a biscuit joiner which is relatively instantaneous and produces excellent alignment.
   My solution for this is to screw the DQ 500 down to a large plate with a pair of fences aligned to the fixed Domino face.  A sliding stop on each of the fences should facilitate horizontal alignment of workpieces but the primary benefit would be to prevent the DQ 500 from moving vertically at all.  If mortises need to be cut in a large project a Woodpeckers auxiliary fence should improve accuracy over the Festool fence.
   
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 07:41 PM by dckchk »

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1944
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2017, 08:05 PM »
  I probably shouldn't have posted as I realize it often takes more time to explain your problem to others than to sort it out yourself.  As you might guess from the time I've had this tool that I'm not an inexperienced user.  I'm not a pro but I've been doing woodworking and construction projects since I was a boy.  I'll be 80 in July.
   My primary interest in the DF 500 Domino was for quick frame and panel assembly.  After wasting much time with calibration (including sending it back for factory recalibration) and attachments, I finally decided to forget about trying to get precise horizontal (i.e. round edge to round edge) alignment. I reasoned that a joint made with over-wide mortises is more than strong enough for my purposes given the tight fitting domino faces.  I could therefore use the biscuit strategy and adjust the positioning during assembly.  All would be fine if the DQ 500 would produce mortises aligned vertically (flat face to one surface) to one consistently constant dimension.  Just as with a biscuit joiner, my preference was for that dimension to be defined by the height of the cutter above the base of the tool.  I preferred this as a default method specifically because it could never vary.  It could not be altered by a slipping fence and I don't have to remember where a fence was set.  The fact that the mortise is not centered is actually helpful in maintaining proper face orientation.  None of this is in any way related to pins or tabs - or to calibration of any kind.  The only thing the tool has to do is cut a hole at the same height above its base every time.  That it can do - if and only if I am excruciatingly careful to press the front of the tool while supporting the back and plunging in a properly smooth and controlled way.
   I should point out that recently I decided to use the tool to quickly make some small boxes with mitered sides.  The sides were 5/8" thick so if the assembled box is flat on a table the the dominos needed to be round edges up and down in the mitered joint.  Also the outside surfaces show so the slots need to be referenced to the outside.  This I believe is not a standard use of the tool.  I chose to do this by cutting a wood block with a 45 degree face and attaching it to the folding fence so that the sharp edge of the wood is against the fixed face of the DQ 500.  When set up in this manner a box side with a 45 degree edge is mortised on its 45 degree surface.
   While in the process of cutting these mitered box mortises I found the pins to be in the way and removed them after which I found that I was actually better able to align the machine by eye for all other applications.
   So -- at this point in time I am able to quite easily cut tight fitting mortises which are fairly well aligned in the horizontal which everyone seems to worry without using alignment pins.  What I cannot do is keep the vertical alignment consistently registered to one flat panel face without a very tedious attention to where forces are being applied and how things are being clamped during the cut. I takes too much of my time in contrast to a biscuit joiner which is relatively instantaneous and produces excellent alignment.
   My solution for this is to screw the DQ 500 down to a large plate with a pair of fences aligned to the fixed Domino face.  A sliding stop on each of the fences should facilitate horizontal alignment of workpieces but the primary benefit would be to prevent the DQ 500 from moving vertically at all.  If mortises need to be cut in a large project a Woodpeckers auxiliary fence should improve accuracy over the Festool fence.
 
. If you aren't watching it closely, the fence can creep on you, and throw off your vertical height and subsequently the mortise. The lever or arm on the fence has to be tightened more than you might think on some Dominos. I've had mine move on me years after getting it and using it. So, it can just sneak in there on you.....
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Online neilc

  • Posts: 2099
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2017, 08:05 PM »
I happen to have both the pin and drop style bases.  My original Domino was ruined in a shop flood a few years ago and I kept the base.  But I actually use the pin base the most and have not had issues with the pins.  But I understand how they can drop and cause you hassle with your alignment.

I assume you are using the fence at 45 degrees?  I've never had the need to index from the outside corner rather than the inside corner.  When I have a thinner piece like your 5/8 inch example, I have used a piece of 1/8" or 1/4" material double stick taped under the fence to bring the mortise closer to the interior corner but still prevent blowout. 

The other thing you might try is to measure from the interior corner on your pieces and create a fence positioned perpendicular to the piece you are mortising, but the width of the Domino fence away so you can consistently index across the face of the 45 degree joint with less chance of slippage.  You can clamp that fence down so that you can butt the Domino fence up to it and get a consistent distance registered for each mortise. 

Another option is to use double stick sandpaper on the Domino fence to better hold in place and not have to use the fence.

I have not had a problem with the tool moving, but these ideas might be alternatives for you to consider.

On your attempt to align the tool, have you read Rick Christopherson's supplemental manual?  It has the procedure for adjusting the index line. 

As far as mortise width, I usually use the narrow setting on fine furniture mortises where I need great alignment and I will sand down the rounds on the Dominos or even cut them down by 1/8" with a bandsaw to give a bit more adjustment when assembling. 

Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 08:08 PM by neilc »

Offline dckchk

  • Posts: 16
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 09:54 AM »
As I indicated in my last post, I am not having difficulties with horizontal alignment, especially with the pins removed.  I'm able to make accurate cuts into the ends of sticks  and even slightly widen the cut to provide slight wiggle room without without the trim fence or sandpaper. My problems are with vertical cut alignment.  I have had issues with fence slippage at times but my biggest disappointment has been an inability to make repeatable accurate cuts referenced off the base of the machine.  The base is simply not long enough to prevent dropping the motor during or prior to the plunge unless heavy pressure is applied to the fixed part of the fence assembly.  This is difficult and uncomfortable to do or requires depending on solid locking of the folding fence.

Regarding miters, I find referencing to a 135-deg angle to be less accurate and slower than referencing to the 45-deg angle as is usually done with a biscuit joiner.  Also I prefer my reference to be on the outside faces of many joints.

Regarding the possession of three biscuit joiners, I virtually wore out my first machine after a decade of use.  After purchasing a replacement, I discovered a minispot cutter on eBay for $10. and bought a machine dedicated to its use.

Offline dckchk

  • Posts: 16
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 10:44 AM »
I just decided to make a repeat test joint with no requirement other than producing one matching surface.  I clamped each workpiece with a bench hold-down.  I locked the Domino fence mechanism and presented the tool against each workpiece with heavy pressure on the fence assembly and made smoothly controlled cuts.  When I finished and joined the dry assembly, the two surfaces which were against the bench-top during the cut were about 1/32 mismatched.  I am now not optimistic that screwing the tool to a jig is going to improve the joint but I plan to try it anyway.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7578
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 10:53 AM »
I just decided to make a repeat test joint with no requirement other than producing one matching surface.  I clamped each workpiece with a bench hold-down.  I locked the Domino fence mechanism and presented the tool against each workpiece with heavy pressure on the fence assembly and made smoothly controlled cuts.  When I finished and joined the dry assembly, the two surfaces which were against the bench-top during the cut were about 1/32 mismatched.  I am now not optimistic that screwing the tool to a jig is going to improve the joint but I plan to try it anyway.

There's either something wrong with your Domino or your technique. I'm not leaning towards it being one or the other, I'm simply saying this because myself and many others have a vastly different experience.

Is there anyone in your area you can connect with that has a Domino that you could go and experience?

Offline Scott in Bend

  • Posts: 188
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2017, 12:19 PM »
I just decided to make a repeat test joint with no requirement other than producing one matching surface.  I clamped each workpiece with a bench hold-down.  I locked the Domino fence mechanism and presented the tool against each workpiece with heavy pressure on the fence assembly and made smoothly controlled cuts.  When I finished and joined the dry assembly, the two surfaces which were against the bench-top during the cut were about 1/32 mismatched.  I am now not optimistic that screwing the tool to a jig is going to improve the joint but I plan to try it anyway.

Is the other surface flush or is it offset 1/32" also.  If it is flush, your two work pieces are different thicknesses.  If it is offset, try flipping one board and dry fit them.

BTW, for the type of edge joining you are doing, the fence is your reference side and the joiner bottom base should overhang and not touch the bench top.  When doing layout, mark the reference surface on the board to help keep track of what side is what.  The mortises do not have to be centered vertically on the edge of the work.  A few pictures of your setup might help the gang here to assist you.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 02:49 PM by Scott in San Diego »

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1680
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2017, 02:39 PM »
I've read this thread with interest because I can't really figure out why problems with the use of the Domino are occurring. I never have any issues with alignment other than those caused by my errors or techniques. I rarely use the "paddles" on the fence for lineup, choosing instead, to merely make matching marks on the mating pieces and lining those marks up with the cursor on the Domino's window. The resulting alignment is so close that it is essentially perfect and better than I could accomplish any other way. Many times I just cut all slots at the smallest size and the alignment is still "perfect".

Based on the original poster's description of what he must do to get the alignment close, I didn't find anything that would be contrary to what is required during use. Since a lot of force is being exerted during the plunge, counter acting force must be applied to keep the Domino from moving, both vertically and horizontally.

The comparison was made to a biscuit joiner. The Domino and a biscuit joiner are two different tools and, for me, have always serve two different purposes. The Domino produces a solid, strong, and structurally sound loose tenon joint which can be used for furniture and cabinet making and replaces a traditional mortise and tenon joint. The biscuit joiner results in improved line up for gluing, but really isn't meant for strength in furniture or cabinet construction. The Domino joint is a mortise and tenon joint. The biscuit joint isn't.

I found that reading the Supplemental Manual, now available on the Festool website as a downloadable file,
provided a lot of guidance that helped me with various techniques and with operation that wasn't completely intuitive. It improved my setup and work with Domino.

Also, I assume the OP is using dust collection with the Domino since since he has experience with a biscuit joiner. Dust collection is a must with the Domino.

Not trying to be critical. For me, the Domino is a tool which has no equal in terms of quick, easy mortise and tenon joinery. All the joints are strong, fit more tightly than any standard mortise and tenon joint I ever cut, and work for unusual situations where a hand cut joint would be more difficult to make. I've never found it to be inaccurate so I would like everyone who uses it to experience the benefits of a tool which clearly makes creating furniture, cabinets, boxes, drawers, picture frames; almost anything, easier and more fun.
Randy

Offline dckchk

  • Posts: 16
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2017, 03:55 PM »
I am completely aware of the differences in function and application of Dominos and biscuits.  Application differences aside there is no question that referencing cuts on small workpieces up from the table surface rather than down from the top surface of the workpiece is more convenient and should be more repeatable.  That is why most experienced users recommend that method with biscuit joiners.  The machine base can never move relative to the cutter and its generally easier to manage the workpiece.  The only problem that should potentially exist is the possibility of the workpiece or the machine moving side to side.  I do not have that problem.  I have no difficulty placing the center of a domino on my chosen mark.  I can locate and make the cut in the sides and in the ends of sticks without trim fences, sandpaper, pins, or any other alignment aid to my complete satisfaction.  What I cannot do is make a pair of cuts on two workpieces each of which is clamped to a table with the base of my DF 500 also pressed against the table and end up with a well aligned single surface when the two pieces are assembled with a domino.  One of the cuts is invariably above or below the other.
   I am assembling a jig which will consist of a 2' x3' plate with the DF 500 attached using the mounting holes in the base and a pair of fences which effectively extend the face of the DF 500 the full length of the plate.  The intent is to make it easier to handle and accurately position small workpieces without the need for clamping anything.  When the project becomes too large for the jig tool is easily removed for freehand work.  At least that's the theory.  If the cutter can't be counted on to maintain height repeatability the tool isn't useful at all.
   I have checked for play in the cutter mechanism with the tool clamped in a vise and find it to be negligible. I'm still hoping that the problem is related to tool movement during the plunge even though I'm applying the right forces and using a reasonable feed rate.
   I have noticed that there is a raised bump on the bottom of the motor assembly which is nearly, but not quite, perfectly aligned with the machine base.  It is almost as if Festool intended this bump to slide along the benchtop to help keep the base from tipping.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1680
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2017, 11:33 PM »
I don't remember ever having those problems. However, because the Domino references from the top of the work piece, it is necessary to have enough clearance between the top of the workpiece and the base of the Domino so that it can truly rest on the workpiece. I have made the mistake of not having enough clearance at least once, not thinking ahead. Now I just use the Vacsys to clamp the pieces and that is no longer an issue. An expensive way to resolve it, but it's so easy to use, I couldn't resist.

I just don't get any noticeable movement vertically or horizontally unless I erroneously don't keep a firm hold on the tool while plunging or try to plunge too fast. For me, as long as I follow the correct setup and operating process, I get perfect results. Sorry to hear it really hasn't worked as well as you hoped. It should, not only be the accurate tool it was designed to be, but really satisfying and "fun" to use.
Randy

Offline Kevin D.

  • Posts: 840
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 06:05 AM »
I'm stunned.  I can't see why why you are having probs other than inplemention errors.

Used mine since 2009.
Kapex, CT36AC, TS75, MFT 1080, MF-SYS/2, PS300 EQ-Plus, Parallel Guides Set, LR32 SYS, RO 150FEQ-Plus, OF1400 EQ Plus, DOMINO 500 Q-Plus,  MFK 700 EQ-Set, FS-SYS/2, CT22 w/hose storage, D36HW-RS-Plus, FS 1900/2, FS 3000/2, FS 1080/2-LR32, FS 1400/2-LR32, Gecko, Festool Hat, Festool T-Shirt (2), Festool Floor Mat, Festool Stein, Multi-Tool, tape measure, large and small Festool floor mats (foam rubber).

Online neilc

  • Posts: 2099
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2017, 08:32 AM »
Couple of more questions...

where are you located?  Thinking someone on FOG may be able to observe your tool usage and offer you advice in use.

And what are the dimensions of the pieces you are dominoing and what size domino are you using? 

Can you share some pics or even better a video?

Offline Jimdude

  • Posts: 27
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2017, 09:12 AM »
English is not my native language, but if I understand you correctly, you're referencing off the clamping table surface (*).

If so, how are you clamping the wood? Can it bend up during the cut? I can imagine that the forces of the bit biting into the wood could make the end of the workpiece "floppy" (which doesn't happen if you reference off the fence, because then you press both the domino and the workpiece together). Is the workpiece REALLY pressed down against the table as close to the Domino as possible?

(Oh, and is the table flat?)


(*) Because you only trust the one dimension that cannot -accidently- change on a Domino, namely the distance between its base and the cutter, right?

Offline DrD

  • Posts: 395
  • I might not be fast BUT I sure am slow
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2017, 09:46 AM »
@dckchk

If I understand you correctly: 1) horizontal position of the mortise cut by the DF is NOT an issue; 2) correct/reproducible  vertical (elevation) of the mortise relative to the piece being mortised IS; 3) in referencing off the top surface, you are using the DF fence with the knob, and you have observed - correctly - that fence can move during plunging; and 4) you are mortising mostly 5/8" stock. 

In your experience, referencing off the "top" surface using the fence has proven to be unacceptable, you are looking for a satisfactory way to reference off the "bottom" surface, which has an even more unique set of issues.

If theses assumptions are close to correct, there is a really practical, inexpensive, repeatable, accurate, and uncomplicated solution, where you can reference off the "top" or upper surface:  the Domiplate from Seneca Woodworking - senecawoodworking.com - which costs all of $64.95 + shipping (no, I don't work for nor get a commission fro Seneca).  Many DF users have this virtually indispensable accessory, and use it routinely - I know I do.

Now, if this helps - great, and if it doesn't I'm sorry I went on for so long.  Just hope you can enjoy using one of the finest wood joining tools available, with it's short-comings and all.

Best wishes!

edit:  as for the pins/paddles on the face of the DF - I have secured mine back into the face where they are no longer in the way; I find them totally useless.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 09:49 AM by DrD »
Dr.D

Offline dckchk

  • Posts: 16
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2017, 11:30 AM »
  Up front in this reply I should report that I believe I have confirmed that my problem is entirely due to an inability to guarantee solid bench-top referencing through each and every cut.  I purchased the Woodpeckers domino offset base system when it was available.  I intended it for use on large assemblies where the tool must be brought to the assembly.  When the joint can be laid out on a flat surface I preferred to reference off the base of the machine.  Since receiving it most of my work has been with workpieces under 4' in length and easily handled on a bench.  I have many other ways of creating mortise & tenon joints so I have taken to using the DF 500 only occasionally when speed was more important than accuracy.  This AM I pulled out the offset base and made several cuts the kind of precision I would expect from this machine - undetectable discontinuity sliding a finger over the referenced surfaces.
   Then why am I not happy making all my cuts this way?  It is because referencing off the top surface of a stick is slower and less accurate than referencing off the top surface of a bench.  Yes I can put the stick in a vise, carefully align the flap fence, (or the Seneca plate, or the Woodpeckers offset base) to the top surface of the stick, rock the tool to confirm planar registration, and maintain that alignment through the cut.  OR I can place the stick on the bench against a stop, slide the DF 500 to the mark and make the cut with no concern whatever for a planar mismatch of any sort.  I find not being able to do this simply because of design deficiencies in the machine to be very frustrating.
   I am now confident that bolting the machine to a fixed jig to guarantee base registration is going to allow me to work more efficiently in the manner that I prefer and still allow me to remove the machine for freehand use.
   In my opinion the fundamental cutting mechanism of the Festool machines is clever and effective however the fence system and depth adjustment features have not been optimized.  The base is simply too short (front to back).  The flap fence is too fragile, prone to slippage, and does not offer enough options.  There probably should be an additional sliding fence perpendicular to the flap similar to that of many biscuit joiners which could contain the 45 degree notch to outside referencing of miter joints.  There should also be threaded holes in the flap fence to facilitate atthments and the unhelpful pins (or flaps) should be eliminated. Stick-on sandpaper works just fine as has been suggested.
   When I first posted I was not so much looking for help as just venting my frustration with a costly tool which I have not found to live up to its promise for me.  I expect that after mounting in a jig I will be in a much happier place.  I have done the same thing with an older 150/5 sander to produce a much used edge sander.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 126
Re: Giving my DF 500 Q one more chance before I get rid of it.
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2017, 12:31 PM »
  "OR I can place the stick on the bench against a stop, slide the DF 500 to the mark and make the cut with no concern whatever for a planar mismatch of any sort.  I find not being able to do this simply because of design deficiencies in the machine to be very frustrating."

- I agree for some repetitive cuts, using the baseplate for registration is more reliable and quicker. E.g.

"There should also be threaded holes in the flap fence to facilitate atthments and the unhelpful pins (or flaps) should be eliminated. Stick-on sandpaper works just fine as has been suggested."

- I use the stop latches most of the time which will result in the front edges or ends of two workpieces dead flush automatically.

   
I'm sorry to hear about the kinds of frustrations you shared here. Almost from Day 1 since I got my DF 500 (2013), I have built many floating-tenon-joinery projects (panel glue-ups, tables, cabinets, shelves and boxes) with great success, using no after-market jigs or accessories. This tool has saved uncountable number of shop hours for many of my projects where speed was a critical factor (e.g. trying to finish as many projects as possible before their deadlines arrived) and accuracy of cuts was important.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 01:49 PM by ChuckM »