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Author Topic: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?  (Read 6466 times)

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Offline rick4212

  • Posts: 6
The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« on: September 01, 2007, 02:41 PM »
I'm quite upset with Festool. When you pay the kind of money the Domino costs, the fence should lock down tight. I just used the Domino on a blanket chest I'm making and when I put it together (dry fit) all the rail and stiles were not flush. Found the fence moved between each plunge. I'm assuming there is a fix, anyone know of one?

Thanks,
Rick

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Offline Eli

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2007, 06:21 PM »
If you mean it doesn't lock down tight, you might have to remove the locking lever and reposition it so that it fully engages. Make sure it doesn't interfere with the cross stops when they are installed.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Bill

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2007, 06:44 PM »

If the locking lever fix turns out not to be the issue, then perhaps I may suggest improvement of technique might fix the problem.

I remember using the MFT to set the wood, and the foot plate of the Domino onto when plunging the mortises.  It took awhile to realize the tops were not registering flush because the two pieces of wood were of very slightly different thicknesses.

Also, in the first days of use, I remember holding the body of the Domino in a strong fashion when plunging.  Since the force I applied to the fence nob was not as strong, there was an ever so slightly different tilt of the machine with each plunge.  This, of course, caused the joint to be out of registration.

I hope this helps,
Bill

Offline bolson

  • Posts: 21
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2007, 07:35 PM »
I agree with Bill.

I was making some test cuts in some scrap boards and one of the boards was thinner than the rest and this same thing happened.  You end up plunging down at an angle instead of at 90 degrees. 

I put that down as a mental not to check before I make a cut, or better yet, make your cut off the end of your workbench.

Offline rick4212

  • Posts: 6
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2007, 09:00 PM »
All my wood is the same thickness. I measured each mortise and it progressively got further down the thickness of the piece of wood. I tightened the knob as tight as it will go, the knob does not touch anything so adjusting the knob  will have no effect. I know my technique is fine, its the design of the lock down. Thanks for the help but i don't think anybody has an answer yet. Its just frustrating to pay a premium price for a tool and the fence will not lock down tight. To me I got the domino so it will increase my speed and accuracy and without the fence locking down tight its not much use to me.
Thanks for the suggestions so far.
Rick

Offline Emmanuel

  • Posts: 174
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2007, 09:47 PM »

Offline Jeff K

  • Posts: 39
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2007, 12:22 AM »
The easy thing to do is exchange it for a new one with the Festool warranty.  I am sure your dealer will cooperate.  I he won't Corporate Festool will.  You also have the option of returning it and getting your money back.  Does not get much better than that.

I have read some threads about dealers that give the writers a bad time about the warranty.  If it happens to you, get a new dealer.  All the pricing is the same, the service is the deal maker.

Jeff K

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
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Re: DomiWoes_The fence on my Domino moves et al. Whats the fix?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2007, 02:28 PM »
Perhaps I should start a new string labeled "DomiWoes."  Recently I experienced multiple problems in using my Domino machine during construction of a couple of cabinets for my shop.  The frames are made of 3/4 hardward plywood - the cheap stuff from HD.  After cutting the ply stock to size, I decided to build two different cabinets and thus to perform future machining and assembling operations separately.

1.  The first problem encountered with both cabinets is that the 5mm dominos are too thick to permit easy insertion or removal for dry fit assembly.  I have to sand their flat faces, and even then I sometimes have to use a pair of waterpump pliers together with a fulcum (stacked dominos) to remove the dry fitted dominos from the joints.  I note that the humidity in NE Ohio has been very high recently - did the dominos swell that much?

2.  Using the locator pins on the machine to determine spacing of a row of domino morticess has proved useless, at least in this plywood.  I had slight problems with the first cabinet, and corrected them by comparing the slot positions in the mating cabinet parts and plunging wider mortises where needed.  When I cut the mortises in the second cabinet, I tried to be very careful to ensure the locating pins were always fully engaged with the side of the previously machined mortise, to plunge slowly and set the mortise width to the middle setting after cutting the first mortise nearest the front (reference) face of the cabinet.  The misalignment was worse than my first effort, and required going back over at least half of the mortises to widen them.

From my experience, I see nothing but downside risk using the Festool locating pins other than for the first mortise relative to a reference edge rather than relying on marking the location of each mortice on each piece to be joined.  In contrast, I had zero problems with mortise alignment in joining a reinforcing maple edge to a ~5ft long shelf which eleven mortises in each piece, using the flat top of the shelf as one reference surface and the edge of the maple strip as the reference surface for it, using a pencil and try square to mark where I wanted the mortises, and using my eyeballs to line up the centerline of the Domino.  Perfect fit of 22 holes and eleven 5 mm dominos, all mortices machined with the Domino on its tightest fit setting.  If you have to mark in advance where your mortices should be rather than trusting the locating pins and accessories, what good are they, except perhaps in end-to-end joinder where there is little risk of a wood chip or burr causing false registration?

3. As happened during my shelf reinforcement project, during machining of the second cabinet, the Domino fence height slipped, not as much, but about 1 mm on the last set of mortises.  I discovered that problem when I dry fitted the cabinet components together.  No big deal on this shop cabinet, but very much a big deal when making an entertainment center of cherry plywood and solids!  Note that the Domino fence setting was not changed from when I made the mortices for the first cabinet, and the parts for both cabinets were cut from the same sheet of plywood.  And the fence clamp seems to be tight and in the same position, yet the more recently cut mortices are lower than those previously cut.  And I took care to hold the Domino against the top surface of the workpiece using the handle that is on the fence and slowly plunging the cutter.

The total time I have spent "correcting" for the misalignment of the domino mortices and sanding the sides of the domino tenons proved to be much greater than I would have spent had I used shopmade splines (1/" birch ply) or pocket screws, or nearly any other technique.  Making my own dominos and always using pencil marks for alignment appears to be what I need to do to make the Domino machine efficient for me with plywood.  Any suggestions and recommendations are welcome.  The Domino machine is otherwise a pleasure to use - very fast for making mortices.

Dave R.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Eli

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2007, 03:59 PM »
Maybe you should try baking the dominos in a 100 degree oven for a few hours....... Throw some dessicant packs in the domino box
I think humidity is the root of all the tight fit complaints.
I haven't had and don't anticipate a problem in Australia. Critters crawl out of holes if you spit on the ground.
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Offline Dave Rudy

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2007, 04:20 PM »
1.  The first problem encountered with both cabinets is that the 5mm dominos are too thick to permit easy insertion or removal for dry fit assembly.  I have to sand their flat faces, and even then I sometimes have to use a pair of waterpump pliers together with a fulcum (stacked dominos) to remove the dry fitted dominos from the joints.  I note that the humidity in NE Ohio has been very high recently - did the dominos swell that much?

My answer would be yes.  Dominos are very tight when dry.  Here in Colorado, if I test fit with one I usually have to remove it with pliers.  I live essentially in high desert and the humidity here is very low.  I doubt it would take much to expand an already-tight Domino to extremely tight.  Did you try microwaving them before use?  Would you, just as a test for all of us?
Quote
2.  Using the locator pins on the machine to determine spacing of a row of domino morticess has proved useless, at least in this plywood. 

There are only two possibilities, logically: either the locator pin is CHANGING POSITION laterally relative to the bit or your registration is incorrect.  Unless I am missing something, it is simply not possible for this to be the fault of the tool (unless there is lateral movement somehow in the locator pin or in the bit.  If the top of the plywood is wavy, the fence could be fighting the locator pin and you may be measuring one cut along a flat surface and the next along an arc.  That could account for some difference -- how far out of alignment are the mortises?
Other than issues with stock, I dont believe this problem is explainable except in terms of technique.


In any case, when using sheet stock that may not be true, why not just mark as you have said?  The quick and dirty biscuit-type line is easy and fast and probably represents all the alignment you need. 

Quote

3. As happened during my shelf reinforcement project, during machining of the second cabinet, the Domino fence height slipped, not as much, but about 1 mm on the last set of mortises. 

This is contrary to my experience with the tool.  It sounds like something is wrong with the mechanism holding the fence at a given height.  Have you tried making repeated mortises in fully jointed straight stock and measuring the distance from the reference edge to top of mortise?  That would eliminate uneven wood surface as a variable and quanitfy when the problem occurs and how much the fence slips.  Maybe you should let Festool examine the tool to see if there is a problem with the mechanism.


It is always a bummer when you have tool problems interfere with what promised to be productive time in the shop. Sorry you're having problems.


Dave

Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2007, 04:21 PM »
Critters crawl out of holes if you spit on the ground.

Maybe we should all try spitting on the workpiece and the dominos . . .

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1833
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2007, 07:42 PM »
I had a similar problem with 3/4 stock, that is, not getting flush surfaces. I finally realized I had made some cuts without overhanging the stock and was actually registering off the benchtop instead of the top of the stock. My Domino is not in possession of me right now so I can't check but I believe the slot is centered 10mm off the base. If you are machining 3/4 stock and registering off the top your base will want to be below the stock by about 1mm or .037". Are you sure you can rule this out as a cause?
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline brandon.nickel

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2007, 09:38 PM »
I see two potential problems here:
1 - The lateral alignment problem.  If you are using the locator pins, you must use the same width mortises on both pieces.  As the pins locate off the edge of the last mortise you cut, if you use the narrow on one side and the medium on the other they won't line up.
2 - I second the motion on making sure you aren't wobbling on the end of the stock between the surface and the table.  I always hang the piece off the end of the MFT to make sure now.  At first I was having a lot of similar problems, but it turned out to be operator inconsistency.
TS55, MFT1080, Domino, OF1400, LR32, RO150E, DTS400, Trion, CT33

Offline Jerry Work

  • Posts: 307
    • The Dovetail Joint
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2007, 11:11 AM »
Dave has pegged the number one "error" I have found in trying to root cause analyse alignment problems experienced by new domino machine users.  The second most common "error" is referencing the two mortises from different faces on the mating parts.  The third is cocking the fence of the domino machine while aligning one of the pins with an edge.  Put all three of these into one "bad" joint and the user is really mystified as to the problem they are encountering.  The bit center is 10mm above the machine base so it is important to make sure the work piece overhangs the edge of the work table by enough to keep the machine base from contacting the work table top.  Mark the reference face on both work pieces before making the mortise cuts and place the fence hard down on that face to set the location of the domino re that face.  Place the domino machine fence flat on the top of the work piece with the face square on the cut edge and then slide it over to engage the alignment pin with the end.  That will make sure the machine is not tipped when you plunge.  These three simple steps become habit very quickly and the quality of cut placement improves dramatically.  The fourth most common issue is more of a work process than an error.  That is trying to measure for mortise placement instead of relying on the built in alignment lines, triangle cut outs, marks, aux. fence stops, etc.  It is way easier to miss read a rule and mark the wrong setting than it is to misset the domino using one of these built in alignment aids.  As to the tightness of the 5mm domino, my suggestion is to work with the wider dominos until you get more comfortable with the machine.  For whatever reason the 8 and 10mm mortise wall to domino tenon wall fit is not as tight as the 5mm so it gives just a bit of adjustment wiggle to make up for any new drivers license issues.  Hope this helps.

Jerry

I had a similar problem with 3/4 stock, that is, not getting flush surfaces. I finally realized I had made some cuts without overhanging the stock and was actually registering off the benchtop instead of the top of the stock. My Domino is not in possession of me right now so I can't check but I believe the slot is centered 10mm off the base. If you are machining 3/4 stock and registering off the top your base will want to be below the stock by about 1mm or .037". Are you sure you can rule this out as a cause?
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Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2007, 11:55 AM »
I had a similar problem with 3/4 stock, that is, not getting flush surfaces. I finally realized I had made some cuts without overhanging the stock and was actually registering off the benchtop instead of the top of the stock. My Domino is not in possession of me right now so I can't check but I believe the slot is centered 10mm off the base. If you are machining 3/4 stock and registering off the top your base will want to be below the stock by about 1mm or .037". Are you sure you can rule this out as a cause?


Thanks for all your helpful ideas and comments.  Let me try to address many of them here.

I can rule out registration of the benchtop as a cause - the workpieces were large enough that they overhung my MFT 1080 by several inches when flat, or by a few inches when clamped against the side rail.

No, I did not try microwaving the dominos or drying them in an oven.  Good idea.  But I found them tight in the winter, too when humidity in Ohio is low.

I did always use the same reference edges.  Before cutting the mortices, I lined up the four panels of the cabinet, and marked their front edges, back edges, matching corners and outside faces.  The lateral position of the first mortise in each panel was referenced from the front edge of that panel, using the locating pins of the Domino and narrowest setting.  No problem with these mortices matching lateral position from the front edge of the respective panels.  (The first cabinet came out perfect in regard to registration of the outside faces and front edges - thank you, Jerry.)

Wobbling the Domino - I don't think that I did.  I set the Domino fence flat on the stock and held the machine against the work using the handle within the Domino fence.  For machining mortices at 90 degrees relative to the main flat surfaces of the plywood workpieces, I took care to stack those pieces to provide a broader support surface for the fence of the Domino machine so it could not rock and thus change the angle and position of the mortice. 

I got the problematic second box (in which I tried to trust the Domino locator pins) assembled last night.  As expected, the registry of the outside faces is somewhat off (~1 mm max on a couple of the corners).  On closer inspection of the mortices, my conclusion is that when mortising the flat faces of plywood, I need to be much more careful to ensure that chips and "hanging chaff" from the previously cut mortice is not interfering with registry of the locating pin.  I probably need to go much slower when plunging the Domino machine.  But pencil lines seem to be the only way to be certaiin that the locator pin is abutted against the side of the previous mortice, since it is hard to see the locator pin position relative to the side of a previously cut mortice.  You can always easily see the centerline of the Domino fence!  In my limited experience with my Domino machine, pencil marking with a try square works quite well, even with use of the narrowest setting for all mortices, and the use of an Incra 90 degree bent corner rule with a mechanical pencil makes this accurate within 0.02 inch?.   So, if I have to mark as a check on the locator pin function ... the locator pin is not going to get much use by me.

The plywood is not wavy.  Its surprisingly uniform given its low price of ~$26 from HD.  Eight interior plys plus 2 thinner face plys in 3/4 inch thickness.

One other lesson I learned with plywood and dominos - be sure to fully seat the dominos in the edges of the plywood (those which are oriented parallel to the plies and faces of the plywood, and then join the plywood piece that has mortices oriented perpendicular to the plies.  Otherwise, if the dominos are as tight fitting as mine were, you risk a causing delamination or penetration by a domino being forced back through the rest of the plies of the piece with the mortices oriented perpendicular to the plies.  (I slightly did this on one corner as I was drawing the glued joint home with bar clamps.  Solution - gently and progressively knock the joint home with a mallet centering your blows over the dominos.

Dave R.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 12:32 PM by Dave Ronyak »
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Eli

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2007, 03:23 PM »
I don't remember the question being asked above, sorry if it was.
Is the eccentric side locating pin on the money?

This discussion started a while ago. Any change in the domino-ing?

Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2007, 10:09 PM »
I need to be much more careful to ensure that chips and "hanging chaff" from the previously cut mortice is not interfering with registry of the locating pin. 

Hanging chaff is to Dominos as hanging chads is to presidential elections.  :)

Offline jo041326

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2007, 04:09 AM »
Hi Dave,
I had very similar problems. When I used 5mm dominoes it was nearly always misaligned. Big frustration for such money. But than I realized that locating pins have 5mm diameter - same as 5mm domino. When I plunged too quickly or material was prone to chipping, the locating pin registered of the chips and not from the border. So I slowed down and inspected every hole for the chips and it's OK now. Anyway if it is possible I'm using at least 6mm dominoes and avoid 5mm.
I have still very tight fit of dominoes. In hard wood, it's nearly impossible to get the domino out after dry fit. I have a set of sanded dominoes for dry fit. For the assembly (in hard wood), I started to sand all 4 corners and edges. Now, the assembly is painless and quick.
My fence was also moving. I repositioned the lever and chanched my way of holding the Domino machine. Now it's not perfect - when I'm pushing too much the fence sometimes slipes, but there is a dramatic improvement.
When I bought the Domino, locating pins were misaligned so I had to corrected it. Same the ruler on the fence - nearly 1,5mm off  :(
Joseph

Offline Dave Ronyak

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2007, 12:57 PM »
Thanks for your further guiding comments.

Eli, my locating pins appear to be symmetrically located.  The amount by which my mortices were off was definitely greater than any small discrepancy in the position of the locating pins in the Domino machine.

Joseph (and Jerry earlier),

Thanks for your good tips and explanations as to why 5mm dominos are likely to be more problematic than larger ones.  Like Joseph, I sanded down a handfull of 5mm dominos to use for my dry fitment.  Because they were still somewhat hard to remove, I also sanded down those to be glued in and also sanded a slight bevel or rounded edge on their ends.  These measures helped to get them started in the mortices.

I'll likely be waiting until I am making some additional plywood cabinets before I will be able to see if my Domino technique is now adequately improved.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Eli

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Re: The fence on my Domino moves. Whats the fix?
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2007, 01:31 PM »
FWIW, I also never use the narrow setting for 5mm, only medium width. This also allows you some side-to-side wiggle to get them out, which helps a bunch.
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