As promised here are pictures of a batch of french, sliding and folding doors in progress. I tried to take pictures of most of the non Domino process as well.
Normally Euro style French doors are made with slot and tenoned corners with the bottom rail enlarged for height with added stacked rails that are doweled in but not connected to the bottom piece to allow for expansion. On this batch of doors the customer did not want to see the joint line of the stacked rail. Normally we dowel these types of doors. For the test we did half the doors with the XL with some surprising results.
We burned through the box of 12mm Sipo tenons Shane sent to build 7 of the doors. I will be interested to find out the cost of the Sipo tenons. The German dowels we use are made from a rot resistant hard wood and are pretty expensive as well, so it will be interesting to compare costs. I figure Festool can fund Shane’s retirement with sales of tenons and vac bags... We finally moved the XL to our vac that has the Dust Deputy cyclone to save bags. All but a tiny bit of dust from the bottom of the mortise is collected.
Festool in Europe has a time comparison of using the XL vs a standard slot mortiser. In their test to do a simple 3 rail door the XL took about 18 minutes and the slot mortiser was about 38 minutes per door. We used to use a mortiser of this type for door construction and this is about right. The doors we timed were similar 3 rail doors only with double tenons and dowels. Our doweling machine is a non CNC Hoffmann Bore System made for doors and windows. I thought it would be faster by quite a bit compared to the XL. The Hoffmann has the advantage of a fence system that requires no marking of joinery locations, even the mid rails. For these doors the XL took about 5-6 minutes for layout and 19 minutes for cutting the mortise. About 25 minutes total. The Hoffmann was a couple minutes to set the fences and 20 minutes to drill the holes. About 22 minutes total. Compared to what this machine costs the XL did good! I know the XL will run circles around a standard slot mortiser. These are simple doors, I see the XL more useful as doors get larger and more complex.
We like to build doors and windows right to size so no trimming is necessary after assembly. to do this joinery has to be accurate. The XL preformed well for this also. Part of it is the precision sizing of the Dominos. This was my first time to use a Domino but my associate in the shop has the small one at home. He latched right on the the XL. Another thing I liked is how the Dominos hold the glue, we were able to coat both mortise and tenon with out getting a lot of glue pushed back like you get with dowels and slot tenons. I think the embossing on the face of the Domino does this.
In Germany the Rosenheim Institute has tested slot & tenon vs dowel vs mechanical corner connections for windows. They each have different advantages with the slot and tenon the strongest but dowels better for cycles of moisture. My feeling is the Domino would test very well.