I have an original Pin style Domino and I love it. I do however struggle with glue ups involving a lot of dominos. Are you using regular carpenters glue or something slower? How many tenons can you glue and get clamped at once? Also, any great tips on gluing them? Do you need glue in the mortise and on the tenon? thanks..joe
Before I could respond, Jack provided a really good tip. He mentions Tidebond Extend for increased open time before clamping and only trying to glue and clamp as many Dominoes as you can deal with during the open time of your glue.
As I said, the Domino is a system. Making the mortises with the tool takes some practice and experience. The same is true of the entire assembly system.
When I first saw a Domino 500 being used by a friend with a decent shop in Europe, he had a bunch of the actual Dominoes sanded down for dry fitting and those were marked on each end with red magic marker. He actually rehearsed the assembly and clamping process as often as he needed to do until he was fast enough to complete this safely within the open time of the glue he was using. My friend had been building with wood for many years and had used other joining systems.
I was in the same boat. For over 45 years or more before the Domino I used a combination rabbet and dado (similar to a lock joint) to connect the fixed bottom shelf of a base cabinet to the sides and an ordinary dado to connect the back to the sides and bottom.
Switching to Domino construction, I needed to rehearse and experiment. I found it best to use the tight setting on the end-grain part, so those Dominoes did not flop around during assembly. Since those Dominoes in tight mortises do not require clamping, I would glue then first and let them set slightly before doing the rest of the glue-up and assembly.
I started out with the equivalent of TB Extend, although as I gained experience and confidence I switched to glues requiring shorter clamping time.
I also do not suggest brushing glue onto the Dominoes or into the mortises. Instead I squirt some glue onto a piece of scrap material, so I can "butter" just the flat sides of the Dominoes. If the joint requires a lot of Dominoes, then I only apply the glue to the end going into the tight mortises. In this case, when I am ready for final assembly, all the necessary cabinet makers clamps are ready on the assembly table.
I apply glue to the exposed parts of the pre-glued Dominoes and to that side of the joint with a finger. I finesse the Dominoes into their respective mortises quickly and start setting the clamps as soon as possible.
Of course each kind of joint is different. For example, when I use Dominoes building face frames, all the mortises into end grain are tight. I glue just those ends of the Dominoes, tap them into place, and then set those parts aside until the glue holds. Only then do I apply glue to the exposed ends of the Dominoes and to the end-grain side of the joints. In the old days I would use 2 or more cabinet makers clamps. Since opening my shop I use a cabinet door/face frame electro pneumatic assembly system to clamp the joints while at the same time ensuring the frame is square. To improve productivity I use a glue intended for the purpose so the frame or door does not need to linger in the assembly machine. Yes, it does take practice and experience to do all this before the glue runs out of open time.
My suggestion to folks building cabinets, frames and doors on a small scale is to buy enough good cabinet makers clamps so you can at least assemble one cabinet case or face frame at a time.
It is sort of like building boats during the winter. The practical approach is to become good buddies with two or more pals close to you. All of you help each other and stagger the work so you can freely borrow and loan claps to one another. As with a boat it usually is better to have two or three sets of experienced hands during the clamping process, there is a benefit to having an experienced pal helping with assembly of cabinet cases, especially uppers where both the fixed top and bottom shelves need to be assembled and glues at the same time as the back is fitted into position.