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Author Topic: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration  (Read 1901 times)

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Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1171
DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« on: June 02, 2019, 09:56 PM »
Out of nowhere, mating mortises cut on two workpieces were off by half a mm or so in the latest project. After a few test cuts, the calibration brought the centre line on the sight gauge (fence) back in alignment with the centre line on the base plate.

I observed that the triangle guide window on the fence is not necessarily a reliable pointer for lining up against the pencil line. The photo doesn't show it clearly (parallax error): The centre line on the sight guage actually doesn't align with the centre point of the triangle.

I also found that when calibrating and test fitting, the same domino should be used for each test cut. Using different dominoes for the test cuts could give you false results.

By the way, does anyone know why torx screws are used for securing the sight window?

« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 10:05 PM by ChuckM »

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Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 704
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 01:48 AM »
Hi Chuck, I’ve heard of a good few DF 500’s being out of calibration straight out of the box.
Apparently, the torx screws are in place with the idea being, once calibrated and locked up with the torx screws, it shouldn’t need calibrating again, or at least for a very long time, unless it takes a knock etc.

It was one of the first things I checked on mine before using it for the first time, and it seemed just about right.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2607
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 06:14 AM »
I found my 500 to be perfect out of the box by using the Halfinchshy calibration technique. I always use the narrow/wider method so a slight miscalibration will not matter.
Birdhunter

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4112
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 07:18 AM »
Are you talking about the triangular hole on the fence or the plastic window? Misalignment of the plastic was a common issue in the early versions of the Domino.

The solution sometimes required taking some plastic of one side of the insert and reaming the holes into ovals.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1171
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 07:29 AM »
The triangle on the fence.

I suspect this unit was out of calibration from day 1, but I have used the standard and wider settings for the mating pieces in most projects that the inaccuracy (less than half a mm) was not detected. Luckily, I have a torx bit.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 07:31 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4112
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 07:40 AM »
You know the Torx screws only hold the plastic window in place. The triangular hole in the fence won’t move. If you determine that the hole in the fence is off contact Festool.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1171
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 08:09 AM »
My unit is way out of warranty, and I don't use the triangular window on the fence at all. Curiosity: does anyone use that window on the fence for aligning with the pencil lines?

I will check the calibration for the paddles (stopping dogs) when I have a chance.

Since I have never dropped the DF500 and it seemed to have been out of calibration out of the box, I suspect improvements to Fextool's calibration process could be looked into. The SawStop was calibrated dead-on in the factory as I assembled it and checked all the parameters using a dial gauge, etc. as well as test cuts, except one thing. I adjusted the riving knife as I preferred to align the knife with the teeth on the fence side (rather than the factory's alignment setting which was on the off/waste side).
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 08:16 AM by ChuckM »

Offline Joe Felchlin

  • Posts: 179
  • Just another day in paradise - Livin’ the dream!
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 10:53 AM »
This Sight Alignment issue came up quite a bit a while back.
It’s true. Many Domino users never use the Sight Gauge.
Some of us DO. I often use it for the “tight” first holes alignment...
Then change to a looser setting - For additional/adjacent holes.

Whether you use the Sight Gauge, or not, it ought to be “spot on” from the dealer.
After all, it’s a FESTOOL tool. It’s what you’re paying the PREMIUM PRICE for.
My DF500 came “spot on” - No alignment/changes needed.

My DF700... Not so much.👎
Out of alignment... And not enough “left/right” space to adjust/calibrate.
Beyond the 30 day Return policy- I sent it in to Festool Service... TWICE.
Packaged carefully/properly by me...
The first time it came back with little protective packaging -
Resulting in other damage to the tool during shipment...
And the Sight Gauge still not aligned.

With help from Tyler C... And eventually Festool HQ intervening (Germany) -
Festool eventually sent me a new DF700... That had been checked for all calibrations -
Including the Sight Gauge.👍

I’m not saying that you can’t “get by” without a tool being perfect.
But... If you’re paying for it... You ought to get it... Even if you don’t need it.
In my view it’s a “slippery slope”.
Once products start leaving the factory without meeting the Quality Assurance specs -
And Festool customers accept less than what they’re paying for -
It becomes “the norm”... And we’ll being paying Festool prices...
And getting “Black and Decker”.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 11:02 AM by Joe Felchlin »
FESTOOL: CT26 and CT33 E HEPA Dust Extractors, MFT 1080, MFT-3, TS 55 REQ-F-Plus USA, TS75 EQ, Guide Rails: 1080's/1400/3000mm, LR 32-SYS/Holey Rail, Parallel Guides and Extensions, OF1400 EQ Plunge Router, OF1010 EQ Plunge Router, RO125 FEQ Rotex Sander, LS 130 EQ Linear Detail Sander, DX93E Detail Sander, C12 Cordless Drill, CXS Cordless Compact Drill Driver, SYS-Centrotec-Set, Domino XL DF 700 EQ Plus Tenon Joiner Set, Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner | WOODPECKERS: DF 500 Offset Base System | BOSCH: 5412L Compound Miter Saw, 4100-09 10-Inch Table Saw | POWERMATIC: 60HH 8" Jointer, PWBS 14" Bandsaw w/Riser Block | MAKITA: 2012NB Bench Top Planer | JESSEM: Mast-R-Lift XL/Fence/Slide, Rout-R-Plate/Table Stand | RIKON: 50-120 6inX48in Belt-Disc Sander | JET: JBOS-5 Benchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander | PORTER CABLE: 7518 and 690LVRS Routers, 557 Pro Plate Joiner, 16/18/23 Gauge Nailers | LEIGH JIGS: D4R 24 Pro Dovetail Jig, FMT Pro Mortise & Tenon Jig | LIE-NIELSEN: Almost every hand plane | DOWELMAX: 3/8" and 1/4" | KREG: K3 Master System | FEIN: Multimaster FMM 250 Q Kit | TORMEK: Super-Grind 2000 | DUST DEPUTY: Industrial (ALL) Steel Deluxe Cyclone (2)

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 704
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 11:27 AM »
I have used the triangular holes but, had to clean them up first, as there was still fringes of metal at the edges that weren’t cleaned up at the factory. The centre lines were spot on though.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6286
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 11:55 AM »
I've never used the triangular holes as like Jiggy, mine also have casting flash on the inside and one is actually twisted slightly like the mold insert moved.  [eek]

I always set the 500 with the clear acrylic sight window. That works well.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1171
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 12:00 PM »

But... If you’re paying for it... You ought to get it... Even if you don’t need it.
In my view it’s a “slippery slope”.
Once products start leaving the factory without meeting the Quality Assurance specs -
And Festool customers accept less than what they’re paying for -
It becomes “the norm”... And we’ll being paying Festool prices...
And getting “Black and Decker”.

I fully agree that when a tool is called or regarded as a premium tool, every step should be taken at the factory level and during shipping to the retailers (read: proper packaging) to ensure that it is calibrated to "perfection" (i.e. subject to tolerance), and it can be used right out of the box with minimum fuss. The ROFTB term is familiar to hand-tool users when they deal with Veritas/Lee Valley, Lie-Nielsen, Bridge City Tool Works, etc.

Granted, sometimes a tool that is properly tuned and set at the factory may go awry due to mishandling or shipping, but it should be an exception. The weight and size of a SawStop cabinet saw (400 - 650 pounds) should make it more prone to more calibration issues than most hand-held machines, but calibration issues with the SawStop cabinet saws (PCS or ICS) are not common.
 

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 704
Re: DF500 sight gauge centre line calibration
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2019, 01:50 PM »
I agree that as premium tool at premium price, they should in most cases be spot on out of the box. They probably all leave the factory spot on but, my opinion is some tools can rattle around a lot more than others when shipped in a systainer. Especially with an over zealous courier and lack of internal packing.

My first delivered Kapex looked like the result of a destruction derby when unboxing. So it’s easy to see how precision gets bumped out.