Festool Domino Joiner


Assembly-line style woodworking

Never before has a woodworker been able to make loose tenon joinery simply, quickly, accurately and anywhere. Loose tenon work is a process that has long been done by hand and/or large expensive stationary machines. With the Domino, you can now bring the tool to the wood. Anywhere. No back and forth to the shop, which can take hours. The Domino has locator pins in the face for precise alignment, meaning you can actually build something and test fit it together with no glue; the tolerances are that tight and perfect. The Domino really has the ability to turn a neophyte weekend bookcase maker into a pro — I am a professional trim carpenter and in my line of work that’s scary! Here’s why it work’s so well: the cutter is an oscillating carbide plunge bit similar to a router bit and it’s interchangeable. It takes 5 seconds to set up for plunge and 2 seconds to do the deed. The time savings can be counted in days if not weeks on a big project. I used to scoff at overpriced stuff like this. Silly me. It’s well made and, in the short and long run, it really increases productivity, which both saves and makes me money.

It’s expensive, but I’d still recommend getting the set, as opposed to just the Domino itself. The set comes with two attachments that are a must for two different applications. One is for end joining, as you do with a face frame (the front of cabinets, which are made out of 1×2 or slightly larger stock). This attachment allows the machine to fit the narrow piece of wood perfectly on the end and it prevents wobbling (without it, the mortise would not be straight and at 90 degrees). The attachment also adjusts to take a 2 ¾ inch wide board, meaning you can mortise anything from an inch wide up to 2 ¾ inch. If you are making face frames you have a lot to do, but with this attachment, once you set to your size lumber, there is no more thinking. The other attachment allows you to align dominos that are farther apart than the factory pins. The factory pins allow mortise’s spaced about a 1 1/2″; apart. With this attachment, you can space them anywhere from 4 1/8″; to 8 3/8″; and the pins hook into the last hole/mortise made, so all your holes are evenly spaced and line up exactly. No marks or measuring.

04/10/08 -- Per Swenson