|We started stocking Festool around in 2006 or so when the Domino joiner first appeared. I thought at the time that it was an amazing machine, a portable mortising machine with the ease of layout that a biscuit joiner had and the strength of a floating tenon. I just didn't want to be left out. |
If what you do is kitchen carcases in 3/4" ply then a biscuit joiner is probably all the machine you need. But for face frames where a 00 biscuit barely fits and gives you very little strength a Domino cannot be beat. And a Domino is strong enough even for chairs.
Last year (or was it two - time flies) Festool introduced the Domino XL which allows bigger, and more importantly, longer, stronger joints. Just about every door maker customer I have has gotten a machine. Lots of furniture makers too. You can make a chair with the smaller machine by doubling up on the smaller Dominos but with the XL you can really make a large strong joint in one go.
Take a look at the chair in the picture. Its a copy of Rietveld's classic "Zig Zag" chair from 1936. The original (we stock a great book of measured drawings of his designs) was made of solid and the 22-1/2° miters at the chair edges were bolted together. That's an annoying joint to make and not as strong as using a Domino. This wasn't my idea but Sebastian Lata of NY Custom Contracting, who built the chair (and is a Festool wizard,) just put in straight Dominos from both sides with the chair already glued up. With some Dominos registered from the top of the joint, and others from the underside the criss-cross effect means that the joint can't pull out straight in any direction. This which means for the joint to fail the plywood around the joints has to fail - which it won't. The chair is totally comfortable, and the plywood gives it a nice spring.
Back to the Domino and the DominoXL. The sale of course is designed to kick anyone who is on the fence about the machine off the fence. You get 10% off on the machines and accessories and of course if you buy a vacuum at the same time as a package you still get the 10% off the vacuum (not 10% off the entire package price). Shipping of course is free on Festool orders over $50. If you already own a machine this is a good time to stock up on cutters and any other bits or routine equipment that you will use soon anyway.
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