Festool Joining System

Festool's Domino isn't just a brand new type of joining tool; it's a whole new joining system. Based on mortise-and-tenon joinery, the Domino combines the qualities of biscuits and dowels with a stronger, self-aligning joint.

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Source: TOOLS OF THE TRADE Magazine
Publication date: June 4, 2007

By Michael Springer

Festool's Domino isn't just a brand new type of joining tool; it's a whole new joining system. Based on mortise-and-tenon joinery, the Domino combines the qualities of biscuits and dowels with a stronger, self-aligning joint. A loose tenon of solid beech called a Domino fits into a slot cut by the tool, saving the time and labor of cutting out exacting tenons, especially on tricky mitered or beveled joints. Five sizes of Domino tenons are available from 3/16 by 1-1/8 inch to 3/8 by 11-5/16 inch, and the smallest can be used on the end of a piece of stock as small as 5/8 by 7/8 inch.

The action of the tool is similar to that of a biscuit joiner: The spring-loaded head that conceals the cutter is lined up against the edge of the stock, and then the cutter is plunged into the wood.

But instead of leaving a semicircular kerf, the router-type cutter of the Domino oscillates side to side and creates a wide, flat groove with curved sides. Mortising with different diameter bits allows for Domino tenons of different thicknesses, and preset depth settings on the machine allow for the different lengths. Besides the exact width of the tenon, there are two increased cutting-width settings that can make up for slight mortise position inaccuracies when lining up the joint.

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