joinery. unmatched. The DOMINO system user manual.
Two men. One conversation. The origin of a brilliant idea: DOMINO connecting system.
There are numerous draft designs, CAD drawings, parts lists and documentation for our DOMINO connecting system. Yet the conversation and initial drawings where the idea was formed was on something a lot less imaginative: a napkin. But first things first. To be precise, it was initially only an informal exchange between two Festool employees over lunch. They were dreaming what the optimal domino should be capable of. And because nothing else was readily available, they sketched a domino on a napkin to represent the demand for ‘more stability’. Then a second sketch next to it for a ‘larger glue surface’. And finally a third for absolute ‘rotation resistance’ at the first attempt. Using the simple equation: make one from three, the DOMINO DF 500 domino system was set forth.
What was missing was the fitting mortise – and thus the real challenge began. That is to say, the development of a completely new tool. With the typical southern German inventiveness, infinite passion and the concentrated expertise of our engineers, a mix of traditional vertical bore and simultaneous horizontal routing movement was created – the birth of the DOMINO pendulum router principle as the driving force for the new DOMINO DF 500. From its origins on a simple napkin, this concept continues to evolve. The larger DOMINO XL DF 700 will create a mortise for the newly developed DOMINO Connectors. These new connectors allow for rapid assembly of flat joints or corner joints utilizing Domino fasteners for knock- down design. This allows for rapid building, moving, and reassembling of large pieces.
DOMINO joining machine fundamentals
The DOMINO pendulum router principle
The DOMINO mortise principle
The DOMINO joining machines: an overview
16 16 17 17 18 19 21 23 24 28
Performing basic settings for the DOMINO joining machines Switching on/off Selecting mortise width Selecting domino length and thickness Cutter replacement
Depth adjustment range Height adjustment range Angle adjustment range Working with the stop system Working with dust extraction
DOMINO system accessories
Practical application examples
Overview: making joints with the DOMINO joining machine
Frame joints Mitered frame joints Butted frame joints Stable frame joints with the DOMINO DF 700
44 44 46 48
Rail and Stile
Round profile joints
Stable, separable corner joints
Stable, separable flat joints
Butted board joints
Dominos & Accessories
DF 500 Tenon assortments
Domino and connectors
DF 700 Tenon assortments
The DOMINO joint. Simply perfect.
Every wood joint has its advantages. The DOMINO connecting system unites them all. In truth, there are numerous innovations which were developed on the basis of a spontaneous idea. Such as the DOMINO connecting system. And yet it is also based just as much on the principle of thinking ahead. Thinking ahead in terms of a wood joint that unifies the benefits of all previously existing systems: the controversial stability of mortise and tenon, the flexibility of biscuits used in furniture making and the precision of the round dowel used in shelving. We found the key for this in the patented pendulum routing movement and the resulting mortises for accepting the specially formed dominos. This is a new complete wood connecting system, which assures the highest possible stability. A connecting system that works simply and with considerably shorter set-up time and can be used for tasks that were previously only accomplished on stationary machines. Many tradespeople have been converted to the DOMINO system.
The DOMINO principle: Fast. Easy. Versatile.
Whether it is a small drawer or a large, solid wood door – DOMINO is the solution. With the DOMINO connecting system all the benefits of round dowels and biscuits have been united into one for the first time. Quickly and effortlessly. For board, frame and shelving joints. For narrow or wide, delicate or solid workpieces. With domino sizes ranging from 4 mm to 14 mm thickness to versatile corner and flat knock down connectors, offering several connection options. And with maximum time-saving without complex adjustments and measuring.
DOMINO joining machine fundamentals
Two machines – one principle. The DOMINO joining machine is available in two sizes: the DF 500 for domino sizes of 4 x 20 mm to 10 x 50 mm, perfectly suited for cabinet and furniture making. The DOMINO XL DF 700, allowing the use of domino sizes up to 14 x 140 mm. This means that the DOMINO XL is ideally suited for solid wood furniture, door construction and manufacturing stable solid wood connections.
1.1 The DOMINO pendulum router principle The DOMINO joining machine unique routing movement is patented by Festool. The simultaneous rotating and pendulum movement of the cutter allows for smooth cutting and mortises without burn marks. Due to the pendulum movement the cutters do not overheat, leading to an extremely long service life.
1.2 The domino mortise principle The first domino tenon is positioned via an exact mortise, the subsequent tenons are inserted into wider mortises with clearance – this allows the joint to be easily aligned.
Fits exactly. The mortise is precisely routed using the stop catches (DF 500) or stop pins (DF 700). The workpiece is aligned to the edge using this locating mortise and the connection matches up immediately.
Room to move. The remaining mortises are routed with clearance. Minor imperfections in the remaining domino mortises are compensated for by the DOMINO connecting system – allowing fast and efficient progress.
1.3 The DOMINO joining machines: an overview
DOMINO DF 500
PLUG IT ® POWER CORD
1 2 3 4 5
SECONDARY HANDLE DEPTH ADJUST LOCK DEPTH ADJUST LEVER
6 7 8 9
12 MORTISE WIDTH DIAL 13 INDEXING STOPS
DUST EXTRACTION PORT
ANGLE STOP CLAMPING LEVER
FENCE BODY RELEASE LEVER 10 FENCE HEIGHT LOCKING LEVER 11 ON/OFF SWITCH
MATERIAL THICKNESS PRESELECT SLIDER
DOMINO XL DF 700
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9
13 FENCE HEIGHT LOCKING LEVER 14 ON/OFF SWITCH 15 MORTISE WIDTH INDICATOR
FENCE BODY RELEASE LEVER
DEPTH ADJUST LIMIT STOP DEPTH ADJUST SLIDE RELEASE ROUTING DEPTH ADJUSTMENT SLIDER
MORTISE WIDTH LEVER
STOP PIN RELEASE BUTTON FENCE ANGLE LOCKING LEVER
16 RUBBER PADS 17 LOCATING PINS *
10 PLUG IT ® POWER CORD 11 SPINDLE LOCK 12 DUST EXTRACTION PORT
*The terms stop peg and stop pin are used synonymously on the DOMINO XL DF 700.
1.4 Performing basic settings for the DOMINO joining machines
The DF 500 and DF 700 DOMINO joining machines are generally similar in handling and setting options. You should be aware of these in order to fully utilize the machine’s flexibility. All basic settings are explained step by step below. We refer to these basic settings where appropriate in the individual application examples.
1.4.1 Switching on/off
To switch on the DOMINO DF 500, connect the plug-it cable to the tool. Make sure to rotate the cord a full quarter turn to lock. Attach the extractor hose and then push the on/off switch on the top of the tool forwards and down until it locks in position.
To switch off, press the on/off switch at the rear to unlock.
This is where the unique domino mortise principle comes in. The first mortise, known as the locating mortise, is routed appropriately to the selected domino diameter. Pairing the domino in the locating mortise, the joint aligns exactly with the front edge – the joint is correctly positioned. The remaining mortises are routed with clearance. This makes aligning and joining effortless; the joint is nevertheless exact, perfect and stable. On the DF 500, three different mortise widths can be selected, and two on the DF 700. 1.4.2 Selecting mortise width
DF 500 1 The standard width, corresponding exactly to the domino width: 13 mm plus the cutter diameter 2 The average mortise width, giving the domino some clear- ance (6 mm): 19 mm plus the cutter diameter 3 The largest mortise width, providing a lot of clearance (10 mm): 23 mm plus the cutter diameter NOTE Please only change the mortise width by turning the rotary switch with the motor running, but never while actually routing.
DF 700 1 The standard width for precise routing is: 13.5 mm plus the cutter diameter 2 The mortise width with clearance (3 mm) corresponds to: 16.5 mm plus the cutter diameter
NOTE On the DF 700 the corresponding mortise width is set using the adjusting lever on the left of the machine – the specified mortise width can be seen on the display on the top of the machine.
1.4.3 Selecting domino length and thickness Because selection of the domino thickness determines the selection of the cutter used, you first decide on the domino size and then employ the correct cutter (see section 1.4.4).
1.4.4 Cutter replacement
After selecting the domino, use the appropriate cutter to make the mortise. For example, if you would like to use an 8 mm diameter domino, you also use the 8 mm cutter.
Always disconnect from the power to change the cutter. Then raise the unlocking lever using an open ended spanner (included) until it noticeably locks in place.
Separate the motor unit and fence body.
Hold the spindle lock on the motor unit, loosen the cutter using the open ended spanner and screw off. Screw on the new cutter using the open ended spanner, keeping the spindle lock pressed. Then release the spindle lock. Only use sharp, undamaged and clean cutters.
Before reattaching the motor unit to the fence body, ensure that the machine, the guide frame and the guides are clean and free from wood chips. Remove any soiling. Then push the fence body frame onto the motor unit until it audibly locks in place.
1.4.5 Depth adjustment range
The routing depth determines how deep the cutter cuts into the workpiece. The appropriate routing depth must be set for the different domino lengths; in most cases half of the domino length. The routing depth set on the joining machine corresponds to the depth of the domino mortise.
DF 500 Tomove the depth adjust lever push down the depth lock. Now set the required routing depth using the depth adjust lever (possible depths are 12mm,15mm, 20mm, 25mm, 28mm). Now release the depth adjust lock. ATTENTION Due to the short shaft length only the depths 12 mm, 15 mm and 20 mm are allowed when using the 5 mm diameter cutter.
ATTENTION The D 4-NL 11 HW-DF 500 specialist cutter is available for the 4 x 20 mm dominos. Please use a mortise depth of 20 mm when working with this domino and cutter. However, the true mortise depth is 10 mm, because the cutter has been shortened by 10 mm due to the risk of breaking. This domino can not be used in offset mortises.
10 mm 10 mm
Festool D 4-NL 11 HW-DF 500
Domino 4 x 20 mm
DF 700 Press one or both locking switch to set the plunge depth. Move the depth adjust slide to the required routing depth. On the DF 700, the possible routing depth is between 15 mm and 70 mm. Now release the locking switch– briefly check that the slider has locked in to position.
TIP You can mark two routing depths using the depth adjust limit stops and easily move between the two using the slider. For example, this can be helpful when using a domino depth for spacing as well as for repeated, identical routing depths.
TIP The domino should generally be centered within the joint; that is, the routing depth should correspond to half of the domino length. However, depending on the workpiece or joint type, it may be necessary to offest the Domino randomly. In this case, both of the mortises routed in the workpieces must correspond together to the length of the domino being used.
Example: The domino being used is 40 mm long; the left mortise is 28 mm deep, the right mortise 12 mm – that is, together 40 mm.
The mortise height setting on both the DOMINO DF 500 and the DF 700 is performed using the height stop, allowing predefined heights to be used. Alternatively, any individual dimension can be set using the scale. The mortise height is the distance from the top of the workpiece to the center of the mortise. Selection of the routing height depends on the thickness of material being used and the type of joint being produced. Here, it is not absolutely necessary for the routed mortise to be in the center of the material. You can find more information on the topic of routing height in the description of the individual applications in section 4. 1.4.6 Height adjustment range
y = Material thickness x = Distance from top of workpiece to center of the mortise 1 Scale for individual settings (distance from top of workpiece to center of the mortise) 2 Height Stop (material thickness)
DF 500 – set routing height using the board thickness gauge. The dimension selected with the board thickness gauge will place the mortise in the center of the selected measurement on the gauge. Release the fence height locking lever and raise the fence using the auxiliary handle. Now select the required board thickness using the gauge. (16 mm, 20 mm, 22 mm, 25 mm, 28 mm, 36 mm, 40 mm). Then push the fence downwards until it stops and tighten the fence height locking lever.
DF 500 – set any mortise height The dimension shown on the fence height gauge is the distance from the center of the mortise to the underside of the fence. Release the fence height locking lever and raise the fence using the auxiliary handle. Then push the board thickness guage towards the back of the machine until it stops. Set the required mortise height on the scale by moving the fence up or down to the required height. Now tighten the fence height locking lever.
DF 700 The mortise height on the DF700 is set in the same way other than how the measurements on the step gauge are labeled. The height step gauge on the DF 700 does not designate the board thickness, but instead it is the actual distance from the center of the mortise to the underside of the fence.
NOTE The alignment of the clamping levers can be adjusted by pulling them away from the fence and re-indexing them so that when they are in the locked position they do not go past the fence itself.
1 For mitered joints, the Domino mortise angle can be set using detents or any angle between 0º and 90º. The precisely machined dominos optimally align the workpiece and prevent the miter from slipping when being glued. 1.4.7 Angle adjustment range
DF 500 and DF 700: Loosen the fence angle locking lever to adjust the mortise angle. This can be anywhere between 0º and 90º or by using the detents at 0º, 22.5º, 45º, 67.5º ,90º. Tighten the fence angle locking lever.
TIP Route thin workpiece with a miter. Set the required angle. Loosen routing height adjustment clamping lever, push the slider towards the motor unit until it stops and then push the angle stop all the way down. Close the clamping lever.
ATTENTION When mortising at an angle, set the mortise height and depth as low as possible, otherwise there is a danger that the cutter will penetrate through the opposite side of the workpiece.
TIP Material thicknesses from 15 mm can be mitered using the 4 x 20 mm domino.
The table shows some of the most commonly used miter angles:
Number of equal sides
3 Triangle 4 Square 5 Pentagon 6 Hexagon 7 Heptagon 8 Octagon
60 45 36 30
30 45 54 60
1.4.8 Working with the stop system
One of the greatest time savings of working with DOMINO joining machines is the result of working without the need for complex measuring or marking – the machine can be positioned quickly and accurately by using the indexing stops (DF 500) or locating pins (DF 700).
The edge of the workpiece is visible in the machine’s upper triangular viewing window. If you do not need the stop catches, they can be automatically pushed in during the routing process.
Quickly and easily set the position of the Domino for repetitive mortises by using the edge stops on both pieces of material. The distance between the stops to the center of the bit is 37mm. TIP When using the base support bracket supplied with the DF500, the distance to the center of the mortise can be reduced to 20mm by using the additional stops.
DF 500 The mortise can also be positioned by drawing a scribe mark and aligning the machine by using the clear horizontal position gauge.
The DF 700 possesses an innovative stop system, allowing even domino groups to be quickly and precisely positioned in relation to a reference edge using the integral locating pins.
There are six locating pins on the front of the base of the Domino. Unnecessary locating pins can be pushed aside individually and locked in place, and can all be released again by pressing the button on the side of the machine (see markings in the figure).
The indexing pins locate the mortise center precisely at 3 different dimensions.
Pins ( 1 – 2 – 3 ) allow three separate distances to a reference edge.
The pins allow two domino mortises to be placed adjacent to each other at a defined distance to a reference edge ( 1 – 3 ).
The pins allow two domino mortises to be placed by rotating the workpiece, e.g. for the same moulding cross- section.
Additionally, it is possible to insert the pin in the previous mortise and to use the edge of the domino mortise as a stop. This means you can place mortises over larger, uniform distances independent of the edge of the workpiece and without marking. (In the example using pin 2 in the drawing.)
Large amounts of debris are created when working with the Domino. To improve removal of the debris from the mortises, we recommend always working with one of our CT Dust Extractors. We still advise examination of the mortise for debris that was not removed by the Dust Extractor. 1.4.9 Working with extraction
Selecting the correct mobile dust extractor: In addition to improving the progress of your work, the mobile dust extractor also primarily ensures a cleaner work environment when working with the DOMINO joining machines: because when working in dusty environments, in particular with materials such as wood, the dust produced can be a nuisance in the work space affecting finish quality as well as getting into other machines and equipment. So do yourself a favor and make sure you have clean air in your workplace – and work with a mobile dust extractor.
The Festool CT Dust Extractors were designed to connect effortlessly with our tools and capture fine particles at the source.
The CT 26, CT 36, and CT 48 are Festool’s most capable and versatile mobile Dust Extractors. These units can easily negotiate obstacles in the shop or on the worksite. A great companion to either the DF 500 or DF 700. All three units carry Full Unit HEPA Certification.
CERTIFIED FULL UNIT
2. The domino. The shape makes the difference.
Not flat. Not round. Just domino. The difference is in the detail. More precisely: in the shape. Dominos unify all of the benefits of round dowels and biscuits. And are therefore as stable as mortise and tenon construction. They are available in 14 fixed sizes or as rods (750mm length) – for both inside and outside, and for delicate and solid workpieces.
Round dowels The traditional solution for frames and shelving.
Round dowels are one of the most important connecting elements in furniture making, allowing wood connections to be quickly and reliably aligned. Because round dowels do not allow offsets, exact drilling is generally performed on stationary or semi-stationary machines.
Biscuits The standard for boards for decades.
Biscuits are generally used with a machine that is aligned with a scribe mark. Because the biscuits are shorter then the slot that is cut, the slot does not have to be precise. This requires more alignment during glue up.
Dominos Not flat. Not round. Just domino.
The special shape with the longitudinal grooves, when combined with glue, gives the dominos a secure hold resulting in rotation-resistant connections and maximum stability. Working much faster: the first domino mortise is very easily positioned and precisely cut with the aid of indexing stops (DF 500) or locating pins (DF 700). It immediately aligns the workpieces, being connected precisely and flush to a reference edge. The width of the mortise can also be increased to permit some side-to-side flexibility in the tenon position.
NEW The domino corner and flat connectors As stable as dominos, but can be quickly disassembled if needed.
100% rotation resistant From the very first domino, the joints are absolutely rotation resistant.
Highest stability The unique shape of the domino in combination with longitudinal grooves, gives the dominos a secure hold.
For inside and out Dominos are available in two materials: Beech for interior applications and Sipo dominos for outside applications.
Fits perfectly The DOMINO joining machines cut the mortises to an exact fit where needed. The domino’s special groove geometry ensures a perfect precision fit.
Always a stable connection. The DOMINO system provides the correct dominos for every application. With its range of sizes, two wood types for inside and outside applications and additional, individually adaptable rods (750mm), there are practically no limits to this system’s options.
The 8–14 mm diameters are also available as rods (750mm) and in two types of wood for interior and exterior applications. *Flat connectors – here with the optional extension shells around the cross anchor.
Environmentally friendly All dominos originate from sustainable forest management.
And now also flexible Create ,build, and finish full-sized constructed pieces, then quickly disassemble, move, and then reassemble. The new corner and flat connectors for the DF 700 XL will produce the same strong joints with the added flexibility of knock down connectors.
DOMINO system accessories
3. DOMINO system accessories. For even greater application versatility.
The Festool system stands for application versatility and simplifies your work with accessories thought through to the finest detail: with a variety of stops, compatible with both DOMINO joining machines, even the most complicated of shapes can be easily connected.
Wood rods in diameters from 1-3/8”- 2-3/8”can be connected by a single Domino tenon to form a rotation resistant joint. Simply attach the handrail fence, adjust for the specific material and cut the mortise. (For DOMINO DF 500 and DOMINO XL DF 700)
DETAILS on working with the handrail fence can be found in the example applications on page 56.
Material 7/8” to 2-3/4” wide can be quickly positioned and fixed centrally using the trim stop – ideal for shelving joints.
For repeat hole spacing between 3-7/8” and 8-1/16”. The Cross Stop enables precise and repeatable mortise placement across the surface or edge of a workpiece.
(For DOMINO DF 500 and DOMINO XL DF 700)
(For DOMINO DF 500 and DOMINO XL DF 700)
DETAILS on working with the trim stop can be found in the example applications on page 50.
DETAILS on working with the cross stop can be found in the example applications on pages 74 and 79.
DF 500 Support Bracket
DF 700 Support Bracket
The support bracket supplied with DF 700 will balance the fence for the Domino on narrow stock or when used in vertical plunging for increased accuracy in placement of mortises.
The support bracket supplied with the DF 500 will help balance the fence for the Domino on narrow stock or when used in vertical plunging for increased accuracy in placement of mortises. Integrated flip stops provided reference points at 20mm from the edge.
DETAILS on working with the additional stop and the support surface extension can be found in the example applications on page 76.
Practical application examples
4.1 Overview: connections with DOMINO joining machines
The DOMINO system is ideally suited for board, rail and stile joints, involving narrow or wide, delicate or solid workpieces with dominos ranging from 4 to 14 mm in diameter or flexible, separable corner and flat connectors. In short, the DOMINO system is perfect for realizing infinite connection possibilities. The following chapter showcases examples of how to work with these various connection types. Naturally all of these examples are variable in terms of size, material, and the size and number of dominos, etc. Nevertheless, these examples always demonstrate the basic procedure which can be used as a reference.
Drawers from 4 mm dominos
Furniture making with 5 mm and 6 mm dominos
Solid timber furniture with 8 mm and 10 mm dominos
Solid timber furniture (e.g. beds) with 12 mm and 14 mm dominos
Rail and Stile connections
Lightweight rack construction (e.g. chairs) up to 10 mm dominos
Stable rack construction (e.g. tables) with 10 mm to 14 mm dominos
Frame and stand designs
Furniture fronts in frame design with 8 mm and 10 mm dominos
Solid timber furniture in frame design
Entrance doors and internal doors
Connection of narrow pieces from 20mm wide
Connection of rods with handrail fence
Connection of wide rails (e.g. solid timber panels)
Corner connectors from 30 mm material thickness, separable
Flat connectors from 30 mm material thickness, separable
DOMINO joining machines
4.2 Frame joints
The applications of the DOMINO connecting system are virtually unlimited, as well as uncomplicated. Just one domino is enough to connect a frame corner securely and ensure it will not twist – so attractive furniture fronts can be quickly and easily achieved.
With the DF 500, very small dominos can be used even for furniture joints, making it possible to process very small spindles or narrow frame rails.
With the DF 700 in contrast, stable frame joints can be created in the same way, for example, for beds, tables or internal doors. Thanks to the larger routing depth, the DF 700 is also suitable for pinned joints. Some of these connection options are demonstrated in the following examples.
4.2.1 Mitered frame joint
In this example, we are processing 5 x 30 mm dominos. Set the routing depth to 15 mm for this.
Select the routing height based on the workpiece; in this example, the frame is 20 mm thick. Set the routing height on the DF 500 to 20 mm in this case. The width of the frame in this example is 60 mm.
We are using two dominos per corner connection for maxi- mum stability. Place the machine on the miter and carefully place the indexing stop against the tip of the miter. Route this first mortise on the tight setting.
For the second routed mortise, either mark out the position or run the machine flush along the outside tip of the miter. This routed mortise can either be precisely routed like the first mortise – which increases the stability of the joint but requires more precision – or it can be routed with clearance – but then you must use a sufficient amount of glue for the joint.
Use this method to route the mortises in all four frame rails.
Insert the dominos, using a sufficient amount of glue, join the frame rails and brace them with clamps.
4.2.2 Butted frame joint
When connecting frame rails without mitering, i.e. butted joints, proceed as you normally would. This example shows another option for using the DOMINO joining machine on the workpiece.
Set the routing height to match the thickness of your workpiece. For the routing depth, select half the domino length. Route both mortises using the tight setting for a precise fit or route the second mortise with clearance for adjustment, if needed.
The routed mortises can be set by marking them out as usual or using the stop system with the scale in the viewing window – in this example, 15 mm from the outside edge. For this option, place the scale with the 15 mm marking at the edge of the workpiece.
The second mortise is set here using the indexing stop. This method makes it possible to position two dominos next to each other working from just one reference edge. TIP When using the indexing stops, the edge of the workpiece can be seen in the triangular viewing window of the DOMINO joining machine.
Use this method to carry out routing for all four frame rails.
Then glue the frame rail and brace with pads and clamps, if necessary.
TIP If the frame rail needs to be rebated or grooved, the rebating depth must be added in advance when routing the domino mortises, so that the domino is centered later despite the rebate (which then takes up part of the depth of the domino mortise).
4.2.3 Stable frame joints with the DF 700
Use the DOMINO DF 700 for stable frame joints such as for doors, where larger dominos can be processed for even greater stability. In this example, a panel door is created with a pinned internal rebate and additional tenon. The DOMINO joining machines are unique in that you can set the routed mortises even after rebating, which would not be possible with a classic drill for conventional domino joints, for example, due to the lack of support surface. This ‘pinned joint’ requires small deviations in the routing depth setting, which are explained in the following.
TIP Due to the pinned joint, the 14 x 140 mm domino cannot be processed despite the maximum routing depth of 70 mm for the DF 700. The maximum possible standard domino is the 14 x 100 mm. However, if you wish to make full use of the maximum routing depth and cut the domino itself to the correct maximum size, you can do so by cutting the domino to the appropriate length and creating the perfect domino size yourself.
Mark out the desired position of the domino and work using the viewing window. Route into both parts of the workpiece at the maximum routing depth (70 mm each) with the 14 mm router. In the end grain, set both routed mortises with the correct mortise width – in this case the dominos are later glued and then fit in precisely. The routing height is half of the workpiece thickness (which is 40 mm in this example, so the routing height setting is 20 mm).
In the lengthwise rail, set the routed mortises with a 70 mm routing depth as well, but route the first mortise with precision and the second as a slot with clearance. Proceed likewise for the additional lengthwise and crosswise rails.
Then cut the dominos to fit the ready-made mortises. In this example, the nominal domino length is 115 mm, which is calculated by doubling the routing depth of 70 mm = 140 mm and subtracting the pinned joint of 25 mm = 115 mm. Cut the domino a few millimeters shorter (so that later the glue has enough space), down to 112 mm. Chamfer the cut domino at the edges using a sanding block.
Then drive the dominos all the way into the routed mortises in the end grain, adding glue to the joint. Join the lengthwise and crosswise rails using fastening clamps and glue the joint.
4.3 Rail and Stile joints and secure spindle positioning
Making rail and stile joints with the DOMINO joining machine saves an incredible amount of time. Especially when relatively narrow spindles are being processed, working with the trim stop (available as an accessory or included in the DF 500 and DF 700 set) is recommended for safe and precise workpiece mortising. This trim stop fits both the DF 500 and the DF 700 and securely holds spindles with 7/8” - 2-3/4” thickness.
Mount the trim stop onto the DOMINO joining machine according to the operating instructions.
Set the width of the trim stop to the thickness of your spindle by adjusting the guide in the parallel side fence to the correct dimension using the scale and the green rotary wheels. In this example, we are working with 30 x 30 mm rectangular spindles.
Using the spindle as a guide, ensure that the trim stop dimension fits perfectly; make further adjustments if necessary.
To process a 6 x 40 mm domino as in this example, use the 6 mm cutter (6 mm dominos can only be processed with the DF 500). For details on changing the router, see chapter 1.4.4, page 18.
Set the routing height to 15 mm, so that the domino is centered on the spindle later. Set the routing depth to 20 mm, so that the 40 mm domino is later positioned evenly between the spindle and the handrail. Route the mortise in the spindles using the narrow mortise setting.
NOTE You can also use the DF 700 to apply this method with a domino diameter of 8 mm or greater.
CAUTION Especially with handrails, it is often not possible to position the joining machine securely on the side of the workpiece due to the handrail design; the round shape prevents the DOMINO joining machine from having a secure support surface.
The trim stop provides additional support in these cases: mark out the desired position of the spindles on the handrail, where the mortise will be cut. From this marking, set an additional marking 10 mm away (or 15 mm when using the DF 700) – this is where the joining machine will be placed later. Then set the routing angle to 90° so that you can route vertically into the handrail from the top. The routing depth is 20 mm again, as with the spindles, with the 6 x 40 mm cutter to be processed.
Then set the trim stop to the width of the handrail and centered on the handrail.
Cut the mortise in the handrail, positioning the Domino on the second mark referenced above.
Applying a sufficient amount of glue, insert the dominos into the mortises and join the handrail to the spindles.
Cut the angled mortises in the handrail as described above. Then join the spindle and handrail.
TIP Beveled joints are also possible with spindles that are being installed on stair cases. Set the angle of the spindle on the domino fence and cut the mortise.
Set the mortise height to the center of the workpiece. Mark out the center point of the spindles on the top side of the workpiece. In this application (when only using scribe marks) align the center mark on the viewing window of the Domino with the scribe mark and cut the mortises.
TIP For workpieces where a secure support surface is possible for the joining machine, simply marking out the mortises or central axis of the spindles is sufficient (in this case you do not have to work with the trim stop).
4.4 Round profile joints
When connecting round timber profiles, such as those used for handrails, the handrail fence is available as an accessory to ensure a secure workpiece hold. This part fits both the DF 500 and the DF 700 for diameters from 1-3/8” - 2-3/8”. The following example describes how a stop is created using this handrail.
Before starting, ensure that the correct cutter is used. In this example, we are processing an 8 x 40 mm domino, so the 8mm cutter must be used
Set the mortise depth to 20 mm.
Select the mortise height so that the domino is offset towards the inside of the miter, preventing the cutter from going through the workpiece. In our example with a round timber profile with 40 mm diameter, set the routing height to 20 mm.
Mount the handrail fence onto the DOMINO DF 500 or DF 700 according to the operating instructions. TIP Before processing your workpiece, it is important to create a sample piece and make fine adjustments to the handrail fence according to the operating instructions.
The handrail fence holds the workpiece securely and centers it automatically thanks to the prism-shaped contact surfaces.
Set the fence angle on the Domino to match the cut angle on the workpiece. In our example, the handrail was sawed at 15°, which means the fence angle is set to 75°; this is equal to 90° minus 15°. Secure the workpiece, on the MFT multifunction table. Then cut the mortise in both pieces of material.
Insert the 8 x 40 mm domino into the mortise, applying glue to the joint. Then join the two workpiece parts together – the joint is secured from twisting with just one domino!
4.5 Stable, separable corner connectors
The separable corner connectors provide even more flexibility, especially with large, solid workpieces like tables or beds. These connectors allow for quick and easy assembly and disassembly of furniture pieces, making transport a breeze. In terms of how they are processed, the connectors are very similar to the securely glued dominos to a great extent and can be easily mounted thanks to the large pulling and tightening distance. The example provided here demonstrates how to create a table or bedpost.
For corner connectors, you need the following components from the DOMINO corner and flat connector system:
Dimensions for routing the DOMINO corner connector
x + min. 10
1. Anchor bolt 2. Self-drawing expansion anchor – for a secure hold in the workpiece. 3. Cross Anchor including stud 4. DOMINO connector covers – clipped
Mortise width Routing depth Routing height
around double-headed or anchor bolts. Items included with double- headed or anchor bolts.
x + min. 10 mm; min. 25 mm in total
Only suitable for joining timber or timber-like materials in furniture construction (no lightweight building materials!) The DOMINO connector is only a connecting element, not a load-bearing element. Observe minimum routing depths and edge distances! For indoor use only!
Per corner connector: 1x anchor bolt including DOMINO connector cover 1x cross anchor including stud 1x expansion bolt Optional: 1x cover cap in silver, light brown or dark brown The corner and flat connectors are always processed with the 14 mm router on the DF 700.
Set the mortise depth to 25 mm – set the limit stops to 25 mm and 50 mm.
It is a good idea to work with the locating pins in this case. Select the pins depending on the desired mortise placement. Ensure that the mortise for the corner connector has a minimum distance of 37 mm from the edge of the workpiece. If you work with the locating pins use the middle pin for 37mm from the edge.
Route the mortises in the table or bedpost (narrow mortise width) with a mortise depth of 25 mm. Set one mortise for the expansion bolt of the corner connector, the others for alignment of the work piece from the standard Domino tenons.
Change the mortise depth to 50 mm and cut the mortises (narrow mortise width) in the frame according to the scribe mark or using the locating pin system. The routing height is determined by the material thickness, using the usual method you already know from working with your DOMINO DF 700. In this example, the frame has a material thickness of 30 mm. Set the routing height to 15 mm so that the routed mortise is centerd in the material.
Then set the routing depth to 25 mm for routing the cross mortise. (This dimension depends on the workpiece; see dimensional drawing. What is important to note is that the cross mortise should overlap the longitudinal mortise by 3 mm in depth.)
Then route the cross mortise into the frame, where the connector will be inserted. Flip the handle down at the front of the edge of the workpiece and align the machine with the scribe mark or using the stop pins (depending on how the horizontal cut mortise was set). TIP For a bigger and therefore safer support surface, it is possible and would be beneficial during this mortising process to mount the support bracket onto the DF 700.
To ensure that the cross mortise always sits at the right distance from the edge of the workpiece, the fence height should be set at 40mm. This will ensure that the cross anchor catches the anchor bolt.
It is important to ensure that the expansion anchor is flush with the workpiece surface.
Insert the expansion anchor into the center mortise in the post.
Then screw the anchor bolt all the way into the expansion anchor (making sure to bottom out the anchor bolt). This expands the expansion anchor approx.1 mm into the workpiece thanks to the self-drawing property of the bolt and locking it securely into place. A 10 mm open ended spanner is used for this. TIP Alternatively, a 4 mm hexagonal socket can be inserted through the mortise or a ratchet with a 10 mm socket can be used.
Then unscrew the bolt just enough so that the countersink is facing the right direction. The expansion bolt is now sitting securely in the workpiece and cannot fall out of the mortise, even if the joint is disassembled for transport purposes.
Clip the two DOMINO connector covers around the anchor bolt. These are used to hold the corner connector flush against the workpiece.
The cross anchor is then inserted into the cross mortise in the side wall, with the screw mortise facing upwards.
Press the cross anchor all the way into the mortise using the spanner.
Then insert the threaded screw. Tighten it only so that the screw stays in place, but the opening remains open for the anchor bolt.
Then join the frame to the post by pushing the connector and dominos into their respective mortises.
TIP It is usually a good idea to install knock down connectors to one of the sides and securely glue dominos into the other side.
Tighten the connection using a 4 mm hex wrench.
Optionally, you can cover the mortise with a cover cap, available in one of three colors depending on the material: silver, light brown or dark brown.
This is a quick way to create a stable joint that can be quickly disassembled if necessary, without time-consuming measuring or marking.
4.6 Stable, separable flat joints
The DOMINO flat connector is ideal for creating stable flat joints that can be dissembled. You can connect table tops, kitchen counters or other surfaces accurately and efficiently.
This application example demonstrates how to connect a kitchen countertop.
For flat joints, you need the following components from the DOMINO corner and flat connector system:
1. Cross anchors – here with additional extension shells. Prevents the cross anchor from drawing into soft materials (e.g. kitchen countertops). 2. Double-headed bolt – can be used with one or two domino clips. 3. DOMINO connector covers – clipped around double-headed or anchor bolts. Items included with double-headed or anchor bolts.
Flat connector with extension shells around the cross anchor – specially designed for materials such as MDF or particle board.
x + min. 12 min. 30
Mortise width Routing depth Routing height
C When working without extension shells around the cross anchor: x + min. 10 mm; min. 25 mm in total 40 mm When working with extension shells around the cross anchor: x + min. 12 mm; min. 30 mm in total 40 mm C*
Only suitable for joining wood or wood-like materials in furniture construction (no lightweight building materials!) The DOMINO connector is only a connecting element, not a load-bearing element. Observe minimum routing depths and edge distances! For indoor use only!
For this connection, you need at least two flat connectors and the following components from the DOMINO corner and flat connector system: 2x double-headed bolts including DOMINO connector covers 4x cross anchors including studs Optional: 8x extension shells for the cross anchors Optional: 2x dominos D14 x 75 Optional: 4x cover caps in silver, light brown or dark brown
Mark out the connector position on the surface of the worktop at the desired point. Also mark the positions for additional dominos (used to ensure a flush connection).
Insert the 14 mm cutter.
Transfer the markings to the joining surfaces of the worktop. It is sufficient to do this where you later want to insert the flat connectors.
Set the mortise height: the distance from the fence to the center should be half the material thickness. With a material thickness of 38 mm, set the routing height to 20 mm.
Then set the mortise depth to 50 mm and set the limit stops to 50 mm and 30 mm.
Cut the 50 mm deep mortises with the narrow mortise width into both workpieces. The domino fence is placed on the top side of the worktop in this case.
Then set a mortise depth of 30 mm – this dimension depends on the material. What is important to note is that the cross anchor mortise should overlap the longitudinal mortise by 5 mm in depth. If using the cross anchors without extension shells, an overlap of 3 mm suffices. The fence height should be set to 40 mm – this setting is identical for each connector, because it is based on the length of the connector. Cut cross mortises in both workpieces at the points where the flat connectors will be inserted.
Switch the machine to the large mortise width for the cross anchor; this gives the cross anchors enough space when fitted with the extension shells.
Tighten the studs in the cross anchor only so that the studs stay in place, but the opening remains clear for the double-headed bolt.
The extension shells around the cross anchors prevent the anchors from drawing into soft materials when tightened. Clip the extension shells around the cross anchors for this purpose.
Insert the cross anchors into the routed mortises.
If you have decided to use additional dominos in order to ensure a flush connection, insert these into the other routed mortises.
Clip the half shells around the double-headed bolt.
TIP The double-headed bolt can be fitted with two to four half shells. With one domino clip, the clip sits flush and neatly between both workpieces.
With two half shells, the double-headed bolt has some clearance later for the alignment.
... and tighten the stud in the first cross anchor.
Then push the double-headed bolt into the workpiece ...
Push both workpieces together ...
... and clamp the connectors by tightening the stud on the second workpiece side.
TIP In general, these connections are located on the bottom of tabletops and kitchen worktops, i.e. outside of visible area. Nevertheless it is possible, of course, to cover the cross mortises with cover caps.
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