Festool will soon release their new “domino” joiner system, and as we’re always pretty excited to see new power tool systems on the market, this is no exception. Festool is kind enough to provide some great info about the new joiner right on their website, so we took a gander.
The new domino system uses a router bit which both spins and sweeps from side to side to carve out a mortise in which you insert a solid beech tenon. There are three width settings which allow you to use the Domino for exact registration or a looser fit for easier assembly. It can join members that are as small as 7/8” by 5/8”, and you can use the largest tenon or combinations of tenons for larger furniture pieces.
The big news, though, is that unlike normal “biscuit” joints, the joint in this case is square, domino-shaped solid beech tenon, which Festool claims has a greater sheer strength and larger glue surface for a more solid joint.
There are a few draw backs, though. The domino system has three preset mortise widths and is not set up to cut other mortise widths. Obviously you’ll have to buy Festool’s dominoes as they’re non-standard — which might be an issue on the jobsite where you can normally use any given-sized biscuit.
Sharpening the bits is made more difficult as well because the required cut is very precise. The smaller size of the new sharpened blade can throw things off a bit.
The real idea here is that the domino joiner has a built in indexing feature with guides and fences that allow you to use the machine itself to run and align your work piece instead of the manual setup of the biscuit joining process. In short, it’s built for speed and accuracy and it looks like it’ll deliver. If you’re looking for a tool that is a Jack of all trades, however, this might not be your rig.
Festool says that when it goes on sale in April they’ll offer an introductory price of $660 until 05/31/2007. So save up if you’re in the market.
Domino Joiner [Festool]