Festool Domino DF500 Joiner – Machine Set-Up & Operation
The Festool Domino joiner is a tremendously versatile machine for loose tenon joinery, but there are key tips and concepts that will help you make the best start with it.
To use the machine, first select the cutter to suit the thickness of the work. In general, the cutter size should be about 1/3 the thickness of the workpieces.
To avoid over-tightening the cutter, hold the wrench by the shaft with two fingers close to the head (Photo 1).
Photo One – Tighten the cutter gently.
With the cutter installed, follow the instructions in the user manual to set these five machine parameters.
- Fence angle
- Fence height
- Board thickness gauge
- Depth of cut
- Width dial
Remember that for the DF500, the machine should be running (but not plunging) when setting the width dial.
Always connect the machine to a dust extractor and secure the workpiece before operating it.
The fence is the primary registration surface of the machine. Except in certain cases such as making mid-panel joinery, always use the fence, not the base plate/bottom of the machine, to register against a workpiece.
Before milling, designate the reference face or surface for each workpiece, and always register the fence against the reference face when mortising the work (Photo 2).
Photo 2 – Marking out the reference face/edge (with an arrow in this example) avoids unnecessary errors.
Let the machine reach full speed, and always plunge the machine slowly and steadily. Avoid jamming the cutter into the workpiece, which may damage or even break the smallest cutter. If you hear a chattering noise during cutting, it means that the feed rate is too fast. Wait for the cutter to retract completely before moving the machine for the next cut.