Thursday, May 17, 2007

Festool Domino and Dowelmax Comparison on Simple Joints

Hi Folks,

There is alot of Domino support and bashing, as well as Dowelmax support and bashing on various woodworking forums. Typically the owners of the tools talk about them like they are just about the second coming. The detractors talk about their excessive (relative) price. The Domino “won’t pay for itself.” The Dowelmax is no better at 250 bucks than a beadlock is at 50 bucks. Usually stuff like that. If you read close enough or care, many of the supporters and detractors don’t have either tool. They usually have some other way that you should spend your money and I’m sure kick their dogs and roll through stop signs!

Anyway, I love tools. I love to buy them. I love to compare them. It’s my hobby. I thought I’d toss together a crappy little video demonstrating the Domino and Dowelmax with making a butt joint, and in edge joining stock.

Please note that I don’t script these, I don’t rehearse them, I don’t really even plan them very well. They are off the cuff and I may confuse myself with terminology and have some jittery camera work. I hope you get the point that I am neither a professional woodworker, nor am I a professional videographer.

I do make the assertion that I’m better at woodworking that I am at video production.

So, here is the video. If you have any comments or critisim’s, fire away. If you want to bash either tool, please send your comments to either Festool or Dowelmax. I didn’t design either of them, I purchased both of them just because I wanted to. I don’t support either company over the other and I have no intention of defending my opinions to anyone, though I will happily join in poking fun at my haphazzard methods of video production.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MFT 1080 As Tablesaw Outfeed

I used a 1400/2 rail across the longside of the MFT table to use it as my outfeed table. I have seen versions using the MFT in it's true form as an "L" off of a tablesaw, but I don't have the room to do that.

By taking off the legs of the MFT and building a frame underneath, I was able to maintain the clearance for the outfeed on my planer, keep the MFT coplanar to my tablesaw and still have all the functions of the MFT.

I did a short podcast to demonstrate this. After watching the video, you may have more questions than I answer, but just drop me a line and I can see what I can do.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007


My Nova is in it's new home today. My old lathe was giving me fits as I wasn't happy with the tailstock or the banjo. I wasn't able to tighten either of them, sufficiently, to suggest any type of confidence. No matter how I tightened the retaining bolts, I could either not slide it at all, or not secure it firmly. The lathe did a good job on introducing me to turning, but now it's time for something serious.

I havn't added any ballast yet, nor have I done anything but turn it on and wind it up. What I can say is, it's smooooooth! The tailstock, banjo and toolrest slide easily and lock up tighter than (insert whatever analogy you like.) The swivel headstock locks securely and firmly. I'm really looking forward to giving this thing a whirl later this week.


Festool Update

Well, I see now how it can happen. You get one Festool product, and then like hitting your head and waking up with amnesia, you suddenly have 5 or more. I fell in love with the idea of the Domino and with the research involved in buying a tool like this, I was able to start looking into other tools in the Festool lineup. One of the things that drew me towards these products, is the dust/chip control. I'm happy with most of my tools and though some have had to be replaced by the Festool line, it wasn't due to poor peformance as much as they just blew crap all over the place and it just doesn't seem like a good idea.

Along the way, I looked into their dust extractors, circular saws, multifunction tables and sanders. All in all, the Festool list now looks like this:

DF 500 Q Domino
TS 55 Plunge Cut Saw
MFT 1080 Multifunction Table
FS 1400/2 Guide Rail
CT 22 Hepa Dust Extractor
ETS 150/3 Random Orbit Sander

I think I'm done for awhile. I'll post little tidbits on this stuff as I spend more time with it.