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Festool updates Domino with new cutter

Company adds 4mm cutter for drawer box assembly, updates base support bracket and fence, and plans more changes

Festool USA has added a 4mm cutter for its Domino hand-held mortising machine. The base support bracket and fence have also been updated.

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Festool USA has released an updated version of its Domino hand-held mortising machine along with changes to several features. The new Domino DF 500 Q Set includes a new 4mm tenon and cutter, an updated base support bracket and revised fence. The three features expand the capabilities of the popular Festool joiner system.

"The strongest reason for the addition of the 4mm cutter is the assembly of drawer boxes. If you take a look at the thickness of the material used there, it is generally 1/2". With this tenon length, it becomes much more appropriate for that application," says Festool product manager Rick Bush.

"It can also be used for base molding. If you're wrapping a corner and you think about the thickness of that material with a couple of bevel joints, it's fairly thin, about 9/16". We're able to knock a couple of tenons in there for alignment purposes. Normally you would have to nail the molding, but with this you can not only use the tenon to align it, but also as a hidden fastener."

The updated base support bracket is longer than the previous bracket and provides additional support across the face of the fence. The built-in stops move the center of the cut from 37mm (1-15/32") to 20mm (25/32") from the edge, which is beneficial when using narrow stock.

"The base support bracket's job is to give us more surface area on the face of the tool, particularly if you are working close to the edge on the broad face of a piece. This gives it a greater stability," Bush says. "What we've added are a couple of additional flip stops. Normally, you index the Domino from the edge of the piece with the stop that is built into the machine, but now with this bracket we have another stop that we can flip up which brings it closer to a given edge. So it allows you to work with narrower stock if you are going to use the machine's integrated pins to set your first mortise."

The updated fence features square stop flaps instead of round pins and a clear plastic cursor for easier alignment to a mark. It works with all existing accessories, including the cross stop, trim stop, handrail fence and base support bracket.

"The round pin was metal and spring-loaded. The new one is plastic, so if you get glue on it and it dries, it is easy to chip off. It also can be locked to the rear. With the round pins, they were sticking out and it was possible that they could be inadvertently caught. Now you can move these back and lock them out of the way."

Users can expect to see further growth in the Domino's capabilities with additional changes and accessories, says Bush.

"I don't think we've yet realized the limitations of this machine. Customers send us information all the time about how they are using it, applications that may not have been dreamed of before, and we are looking for ways to expand what that machine can do in terms of fasteners and accessories."

The Domino can be purchased separately for $775. The Domino DF 500 Q Set sells for $825.

Contact: Festool USA, 400 N. Enterprise Blvd., Lebanon, IN 46052. Tel: 888-337-8600.

This article originally appeared in the November 2009 issue.

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