The Festool DF500 is a machine for cutting mortices for loose tenon joints.
A loose tenon joint is similar to a mortice and tenon joint, except both work pieces have a mortice and a separate loose tenon joins the two pieces.
At Makespace we have a DF500 with 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10mm cutters.
Festool makes pre-cut tenons, referred to as Dominos, which are available for purchase from Makespace.
What can you make using a Domino Joiner?
Rail to Post Joint
Edge to Edge Joint
What material can you cut using the Domino Joiner?
The Domino Joiner should be used only with wood or MDF.
Other materials, including metal, CANNOT be cut.
When to use a Domino Joiner
The DF500 is a machine for quickly and accurately cutting mortices for loose tenon joints.
You can use the Domino Joiner to create Rail to Post, End to End, Edge to Edge, Edge to Face and Mitre Joints.
Domino joints can be load bearing or structural joints, multiple Dominos can be cut for a single joint for extra strength.
Dominos can also be used for alignment, even in cases where a tenon is not really required for strength, such as a table top glue up.
How Good is a Domino Joint
Despite the name, Loose Tenon Joints are every bit a strong as a Mortice and Tenon.
As long as you have a good long grain to long grain surface bond, either between the joined components or between the Domino and the mortice, you should achieve a strong joint.
Mortice & Tenon joints and a Domino joints are both strongest in the axis perpendicular to the tenon.
Domino joints can be cut in places where a Mortice and Tenon would be impractical such as the corner of a cabinet formed from MDF or Ply.
Dominos are useful for alignment e.g. to locate the end of a leg to a table top.
Domino joints can be cut very quickly and accurately, with little marking up which makes them very efficient to use.
What other tools/equipment can be used instead?
Mortice and Tenon Joints can be cut with a chisel, saw and shoulder plane.
Decorative effects such as Dovetails can be cut by hand.
Mortices can be cut with a Router using a jig.
The materials below are not specifically approved by Makespace, but may be useful.