I've two in almost exactly the same style, but a little fancier with small coved crowns. Both are painted with colonial colors that imitate milk paint - one in dark green and one in red. They have been banged a bit but are going on twenty years and looking great. It isn't physical damage, but the occasional stain splatter and the eternal patina of dust that detracts from their looks more than anything. Over the years I've devoted time to a number of things in my shop that are purely aesthetic. I enjoy it in the morning when it looks nice at the start of the day. Hey whatever makes you happy right?
I have an update. I have recently made up red oak floating tenons 1 3/4" wide for the #6 domino thickness (1/4"). I cut matching mortises in rail and stiles by lining up 2 Domino machine cuts to make 1 3/4". The resulting joints are far, far stronger than using the dominos. This method was quick and easy and produced true chair-strength joints. So the Domino machine is a great addition to my shop, but without the dominos!
Very good point about cutting the wide mortise. I've got to get around to this. I' think I'll have a stock milling session soon.
Another advantage to making your own dominos or tenons concerns the utility of the impressed pattern on the Festool dominos. Initally, I assumed that the beech domino was meant to swell like a biscuit, but this was not the case. After all, a biscuit is a compressed chip. I noticed in the joints I tested that these impressions did not swell out from immersion in a water based glue, but remained impressed. This leads me to believe that Festool has over engineered the dominos with these impressed patterns. I do not know what Festool hoped to achieve by adding these impressions, but they clearly reduce the wood to wood contact by creating a series of gaps along the whole glue surface. I would not be a bit surprised if shop made smooth dominos actually make stronger joints.
I replicated these test in my shop using 2 1/2" stock and a simple vise and my arm. I can't obviously give a psi specification for breaking strengths, but I can tell you that my results paralleled those published. However, there a number of caveats that need to be pointed out. One: the miter joint did show surprising strength when applying downward pressure as seen the Fine Woodworking video, but pushing upwards it let go under very light pressure. Two: dowels have great shear strength and are great when building traditional beds where the head board is held to the rails over time by a bed bolt and the dowels are there for shear strength alone. Dowels however are not suitable glue joints. The FW article fails to point his out. As glue joints they simply fail over time because of the end grain glue surfaces that comprise 90% of the joint surface. So talking about how well they shear or even how they perform in the first few months is completely irrelevant. Dowel max should just shut up be thankful that FW did not share this bit of information. Don't take my word on it. Research the limitation of dowels as glue joints and you will find plenty of corroboration. The biscuit joints were the weakest I tested. The Dominos were next. However two domino one over the other seemed to more than double the strength of the joint and made it acceptable for more stressful applications. The shortcomings of the domino surprised and saddened me. To get two dominos in a 2/12" rail you have to use the 5/30 mm and they tear the side out of the stile in failing because they are too short. Festool would be helping themselves and their customers if they provided the narrower dominos in longer lengths. These set one over the other would provide a really nice joint that could be applied to narrow rail stock.
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