This is something that occurred to me, in a moment of either buyer’s regret or brilliant insight, shortly after I bought a Festool Domino. I’m not advocating for anything, not trying to sell something or attempting to talk anyone into anything. I know how things can get on this forum when the discussion turns to Festool. But I’ll venture on.
In looking at the cutting bits the Dominos came with, I realized one could chuck the shank up in a standard Jacobs-style chuck. The outer diameter on the non-cutting end is around 3/8 inch.
The bits are undoubtedly made just for the purpose of drilling into and then swivelling from side to side in order to cut the precise mortise. They’re not really designed to be used for slot mortising. Still, I thought I’d give it a go.
I have a Grizzly horizontal boring machine that, until I bought the Domino, I used for mortising. It took the Festool bit readily, and after I did a bit of adjusting, I cut a slot into the edge of a piece of cherry. The results are what you see below.
The mortise the Domino is sticking out of is the one I cut with the Grizzly. The other two are ones I made with the Domino itself. In terms of finish inside the mortise there is no difference that I could detect. The fit was such that I had to use a pair of pliers in order to remove the tenon – as I have had to do with Domino-cut mortises…
So, what does this mean?
Does it mean that someone could purchase the $450 Grizzly machine and use the Domino bits and loose tenons – and have money left over, and a horizontal boring machine as well?
There is no way to compare the two tools. The Festool is a highly engineered, well thought-out piece of machinery. Expensive too. The Grizzly, by comparison, is crudely made. But it can be set up to do some good work – though it was not designed to do mortising.
Again, the Domino bits are probably not designed to withstand the side loads slot mortising imposes on them. They might snap in this configuration. But perhaps one could buy end mills that would cut the same width holes as the Dominos do.
Just throwing this stuff out there for comment.. Zolton
If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It’s not a pet. – Jackie Moon