I learned in Session 9 of the Maple Trestle Table Build that using a router to cut mortises was slow and tiring, and required me to wrestle the heavy slabs into a vertical position. I certainly didn’t want to bring the wood to a stationary machine such as a hollow chisel mortiser or slot mortiser – even if I got it into position, it would want to tip the whole machine! A biscuit joiner would have been about as useful as duct tape. Pocket holes? Not for this type of project! A dowelling jig wouldn’t have allowed any lateral expansion so that wouldn’t work either.
Yesterday I ordered a Domino XL, which I believe is the best tool for my application. (If you can think of a better tool, please let me know!) I wanted the ability to use different thicknesses of tenons so I looked at the options for buying tenons and bits.
To accompany the Domino XL, Festool put together two packages of pre-cut Domino tenons and the appropriate bit(s), all neatly contained Systainers. One Tenon Assortment comes with 8mm/10mm bits and 8mm/10mm Domino tenons in various lengths while the other comes with a 14mm bit and 12mm/14mm Domino tenons, again in various lengths (a 12mm bit comes with the Domino XL).
The purpose of the Systainers was to keep tools and accessories organized, especially onsite. Some woodworkers I have talked with like having them in the workshop but I have never found them particularly helpful.
I anticipated using mostly the larger sizes. With the release of the DF-700, Festool also released 750mm lengths of milled Domino tenon stock which the end user could then cut to whichever length was needed.
I wanted long tenons and the matching bits but not the Systainer. I sat down and put together a spreadsheet in pretty Festool green and blue or printer-friendly black and white (the far-right column is interesting as it shows the extra cost of pre-cut tenons over the 750mm lengths). It showed me that for 80% of the cost of the two Tenon Assortments I could order the individual bits and packages of 750mm tenon stock and get 105% more tenon stock. However, I would not get the two Systainers and would need to cut the tenons myself. That did not concern me in the least, so that’s what I did.
The Domino XL and accessories arrive June 1, 2012.