Domino XL: Sometimes Bigger is just Better!
Issue: Issue 294
Posted Date: 2/7/2012
Here is a sneak peek at a brand-new product from Festool. In fact, the Domino XL (a much bigger and more powerful addition to the Domino line of loose tenon joinery machines) is so new that I don't have a price and I can't even tell you when you can buy it. But I can tell you that it is an amazing and extremely useful machine. To explain why, let me give you a bit of backstory.
Last summer, I spent a good bit of time assisting master woodworker Ian Kirby as he built the projects for our DVD series (The Way to Woodwork). We used Domino joinery on most of the projects, and Ian simply could not say enough good things about the Domino system. He identified the Domino as a real "game changer" in small shop woodworking: adding speed and efficiency to mortise and tenon construction. His only mild complaint was that he wished that there was a larger Domino option — one that correlated more with traditional slot mortisers.
Well, it was almost if the folks at Festool had read Ian's mind, because that is exactly what the Domino XL provides. As I said earlier, we don't have a price or on-sale date, so here is what I do know.
The Domino XL works on the same principle as the existing Domino DF 500 machines. It uses an oscillating cutter to plunge cut a mortise that fits pre-made compressed beech Dominos (essentially loose or floating tenons). It cuts mortises to fit a wide range of Dominos, most of them much larger and thicker than the existing Dominos used by the DF 500. The measurements of Dominos provided with the XL ranged from 8mm thick, by 12mm wide, by 50mm long for the smallest Domino, to 14mm thick, by 28mm wide and 140mm long for the biggest! And there is a significant selection of sizes between those extremes.
As a woodworker, my mind is cranking out potential projects to suit those bigger Dominos. Passage doors, bed frame construction, hand rails and especially chair construction, just to name a few.
I'll end this preview with just a few technical details to keep you satisfied until the machine is actually launched. (Don't bother looking for it on FestoolUSA's website — you won't find it there.) The Domino XL is rated at 720 watts and spins the specially made bits at 21,000 rpm. Its cutting depth goes from 15mm to 70mm and it weighs 5.2 kg or about 11.5 lbs. (It's a not a lightweight!)
Keep your eyes peeled for more information to come.