Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Domino Self-Centering Guide SCG-10

Awhile ago, I blogged some preview information about the forthcoming Domino Self-Centering Guide SCG-10.  The product has come out and looks very useful.

If you've followed my podcast at all, you've seen me use some third-party narrow-stock spacers that are fitted to the front of the pin-style Domino.  The pin model is harder to find these days so the fast pencil-free registration offered by the spacers hasn't been available for everybody.  The SCG-10 solves that problem.

In this video, I'll show you the product, how it fits to the Festool Domino body, and how to calibrate it easily.  I then do a series of demonstrations to show forming a 90┬║ joint (like a rail/stile joint) using the SCG.  One demonstration shows using the SCG for its centering function and the other emphasizes the equidistant offset provided by the SCG and how you can use that to offset mortises.

The key to a Domino is getting your reference surfaces correct and these demos try to show that briefly.  If you want more detail on reference surfaces, you can catch the fourth episode of my sculpted Mahogany vanity series or you can look at the third video of my four-part Domino review.

The calibration procedure shown in this video isn't the same as the one outlined in the manual. The manual's procedure assumes the center line on the bottom of the Domino base is reasonably accurate.  For my Domino, it is considerably off, but I calibrated my cursor hairs exceptionally well.  The basis of my calibration is to use the cursor hairs to get it done in one try.

I think you'll like this product.  For a pin-based Domino user, it provides more flexibility than the narrow-stock spacers (of which I'm a huge fan), and for the paddle-based Domino user, well, now you can put your pencils down :)


In the comments, someone said that while viewing the last demo, the joint didn't look flush. Admittedly while editing the video (way late at night), I thought, "that looks bad", but I knew I had felt it and it was flush.  Well, that someone else noticed and asked, I went to verify.  Yes, it is flush on the top edge where I glided my finger, but the back had a gap...

The second demo was an impromptu idea while recording so I didn't prepare that stick, as was pretty obvious by the burn on that end of the stick.  In this picture, you can see how there's a visible gap near the back; burn is embarrassingly visible, too.

I cut that board in half, put the SCG-10 back on the Domino, set it to the width of the stock "plus a little" to offset the Domino and replunged.  This is the result.

The outside edge of the frame is very flush.

Here you can better see how flush the side is.  The surface has a small step mostly because the cross piece (one with the Domino 2 pictures ago) is at the limit of what I'll hold to plunge so I don't think I pressed as hard on the top fence as I should; it's minor, but usually I get the surfaces more flush.  Really, don't do pieces this small without using a holder.  :)


  • Brian said...

    I like your Floyd... you'ren't going to paint it pink are you?

  • Marty said...

    Hey Paul,

    Good video. I'm on the fence ;-) about buying this. If it were half the price I'd jump on it.

    Have you looked at their Multi-position Guide Stop, and if so, what made you purchase the centering jig instead?

    Finally, at the end of the video, when you join the two pieces and quickly put it down, to my eye they didn't seem flush along the edge. Was that the case? If so, perhaps both edges aren't as equidistant as one would like.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Brian, I'll paint it pink when pigs fly :)

    Hi, Marty... I actually purchased the combo so I got both the SCG and MGS. Both have their uses, but I can tell you that the way I work (with those narrow-stock spacers), the SCG is an improved version of what I used; my work method won't need to change, only get a bit faster.

    The MGS is a different animal as it takes a bit more time to setup the legs and calibration is up to you each time. Yes, there is a graduated scale printed on the underside, but it isn't laser-etched like a Woodpeckers rule nor is there one on both sides of the stops (so you could set the front and back to 13 mm and have it square). To me the scale is therefore a bit approximative. But then I usually transfer measurements from my project.

    When I edited that video last night (way late last night :) I also thought that it didn't look flush, but it felt flush to me. But now that you mentioned it, it bugged me so I went to the shop to check it. While I was recording, I decided to do that second demo so I just flipped the board; I hadn't cleaned the end (as you could likely tell by the tell-tale burning on the end). The upper edge (face towards camera) is pretty straight, but the cut was crooked elsewhere.

    I recut that small piece and redid that "offset" demo and it came out very flush. I didn't take video, but I did take photos that I will add to this blog posting to show what I did wrong and that it wasn't your imagination (but I swear! I passed my finger over it on camera and it felt fine!)

    So thanks for questioning that; a great question.

    To be honest, I think my calibration got a bit of luck with it as it is almost too good. When I did it the night before to get an idea of how I wanted to do it and which tools I'd need, it came out close, but not that close. That was the small segment on adding veneer tape to correct for a very minor offset.

    Floyd rocks! :)

  • Marty said...

    Great follow-up, and it's much appreciated. Now I have more confidence in the ability of the jig to produce good results.

    How many times do we see sloppy work (not that this falls into the category of sloppy) on TV, etc., where the host merrily goes on without paying attention to the details.

    I have to hand it to you, in your willingness to post such a detailed response.

    I'll continue to try and keep you honest ;-)

  • ckniker said...

    Hi Paul-Marcel,

    Now that you've had the SGC-10 for a while, do you find yourself reaching for it or the narrow stock spacers more?

    I am contemplating the purchase of one or the other. I can see the additional benefits of the SCG-10 but can see that the narrow stock spacers may be the quicker to use...

    p.s. The narrow stock spacers are made by a guy who also sells the "Slop Stop" on ebay. Have you ever used that and, if so, care to comment?

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Chris,

    Since I reviewed the SCG-10, I haven't used the Domino much; I was already past the general construction of the vanity and I haven't started my next project yet (that would be this weekend, I hope!) So I cannot say from experience.

    You need a pin-style Domino for the narrow-stock spacers. They are faster than the SCG-10, but only work on the pin-style Domino and only work for specific widths of narrow stock. Again, an offset Domino hole is no problem (encouraged, even), but it is not as flexible as the SCG-10. My next project will have fewer Dominos than usual due to its design, but I'll be using the SCG-10 to get more work out of it.

    The SlopStop. Hmm. I know there is play in that tab holding the rail in place, but you align it with the rail pushed to the right since that's where the force is directed when pushing a saw or router on the rail. It might be useful, but I can't say I've ever needed it.