Monday, April 30, 2012

Angle Madness! - Stock Prep from Hell

With Domizilla off probably invading Tokyo, I got a chance to get back to the Angle Madness entertainment center.  I should call it "the diamond cabinet formerly known as the entertainment center" as 'entertainment center' draws up so many uninspired chain furniture store images in my head...

This episode.  hmm.  It is stock selection and preparation, BUT due to all the inclinations, miters, and bevels, almost every aspect of "stock preparation" is affected.  There's nothing normal about the prep work needed on the stock for this cabinet!

While you may not plan on making a diamond-shaped cabinet, I think this episode will help you see some of the additional work needed up front during stock preparation of a project with inclined sides or "coopered" sides of sorts.  There should be some useful take-away (I hope!)

This one was a challenge to record with dual cameras; some of the lighting issues for the overhead cam will be resolved in future episodes, though they aren't too bad now.

If you like how this is going, lemme know in the comments or press the little thumbs-up button... I already have a troll taking care of the thumbs-down for ya :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Interesting Project to Follow

My friend Chris Wong from Port Moody, British Colombia (near Vancouver, Great White North) is building a trestle table out of some interesting slabs; two nice slabs in a spin match.  He's a slab kinda guy; even uses a slab to make a stretcher.  Wonder what the guy would use for a coaster?!

Anyway, he's doing the project live over Twitter.  So if you like life in 130 character chunks, you can follow along, or at least read his installments as they come out over on his blog.  It's listed in my blog roll, but here's the link for the first episode.

If you catch him on Twitter, be sure to ask him how his Vancouver Canucks are doing in the 2012 playoffs.  He likes that!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Domino Crib Sheet - 3 Topics - Mid-Panel Joinery, Cut-to-Length Stock, Pinning Joints

A final installment in what was apparently a crazy long Saturday.  I think I will hear my computer burp when I delete all this footage!

In this Domino crib sheet, I demonstrate two techniques for placing a joint accurately mid-panel.  You'd typically do this to Domino a shelf into the side of a cabinet, but I've also used this many times to place smaller 'rail/stile' pieces mid-panel as well.  One technique lets you set the top of the shelf or joining member while the other lets you center it on a line.

The second topic is more a continuation of the Domizilla review I did recently since I now have the cut-to-length tenon stock that is being released with the Domino XL DF-700.  Even if you don't have an XL, the 8mm and 10mm cut-to-length stock will be useful for times when you need a different custom tenon length.  Personally, I've made my own  longer DF-500 tenons on a couple home projects (stair refacing, suspended shelving, and installation French cleat for a built-in cabinet).

Third topic, pinning joints with a 23ga pin nailer.  I did a demonstration of this in a previous DF-500 demo, but it's useful enough for a re-run.  This can significantly reduce your need for clamps with certain builds, but regardless that benefit, it adds strength.

Now to get back to editing video for the 'angle madness entertainment center'...

Admit it, you're gonna miss that shirt now that the series is over...  but fear not!  A yoga hottie told me it's her favorite shirt so, oh my!, it'll be back :)

For disclosure, I received the Domino XL early as part of the Test Drive program, which requires testers to return the full kit on June 1, 2012 or allows the testers to purchase it at a small discount.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Domino Crib Sheet - Grain and Angles - 4 topics

I'll admit, I didn't know I shot that much video the day I played with Domizilla; still editing it down into bite-sized pieces :)

Today's Domino topics revolve around being aware of the types of glue joints you can make with a Domino and how they differ from those of a traditional mortise-and-tenon (M&T: meticulous & time-consuming :) kidding! hey, put down that pitchfork...)

Other topics involve miter joints (not too tricky) and mortising on a bevel (can be tricky).  My Angle Madness project has a number of crazy bevels to be joined with the Domino so getting this right is important or re-learning all that math is for naught!

By the way, I haven't forgotten that project, but this Domizilla character kinda shook up the shop for a weekend...

For disclosure, I received the Domino XL early as part of the Test Drive program, which requires testers to return the full kit on June 1, 2012 or allows the testers to purchase it at a small discount.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Domino Crib Sheet - Prefer the Quick-Height Setting and Domino Drawboring

This video crib sheet has two tips.  The first is to use the quick-height setting on the side of the fence even when that doesn't center the tenon.  Actually, even when I set the fence by hand, I never set it dead center for reasons demonstrated in the video (and that have saved a frantic glue-up or two).

The second tip discusses drawboring.  Drawboring a tenon involves using a peg through the tenon and an offset hole that causes the tenon to pull the joint tight and hold it there.  Fantastic for strength and it's clamp-free!  The tenons for the original Domino are, to me, too small to be used for drawboring, but the XL's tenons are much larger and heftier and seem to drawbore pretty well.  Now if you go back and see my video on making oversized mortises with the XL quickly and easily, you'll see a huge amount of drawbore potential.

Well, not to draw this out and bore you :) here's the video!

For disclosure, I received the Domino XL early as part of the Test Drive program, which requires testers to return the full kit on June 1, 2012 or allows the testers to purchase it at a small discount.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Domino Crib Sheet - Screw Holding

The ongoing crib sheet theme... another installment!

This is a quick demonstration of how to use a Domino to significantly improve screw holding in man-made materials like MDF (in the demo), waferboard, particle board, or MCP (commonly called 'Melamine').

The technique is pretty low-tech, but helps a lot when making things like cabinet lowers or other utility box that's later adorned with countertops.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Domino Crib Sheet - How do you glue?

When I did a review of the Domino XL DF-700 'domizilla', I mentioned a forthcoming video on Domino joints; I called it an encyclopedia, but that sounds far too authoritative for me.  Hence the high-school crib sheet :)

I have a lot of footage to edit and thought only insomniacs would enjoy watching it all in a sitting, so I'm going to break it up into small snippets like this one; some will include multiple tips, but none will require pausing for potty breaks.

If you are browsing from a desktop browser (most mobiles don't show it), there's a table of contents above this entry that will list all related crib sheet posts.  So if you save this entry and come back later, you'll find the others listed.

Back to the crib sheet...  this first video of the series does a glue-up experiment.  I often hear people say they only apply glue inside the Domino mortise for both speed and little to no squeeze-out meaning little to no cleanup.  Personally, I put it on both the Domino and in the mortise, but who's to say that isn't just overkill and a lot of cleanup.

This video shows an experiment I did applying glue to a mortise-only and to both.  Even if instinctively you think glue in only the mortise is weaker, is it too weak to use?  Might be strong enough.

Oversized Mortises with the Festool Domino XL Domizilla

The Domino XL DF-700 has thicker and longer tenons than the original Domino DF-500.  When you're building larger structures, these can be used alone or in an array of mortises to create strong joints.  While an array of Dominos can provide a lot of glue surface and twist resistance all while being easy to layout and plunge, sometimes you'd be even better served using much wider tenons.

Wider tenons are even faster to layout and plunge than an array and are easy to drawbore or peg for even more mechanical strength and simplified glue-ups.

The largest tenons you can make and directly use with the Domino are 14mm thick, 140mm long, and 68mm wide (for us 'mericans, that's a little over 5 1/2" long by a little less than 2 3/4" wide).  These things look like PopTarts more than Dominos!

In this video, I'll show you the simple procedure that uses the Domino's pin fence to create three oversized mortise widths quickly and easily.  If you've watched my procedure for oversized mortises with the original Domino DF-500, it was a little awkward and relied a lot on lining up the cursor for each plunge.  It works and I've used it many times, but the procedure is all mechanical with the Domizilla and therefore very fast!

The one caveat is that your centered pencil line is not in the center of these oversized mortises.  If you locate the first plunge of the mortise using other means (say, the cross stops or fence pins) and mirror the plunges (i.e., on one board start with the right pins, on the other use the left pins), everything will line up perfectly.  If you really want to center on a pencil line (and I do actually), you need to modify your Domino's cursor to add hairlines at 3, 4, and 6mm from the centerline.  This is really easy to do and I show you the procedure at the end of the video for those who want to stick it out.

The cursor is a replacement part so if you are concerned that you may not want to mark up your cursor or that you'll botch it up, the replacement part number is #701458 and can be directly ordered from Festool USA for $3.21.  I may start bugging people at Festool to modify their cursors to include all the lines from 2mm out as this procedure could greatly benefit people building fences, gates, doors, out-buildings, and monster conference tables.

If you do add the additional hairlines, you'll need to recalibrate the cursor to your Domino.  The procedure is really easy; that link is for a video showing it on the DF-500 though it is identical for the Domizilla (in fact, the part number of the cursor is the same for both :)

The following table shows you the widths of the mortises for each of the 4 bits sizes for all 4 mortise widths (the exact width as you'd normally use plus the three oversized mortises this procedure produces):

Bit SizeSingle PlungeTwo PlungeThree PlungeFour Plunge
8mm ∅21.5mm36.5mm53.5mm66.5mm
10mm ∅23.5mm37.5mm54.5mm67.5mm
12mm ∅25.5mm38.5mm55.5mm68.5mm
14mm ∅27.5mm39.5mm56.5mm69.5mm

Here are the offsets for centering the mortise on the pencil line. These assume the pins used in the video; that is, left-inside, right-middle, left-outside; if you mirror the pins, flip the left/right designator in the table:

Two PlungeThree PlungeFour Plunge
6mm to right3mm to left4mm to right

"6mm to right" means put the pencil line on the 6mm line to the right of the center line.

Note that thought the bit size increases by 2mm for each row, the widths for a type of mortise only increase by 1mm.

For disclosure, I received the Domino XL early as part of the Test Drive program, which requires testers to return the full kit on June 1, 2012 or allows the testers to purchase it at a small discount.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Festool Domino XL DF700 Review (Domizilla!)

Last month, I received a Festool Domino XL DF700 joiner as part of the early Test Drive program.  This Domino will be available June 1, 2012.  It's huge!  Hence my 'Domizilla' moniker...

This video reviews the tool and tenon kits going through each part.  If you are already a Domino DF500 user, much of this is the same between the models.  That said, though, there are a few notable differences (beyond size) between the XL and DF500; I'll bring those up in the review as I go.  This is not a point-by-point comparison between the two.

Also should note that the XL does not replace the DF500: both models will be available moving forward as they are both made for different sized projects (with an overlap the video will show).

I won't be mortising in this video.  Ah, but no sad look... there are two other videos being edited now that will show:
  • the Domizilla in use making some mortises; this is mostly an action film :)
  • a Domino Joint Encyclopedia that shows how a number of common joints are made, how to make them wrong, and some strength tests for different glue-up methods; this is applicable and demonstrates both Domino models.
These videos will be released over the next 10 days so subscribe or "watch this space" for more.

You will want to verify and calibrate the cursor on your fence.  Here, I have a video showing the trivial procedure to do so.  It was shot awhile ago using the DF-500, but the procedure is identical with the Domizilla.  It is highly recommended for both models... do this the day you receive either (both?)

The video also references a previous video about making oversized mortises.  While that video was recorded using the DF500, the techniques are the same though the resulting mortise sizes are different.

For disclosure, the Test Drive program requires testers to return the full kit on June 1, 2012 or allows the testers to purchase it at a small discount.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Angle Madness! - The Jigs

Time for a flashback in the project... I created some jigs to accurately cut the compound angles for this diamond-shaped entertainment center; this video goes over the thinking behind the jigs and how to make them.

I used Bridge City's Angle Master Pro to mark and verify all the compound angles.  I have to say, I was thrilled that the cuts on the mock-up (both!) were so accurate as to not need any flush sanding, filling, "colorful language".

Hopefully there are some useful ideas in here for dealing with compound angles in your projects.

(For email subscribers, here's the video link: Angle Madness! - The Jigs)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Angle Madness! - Project Design Introduction

I'm about to start on a new project and this video is the introduction showing you a mock-up of the main parts along with some discussion of the other elements.

I'm not telling you what the project is here in the blog entry, at least not yet.  The video shows a stack of the mock-up parts then assembles them in high speed.  Guess what it is I'm making!  Afterward, the video explains what it is and the many design choices that went into it.

There are no tools in use in this video; this is just staging things for the series.  Sometimes listening to a design discussion requires an extra demitasse of espresso so be sure to get that ready before hitting play!

I think this project will be a great challenge with a lot of interesting design and woodworking elements in it.  While the project as a whole seems daunting at times, the individual parts are more manageable challenges.  Besides, it's only daunting because it's new :)

(here's the video link for my email subscribers to view it on the video's page)

So, when I think of someone making a demitasse of espresso, I get a flashback to this classic Beverly Hills Cop scene; warning: there are two words in it that may or may not have been uttered during a glue-up in your shop...

It has been tough getting time in the shop lately, but I have things to complete before the intense Arizona heat arrives!!  Thanks for the patience :)