Saturday, March 31, 2012

Coffee Table build with the Domino XL

The Domino is really starting to shine as a "go-to" tool in my shop. I had a commission for an Arts & Crafts style coffee table that had been languishing in my shop for too long. To be honest I had been dreading all the joinery involved in putting it together.

So when I applied to be a test user for the new Domino XL I specifically mentioned the desire to have the XL for this project.

The time and frustration I saved over traditional mortise and tenons (which I'm not the practiced at) alone would make me want to buy one of these machines!!!

The first sub-assembly that I tackled was the ends.

The basic concept is a pair of square legs with two rails between them. Five vertical accents would be between the rails.

Aesthetically I wanted the rails to be 3/4" thick material and for them to be inset from the face of the legs a small amount. The vertical accents needed to be less than 3/4" so they could be inset from the rails. Here's the basic mockup -

The problem comes when I contemplate using the XL for the mortises.

If I mill the vertical bars down to 5/8" before I bore the mortises I have a problem. The fence on the XL has a minimum of 10mm offset from the bit's centerline. This will work, though not perfectly, with 3/4" (18mm) stock.

It would have been a stunning thought if Festool had designed the XL with a minimum of 9mm offset. That would give centered mortises in 3/4" sheet goods! A real plus for cabinet makers!!! (Hint, hint, hint)

Back to my current conundrum.

The simple solution was to leave the vertical bars at 3/4" thick. Mark for all the mortises. Bore them.

And then...

Mill the pieces down to 5/8"!

It was a bit touchy. But it gave me what I wanted in a fairly quick and easy manner.

To make things even more interesting I wanted to round over the bars edges.

I ended up with some very substantial mortises in a tight situation.

The photo below shows just how small a final piece can be even when you're using a tool as massive as the Domino XL!

On to assembly.

Here's another reason I wanted to use the XL on this project.

10 tenons - 20 mortises = 1 panel

Liquid hide glue gave me just enough open time to get all the surfaces properly coated and the unit into clamps.

Looking good.

Everything's tight and square.

I had already glued up the top before I got the XL but I instantly had a light bulb go off in my head when I first touched those BIG 14x140mm Dominos.

Instead of having to cut fixed tenons on the main portion of the table's top. I could use five Dominos to attach the bread board end.

Knowing I couldn't glue any of the Dominos but the center one. I dry fitted the ends and drilled for 1/4" walnut dowels.

When I assembled the top I glued only the center 4" and Domino. I then glued the walnut dowels as I drove them through the outer Dominos.

Clamping was a bit of a pain since the top is 78" and my longest clamp is only 50"!

After the glue dried and I trimmed and sanded everything down. I was quite happy with the fit and finish!

NOTE - The table was delivered was over a month ago and I'll be going to see it Friday night. So I'll be posting photos and a report on how it's doing early next week.

With the top done. I was left to assembling the base.

More fun with clamps. But at least assembly was straight forward and everything worked out square due to properly placed Dominos.

A few coats of finish and off to the clients living room this table goes!

1 comment:

  1. Nice coffee table. I'm building a table for my mother in law. Do you have plans available?