User`s manual | Festool PN574332 Biscuit Joiner User Manual

Domino® DF 500
Tenon Joiner
Tenon Joiner Supplemental
Extended User’s Manual
Important: Read and understand all
instructions before using this tool.
Conditions of 1+2 Warranty
You are entitled to a free extended warranty (1 year + 2
years = 3 years) for your Festool® power tool. Festool shall
be responsible for all shipping costs during the first year of
the warranty. During the second and third year of the
warranty the customer is responsible for shipping the tool to
Festool. Festool will pay for return shipping to the customer
using UPS Ground Service. All warranty service is valid 3
years from the date of purchase on your receipt or invoice.
Festool Limited Warranty
This warranty is valid on the pre-condition that the tool is
used and operated in compliance with the Festool operating
instructions. Festool warrants, only to the original consumer
purchaser, that the specified tool will be free from defects in
materials and workmanship for a term of one year from the
date of procurement. Festool makes no other warranty,
express or implied, for Festool portable power tools. No
agent, representative, distributor, dealer or employee of
Festool has the authority to increase or otherwise change the
obligations or limitations of this warranty. The obligations of
Festool in its sole discretion under this warranty shall be
limited to the repair or replacement of any Festool portable
power tool that is found to be defective as packaged with the
User Manual.
Excluded from coverage under this warranty are: normal
wear and tear; damages caused by misuse, abuse or neglect;
damage caused by anything other than defects in material
and workmanship. This warranty does not apply to
accessory items such as circular saw blades, drill bits, router
bits, jigsaw blades, sanding belts, and grinding wheels. Also
excluded are “wearing parts”, such as carbon brushes,
lamellas of air tools, rubber collars and seals, sanding discs
and pads, and batteries.
Festool portable power tools requiring replacement or repair
are to be returned with the receipt of purchase to Festool
(call 800-554-8741 for address details).
Some states in the U.S. and some Canadian provinces do not
allow the limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts,
so the above limitation may not apply to you. With the
exception of any warranties implied by state or province law
as hereby limited, the foregoing express limited warranty is
exclusive and in lieu of all other warranties, guarantees,
agreements and similar obligations of Festool. This warranty
gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other
rights which vary from state to state in the U.S., and
province to province in Canada.
Liability Statement
This product has been built to the high standards of Festool.
Please do not attempt to operate or repair this equipment
without adequate training. Any use, operation, or repair in
contravention of this document is at your own risk. By
acceptance of this system you hereby assume all liability
consequent to your use or misuse of this equipment. Festool
assumes no liability for incidental, special, or consequential
damage of any kind. Equipment specifications, applications,
and options are subject to change at the sole discretion of
Festool without notice.
Proprietary Notice
All drawings and information herein are the property of Festool, TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG. All unauthorized
use and reproduction is prohibited.
Written and Illustrated by Rick Christopherson.
© 2007 TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America and/or Germany.
Festool is a trademark and service mark of TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG
Domino, Plug It, and Systainer are registered trademarks of TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Warranty ..............................................................................2
Conditions of 1+2 Warranty .........................................2
Festool Limited Warranty .............................................2
Liability Statement .........................................................2
Proprietary Notice..........................................................2
General Safety Rules.........................................................4
Work Area Safety .......................................................4
Electrical Safety ..........................................................4
Extension Cords .........................................................4
Personal Safety ...........................................................4
Tool Use and Care......................................................4
Specific Safety Rules for Tenon Joiners .......................5
Respiratory Exposure Warning....................................5
Tool Description ................................................................5
Technical Specifications.................................................5
Intended Use ...................................................................5
Functional Description ..................................................6
Setup ....................................................................................7
Setting Up a New Domino Joiner.................................7
Setting the Fence Angle .................................................7
Setting the Fence Height................................................8
Setting the Mortise Width .............................................8
Setting the Mortise Depth .............................................9
Changing the Mortising Bit...........................................9
Instruction Manual
Operation ..........................................................................10
Overview, General Notes, and Tips ..........................10
Plug-It® Power Cord ....................................................10
Turning On the Joiner..................................................11
Using Dust Extraction..................................................11
Using the Locating Pins...............................................11
Using the Base Support Bracket .................................12
Using the Optional Outrigger Guides .......................12
Using the Optional Narrow Frame Fence.................13
Edge Joining Boards.....................................................13
Making Butt Box Joints ................................................14
Making Miter Box Joints..............................................15
Making Lock Tenon Joints ..........................................15
Making Frame Joints....................................................16
Making Carcase Butt Joints.........................................17
Making Three-Way Lock Miter Joints .......................18
Shortening a Domino Tenon’s Length ......................19
Creating Special Plunge Depths.................................19
Tips for Appyling Glue ...............................................19
Maintenance .....................................................................20
Routine Maintenance ...................................................20
Calibrating the Locating Pins .....................................21
Calibrating the Horizontal Position Gauge ..............21
Accessories ........................................................................22
Systainer (System Container) .....................................23
Troubleshooting ..............................................................24
General Safety Rules
!WARNING: Read and understand all instructions listed below.
Failure to heed instructions may result in personal injury,
electrocution, or fire hazard.
Save These Instructions
Work Area Safety
Keep your work area clean and well lit. Cluttered benches and
dark areas invite accidents.
Do not operate power tools in explosive atmospheres, such as
in the presence of flammable liquids, gases, or dust. Power
tools create sparks which may ignite the dust or fumes.
Keep bystanders, children, and visitors away while operating a
power tool. Distractions can cause you to lose control.
Electrical Safety
Double insulated tools are equipped with a polarized plug
(one blade is wider than the other). This plug will fit in a
polarized outlet only one way. If the plug does not fit fully into
the outlet, reverse the plug. If it still does not fit, contact a
qualified electrician to install a polarized outlet. Do not change
the plug in any way. Double insulation eliminates the need for
the three wire grounded power cord.
Avoid body contact with grounded surfaces such as pipes,
radiators, ranges and refrigerators. There is an increased risk of
electric shock if your body is grounded.
Do not expose power tools to rain or wet conditions. Water
entering a power tool will increase the risk of electric shock.
Do not abuse the cord. Never use the cord to carry the tools or
pull the plug from an outlet. Keep cord away from heat, oil,
sharp edges or moving parts. Replace damaged cords
immediately. Damaged cords increase the risk of electric shock.
Extension Cords
All due care should be practiced while using extension cords with
this tool.
► When operating a power tool outside, use an outdoor extension
cord marked “W-A” or “W”. These cords are rated for outdoor
use and reduce the risk of electric shock.
► Never use an extension cord that is damaged, such as cuts,
exposed wires, or bent/missing prongs.
► Use only extension cords rated for the purpose.
Use only extension cords rated for the amperage of this tool
and the length of the cord. Using too small of an extension cord
can cause the tool to lose power and damage the tool.
Extension Cord Ratings
Cord Length
Size (AWG)
<50 Ft.
50-100 Ft.
100-150 Ft.
>150 Ft.
Not recommended
Personal Safety
Stay alert, watch what you are doing, and use common sense
when operating a power tool. Do not use the tool while tired or
under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication. A moment
of inattention while operating power tools may result in serious
personal injury.
Dress properly. Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry. Contain
long hair. Keep your hair, clothing, and gloves away from
moving parts. Loose clothes, jewelry, or long hair can be caught
in moving parts.
Avoid accidental starting. Be sure the switch is off before
plugging in the power cord. Carrying tools with your finger on
the switch or plugging in tools that have the switch on invites
Remove adjusting keys or wrenches before turning the tool on.
A wrench or a key that is left attached to a rotating part of the
tool may result in personal injury.
Do not overreach. Keep proper footing and balance at all times.
Proper footing and balance enables better control of the tool in
unexpected situations.
Use safety equipment. Always wear eye protection. Dust mask,
non-skid safety shoes, hard hat, or hearing protection must be
used for appropriate conditions. (Ordinary glasses are NOT
proper eye protection.)
If devices are provided for the connection of dust extraction
and collection facilities, ensure these are connected and
properly used. Use of these devices can reduce dust-related
Tool Use and Care
Use clamps or other practical way to secure and support the
workpiece to a stable platform. Holding the work by hand or
against your body is unstable and may lead to loss of control.
Do not force the tool. Use the correct tool for your application.
The correct tool will do the job better and safer at the rate for
which it is designed.
Do not use the tool if the switch does not turn it on or off. Any
tool that cannot be controlled with the switch is dangerous and
must be repaired.
Disconnect the plug from the power source before making any
adjustments, changing accessories, or storing the tool. Such
preventive safety measures reduce the risk of starting the tool
Store idle tools out of reach of children and other untrained
persons. Tools are dangerous in the hands of untrained users.
Maintain tools with care. Keep cutting tools sharp and clean.
Properly maintained tools with sharp cutting edges are less likely
to bind and are easier to control.
Check for misalignment or binding of moving parts, breakage
of parts, and any other condition that may affect the tool's
operation. If damaged, have the tool serviced before using.
Many accidents are caused by poorly maintained tools.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
particular type of power tool, taking into account the working
conditions and the work to be performed. Use of the power tool
for operations different from those intended can be hazardous.
Use only accessories that are recommended by the
manufacturer for your model. Accessories that may be suitable
for one tool may become hazardous when used on another tool.
Use the power tool, accessories and tool bits etc., in accordance
with these instructions and in the manner intended for the
Tool service must be performed only by qualified repair
personnel. Service or maintenance performed by unqualified
personnel could result in a risk of injury.
When servicing a tool, use only identical replacement parts.
Use of unauthorized parts or failure to follow maintenance
instructions may create a risk of electric shock or injury.
Specific Safety Rules for Tenon Joiners
!WARNING: Risk of personal injury.
Keep hands away from the cutting area. Never place your hand
on the front face of the fence while the tool is running.
Never operate the joiner without the fence attached. When the
fence is removed from the joiner, the spinning and oscillating
cutter is exposed and can cause serious injury.
Use only Festool authorized mortising bits. Non-approved
mortising bits can come loose during operation.
Never use dull or damaged mortising bits. Dull or damaged
mortising bits can cause the tool to lurch sideways unexpectedly
and lead to a loss of control of the power tool.
Do not operate the tool if the spring-loaded fence does not
return to its forward rest position. The fence covers the
mortising bit and prevents accidental contact. If the slides of the
fence do not move freely, have the tool serviced immediately.
Wait for the cutter to stop before setting the tool down. An
exposed cutter may engage the surface leading to possible loss of
control and serious injury.
Use clamps or other practical way to secure and support the
workpiece to a stable platform. Holding the work by hand or
against your body is unstable and may lead to loss of control.
Wear eye and hearing protection. Always use safety
glasses. Every day eyeglasses are NOT safety glasses. USE
equipment should comply with ANSI Z87.1 standards.
Hearing equipment should comply with ANSI S3.19
Respiratory Exposure Warning
Various dust created by power sanding, sawing, grinding, drilling
and other construction activities contains chemicals known (to the
State of California) to cause cancer, birth defects or other
reproductive harm. Some examples of these chemicals are:
► lead from lead-based paints,
► crystalline silica from bricks, cement, and other masonry
► arsenic and chromium from chemically-treated lumber.
The risk from these exposures varies, depending on how often you
do this type of work. To reduce your exposure to these chemicals:
work in a well ventilated area, and work with approved safety
equipment, such as dust masks that are specially designed to filter
out microscopic particles.
Tool Description
Technical Specifications
Power Consumption
Motor Speed
Mortising Depth, Max.
Mortising Width, Max.
Mortising Bit Range
Spindle Thread
420 Watts (3.5 amps @ 120 volts)
24,300 RPM (no load)
28mm (1.1“)
23mm (0.9”) + bit diameter
5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm
M6 x 0.75
3.2 kg (7 lbs)
All metric dimensions are binding. Mortising bit dimensions are critical
for safe operation, and are presented in metric units only.
Alternating Current (AC)
No-load Speed
Class II Double Insulated
Intended Use
The Domino tenon jointer is designed to produce mortises in soft and hard wood, chip board, plywood
and fiber boards. All applications beyond this are regarded as improper use. The tool should not be altered or used for any
other purpose other than as specified in these operating instructions. Using the tool in contravention to this manual will
void your warranty and may lead to injury. The user shall be responsible and liable for damages and accidents resulting
from misuse or abuse of this tool.
Instruction Manual
Functional Description
The Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner is used to cut mortises in
wood for floating tenon joinery. Mortise and tenon joinery is
one of the oldest and strongest methods of joining pieces of
wood together. The Domino tenon joiner greatly simplifies
the task of cutting mating mortises in workpieces to be
connected together. A rotating and oscillating cutter sweeps
across the workpiece to quickly and effortlessly cut a
uniform mortise, in which a Domino floating tenon is
Item Name or Description
Item Name or Description
Ref. Page(s)
Ref. Page(s)
Fence Body
9, 20
Fence Angle Locking Lever
Motor Housing
9, 20
Fence Angle Gauge
7, 15
Auxiliary Handle
14, 15
Dust Collection Port
Fence Height Gauge
8, 14, 15
7, 17
Mortise Width Dial
8, 13
Outrigger Mounting Slot
Fence Height Locking Lever
Locating Pins (qty. 2)
9, 11
Power Switch
Mortising Bit Throat Opening
Main Handle (barrel grip)
Friction Pads (qty. 2)
Plug It® Power Inlet
Horizontal Position Gauge
21, 13, 15
Depth Adjust Lever
Adjustable Fence Face
7, 8, 15
Depth Adjust Lock
Fence Body Release Lever
Board Thickness Gauge
Spindle Lock
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Setting Up a New Domino Joiner
Congratulations on your purchase of a new Festool Domino
Tenon Joiner. The Domino joiner is the finest portable loose
tenon joiner in the world. Before using your new Domino
joiner, make sure you fully read and understand all of the
precautions and safety information presented in this
4. Make sure that the fence height and angle locking levers
are properly tightened.
WARNING: Always disconnect the tool from the
power supply before making any inspections or
adjustments, or before installing or removing any
1. With the joiner unplugged, inspect the mortising bit.
Make sure it is not bent, chipped, or otherwise
damaged, and make sure the bit is fully tightened on the
spindle. (Refer to "Changing the Mortising Bit" on page
9 for more information).
WARNING: Check regularly whether the mortising
bit is in good condition. Mortising bits that are bent or
damaged should no longer be used.
2. Peel off the protective film from the bottom of the joiner
5. Install the power cord into the Plug-It receptacle on the
joiner (refer to page 10 for more information).
3. Set up the joiner for the appropriate type of operation as
described throughout the remainder of this section.
6. Before you use the joiner, make sure to read the
Overview, General Notes, and Tips section on page 10.
Setting the Fence Angle
Some joints require the fence to be set to an angle from the
mortising bit. The most common application is for making a
mitered joint (see page 15).
1. Unplug the joiner for safety.
2. Loosen the fence angle locking lever by rotating it
counterclockwise about ¼-turn.
3. Rotate the fence face to the desired angle, and tighten
the locking lever.
► The fence has detent stops at 22½, 45, 67½, and 90
► Use the gauge pointer for setting the fence to angles
other than the ones listed above.
► For greater stability, the locking lever clamps down on
both right and left sides of the fence.
Number of sides
3 – Triangle
4 – Square
5 – Pentagon
Instruction Manual
Mitersaw Angle
Domino Angle
Number of sides
6 – Hexagon
7 – Heptagon
8 – Octagon
Mitersaw Angle
Domino Angle
Setting the Fence Height
The height of the fence needs to be adjusted depending
on the type of joint being made and the thickness of the
material being joined. Refer to the Applications section
beginning on page 13 for more information about the
optimal fence height for the specific application. There
are two features available for setting the fence height;
the height gauge and the board thickness gauge.
3. To use the height gauge:
Height Gauge: The height gauge shows the distance
between the bottom of the fence face and the centerline
of the mortising bit. Use this gauge to set the mortise
height relative to the surface of the workpiece.
a. Make sure the board thickness gauge is retracted out of
the way.
b. Raise or lower the fence until the pointer is pointing to
the desired height on the gauge.
c. Tighten the locking lever.
Board Thickness Gauge: The numbers printed on the
gauge represent the thickness of the workpiece (in mm)
and the mortise height will be centered in the
workpiece. Use this gauge for setting the fence height
based on the thickness of the workpiece without
needing to calculate the center distance. Do not use the
board thickness gauge for mitered joints, because this
will place the mortise too close to the edge of the joint.
1. Loosen the fence height locking lever by turning it
¼-turn counterclockwise.
2. To use the board thickness gauge:
a. Raise the fence above the board thickness
b. Slide the gauge in or out until the thickness of
the workpiece (in mm) is shown in the window.
c. Lower the fence down until it touches the
d. Tighten the locking lever.
Setting the Mortise Width
The width of the mortise slot can be increased to permit some
side-to-side flexibility in the tenon position. In the standard
(smallest) position, the Domino tenon will fit snugly into the
mortise slot. In the middle position, the mortise slot will be
6 mm wider than the Domino tenon. In the widest position the
mortise slot will be 10 mm wider than the Domino tenon.
Important Notes
Never force the dial to turn.
Rotate the adjustment dial only when the motor is running.
Never rotate the dial during a plunging operation. This can
bend or break the mortising bit, and can also damage the
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Setting the Mortise Depth
The mortising depth determines how deep into the
workpiece the mortising bit penetrates. This needs to be
adjusted for different sized tenons. In most cases, the tenon
should be centered across the joint, and the depth of the
mortise should be ½ the length of the tenon. However, in
some cases you may want to have more of the tenon in one
piece than the other (lower Domino tenon pictured below).
In this case, the sum of the two depths must equal the length
of the tenon. (In the offset tenon example below, the Domino
tenon is 40 mm long, the left mortise is 28 mm deep, and the
right mortise is 12 mm deep.)
1. Press in on the depth adjust lock.
2. Move the depth adjust lever to the stepped position of
the desired depth.
3. Release the depth adjust lock.
Changing the Mortising Bit
Different mortising bits are available for a variety of Domino 3. Loosen the mortising bit by turning it counterclockwise
tenon sizes. The DF500 comes equipped with a 5mm bit, and
(standard right-hand thread).
6, 8, and 10 mm bits are available as an option.
WARNING: Always unplug the tool before changing
mortising bits, or removing the fence body from the
motor housing.
1. Using the provided 8mm wrench, pry up on the fence
body release lever, and slide the fence body off the
motor housing. (The inset photograph on page 6 shows
the fence body and motor housing when separated.)
4. Insert a new mortising bit, and start the threads by hand
to avoid cross-threading.
5. Press in on the spindle lock while tightening the bit. Do
not over tighten the bit.
6. Carefully reinstall the fence body onto the motor housing,
and push the fence body in until the latch clicks.
► Make sure there is no sawdust inside the guide tubes
before inserting the fence body.
► Be careful not to damage the linear bearings (hollow
2. Press and hold the spindle lock button. This stops the
tubes) when reinstalling the fence body. If it does not
spindle from turning while you loosen the mortising bit.
slide on easy, it means the fence is skewed with respect to
the bearings.
Instruction Manual
Overview, General Notes, and Tips
Getting Started
Because the look and feel of the Domino joiner may already be familiar
to you, or similar to other tools you may have used in the past, you
might be tempted to forego a basic introduction to using the tool.
However, unlike other tools of similar look and feel, the Domino
machine is extremely precise in its operation. For this reason, it is
recommended that you spend some time practicing using the Domino
joiner before you begin using it for your fine woodworking projects.
The old adage that practice makes perfect is very applicable to all of our
woodworking skills, and is even more important when dealing with
precision systems such as Domino. Even though the Domino machine
is easy to learn and easy to use, it is always a good idea to make
several practice cuts to learn the nuances of the tool before you put it
to use.
Choosing the Right Domino Tenon Size
Because the Domino system is a form of the classic mortise and tenon
joinery, it should follow much of the same guidelines of mortise and
tenon joinery. Here are some guidelines to assist
you in making your choices:
When the strength of your workpieces is
comparable to the strength of the Domino tenon
(e.g. general hard woods) then the thickness of
the Domino tenon should be approximately 1/3
the thickness of the workpieces.
It is acceptable to use a tenon that is slightly
thicker than 1/3 when the width of the Domino
tenon is relatively narrow compared to the
width of the joint. This is why 8mm Domino
tenons are the most common for joining ¾-inch
For softer woods, such as pine, the joint will be
stronger when the tenon is 1/3 or slightly less.
For plywoods, especially low-grade construction
plywoods, the Domino tenon is much stronger
than the surrounding wood, so it is best to
maximize the strength of the substrate by
minimizing the thickness of the tenon.
Domino Tenon Placement Guidelines
There are no steadfast rules on where tenons should be placed,
especially when they are used for alignment purposes. For edge
joining boards, a typical placement might be 6 to 8 inches apart.
However, when tenons are used to strengthen a joint, you might
be tempted to place the tenons too close together. This can actually
weaken the joint by removing too much of the substrate material.
A wide mortise weakens the substrate, so it is better to have
several narrow mortises with uncut space in between, than it is
to have a single wide mortise with several tenons side-by-side.
► When placing several tenons close together, leave at least twice
the tenon thickness between mortise holes. As a general rule,
this means the minimum tenon spacing should be about 10
mm to 20 mm, but they can be spaced much wider.
When creating stacked mortises for extra thick lumber, an
extension of the “1/3 rule” mentioned above still applies.
Specifically, the distance between mortises, and the distance
between a mortise and the wood surface should all be equal to
(or larger than) the thickness of the tenon.
Plug-It® Power Cord
The Domino joiner comes equipped with a removable
Plug-It power cord. To install the power cord, insert the
cord into the inlet on the tool with the key and keyway
aligned, and twist the locking ring. Reverse the procedure
to remove the cord.
Note: Turn the outer locking ring ¼-turn to fully
engage or disengage the cord.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Turning On the Joiner
WARNING: Never turn the tool on when the Fence
Body is removed, as this exposes the spinning cutter.
Before turning the tool on, make sure all adjustment handles
are locked and the tool is safe to turn on.
The power switch for the Domino joiner locks into the On
position when activated. When working with the tool for the
first time, it is recommended that you become familiar with
the operation of the switch before you plug the tool in to a
power outlet.
To turn the joiner on, push forward and down on the power
switch. To turn the joiner off, press down on the back of the
power switch to release the latch.
Using Dust Extraction
The Domino machine is intended to be used with a dust
extraction system. Using the machine without dust
extraction will cause it to clog with wood chips.
When installing a Festool dust extraction hose onto the
dust port of the machine, it is easiest to insert the hose at
an angle and then push it on the rest of the way as shown
to the right.
If you have another vacuum system and the hose
does not fit the dust extraction port, a Festool hose
will fit many other brands of vacuums.
Using the Locating Pins
The locating pins on the front of the fence are used to
register the tool against the edge of the workpiece or against
a previously machined mortise slot. This provides rapid and
precise placement of the tool on the workpiece.
When the locating pin is against the edge of the
workpiece, the edge will be visible in the point of the
verification window on the fence.
The distance between the locating pin and the center of the
mortise slot is 37mm (1-7/16 inch).
The locating pins can also be used to register the next
mortise by inserting the pin into a previous mortise slot.
Instruction Manual
Using the Base Support Bracket
The base support bracket stabilizes the joiner when
mortising on the face of a narrow board as shown to the
right. The base support bracket mounts to the underside of
the joiner with two thumbscrews. Before tightening the
thumbscrews, check to make sure the face of the support
bracket is flush with the face of the joiner.
Using the Optional Outrigger Guides
The optional outrigger guides extend the position of the
locating pins for wider tenon spacing. These are also
adjustable so the spacing can be tailored to the needs of the
specific application.
The two outriggers are specific for right and lefthand mounting, such that the locking levers point
toward the rear when locked. If you install the
adjustable locating pins backward, the locking levers
will point forward when locked, and this will
interfere with the workpiece. If this happens, remove
the locating pins from the outrigger arms and turn
them around.
1. With the locking handle rotated toward the front of the
joiner (as shown in the upper photograph) insert the
mounting pin into the slot from below.
2. Turn the locking lever toward the rear to lock the
outrigger to the base of the joiner.
3. Loosen the clamping knob on the adjustable locating pin
and slide the pin to the desired position.
4. Before tightening the clamping knob, make sure both
pointers on the locating pin are pointing to the same
measurement on the outrigger arm.
5. For most applications, make sure both right and left
locating pins are the same distance from the joiner.
6. As shown in the lower right photograph, the outrigger
locating pin can be used to register a mortise from the
edge of a previous mortise.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Using the Optional Narrow Frame Fence
The optional narrow frame fence is used to securely hold
small workpieces for cutting mortises.
Installing the Narrow Frame Fence
1. With the fence tilted to 90 degrees, slide the narrow
frame fence over the fence face of the Domino joiner as
shown. Make sure the narrow frame fence is fully seated
onto the joiner’s fence.
2. Slide the two latch tabs inward.
3. Tighten the two thumbscrews.
Setting the Fence Width
1. Loosen the two green thumbscrews on the bottom of the
2. Place the workpiece between the two guides and slide
the guides inward.
3. Use the position gauge on the Domino joiner fence face
to center the workpiece.
4. With the side guides tight to the workpiece and the
workpiece centered in the position gauge, tighten the
two thumbscrews.
5. Hint: Make note of where the workpiece lines up on the
horizontal position gauge, and use the position gauge
when cutting the mortise on the mating frame for a
T-joint frame.
Edge Joining Boards
Edge joining boards is a common
method for creating wide boards from a
series of narrower boards. The Domino
tenons add strength to the joint and also
assist in aligning the boards to be flush.
For edge joining boards, a series of
tenons are placed down the length of
the joint. The first tenon is used to
register the two boards horizontally, so
it is milled at standard width. The
remaining tenons align the boards flush
and may be milled with an oversize
Tips for Successful Joining
Use the locating pins (page 11) for the first mortise slot
with the mortise width dial set to the narrow setting
(page 8).
For subsequent mortise slots you can keep the mortise
width at the minimum setting, but you may find it easier
to set the mortise width dial to the next widest setting.
Instruction Manual
Place the mortise slots 6 to 12 inches apart for standard
joints, but this spacing should be decreased for joining
plywoods or when a stronger joint is needed.
Instead of marking the mortise placements with pencil lines,
you can use the optional outrigger guides (page 12) to
evenly space the mortises down the length of the boards. To
do this, use the outrigger locating pin in the previous
mortise slot.
Making Butt Box Joints
Butt box joints are typically used in general box construction
or for drawer construction. The Domino tenons strengthen
the joint without the need for additional fasteners. The
example below highlights drawer construction, but the same
techniques are used on other types of box construction.
Construction Tips
4. Clamp the Captive boards flat to your workbench.
5. Align the tenon position using the locating pins (refer to
the picture on page 11).
6. Grasp the Domino joiner by the auxiliary handle, hold it
firmly down to the workpiece, and slowly plunge the
cutter into the edge of the workpiece.
For drawer construction with a separate drawer front, the
front and rear of the box should be Captive, as shown
► The drawer front is installed onto the drawer box after
the box has been assembled.
► This increases the strength of the drawer because the
tenons are in shear (perpendicular) to the operation of
opening and closing the drawer.
► The ends of the side boards are concealed by the
separate drawer front.
For drawer construction without a separate drawer front,
the Sides should be Captive and the Front/Rear should be
the Caps (the reverse of the image below).
For cabinet carcase construction, the Top/Bottom of the
carcase should be Captive (also see Making Carcase Butt
Joints on page 17).
Machining the Cap-Side Tenons
1. Don’t change the fence height from the previous
operation. It is used to register the mortise placement
from the edge of the board.
2. Install the Base Support Bracket as described on page 12.
3. If necessary, change the mortise depth setting.
4. Clamp the workpiece in a vertical position as shown.
5. When plunging, grasp the Domino joiner at the Base
Support Bracket and hold it firmly against the face of the
Machining the Captive-Side Tenons
1. Choose a Domino tenon size to be less than or equal to
1/3 of the board’s thickness.
2. Set the height of the fence so the Domino tenons are in
the center of the board’s thickness.
3. Set the mortise depth according to the instructions on
page 9.
► Note that if your workpieces are thin, you may need to
offset the tenon from center as shown in the picture on
page 9.
► For very thin material that you use frequently for
drawer sides, you may consider setting up a special
plunge depth stop described on page 19.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Making Miter Box Joints
Generally miter box joints are fairly weak because the joint is
predominately endgrain to endgrain. Tenons significantly
increase the strength of the joint and make it easier to
assemble and clamp the pieces.
Construction Tips
For thinner materials, keep the mortise close to the inside
corner. This minimizes the chances for boring all the way
through the workpiece.
For very thin materials, it may be necessary to shorten the
Domino tenon length as described on page 19.
For thicker materials, stacked mortises can be used as
shown in the picture to the right.
Setup and Machining
1. Tilt the fence to the appropriate angle. (Refer to the table
on page 7 for miter angles for multi-sided boxes.)
2. Lower the fence to the desired height. Note that the
mortise should be close to the inside corner to avoid
penetrating through the workpiece.
3. Plunge the joiner as shown below.
The stacked mortises are used for thicker stock.
Grasp the joiner by the auxiliary handle for best control.
Making Lock Tenon Joints
A locked tenon joint is any type of joint with two or more
tenons at opposing angles. Once the opposing tenon(s) are
inserted, the joint cannot be disassembled. With the
exception of the Three-way Locked Miter Joint (page 18) at
least one of the tenons must be exposed so it can be inserted
after the joint is assembled. This is referred to as the Locking
There are many variations of a locked tenon joint, but the
simplest involve a mitered corner in a box or flat frame. The
miter angle provides an easy reference for the two tenon
In the example shown to the right, a standard miter joint is
constructed using a large Domino tenon for strength in the
main joint. The locking tenon is a 5mm x 30mm Domino
The mortise for the locking tenon is milled with the joiner’s
plunge depth set to 28mm. This mortise is typically milled
after the joint is assembled, but it is possible to mill the
mortise in each piece separately.
Instruction Manual
Making Frame Joints
Domino tenons can be used to quickly fabricate reinforced
frames of all types.
Mitered Frames
Butt Joint Frames
When making mitered frames, position the tenon closer to
the inside corner. This reduces the likelihood of cutting the
mortise all the way through the workpiece.
When making butt joint frames, such as cabinet faceframes,
use pencil lines to lay out the position of the tenons. Use the
sight glass (see page 21 for more information) on the joiner’s
fence to position the joiner over the pencil line.
For narrow frame stock, the optional narrow frame fence
can be used to securely hold the workpiece (shown below).
Make sure to securely clamp the workpiece to the bench
when mortising a mitered joint.
Cope and Stick (Stile and Rail) Frames
Domino tenons can also be used to strengthen cope and
stick frame construction too (bottom right picture). This is
typically found in raised panel door frames.
It is important to note that the two frame pieces overlap, so
the depth of the mortise needs to be extended. The amount
that each mortise needs to be extended is one-half the
amount of overlap.
Example: A typical stile and rail router bit set has a profile
width (overlap) of 3/8-inch (about 10mm). For a 40mm long
tenon, instead of plunging 20mm deep, you should increase
this to 25mm for both workpieces.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Making Carcase Butt Joints
Using tenoned butt joints is an effective method for
constructing a cabinet carcase. The tenons provide a strong
support for each of the horizontal partitions of the cabinet.
The simplicity of this method is that you use the carcase
components for aligning the joiner.
the position shown in the photographs below. For
greater shelf-strength, keep the tenons closer to the
bottom-side of the shelf:
► If the shelf is thick (greater than 20mm), tip it down
with the top-side facing up.
► If the shelf is thin (less than 20mm), tip it down with
the bottom-side facing up.
4. Clamp the two pieces together to prevent them from
5. With the Domino baseplate resting on the face of the
wall-piece, plunge the joiner into the edge of the shelf.
Do not use the fence for height positioning.
Setup and Machining
1. Lay the vertical wall pieces on your workbench, and
draw lines across both pieces to indicate where the
shelves will be located. Note that it is easier to avoid
mistakes later on by drawing double lines, with one line
above the shelf and one line below the shelf as shown.
6. With the joiner standing upright and its baseplate
against the edge of the shelf, plunge downward into the
side wall of the cabinet.
7. Repeat these steps for each of the shelves.
8. When you repeat this process for the other side wall,
make sure you keep the same side of the shelf facing up.
2. For reference, label the top and bottom face of each
shelf. This is so your left- and right-hand mortises are
referenced from the same face of each shelf.
3. Working with one shelf at a time, lay the horizontal
shelf on top of the vertical wall so its edge lines up with
the outside pencil line for that shelf location.
Hint: Stand the shelf vertical on the side wall piece and
in the position it will eventually be secured (between the
double pencil lines), and carefully tip the shelf flat, into
Instruction Manual
Making Three-Way Lock Miter Joints
Three-way miter joints have been around for ages as a way of
creating a corner joint without having any endgrain visible.
Using the Domino Tenon Joiner, you can create easy to
construct, locking, three-way miters.
The key to these joints is that they require floating tenons at 45
degrees to the main body of the wood. Unlike non-locking
joints, no single piece can be removed from the joint without
separating all three pieces. The joint must be assembled or
disassembled all at once.
The first step in creating the joint is creating the frame stock.
Each piece of the frame must be square in profile. In this
example, the frame stock is 2 inches by 2 inches. Smaller stock
can be used, but you may have to trim the corners of the
tenons where they intersect (the transparent image in the
middle-right shows the Domino tenons just barely touching).
The square frame stock then needs to be mitered. Each piece is
mitered at 45 degrees from two different faces, creating a
pointed, double miter.
With the frame stock cut and mitered, set up the Domino
joiner. The following settings are based on using 8x40mm
tenons in 2-inch by 2-inch frame stock:
1. Set the fence height between 8mm and 10mm.
2. Set the plunge depth to 20mm.
3. Set the mortise width to the minimum setting.
4. Using a sharp pencil, mark each mortise location at 45mm
(1 ¾ inch) from the point of the miter (see image below).
5. Plunge a mortise slot at the pencil line of each piece.
6. Assemble all three frame members simultaneously.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Shortening a Domino Tenon’s Length
There may be times when you need a large Domino tenon,
but the length of the tenon does not fit your application. It is
important to firmly and safely hold the tenon while you cut
it to length.
shortened tenon out of the mortise slot after it has been cut
to length.
WARNING: Never attempt to cut a Domino tenon’s
length without using a mechanical holder. Holding
the tenon with your hand poses an extremely serious
risk of personal injury.
To make the simple tenon holder shown to the right, mill a
full-depth tenon slot into the end of a board, and then cut
out a notch in the side. This notch allows you to push the
Creating Special Plunge Depths
Sometimes it may be necessary to use a plunge depth different
from the normally available depth settings. One example of
this is creating a Butt Box Joint (see page 14) for thin drawer
material. This can also be used for inlaying decorative faux
through tenons or other inlay work. Custom limit stops can be
made from ½-inch PVC tube purchased at your local hardware
Make sure to use a soft plastic such as PVC to prevent
scratching the stainless steel linear rail.
The tube is inserted over the linear rail closest to the Depth
Adjust Lever.
The length of the tube needs to be 28 mm (1 3/32 inch) minus
the desired plunge depth. So for a 10 mm plunge, you would
need an 18 mm sleeve (⅜” plunge = 23/32” sleeve).
Tips for Appyling Glue
There are many different ways to apply glue to joints,
however, how you apply glue can have an impact on the
quality of the joint or the ease of assembly.
► For a longer glue open-time on complex assemblies, apply
the glue generously to the workpieces. The thicker the
glue, the longer time it will take to skin over (see image
below). Excess glue can be cleaned off after completion.
► Apply glue to the workpiece face and the mortise slots
before inserting the tenons into the slots.
Instruction Manual
When applying glue for the tenons, you can either apply
glue into the mortise slots, or spread a thin layer across the
Domino tenons. For applications where the tenon is the
primary structure holding the joint together, you should
apply the glue to the tenon. The Domino tenons have small
glue pockets and ridges that will hold glue as the tenon
slides into the mortise slot.
Any maintenance or repair work that requires opening of
the motor or gear housing should be carried out only by an
authorized Customer Service Center (see your dealer for
information on locating a service center). Maintenance or
repair work carried out by an unauthorized person can lead
to improper connection of electrical wires, misadjustment, or
damage to components, which can result in injury.
To prevent injury or electrocution, always unplug the tool
from the power supply outlet before performing any
maintenance or repair work on the tool!
Do not use compressed air to clean the motor housing of the
tool, as you could inject foreign objects into the motor
through the ventilation openings. Compressed air may be
used on other components, but personal safety protection
should be employed (hearing, vision, and respiratory).
Certain cleaning agents and solvents are harmful to plastic
parts. Some of these include, but are not limited to: Gasoline,
Acetone, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), Carbonyl Chloride,
cleaning solutions containing Chlorine, Ammonia, and
household cleaners containing Ammonia.
Routine Maintenance
The Domino tenon joiner does not require much routine
maintenance except for cleaning. For best performance and
long life of the Domino tenon joiner, keep the machine clean.
To ensure proper cooling of the tool and motor, the
cooling vents in the motor housing must always be kept
clear and clean. Keep the motor cooling inlets at the back
of the handle clean and free from sawdust.
Keep the linear rails clean and free from sawdust.
Always use the Domino joiner with a dust collection
Periodically inspect the mortising bit(s) for damage, wear,
or dullness. Re-sharpen the bits as necessary.
Cleaning and Maintenance
1. Blow off the exterior of the machine with compressed air
to remove sawdust, but do not blow air directly into the
air cooling vents on the back of the motor as this can
drive debris into the motor.
b. With compressed air, blow out any dust from inside
the linear bores.
c. With a soft cotton cloth, wipe down the interior of
the bronze linear bearings.
5. With a clean cotton cloth (not the same cloth used
previously), apply a coating of light-weight machine oil
to the linear rails.
Use a lightweight machine oil such as “sewing
machine” oil or pneumatic tool oil.
Do not use a penetrating oil as these may contain
solvents and detergents that can remove the
impregnated lubricant from the bronze bearings.
Do not use a rust inhibiting fluid/oil as these have
limited lubrication properties, and can also remove the
impregnated lubricant from the bronze bearings.
2. Blow out impacted sawdust from the mortising bit area.
6. With the plunge depth set to maximum, plunge the
joiner in and out several times to spread the lubricant
into the internal bronze bearings.
3. Do not remove the fence body from the motor housing
when the joiner is coated with sawdust.
7. Remove the fence body from the motor housing and
wipe off the excess oil from the linear rails.
4. With the exterior of the joiner free from sawdust,
remove the fence body from the motor housing and
clean the linear slides:
8. Replace the fence body onto the motor housing.
a. With a soft cotton cloth, wipe down the linear rails.
9. Never store the joiner with the fence body separated
from the motor housing, as this can permit dust and
debris to enter the linear slide.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Calibrating the Locating Pins
It is important that the two locating pins are perfectly
spaced from the center of the mortise hole for properly
aligned mortises. The factory default setting is in the neutral
1. Using the procedure described in “Using the Locating
Pins” on page 11, plunge a left-hand and right-hand
mortise into two blocks of scrap wood. Make sure the
mortise width dial (see page 8) is set to the smallest
Don’t turn the bushing any farther than ¼-turn to
the left or ¼-turn to the right from the neutral
c. Retighten the setscrew.
5. Repeat the process to verify that the adjustment is
2. Insert a Domino tenon into the resulting mortise and fit
the two pieces together without glue.
3. Examine the alignment of the ends of the two blocks of
wood. Note that you are only concerned about the ends
where the locating pins were used.
If the two ends are flush, no adjustment is necessary.
In the example shown to the right, the adjustable pin is
too close to the mortise; increase the distance of the pin
as described below.
4. If an adjustment is necessary:
a. Loosen the bushing’s setscrew using a 2 mm hex
b. Using a large screwdriver, rotate the eccentric
bushing to move the adjustable pin closer to or
farther from the mortise slot.
The factory default (neutral) setting is shown in the
lower right photograph. The screwdriver slot is in
the vertical position.
Each hash mark represents 0.25mm (0.010 inch).
Calibrating the Horizontal Position Gauge
The horizontal position gauge (also called the sight gauge) is
used for aligning Domino tenons to a pencil mark on the
workpiece. If the gauge is not perfectly centered over the
mortising slot, the two workpieces will not be aligned when
the joint is assembled.
Calibration Procedure
1. Take two pieces of scrap wood, and draw a thin line on
each piece where a tenon is to be placed.
2. Set the mortise slot width to the narrow setting (page 8).
3. With the middle line of the sight gauge lined up on the
pencil line, plunge a mortise slot into each piece of
4. Join the two pieces of wood together without glue, and
examine the alignment of the original pencil lines.
5. If the pencil lines are not aligned, loosen the two screws
on the sight gauge and slide the gauge sideways as
noted in the upper image.
Instruction Manual
Mortising Bits:
Carbide Tipped. Sold separately or in a set of all
► 5 mm
► 6 mm
► 8 mm
► 10 mm
Domino Tenons:
Sold separately or in an assortment.
► 5 mm x 30 mm
► 6 mm x 40 mm
► 8 mm x 40 mm
► 8 mm x 50 mm
► 10 mm x 50 mm
The assortment Systainer includes:
5 mm x 30 mm - 600 pieces
► 6 mm x 40 mm - 190 pieces
► 8 mm x 40 mm - 130 pieces
► 8 mm x 50 mm - 100 pieces
► 10 mm x 50 mm - 85 pieces
► Set of 4 mortising bits
► Systainer – size #2
Narrow Frame Fence:
The narrow frame fence (also called the Cross
Stop) is used to firmly hold smaller frame pieces
while milling Domino mortises.
Outrigger Guides:
The outrigger guides (also called the Trim Stop)
are used to extend the distance of the locating
pins for positioning Domino mortises without
needing to draw marking lines.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
Systainer (System Container)
Each Festool product is shipped in its own unique system container, called a "Systainer." This provides protection and
storage for the tool and accessories. All Systainers are stackable and can be interlocked together, including stacking and
locking atop Festool dust extractors.
Parts of the Systainer
Carrying Handle. The carrying handle folds flat when not
in use.
Cover Latches. The two green latches on the front of the
Systainer secure the cover. (These are also used for
stacking Systainers, as described below.)
Stacking Latches. The two gray latches on the sides of the
Systainer are used for stacking one or more Systainers
Stacking Tabs. The stacking tabs are used to lock two
Systainers together. There are four sets of tabs (two on the
front and two on the sides) of each Systainer.
Stacking Systainers
For convenience in transporting Festool tools and
accessories, the Systainers can be stacked and locked
together. The Systainers are locked together using the
stacking tabs and latches.
1. Place one Systainer on top of the other.
2. Release all four latches on the lower Systainer by pulling
back at their top edges (step A to the right).
3. Slide all four latches upward (step B) as depicted by the
two views.
4. Snap all four latches back to their flat position (step C) so
they engage the stacking tabs of the upper Systainer.
The image to the right shows two accessory Systainers
stacked together.
Instruction Manual
Motor does not start
Possible Causes
1. Check that the cord is properly plugged into an outlet.
2. Make sure the outlet has power. Check the circuit breaker or try another outlet.
3. If used with a Festool dust extractor, make sure the selector switch is pointing
to "Auto". The auxiliary outlet on the dust extractor has power only when the
selector is at Auto.
4. Inspect the power cord (including extension cords) for damage or missing
5. The motor brushes may have worn and need replacement.
Plunging action is not smooth
Domino tenons are too loose
Domino tenons are too tight
Workpiece joints are misaligned
Workpiece joints are misaligned
Tilted or misaligned mortise slots
Workpiece joint won’t close (gaps
between pieces)
Tearout or rough mortise slots
Tapered mortise slot. The Domino
tenon fits only part way into the
Clean the linear rails and bronze bearings of the plunge slide, and make sure they
are properly lubricated (refer to the Routine Maintenance instructions on page
Inspect the bronze linear bearings for damage. Improper insertion of the fence
body onto the motor housing can damage the linear bearings.
Make sure you hold the Domino joiner firmly in position while plunging the
mortise slot.
Make sure the mortise width setting is correct.
Make sure you are using the correct mortising bit for the size of the Domino
The Domino tenons may have shrunk in an overly dry or warm environment.
This is normal wood movement.
Check the mortising bit to ensure it is not bent. A bent bit will make a thicker and
wider mortise slot than desired.
The most common cause for this is that the tenons are stored in a humid
environment, and they have swelled from moisture absorption. Store the tenons
in a cool dry environment.
The mortising bit may have been improperly sharpened or sharpened too many
times. Replace the bit.
Check the calibration of the locating pins.
Check the calibration of the Horizontal Position Gauge (sight gauge).
Don’t plunge the mortising bit into the work too fast. This may cause the joiner to
move during the plunge.
Make sure the friction pads on the front of the joiner are not worn, damaged, or
If the mortise slots were registered from the bottom of the baseplate, make sure
there is no dust or debris under the joiner.
Make sure the fence is properly locked at the desired height setting.
Inspect the height adjustment lock to ensure it is not broken (slipping).
Make sure the fence is set to the correct angle (e.g. 90 degrees).
Make sure to hold the Domino joiner firmly to the work surface.
Make sure the proper plunge depth is set.
Make sure the joiner is tight to the face of the workpiece.
The mortising bit may have been sharpened too many times and is too short.
Excessive dust may be present inside the linear slide.
Plunging speed too fast. Slow down the rate of your plunge.
Low-grade materials and plywoods will tear out more than solid woods.
Decreasing your plunging speed will improve the results but may not eliminate
the problem completely.
Dull mortising bit.
The plunge speed is too fast and the bit is not cutting the sides properly. Slow
down the plunge speed.
Domino DF 500 Tenon Joiner
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