Loose tenon joinery a budget alternative quick easy ways to make money to the festool domino

Recently there has been a lot of buzz in the quick easy ways to make money woodworking community about the new festool domino joinery system. If you have not yet seen this system, it’s kind of like a biscuit joiner on steroids. However, different from the small circular blade on a biscuit joiner quick easy ways to make money that cuts a football-shaped groove, the domino cuts a rounded mortise with a router-like bit. The unique aspect of the domino is that the bit quick easy ways to make money both plunges into the work and also oscillates from side quick easy ways to make money to side creating a very clean and precise mortise. Just like a biscuit joiner, the domino is used to mortise both work pieces that quick easy ways to make money are to be joined. The domino joint is completed the by gluing loose tenon quick easy ways to make money stock (specifically designed and supplied for the system) into the mortises.

• unlike with biscuits, there’s no evidence that loose tenons will telegraph their shape quick easy ways to make money to the surface of a work piece (this sometimes happens because biscuits swell when the get moist quick easy ways to make money with glue – if the surface above them is sanded or smoothed prior quick easy ways to make money to them drying out, a depression in the shape of a biscuit will often quick easy ways to make money show up above the joint on the surface of the quick easy ways to make money work piece)

So, with all of these advantages, why would you use anything else? This seems like the holy-grail of joinery! Well, if you have the means to purchase the festool domino, I would say: go for it! It looks to be an extremely well-engineered tool that excels at what it does. I may even add one to my shop in the quick easy ways to make money future. However, if you are looking for loose tenon joinery on a quick easy ways to make money budget, you should realize that there are alternatives. In fact, I have been doing loose tenon joinery for years using quick easy ways to make money a basic plunge router and a simple jig.

I often use loose tenon joinery in the construction of quick easy ways to make money furniture projects. The system that I use involves a basic plunge router, an edge guide for the router, an upcut spiral mortising bit and a shop made jig. Because most woodworkers already have a plunge router and some quick easy ways to make money scraps around the workshop to make a jig, this technique can be accomplished very economically. Better yet, all of the advantages of loose tenon joinery listed earlier quick easy ways to make money are also realized when using this system.

The jig that I use for cutting mortises with the quick easy ways to make money router is a relatively simple affair. It is adapted from a jig in the book: router magic by bill hylton. As shown in the picture, the jig is basically two pieces joined at a ninety quick easy ways to make money degrees. The horizontal base component is for the router to ride quick easy ways to make money on and the vertical riser component allows the jig to quick easy ways to make money be clamped to the workbench. The work piece is secured to the jig with a quick easy ways to make money toggle clamp that is mounted on a component that is quick easy ways to make money attached with basic hardware through slots to allow for variable quick easy ways to make money sized work pieces.

To position the bit, I put the edge guide on the router and position quick easy ways to make money it to ride against the back of the jig. Using the edge guide adjustment I position the bit roughly quick easy ways to make money in the center of the thickness of work piece – it does not need to be exact, as long as I keep the same side of the quick easy ways to make money rail and stile against the jig, the joint will be aligned when completed.

I begin with the router against the stop closest to quick easy ways to make money me. I cut the mortise by taking passes at a depth quick easy ways to make money of about 1/4″. I continue making passes until I have reached the final quick easy ways to make money depth. The advantage to using an upcut spiral bit on the quick easy ways to make money router for this operation is that it is designed to quick easy ways to make money plunge directly into the work piece and it also pulls quick easy ways to make money the chips up and out of the mortise keeping the quick easy ways to make money bit cooler as it runs. This results in a very clean mortise with precise edges quick easy ways to make money and smooth walls.

I usually make the loose tenon stock from scraps of quick easy ways to make money the project that I’m building. I first cut some stock to the desired width of quick easy ways to make money the tenon. The stock is then planed down to the diameter of quick easy ways to make money the mortising bit. I usually use 1/4″ thick tenons for general joinery (in 3/4″ thick stock) and 1/2″ thick tenons for heavy duty applications – the only limit is which router bits you have on quick easy ways to make money hand. At this point the tenon stock has square edges but quick easy ways to make money the router cut mortises will have round edges. To remedy this, I simply pass all of the edges of the tenon quick easy ways to make money stock over the router table with a round over bit quick easy ways to make money installed (1/8″ round over for 1/4″ tenon stock and 1/4″ round over for 1/2″ tenon stock).

This may seem like a lot of work but it quick easy ways to make money is actually very quick to do. I usually make a batch of tenon stock all at quick easy ways to make money once in long sections so that individual tenons can easily quick easy ways to make money be cut off to the desired length. Any remaining tenon stock can be used for future projects. Once the loose tenons are cut to size, I usually sand a quick chamfer on the edges so quick easy ways to make money that they enter the mortises without issue.

Once the matching mortises are cut into the two work quick easy ways to make money pieces, the loose tenon is inserted and the pieces are dry-fitted. If all is well, I can spread some glue into the mortises and on quick easy ways to make money the tenon and clamp the joint until dry. Because there is such a close fit of the tenon quick easy ways to make money and the mortise with this method of joinery, not a lot of glue is necessary. I’ve noticed that if I’m careful I get very little glue squeeze-out. So, any cleanup is minor.

As you can see, this simple system has many of the advantages of the quick easy ways to make money festool domino. The one thing that it lacks is portability. The domino has the advantage of being able to be quick easy ways to make money taken directly to the work pieces, whereas with this system the work piece must be taken quick easy ways to make money to the jig. However, for the investment of a few hours time to make quick easy ways to make money a simple jig, I think that this system performs very well.

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