festool domino xl df 700 guide pins

Festool Domino Problems – Clogs when used without Extraction?

The Festool acclaimed domino jointing system is available in two sizes.

Both ‘Festool Domino’ machines need dust collection or there will not perform as expected.

These two machines have stolen the limelight with as far as machines that can accurately and quickly cut mortices. With such an innovative design Festool have managed to manufacture a machine that no other manufacturer can copy because Festools patents are very tight and secure.  The Domino jointing machines must have a shop vac attached and in this article, I will explain why.

My Festool Domino Locating Pins Won’t Retract?

festool domino xl df 700 face plate-1200-678

If you are suffering from this problem then you need to change the way you work. A common, cause of this is weak dust extraction. The retractable pin mechanism is prone to capture wood chips from each mortice cut. Dust extraction is the most common cause of this.

I must admit that I have found another reason. When cutting mortices in a rebated frame at some point you will find that you cannot seal the faceplate against your workpiece there is a gap of the depth of the rebate.

There is a Solution to a Clogged Festool?

  1. You can always cut the mortices with your Festool Domino DF700 XL before cutting the rebates.
  2. Make a jig which sits in the rebate so the gap between the faceplate and the rebate is filled. This will facilitate clean airflow of the dust extraction system
  3. Regularly clean the morticing machine paying special attention to the alignment pins using an airline or blower.

The Festool Domino Clogs without Extraction!

Although I’m an avid user of this machine I have found dust extraction an issue because of the locating pins clog. Not because the Festool dust extraction vacuums are bad but that they do not work in some scenarios. In this blog, I will try to illuminate you into the causes of wood chips jamming your Festool Domino.

If Festool Extraction Leaks?

After some experience in building doors or window frames with the Festool Domino. I have found that anything with a rebate for glazing or door shuts causes leaks in the vacuum systems.

The dust extraction leaking an obvious issue. The Dust extraction only works correctly when the faceplate is in contact with the project.

When working in a rebate or similar situation may cause an obstruction preventing you from making good contact. If you do not have full contact with the wood that is about to be morticed there will not be any suction around the cutter.

Festool Domino can Clog!festool domino joiner xl df 700-1200-678

You may ask why this is a problem when the machine is otherwise so well designed. This clogging can prevent the machine from functioning as it should. I have experience two areas which are affected. The locating pins and the slide mechanism are negatively affected.

The Slide Mechanism Prevents Travel

When cutting multiple mortices with the Domino joining system with an inefficient shop vac extraction or no extraction you will find that the Festool Domino slide stop mechanism can clog. This Clogging can prevent full travel of the slide affecting the depth of cut. This is most noticeable when cutting full depth mortices.

Even with dust extraction, you may find the stop on the slide can still jam. I recommend having an airline to hand or a small paintbrush to clean those areas where the wood chippings can collect.

I have seen the light but still, the Festool Domino is probably the only Festool Ill ever own! Even though I have owned and used this machine for over four years. I can justify the cost of the Domino but struggle with the other Festool offerings while there are alternative machines at a lower cost.

Shop-Vac  VS The Festool Domino Jointing System in Conclusion

In Conclusion, the Festool Domino is a capable machine that can work without dust extraction but not without problems. If you want to produce effortlessly repeatable mortises then you should use the machine with some form shop vac extraction system. The Festool shop vacs are brilliant but yet again a little too pricey for my pocket so I use my existing Nilfisk vac which has comparable suction. The point being you need extraction plumbed to the Domino but it doesn’t have to be a Festool although probably best if it was.

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