Project — "Making a Silver Chest"

   This week, I asked Andrea to take a new look at the silver pieces insert. My fear was that we might make the chest a little too small and this insert wouldn't fit. I found a long scrap stick that Andrea is marking. We will make a "story pole" of the length and width dimensions of the insert.

   She uses a Japanese pull saw to cut on her mark. Can you believe this: Andrea said this is the first hand tool she has ever used in this shop. We will have to remedy that.

   She makes one for each of the dimensions. We have to be very careful when laying out the miters that we measure for inside dimensions. Rather than to measure the outside and subtract the thickness of the wood, we will simply make sure that we only concern ourselves with inside dimensions.

   An aside for a moment. This is Elena working with the Festool Domino Joining System. The upper Systainer holds the machine, itself, and beneath it is a Systainer storing the Domino tenons.
   WoodShopDemos has been extremely fortunate to get this System in way before  its official release, and we have been "playing" with it.
   As a system it does so much that play is not the operative word, study and use is much more to the point.
   In the next few months we will be using this new Festool product. It is easy to give you the "Features/Benefits Story" but Festool is doing that very well with a super website introduction. This one is from the headquarters - to the official site.

   Just select the language you want, and go. We used the various screens extensively when we first got the machine.
   And not to confuse you, the two Systainers rest on a Festool
Dust Extractor CT MINI. As with all Festool products, dust extraction plays an important role in the design and operation of the tool.
   We have quite a long feature underway with Elena so you will be seeing the rest of this introduction in the coming weeks.

   You can see in a glance what the Domino Joiner can do — make elongated holes for loose tenons. Here, Elena is using the System in its very basic function — panel glue up. It is perfect for it, better than biscuits, but the use is the least of the many applications of the Domino Joiner. To really get to appraise it, you will have to follow with us over the coming weeks when we will use it in panel glue ups, chair construction, countertop/backsplash/edging, cabinet making, rail and stile construction, face frame building, drawer making, small chest miter work, large door construction — to name a few. Fact is, we haven't scratched the surface. What we are trying to do is to use it.  That's right use it as we make things and see if it can serve us better than what we would normally do.

   Back to Andrea and the silver chest in progress. Her first task is to figure out which Domino Tenon to use. Her mahogany is just over 1/2" or 13mm and ideally, she would like to have a tenon 1/3 that width or 4+ mm. The smallest the Domino uses is 5mm which she places on the edge to get an idea of how it will work. It should work well if she can place the mortise in the exact center of the edge.

   She holds the Domino Joiner. It weighs about the same as a quality biscuit jointer — and that is where the similarity ends. This Domino tool is part of a joining system.
   She will be using it this time for panel glue up which is important, but traditional dowels and biscuits have done an adequate job here for years. It will be interesting to see if the Domino System gives us an improved joint.

   The Domino System uses four different size bits — 5, 6, 8 and 10 mm in diameter. Now if you haven't learned metric or feel comfortable in that, not to worry. Do like I do and go by eye. In the photo two above, Andrea was holding the 5mm tenon on the board edge. She doesn't need to know the metric width of the board, she can select the right tenon by eye. It looks good. And a warning to old cabinetmakers and woodworkers like me, we say we are too old to learn metric but then find out it is a much easier system to use. I measure the board width. It is 13 mm wide, one third of that is just over 4. Now think of the imperial way.  It is 10/16ths and one third of that is 3.5/16ths or 7/32's.  I think half of the mistakes I have made over the years  were measuring mistakes — I wonder why.

   In the picture above, Andrea uses the small wrench supplied to lift up a catch to release the body from the front end. At right, she can withdraw the motor assembly so that she can change bits.  

   To remove the bit, Andrea with her right hand, presses the shaft lock button (not visible from this view.) That allows her to easily loosen and remove the bit. The unit accepts four differnet size bits — 5, 6, 8 and 10 mm diameter.

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