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Edge jointing: Festool Domino vs. biscuit jointer3/27
I have been disappointed in the biscuit jointer's ability to align boards edge-joined into a glued-up panel. If I invest in a Festool Domino can I expect better results, or should I stick with what I have?
I own both, and I would continue to use biscuits. If you are having trouble with your biscuit joiner something is probably wrong with it.
The potential draw back here is that the domino or biscuit are bone dry and the glue will cause them to expand. Over the next couple weeks they will shrink a little. If you sand the panel flat before this happens, you can end up with a slight depression. This effect is not always as bad as some people say it is but it is something to be aware of, and it is a potential risk.
I would suggest that in most circumstances you really don't need biscuits, splines, etc... to align panels. The trick is to lightly tighten your clamps, let the glue tack up just a little, and then tighten them home. This helps keep the boards from slipping around.
Good clamps also help (especially Bessey K body's) In reality, I only have a few sets of those. When I run out, I keep going with whatever clamps I can grab, and keep the panel flat and aligned with a set of 4 cauls, milled straight on the jointer. I cover the edges with packing tape so they don't stick. I can glue up a kitchen full of panels within a few hours with this method.
There is no need to use biscuits or any other strategy to edge glue panels for width. Glue alone is fine. Use clean clamps on a clean level surface, and align by finger pressure as you tighten the clamps. Millions of square feet of panels are reliably produced every year by quality makers with no biscuits or Festool mortises.
Despite what the biscuit people may have you think.
Thank you, Mike and David, for your input. You have given me good advice and encouragement. I appreciate you taking the time to guide me.