Any interest in purchasing a Festool Domino Joiner?

I’ve been using a ton of dowels in my projects and I’ve always had aspirations of getting a Festool Domino Joiner at some point to start transitioning to them instead. In light of the recent Shaper Origin purchase, I just wanted to throw the idea out there and gauge interest in either adding it to the ever growing list of things to purchase for the shop (understandably low-priority, of course), or do a similar model to the Shaper and doing a group-buy and hosting agreement. Price would be about $1000-1600, depending on whether we’d get the regular or the XL. Bring your own dominoes. Any interest?

I know the Shaper can do some cool joinery too and may be able to replicate some of the things the domino can do, so it may not be the right time to start thinking about a domino before trying the shaper, but figured I’d just put it out there.

This would be a really cool second tool to do this sort of arrangement with! I may potentially be interested in joining in on this one.

We have future plans for a storage closet that works with OpenPath for these kinds of tools that way there is a clear record of check in/out for them and high accountability system.

While a Shaper Origin can precisely position and cut Domino holes, it isn’t a good option for high volume. In another shop where I’m a member we have two Dominos, the 500 and 700. It’s a niche tool which is only occasionally used but does its job very well. I’d be willing to contribute to funding Asmbly to buy one.

In case anyone is curious about using the Shaper Origin to bore Domino holes …

I’d be interested in this as well.

A Domino 700 would be the way to go. There are after market adapters to allow a 700 to cut smaller dominos, like the 500. That way you get the range of both. Large to small.


By my count, I believe we are up to at least 5 interested. @jamesmcnees , @valerie , @TravisGood, @gordoa40, @JennChilds have all expressed interest in this. I agree with @cfstaley, I’d be interested in the larger 700.
Should we go ahead a call this one a go?

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Me! Me! I’m in!!

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There was a set of expectations that came with the last purchase.
As we hold hands and prepare to jump can we get those reiterated?
Perhaps we learned some things from the Shaper Origin purchase?

I like @TravisGood’s point here. It seemed like it was good with the Shaper having a “point person” who took ownership of knowing the most and teaching others the basics. There is also work to be done by that whole team of donors still in terms of establishing policies/procedures/training/etc. I think we may need to see that process a little further through before repeating it.

I’m not sure what the set of expectations was for the Shaper, I wasn’t apart of that purchase. I would like to hear what has been learned from that purchase, and how we could apply that going forward to future purchases. FWIW, I believe the Shaper is a more complicated tool and setup than the domino tool is, maybe this could be a better stepping stone for outlining these things.

That’s totally fair. I meant to put in my comment that this tool is a whole lot simpler for sure. I think it is still helpful for there to be a point person who will lead things and see that policies/procedures get fully developed and implemented. These are all tools that will be kept locked up with checkout records for accountability via OpenPath, so there needs to be some level of gatekeeping and process involved. What would be a good training course for getting people cleared to use the Domino?

Perhaps @cfstaley could weigh in with his experiences so far?

My sense is the Shaper Origin experience was a good one but incomplete.
True “check out” process is still premature; a period of exclusive use is still vague;
how do we expand beyond funders’ exclusivity; who trains the future users, etc.

The great news with Origin is that @JennChilds will likely teach future Origin users!


The biggest thing we need to get sorted (in my mind, at least) is storage. I don’t want to keep giving more people access to coworking, so wide-scale rollout is basically waiting on construction of the storage lockers. Once we have those, adding additional tools would be pretty painless.

Unless we’re fine not locking up a Domino; in that case we could get started any time.

A locker itself should be fairly simple to construct – no need for super high security I would think, just would need to figure out how to add an openpath reader to it. Are there any battery/wifi options for OpenPath or does it definitely need to be hard wired?

To me, even logged and recorded access control seems a little overkill for a tool like this, maybe even just a code lock would work? A nest camera inside the box? Perhaps I’m too trusting, but do we have a big problem of people using tools that they’re not supposed to? It’s not like we don’t have other expensive tools sitting out in the open. Just thinking of options haha. If openpath would be easy enough to add, then that would be totally fine.

Personally, I’ve never used a domino but I really can’t imagine they’re that hard to use. I think a scheduled class dedicated to it would be unnecessary. One option could be a required video tutorial and/or a small one-time fee to gain access that would enable some level of personal ownership/responsibility. Not sure how well this would go over, but I’d imagine just a $1-10 purchase in the online shop that would add your name to the required openpath permissions or give you a code. Another option would be dedicating a few stewards to give 10 min tutorials and sign people off, but more informally and dependent on personal availability.

Again just brainstorming – thoughts?

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Is there a location in mind for the locker area? Perhaps the loft opposing the paid storage could be used for this.

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We’re not concerned about people using a Domino without taking training so much as having records in case it wanders off. You may be right that OP is overkill, but we’re trying to eliminate different ways of managing access control. Having different ways of doing basically the same thing is an administrative annoyance, to put it mildly.

I agree domino training would be of little value.

As for where the lockers are going, they’re definitely definitely not going in a loft. Current sketch is to put lockers where Blue was, but a design isn’t finalized.

If anybody has time to finalize a locker design, we’d be happy for the help :slight_smile:

I’d like to speak in defense of training for these tools, including the Domino.

We’ve held many Domino training sessions in San Diego. On the one hand, it is much simpler than the Shaper Origin. On the other hand, there are a variety of non-obvious adjustments, setting up for a precision cut requires knowledge, and a Domino is a high quality mechanical tool that require being cared for properly.

I’m less interested in funding to a tool where every user hacks their way through.

With education comes safety, effective use and a well-maintained tool.


That is understandable Travis, maybe I hadn’t considered it enough. To that end, I guess the limitation would be finding available and willing teachers. Good thing is I don’t think we would need quite as frequent a class because it may not be as popular a tool. Perhaps it could be taught as an optional ‘addendum’ at the end of the wood shop class, for a small added fee? Or perhaps it could just be a shorter separate class taught as required. I think a video lesson might be a good compromise as well, but hard to make sure that it actually gets watched.

Could make/supply an instructional video, and have the ‘class’ be a short knowledge test. Even if you just looked up the information, at least you’re reading about it. The member would need, say, 80% or higher to pass. Wouldn’t be very hard in a google form or something.

Personally I’m against adding fees unless there’s a good reason, given that I’m a student and I’m not made of money (sometimes I feel like I’m in the wrong hobby lol)

Of course though, I understand if there was some exclusivity due to the manner of acquisition and overall cost.

What’s the SDFWA curriculum? I’ve always thought of Domino as basically a fancy biscuit joiner – are there enough tool-specific details to fill a 60-minute class, or is it more of a joinery techniques class of which Domino is a component?

I’m definitely not opposed to a class in principle; I’m just inclined to aim for 60-90ish-minute classes with some heft to them rather than jellybean tool checkout classes.

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