Joining system

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Steve posted 06-30-2015 01:25 AM 1474 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Steve's profile


188 posts in 2024 days

06-30-2015 01:25 AM

So its time to get either some brand of biscuit or a Festool domino joining system. This tool will be mainly used for table tops and doors. I have never used either of the tools and am just wondering which would be best. Any information will be much appreciated.

13 replies so far

View KeithP's profile


15 posts in 1262 days

#1 posted 06-30-2015 02:25 AM

I have never used the festool domino, but I do have a dewalt biscuit joiner. It’s pretty easy to use.

The biscuits don’t add any strength, I use them for aligning boards, which will then be held together with glue, plus screws for frameless cabinets. It does a great job of alignment.

From watching videos, I suspect that the domino is the superior tool. It’s also about 4x the price.

View Luthierman's profile


221 posts in 1111 days

#2 posted 06-30-2015 02:28 AM

Festool is expensive, biscuit joiners are not by comparison. Having used both, I like the festool only because of what you can do with it, like a through mortise and tenon. (but still that is not enough for me to make the purchase) I can also do that by hand though and save loads of money, while not being constrained to round tenons. Remember, biscuits are really only for alignment and add little to no strength to your joint, so think of that when thinking about what you would be using this for.

-- Jesse, West Lafayette, Indiana

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1448 days

#3 posted 06-30-2015 02:28 AM

I own some Festool products but never really felt I needed anything more than what Keith uses. I do have a mortiser so your mileage may vary.

-- Brad, Texas,

View bondogaposis's profile


4759 posts in 2375 days

#4 posted 06-30-2015 03:09 AM

None of the above, mortise and tenon, will do in most situations for doors and tables.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View RobS888's profile


2413 posts in 1869 days

#5 posted 06-30-2015 03:12 AM

I think in some applications a biscuit doesn’t add strength to a modern glue joint. Such as a long grain to long grain joint in a table top. However an apron to table leg joint it would add strength. Also perpendicular pieces of plywood.

I just disassembled one of the first things I made out of wood. It was a 12 inch deep table for a shelf behind our head board. It was about 70 inches long. After a few weeks my wife moved the bed to the corner and the table went to the attic for 10 years. I just took it apart and was surprised at how easily the gorilla glue let go except where I had put biscuits. I’m referring to where the apron met the top. I don’t use gorilla glue anymore and my application of glue has probably improved.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Steve's profile


188 posts in 2024 days

#6 posted 06-30-2015 03:28 AM

Thanks for your comments, and yes my biggest reason for either a tenon or biscuit would be for alignment. I do have a hollow chisel mortiser but for 7’-8’ boards its to awkward to use and takes way to much time.

View KeithP's profile


15 posts in 1262 days

#7 posted 06-30-2015 04:20 AM

A domino sounds like overkill if you are simply using it for alignment. Biscuits work perfectly well for this purpose.

View AandCstyle's profile


3069 posts in 2281 days

#8 posted 06-30-2015 10:20 AM

Steve, I agree with the others, there is no need for either if you are talking about gluing panels. However, if you want to use a Domino for making mortises for floating tenons, it is extremely quick and accurate. Also, if you think you might want to make chairs to go with your tables, a Domino will pay for itself for making the angled mortises. FWIW

-- Art

View rwe2156's profile


2962 posts in 1504 days

#9 posted 06-30-2015 10:35 AM

For table tops or panels, you don’t need any alignment aids unless your stock isn’t straight. I used to use a BJ all the time but now its quietly collecting dust somewhere in the shop.

As far as doors, I agree with bondo – nothing beats a M/T joint. As Art said, a Domino is capable of doing joinery. On a large heavy door you can pin the tenons. I would love to have one, but spending that much on a one-use machine is an obstacle.

For long boards, you can use roller stands or some other support, right?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bigblockyeti's profile


5137 posts in 1744 days

#10 posted 06-30-2015 08:14 PM

I had the opportunity to use a domino once and it seems like it would be worth it only to someone making many loose tenon joints where otherwise similar sized (to what the dominos make) through tenons would have to be made. For alignment purposes a biscuit will work well, I have a Porter Cable and it has done exactly what I’ve asked of it for quite some time.

View AHuxley's profile


663 posts in 3345 days

#11 posted 06-30-2015 11:20 PM

This is one of those questions you will get 1000 different answers from 1000 different people. If you are simply using the “joinery” method for alignment then biscuits are fine. The Domino is a tool that you don’t really “get” until you use it and not just once or twice but until you live with it for months. When you have one you constantly discover new uses for it and ways to employ the dominos. Over time it usually becomes the go-to for joinery especially complex joinery. I suppose I will accept it being a 1 use tool or one trick pony if you will BUT that one trick is joinery so the scope is quite vast once you begin to learn to use it. I still use machine and hand cut M&Ts for projects but it has become limited to those pieces that dictate M&T for aesthetics or period correctness. For me the biscuit joiner does one thing well and even my Lamello is severely limited and gathers dust now. There is no question a person can build fabulous furniture their entire lives and never use a single biscuit or domino but both can be used to increase speed and/or accuracy in certain situations. For me, if the budget allows, the Domino is a tool that will get far more use and can be used in far more ways than a plate joiner and can fundamentally change the way one approaches joiner, especially complex joints. My general answer is not whether or not to get a Domino but whether one should get a 500 or 700.

In the end there is very little a person can’t make with a few planes and a chisel or two so the addition of most anything else is simply a way to increase efficiency or accuracy, the Domino is a tool that for most people over time will increase both significantly more than the cost outlay.

View Steve's profile


188 posts in 2024 days

#12 posted 07-02-2015 01:14 AM

Thanks for all the info, I purchased a Freud biscuit joiner seems to work pretty well, but a little on the noisey side.

View RobS888's profile


2413 posts in 1869 days

#13 posted 07-02-2015 08:36 AM

Thanks for all the info, I purchased a Freud biscuit joiner seems to work pretty well, but a little on the noisey side.

- Steve

That’s what I have. Hook up a shop vac and use your table saw table as a reference surface and you are all set.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics