I agree. Even when I use a Domino, I rarely use anything other than the narrowest setting. In places that I need a little wiggle room, I plunge the Domino to both right and left of my mark, leaving maybe a mm extra. The wider slots are too wide, IMO.
Yes. As long as you use proper technique, it is more than capable of making fine joints...I've been jointing all my boards with this jointer for five years. I do usually take a hand plane to the edges before glue up, but that's just to knock off the ridges left by the knives, not to correct an out-of-square edge. And this isn't a necessary step...just something the OCD woodworker will do because he can. Forget the permission from your wife...what I require from you is confidence that your stepdad can fix it. What I don't wanna get into is you buying this thing and finding out the repairs are beyond his ability. They're fairly simple machines, but it still requires a certain amount of knowledge...not saying he doesn't have it...but let's make sure first. Very true. I did find a local business that repairs industrial woodworking equipment. I tried calling but I got no answer and didn't leave a message. I figured that either the bill wouldn't be big enough to be worth his time, or too big to be worth the cost to me.