Matt Truiano

domino cutter shrunk?!

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i recently went to use my festool domino (which being a full time dad doesn't allow me to use very often at all) and i came across the situation that the dominos themselves weren't fitting into the mortises i was making. my first thought was that the dominos expanded since the last time i used them and the rest of the bag is shot. but after some further investigating, i realized that the dominos were fine, but my mortises were undersized. WTF? so then i checked the diameter of my bit, and sure enough, its about a half mm smaller than the dominos. i've had the tool for less than a year and in that year i've only used it a hand full of times. only on cherry, walnut and red oak and pine. is that normal? anyone have similar situations? should i contact festool and ask for a replacement?

dom 458.jpg

dom 501.jpg

dom456.jpg

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That is interesting. I just measured mine and the tip of the bit was right around 5mm and the tenons were just slightly larger (keep in mind this is a cheap HF micrometer). I’m in a similar situation where it sits unused for long periods of time.

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I'd try measuring the mortise in a dense hardwood (not sure the wood in the picture) like hard maple or similar. Measuring the bit may be more tricky as the mortise will be the distance from cutter edge to cutter edge. To make it so the cuter doesn't bind in the slot some material is removed behind that leading edge which would create a smaller measurement. It is super odd that the mortise is small.

I'd look into the wood. It looks like you placed the mortise right on a glue line. There could be some internal stress causing the mortise to close.

I don't know how a carbide cutter would shrink 10%.... I have the cutter pack and mine are 3-4years old and they all still work fine.....

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Could it be wider on the very tip?   Then maybe a question of technique, pushing it in too fast results in an odd hole?   I'm reaching here...

I don't see how it could shrink without you obviously seeing chunks of metal missing.

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3 minutes ago, Minnesota Steve said:

Could it be wider on the very tip?   Then maybe a question of technique, pushing it in too fast results in an odd hole?   I'm reaching here...

I don't see how it could shrink without you obviously seeing chunks of metal missing.

Even if the bit is wider at the tip, that would result in a wider mortise and the domino should fit.  

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If the bit worked before, meaning you could insert the dominos, and you have not tried to sharpen the bit, then I think the dominos are the problem. I’ve had some that were hard to insert, and I had to sand the domino-usually the edges. It also helps to bevel the ends a little to get them started. A metal bit won’t shrink or expand on its own. 

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If you can re-align exactly you could run the Domino cutter in the mortise again and see if the Domino now fits.  Assuming you've succesfully used this bit before this has got to be wood movement.

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Are you using a CT with it? 

Any chance you just got the cutter head way too hot and it quickly wore the edges?  Long shot in a carbide bit for sure, but not impossible either 

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I just measured my domino's 5mm cutter and it's 4.94 ish at the tip 1mm back from the tip it's down to 4.6mm. Dominoes are 4.91 ish mm.

Maybe try a few test cuts in some ply or something?

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I’m with @Barron. I thInk the tenons are the problem. I now dry fit all of mine and those that require ChannelLocks to remove. I hit them with a block plane. Mount the plane in your vise and hit the edges 3-4 times per side. Makes all the difference. 

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On 4/9/2019 at 4:17 AM, JohnG said:

What ever happened with this? Any developments?

It's bad when you go to respond, and you already did two months ago.

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