Domino Course at Ideal Tools

The Domino course was a 1/2 day affair over in the Ideal Tools training facility/showroom in Williamstown, with Terry Forgarty presenting.  Terry would have been one of the first people in the world with a Festool Domino, given that they were available in Australia very early on (before the US I think), and he bought his out of the very first batch, so a very early adopter of the technology.

He is a custom furniture maker, and so his Domino gets used in most projects, so as a daily power user, he is well qualified to talk about the tool.  He also has a diploma in Fine Furniture from the Perth Wood School – a 2 year intensive course which would be incredibly interesting, demanding, and rewarding (if you could afford the commitment!)

The Domino course is a bit hard to nail down exactly what it is – it depends on your perspective, and therefore what you would get out of it.

For me, as a prospective owner it showcased the product and just how versatile it is, and how your persepectives of a product can differ (dramatically) from reality.  I was pretty sure it was an interesting, and expensive tool, and based on the ravings about it on the forums, that it was a precision tool.  It is a much better viewpoint when you can actually see the tool in action to really appreciate where these various comments and opions are coming from!

For others (and the majority of attendees on the course) were owners, but not heavy users (some had owned it for a year or more, and only cut a joint or two with it).  For these, it was a reclarification why they bought the tool, how to use the tool (basics, cleaning etc), and how much more versatile the tool could be.  For these, and new owners, it certainly gives you a better appreciation why you have paid for it, and how to get value out of it.

There are then the ones who are very familiar with the tool, and for these the course shows some of the new approaches to techniques, joining panels, some different jigs, and other uses that may not have occurred to them.  One big benefit from this (and this holds true for other tools as well), learning the versatility of jigs to greatly expand the usefulness of any given tool is a lesson definitely worth learning.

Terry covered a number of points, jigs and techniques, which I won’t go into heavily here, but some quick points were, removing the caps off the riser to increase the tool’s effective range by 25mm, how to create Domi-dogs (bench dogs with dominos!), his shelf pin jig (covered in the YouTube video), including home-made wooden shelf pins, some of the accessories for the Domino, his Domino drawer handle, the Kapex, and creating a 3 component intersecting joint with domino reinforcements.

The drawer in the photos is his one from the previous Hall Table course, where instead of wasting the quality timber offcuts, they were joined to make a particularly noteworthy drawer base.

So all in all, a very interesting and informative afternoon, and definitely worthwhile for both prospective owners who need a little extra shove to understand why they really do want to buy the Domino, as well as for existing owners to get the most out of their investment.  There was plenty of time for questions, comments, and posing of extra challenges for Terry and his Domino to solve!

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