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Thread: Tip for Domino layouts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    OH
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    Tip for Domino layouts

    I'm using dominoes to join the legs and stretchers of my workbench. There are two different layouts, and mirror images of them, and 4 different combinations of depths. Each joint has four mortises, 2 at normal width and 2 at wide width. A total of 96 mortises to machine. All the stock is 4x4 so you can't tell orientation at a glance like you could with rectangular pieces.

    I'm fairly new to the domino and I don't want to screw this up. I know a miscut mortise can be plugged and re-machined, but would like to avoid that. I decided I wanted to mark all the mortises rough location, depth, and width, as well as indicate which sides were the reference faces. So after I made my test pieces, I sliced off a thin section of each layout, and used them to mark all the pieces parts. Of course I will use the domino built in guides when doing the machining, but at least I can easily identify the correct reference faces and settings for each mortise.

    I'll be doing the machining tomorrow; we'll see if I get them all right.

    First pic shows the slices I used as marking templates, second photo a few marked pieces.

    DSC_0315a.jpg

    DSC_0317a.jpg

    edit: Forgot to mention...the mirror image pieces are easy, just flip the template around and mark from the other side.
    Last edited by Paul F Franklin; 08-15-2019 at 8:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Palm Springs, CA
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    900
    Great idea! I have found it can easily get confusing when many parts are involved and marking is critical. I have on occasion misidentified what I thought was an alignment mark and milled a mortise in the wrong place. Your template certainly minimizes the chances of error. With my luck I'd probably invert one of the templates and not realize it until it was too late. Have fun milling those mortises.
    Dick Mahany.

  3. #3
    I tend to slowly whittle away my dominoes. Meaning I layout and cut them in small matched pairs. Check alignment and do the next operation. Itís slow moving but itís insurance youíre not misaligned.

    Iíve made a few jugs when Iíve needed repeatability. Definitely helps, especially if you are going back to something long after you cut the previous ones.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Took about 2 hours to machine all 96 mortises, and I was taking my time and double checking everything as I went. Did a dry fit and everything lined up and fit great, except one place where I missed cleaning the chips out of a mortise; easily remedied. Here's a dry fit pic:

    Bench-dry-fita.jpg

    The time spent making the templates and marking everything was worth it to me: no screw-ups!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Southwest Virginia
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    227
    That's a great idea. The Domino is so fast to use that you can make several mistakes pretty quickly.

    What size are you using for the bench?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    14mm x 140 and 14mm x 100 (for the inner pairs on the lower stretchers, where they intersect, plus I had to miter them)

  7. #7
    Awesome! Looks great, Paul! Gotta love the domino 😀

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