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Thread: Mafell DDF40 Duo Doweller - Domino now has some competition

  1. #1
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    Mafell DDF40 Duo Doweller - Domino now has some competition

    Watched some videos including this one ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td8aKnDm5cI ) ( https://produkte.mafell.de/en/drilli...doweler-ddf-40 ) and I was very impressed and it has sparked my curiosity. The fence is better with a rack and pinion system, a better engineered cross stop, some useful extra stops and 2 quick depth settings. There is also a long and accurate alignment jig for cabinet work. The cutters are 32mm apart which takes care of your shelf systems without the need for an extra jig like Festool's LR32. The other benefit is it uses inexpensive and cheap dowels compared to expensive dominos (unless you making them your self) . It doesn't have the wiggle room setting like the domino but it doesn't need it. Don't get me wrong, I own the Domino and love it and would never give it up, its just this is an impressive and at last a viable alternative. The main problem is there aren't that many Mafell retailers except in Europe/UK and there aren't that many 3rd party suppliers like there are with Festool including Seneca, TSO, FC tools etc. there is a distinct lack of resources
    Anyone own one and would care to comment on its pluses and minuses.
    Last edited by Johnny Barr; 07-26-2021 at 5:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    For load bearing joinery, the Domino has superior strength as a true loose tenon. Dowels have very poor strength but are cheap and fast. Every cheap chair Iíve had fail has failed at a dowel joint.

    The Domino, Duo Dowler, and biscuit joiner can all do alignment, but only one has the strength of a loose tenon. Thatís my thinking anyway. That might not be important to everyone.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Keegan Shields View Post
    For load bearing joinery, the Domino has superior strength as a true loose tenon. Dowels have very poor strength but are cheap and fast. Every cheap chair I’ve had fail has failed at a dowel joint.

    The Domino, Duo Dowler, and biscuit joiner can all do alignment, but only one has the strength of a loose tenon. That’s my thinking anyway. That might not be important to everyone.
    Dowels and biscuits are simply variations of a loose tenons or a tenon of a different shape. As far as strength goes, a domino is a domino, whereas a dowel can be made of any species of wood or metal. Also a dual dowel can often be used as an aesthetic accent on some projects.
    I just don't think it's a good idea to so quickly dismiss something. There are many places this tool could be invaluable.
    Last edited by Chris Padilla; 07-26-2021 at 10:41 PM.

  4. #4
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    A dowel is a loose tenon by another name. Does anybody have prices on the new Mafell?

  5. #5
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    Looks like its around $1400 here. Kit comes with a case, three sets of bits, and some other doodads. Priced about the same as the Domino XL, right? Potayto Potahto.

  6. #6
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    Triton, Grizzly, Freud and others have made "dual dowelers" for some time. They get the same arguments dowels do and get the same support from dowel fans. Despite independent joint tests (the wood failed more than the connector chosen) the back and forth carries on. You know who wins the tests performed by the maker of one or the other; coffee growers say coffee is good for you, wine makers say the same . Pick your favorite for your own reasons and carry on ;-)
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 07-26-2021 at 11:20 AM.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    As far as strength goes, a domino is a domino, whereas a dowel can be made of any species of wood or metal.
    You could say the same of any loose tenon or domino.

  8. #8
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    Looks cool to me. I do like the loose domino setting and the ability to make your own tenons for breadboards with the Festool. It would be nice to have both Festool and this. I think this method would require a lot more precision. I like the dominos because I can also be quick with it and if things don't align exactly like it's supposed to I can shave a bit of the domino.

    This is a cool idea with cabinetry, especially the shelf height holes. Those height holes never came off to me as high end, so I'm not sure what market is using a hand tool to accomplish them.... Not my world, what do I know.

    Per the joint strength argument... the question is how much strength you need not how strong the different types are in comparison to each other. If you have more than enough strength for the required joint then you are done. You've accomplished what is necessary.

  9. #9
    You're correct, I was specifically answering the poster who claimed "the Domino has superior strength". I assumed he was talking about the basic domino itself which is a manufactured product, pressed with glue pockets and made out of beech.

    A loose tenon joint can take many forms and if used properly the shape of the tenon, round, square or oval, is irrelevant for the most part. Just as how it's cut is irrelevant.

    As for strength, it's a ridiculous argument. What type of strength?
    When you use a loose M&T, you use what's necessary for the project. A domino is no "stronger" than any other loose M&T used properly in the correct application.

  10. #10
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    Soooo not all "loose tenons" are created equal actually. Dowels are weak because they have very little side grain to side grain contact. Compare that to a Domino or similarly shaped loose tenon. Lots of side grain contact. The shape matters a lot.

    However, dowels are a cheap and an easy way to automate joinery, which is why they are used in cheap furniture that has a short service life.

    Here's a good Rob Cosman video that explains why dowels are terrible for load bearing joints (hint: its because circular holes have almost no side grain in them!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOI7RVqPNCw

    "When you use a loose M&T, you use what's necessary for the project." I couldn't agree more, that's why my comment started with "For load bearing joinery".

    Not everyone does what I do, so a duo doweler, or fixed doweling machine, or biscuit joiner or pocket hole might make more sense.

    But the fact remains, a Domino shaped loose tenon is stronger than a dowel of similar size.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keegan Shields View Post
    Soooo not all "loose tenons" are created equal actually. Dowels are weak because they have very little side grain to side grain contact. Compare that to a Domino or similarly shaped loose tenon. Lots of side grain contact. The shape matters a lot.

    However, dowels are a cheap and an easy way to automate joinery, which is why they are used in cheap furniture that has a short service life.

    Here's a good Rob Cosman video that explains why dowels are terrible for load bearing joints (hint: its because circular holes have almost no side grain in them!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOI7RVqPNCw

    "When you use a loose M&T, you use what's necessary for the project." I couldn't agree more, that's why my comment started with "For load bearing joinery".

    Not everyone does what I do, so a duo doweler, or fixed doweling machine, or biscuit joiner or pocket hole might make more sense.

    But the fact remains, a Domino shaped loose tenon is stronger than a dowel of similar size.

    Dowels and dominos are all side grain, not sure I understand what you are trying to say. An appropriate sized dowel that cannot be subjected to twisting force, is just as strong as any other loose tenon. In fact a dowel made of the same wood as a domino would actually have higher shear strength than a domino if you chose size based on equal surface areas. Dowels fail when they are used in construction that allows them to twist. Neither loose tenon system has as as much shear strength as a normally sized real tenon with square corners. The shear strength is just a function of cross sectional area.

    That being said, any of these can be used effectively within their limitations.

  12. #12
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    Iíve reclaimed wood that was put together with dowels.
    Very grateful they used dowels because it came apart so easily. I also learned a thing or two about joints that were poorly prepared and glued.
    I vote the domino and the tool to be superior.
    Aj

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Dowels and dominos are all side grain, ....
    While the tenon/domino/dowel itself may be 'all side grain' (assuming its made in conventional manner), I believe Mr. Shields may be referring to the end grain portion of the mortice or hole - assuming again, that the mortice/hole is cut perpendicular to the grain in the particular component, i.e. a leg, cut to accept an apron attachment.

    Good joint design factors in ALL the loads. A good craftsman should probably have some experience with how their available fasteners/methods will resist those loads.

  14. #14
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    Steve,

    I agree that the loose tenons themselves are all long grain. But think about the mortises they fit into. A circular hole drilled into the side of a board really only has two little points of side grain for the dowel to be glued to on each side.

    Compare that to a Domino/Slot Mortiser/Pantorouter/Handheld Router shaped mortise. The straight sides of the mortise are all side grain for the loose tenon to glue to. See my terrible illustration below of the mortises.

    mortise.jpg

    To make matters worse, the commercial dowels I've used have ridges that reduce the side grain contact even further.

    Again, not saying dowels are bad or useless. But for serious load bearing joints, the domino shaped loose tenons are significantly stronger (ie. rail to leg attachment on chairs) based on available long grain to long grain glue surface. IMO, that's the capability the Domino offers over its handheld competitors (duo dowler and biscuit joiner). If you don't need that because you only need to align face frames, a biscuit joiner is a cheaper option.

    I'm actually moving away from using my Domino since I bought a Maka swing chisel mortiser. I seem to get a much more repeatable result with a stationary tool (less opportunity for user error on my part). Setup takes longer though, that's the tradeoff.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    While the tenon/domino/dowel itself may be 'all side grain' (assuming its made in conventional manner), I believe Mr. Shields may be referring to the end grain portion of the mortice or hole - assuming again, that the mortice/hole is cut perpendicular to the grain in the particular component, i.e. a leg, cut to accept an apron attachment.

    Good joint design factors in ALL the loads. A good craftsman should probably have some experience with how their available fasteners/methods will resist those loads.
    Exactly, you beat me to it.

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