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

  1. #46
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    Mafell Duo Doweller.jpg
    Mafell DDF 40.jpg
    Jess Em Dowelling Jig.jpg
    Festool Domino DF 500.jpg
    Festool Domino DF 700.jpg

    I only included the Jess Em doweller but there are others. My bias (because I own one and dang it is made well) may be why I only included the Jess Em Dowel Jig. I'm very impressed with the precision and usability of the Jess Em dowel jig. But clearly not as fast as the Festool Domino. I also really like my biscuit jointer.

    My personal preference is the dowels because of the wider range of applications. As mentioned before they can also be a decorative element along with an alignment tool in addition to providing a strong joint.
    Since woodworking is my hobby I struggle with buying the Festool domino. But it definitely appears to be a good tool and a versatile joining method for someone wanting to make some money with their time in the shop I can see some advantages. It's also hard to beat my biscuit jointer for the applications it is good for.

    I'm surprised at Mafell's offering. I like dowels but at that cost I don't see the Mafell advantage. It appears much less versatile than my Jess Em doweling jig and doesn't appear to offer any significant advantage over the Festool Domino. Maybe I'm missing something but the marketing I looked up sure doesn't point it out.

    I noticed most of this thread got into what the beliefs are for joint design and strength. When I read these it makes me think how glad I am that structural building codes as well as material science, strength of materials and mechanics of deformable bodies do not rely on this belief system. I know that may strike some wrong but there is a lot of science behind what strength is along with how to predict such failures with tons of empirical data backing the science. I've seen case studies with nothing controlled and comparison of much smaller dowels compared to larger mortise and tenon joints with a conclusion that mortise and tenon is "stronger". The fact is a dowel can be made many times stronger than a much smaller tenon. Additionally, if stronger is the only thing that matters then steel of the same dimensions will be stronger and tungsten will be stronger than that, etc...

    However, even though I really like dowels for my workshop, I would buy the Festool Domino well ahead of the Mafell Doweller.
    Last edited by Eric Arnsdorff; 07-27-2021 at 10:46 PM.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    One interesting question is why do the chair manufacturers only put two dowels in that joint at the back of the chair seat. It's clear that two dowels do not provide sufficient long-grain-to-long-grain glue surface area to stand up to normal use for many years. An additional dowel might provide enough additional glue surface area to provide a much longer life for that joint.
    As a fan of Windsor style chairs, joining a seat to a back is just bad design

  3. #48
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    Most of the Danish designs I’ve admired set them back legs at such a splay that they are difficult to rock. This helps prevent people from rocking them.

    The industry, however, tests chairs by rocking them to failure. One can learn a lot by doing this, I’ve done so to my own design.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Most of the Danish designs I’ve admired set them back legs at such a splay that they are difficult to rock. This helps prevent people from rocking them.

    The industry, however, tests chairs by rocking them to failure. One can learn a lot by doing this, I’ve done so to my own design.
    Yea, I've noticed those small incremental changes you've made to the angles. Chairmaking is an engineering art-form!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #50
    Well said Eric

  6. #51
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    Thanks, Jim!
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  7. #52
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    Every try cutting a door apart, right through the dowels at the joints? The ones I've seen are shrunk away from the edges of the hole. Dowels have their purpose, but for me, it's only alignment, not long-term strength. Rob Cosman is right.
    Timberlight Designs

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Jung View Post
    Every try cutting a door apart, right through the dowels at the joints? The ones I've seen are shrunk away from the edges of the hole. Dowels have their purpose, but for me, it's only alignment, not long-term strength. Rob Cosman is right.
    I understand that seeing something like this could cause you to decide to choose a different method in your builds.
    However, if a dowel shrunk away from the surrounding material how would any other joinery technique of the same materials not do the same?

  9. #54
    The Domino is a good tool and makes the task of cutting a mortise quick and easy. Just because you have a Domino doesn't mean you don't have to understand proper joinery techniques. Many times this just makes cutting mortises in the wrong place or wrong size quicker. The same thing can be said for the Dual Dowel machines. You still need to have an understanding of joinery.
    Also just because doweling machines cut 2 holes in one operation doesn't mean that that's equivalent to one domino.
    The Domino has only been around for less than 15 years. In the grand scheme of things, they're not even a blip. For every chair made with dominos, there probably about one million or more made with dowels.
    All the little anecdotal stories everyone has about chairs or doors or whatever failing because of dowels, is statistically inconsequential. While I'm sure all your stories are true, they are such a minuscule percentage of all the dowels used thus far that haven't failed, it's not really even worth trying to compare.
    Dowels have a several thousand year head start on dominos and a track record to rely on.
    The way some of you portray dowel joints, it's as if everything made before the year 2000 is just junk and all the dowels will eventually fail?

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    The Domino is a good tool and makes the task of cutting a mortise quick and easy. Just because you have a Domino doesn't mean you don't have to understand proper joinery techniques. Many times this just makes cutting mortises in the wrong place or wrong size quicker. The same thing can be said for the Dual Dowel machines. You still need to have an understanding of joinery.
    Also just because doweling machines cut 2 holes in one operation doesn't mean that that's equivalent to one domino.
    The Domino has only been around for less than 15 years. In the grand scheme of things, they're not even a blip. For every chair made with dominos, there probably about one million or more made with dowels.
    All the little anecdotal stories everyone has about chairs or doors or whatever failing because of dowels, is statistically inconsequential. While I'm sure all your stories are true, they are such a minuscule percentage of all the dowels used thus far that haven't failed, it's not really even worth trying to compare.
    Dowels have a several thousand year head start on dominos and a track record to rely on.
    The way some of you portray dowel joints, it's as if everything made before the year 2000 is just junk and all the dowels will eventually fail?
    Dowels were used because it was a convenient way to get the job done. That is especially true for commercial furniture. If they had easier and faster methods they would have used them. The Domino is simply the dowel of our time. It is fast, easy and it works. I have used biscuits for years. They work but are not as versatile as the Domino. That being said dowels are still the best for some situations.
    Charlie Jones

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    The Domino is a good tool and makes the task of cutting a mortise quick and easy. Just because you have a Domino doesn't mean you don't have to understand proper joinery techniques. Many times this just makes cutting mortises in the wrong place or wrong size quicker. The same thing can be said for the Dual Dowel machines. You still need to have an understanding of joinery.
    Also just because doweling machines cut 2 holes in one operation doesn't mean that that's equivalent to one domino.
    The Domino has only been around for less than 15 years. In the grand scheme of things, they're not even a blip. For every chair made with dominos, there probably about one million or more made with dowels.
    All the little anecdotal stories everyone has about chairs or doors or whatever failing because of dowels, is statistically inconsequential. While I'm sure all your stories are true, they are such a minuscule percentage of all the dowels used thus far that haven't failed, it's not really even worth trying to compare.
    Dowels have a several thousand year head start on dominos and a track record to rely on.
    The way some of you portray dowel joints, it's as if everything made before the year 2000 is just junk and all the dowels will eventually fail?
    YES!!!! Add that there is a whole relatively new category to throw away furniture that is designed to a price point. This stuff is made to be fashionable and cheap, then get tossed. Of course it's sort of attractive but horrible stuff, it was never designed to be anything but. It's useful though for a specific purpose, it was not meant to be used for many years. Of coure the joinery is junk in it, most customers wouldn't pay for anything better. We've all had some, and as woodworkers we can surely recognize that this type of furniture is not to be compared to the real stuff.

  12. #57
    I don't disagree but just because the Domino may be to some "the dowel of our time", it doesn't make the existing dowels any less effective.
    To me the joints effectiveness depends on the craftsman's knowledge more than the style of loose tenon being used. Just because you use dowels in your joinery, it does not automatically mean your joints will be weaker than if you used a Domino. Size, placement, orientation, number, species, etc., all come into play.

  13. #58
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    lso just because doweling machines cut 2 holes in one operation doesn't mean that that's equivalent to one domino.
    In some respects it's better. Can't drill 32mm system holes for cabinetry with a domino at all.

    Dowels are still used for cabinet carcass construction all over Europe ( an a few in the USA) but I'm not aware of any factory using a domino or similar sized tenon at all. Dowels are more than adequate when used within their design envelope. Same as a domino.

    Like Edward said - you have to know when and where to use a particular technique for the best outcome. A domino won't make you any better a craftsman or designer than you already are.

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