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Thread: Festool Domino DF 700 Cabinet Joinery

  1. #1

    Festool Domino DF 700 Cabinet Joinery

    Hey guys so I currently have a DF 500, but have a friend selling his DF 700. I was thinking it might be a good time to upgrade and sell my DF 500. But there's one thing I'm confused about, the mortising depth. (Obviously I'm looking to upgrade for the larger capabilities of the 700, but would still like to use it for cabinets if possible).

    So if I have to mortise a minimum of 15mm even with a 6mm adapter isn't that too deep for 3/4" plywood? Also, how would I use a 6x40mm domino in this situation? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    15mm is less than 19 so, no ( though there's not a lot of material left below the mortise). Plunge 15 mm into the face panel and 25 into the edge.

    A complication is the height of the cutter from the base on the 700 which precludes the practice of clamping the divider flat to its mate at its intended location to make the edge and face cuts. You have to make the mortises in separate setups, accounting for the offset of the machine base from the divider location. A DF500 or biscuit joiner is better suited to tee joints in 3/4" material.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Buy the DF700 XL if it's a good deal to use for larger projects. Keep your DF500 for working with the smaller stock/projects. Yes, you can to that with the larger machine, but the DF500 is more optimal. Having both is a nice thing.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    NE OH
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Buy the DF700 XL if it's a good deal to use for larger projects. Keep your DF500 for working with the smaller stock/projects. Yes, you can to that with the larger machine, but the DF500 is more optimal. Having both is a nice thing.
    +1, if you can swing it, having both is a joy when you do a variety of projects of varied materials. With the 500, when working with 3/4 nominal stock, you can reference off the base of the domino (which I prefer to using the fence), although the mortise will be a little offset. With the 700, you have to use the fence, or use spacers under the stock, or get a domiplate and use the 700 upside down (which is really awkward IMO).

    Maybe you can talk your friend into keeping the 700 so you can borrow it when needed
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    I will pile on, the 700 is not ideal for 3/4" or thinner carcass construction. If you reference off the bottom plate of the 700, you are left with very little relish from the face of the mortise. I did it once and its 1/16" to 3/32". It is really nothing at all. This is the sole advantage the 500 has over the 700. The 700 is the better tool in 99 other ways, but if you do most of your work with sheet goods, then the 700 isnt ideal for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Rockingham, Virginia
    I agree totally with Jim Becker. I have both of them and use both of them. For the small stuff the 500 cannot be beat and 700 is wonderful for heavy stuff.

  7. #7
    Well this isn't what I wanted to hear! Haha. But I get it, well I just have to figure out if it's worth the extra cost. What do you guys think is a fair price for a used 700?

  8. #8
    I have a 700 with Seneca adapted, 5mm 500 sized bit, 6mm 500 sized bit and a full set of 700 bits. I do not think having a 500 in addition to a 700 makes sense. The offset from the lowest fence setting to the center line of the bit is 10mm - over half the thickness of 3/4 material - but I do not see that is a problem. I used my 700 today on some frames of 3 inch wide hard maple, for instance. The frames are mitered with a plywood panel and I put in a couple 6mmx40mm dominos in each miter joint. They are not centered but the only issue that will create is if I do not orient things correctly when I glue up the frames. The first is in the clamps right now and is fine. Still plenty of "meat" on the down side of the mortise.

    If you really want to center the mortises in the material, it is also pretty easy to make a spacer and screw it onto the fence. I have one out of a cherry scrap and one out of 5mm underlayment plywood. Takes a few seconds to install it. Not really worth having another thousand dollar tool to avoid those few seconds - at least to me.

    If you want shallower mortises it is pretty easy to make a spacer out of PVC tubing to go over the smaller guide rod. When I really want an inch depth - not a silly metric depth - I use a spacer. I have some pre-made and little shims to vary the spacer length in fine increments.

    With a few work arounds like this I think it is fully possible to do EVERYTHING a DF500 does with a DF700. If time is money to you and you are convinced it saves you enough time to have both more power to you. But it is not of interest to me.

    I have not used a DF500 so it is possible if I did I'd really like it but I doubt I'd like it enough to spend the money it takes to buy it. I have also used my DF700 to make drawers and other casework. I don't really see it as limited to "big stuff" at all. It is bigger than the DF500 but still lighter than my track saw (a DeWalt).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Edmonton, Canada
    Had 500, bought 700, then sold 500 as I was not using it as often. Yes, it's nice to have both but if you don't use it frequently and are Ok with adjusting 700 for the purpose it can do anything 500 does, and many more.

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