Sunday, May 15, 2011

Evolving techniques with the Domino

So, I apologize for neglecting this thing. It's been a busy spring, and I've been blessed with some really enjoyable work. The downside is that I've been busy as hell, and haven't really had the time to spend blogging about it.

Here are a few of the highlights of some of the process improvements that I've been working on. 

---Improved Domino technique---

Ron Wenner's Domino plate is great. And it was very useful to clamp the plate directly to the work I was doing. But I found that I had to turn the machine off after every mortise to adjust the clamp. So I drilled and tapped holes for a chunk of T-track to use as a third hand, to hold one end of the clamp in place while I tightened it.

That really helped with clamping more easily, but it revealed one fundamental problem: The marks on the bottom of the tool weren't properly aligned with the actual center of the mortise. Every joint I made was slightly mis-aligned by more than 1/16". I was less than pleased.

The only solution I could come up with, after much head scratching, was to erase and lay out new alignment marks. So I made a test piece to show the discrepancy, and I got out some WD-40, some wet-dry sandpaper, and erased the old marks. I used the test piece to lay out the new lines, and scribed them in pretty deeply. At this point, any discrepancies I have are the result of sloppiness in laying out my markings, which means my errors are now in the 1/64" range, which is much better.

---On using the Emmert---

I can't say enough about the Emmert vise. It's been great for all of the regular things, but the ability to go Horizontal has been huge in conjunction with the Domino.

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