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Festool Domino XL: Breadboard Ends

February 22, 2012

Hi there friends,

This past weekend I had a few hours of free time in the shop (which rarely happens) and a small work table that needed a new top. Here’s what I came up with.

I’ve been trying to think of some new ideas with the domino XL to see what kinds of different things could be done! I’ve been using it primarily at work, and then bringing it home with me every night playing around with ideas that pop up during my work day. So with the free time here is what I did!

I decided on giving breadboard ends a try. Probably a bit overboard for my work table, but what the hey! Anyhow, I started with some scrap maple laminated to a slab 1″ thick by roughly 30″x39″. And for the ends I decided on using some walnut 1″x5″x30″.

Materials ready to go, and the Domino XL about to go to work!

Walnut pieces clamped up to lay out the Domino’s mortise lines. I used five 8x100mm Dominos on each side.

Here I have the XL set for a depth of 50mm, that was used for all mortises. Although not used on this project the limit stops on the depth selection is a great feature.

Pin holes marked and ready to be drilled.

The dominos were glued in place and left overnight to thoroughly dry. A few more taps to ensure a proper test fit…perfect!

I first drilled the holes all the way through the outer walnut ends. Then before installing the outer piece I drilled each domino with the same size hole just a touch to the inside to draw the ends tight as the pins are driven home. You can see the slight offset in the photo above.

I opted to use brass pins that I cut from a length of rod I had leftover from another project. Could have used anything really but the brass sands easily enough and I thought it would look pretty cool!

First pin driven home!

All pins driven in and secured tightly. Sanded down to 220 and ready for some Arm R Seal.

Minutes after applying the oil.

Close up of brass pin sanded and finish applied.

While I don’t think this project is typical of what you all would do with the XL, it was lots of fun. It has also sparked some more ideas that I have for this amazing tool. This machine gave me the ability to do in a few hours what would have taken me probably a week to accomplish in my home shop! (with two little ones shop time is very few and far between, as I’m sure some of you know :)).

Also a few small notes.
All mortises on the main top (maple portion) as well as just the center mortise on the end caps (walnut ends)were cut with NO play. While the remaining mortises were cut with some play in order to allow for wood movement. Also the only Domino tenon that received glue on the end cap side is the center Mortise. The rest were just pinned, this is also to allow for wood movement.

I hope you all enjoyed this post. Please feel free to post any comments or questions.
Thanks again for following along, and be sure to subscribe!

Take care of yourselves,



From → festool, woodworking

  1. I think that’s a fantastic idea, and certainly a lot faster than the traditional way of cutting breadboard ends. As soon as I saw this post, I knew exactly how you were going to use the wider mortises on the outside joints to allow for wood movement. My only concern would be whether there is enough play even using the “loose” setting on the Domino. I believe that only adds 3mm of play, whereas as table of that width might expand or contract even more than that. I’d love to hear back during the summer how it has held up, because if it works this is a massive time saver, and a very creative idea.

    • Hi Rob,

      Thanks for the positive feedback. I too am wondering, and hoping if the 3mm or so of play will be enough for a tabletop of this size. I personally think it will, but I guess time will tell. That was my main reason why I decided on giving this a shot with my work table. I will be able to closely monitor it throughout the changing seasons. Especially now that is in my “work” shop vs. my “home”shop, where the climate varies much more. If I were to do an actual table for a customer I would probably manually make larger Domino mortises, depending on the table size. I will be sure to do an update when the summer rolls around and post some pictures too.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting,
      Take care,

  2. Joe permalink


    If you pinned through the bread board and the domino snuggly… How does your domino move when the maple expands? I would think that you need to make the hole in the domino slotted so the pin can move.

    Beautiful table by the way.



    • Hey there Joe,

      Thanks for checking out my blog. I actually did elongate the holes on the Dominos. They were glued in on the table side, and just pinned on the ends. So far the table has held up great!!!

  3. How has this held up since february? I used the domino on a few of my builds to do a sort of modified traditional BBE. I kept with the long tongue and groove style running the width of the top and added three dominos for pegging and stability (1 centered and 2 towards each end). Instead of using the wider mortise option on the DF700 I just made 2 plunged mortises fairly close to each other to give me a bit more wiggle room for expansion. It has worked great. However the method you did above has been on my mind as another option. I assume you only widened the outer most mortises of the 5 dominos you used, correct?

    • Hi there, the top has held up great! I actually just flattened the top recently and it has held up just as good as any BBE I have ever done. And yes I did enlarge all the domino holes except the center one.

      Thanks for reading and take care,

  4. jeff permalink

    hope this is still holding up I think I will spring for a XL now! thank you

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