Friday, March 28, 2014

Pewter trim vs Festool Domino

Pewter trim is an option on the Bluestar range we ordered after much hem/hawing last weekend.  The Festool Domino is a joiner (woodworking tool for those not into that sort of thing). What they have in common is that they cost about the same- both expensive.
I had considered buying the Festool in 2009 when undergoing round 2 of working on the kitchen. At that time, that seemed to be money better spent on other things (food and wine fridges ). Also, the carpentry involved in that project could readily be done with the tools I had, albeit more laboriously than with the Festool joiner.
2014 finds me 5 years older and needing to think realistically about my remaining time frame for activities I now enjoy. Kinda like a NYT article where the guy is contemplating that he won't outlive his present staple supply. Even worse, he would not be able to read all the books in his home library that he had yet read (Yeah-1st world problems).
My present woodworking tools still work well after 15-20 years of use. The main deficits are dust management and safety compared to the newer models. Will I still be a woodworker/carpenter 20 years from now? The most expensive machine to replace, and the most dangerous one as well, is my table saw.  Since I replaced the motor 2 years ago on the table saw, I'll keep using it, with the upmost respect and caution.
The Festool does not really replace any of the tools I have but it can do some of the work I now use my mortiser for. It also has a very good dust management system. When faced with a similarly expensive but completely functionally irrelevant choice in a kitchen appliance (pewter trim adding 17% to an already way expensive appliance) versus a decidedly useful tool, I decided this time to buy the Festool.  Most importantly, the little joiner was an essentially unique solution to how to make a cabinet with drawer that have a 45 degree angle portion.
The reason for such a Rube Goldberg thing-  and my wife is having adjustment difficulties with cabinets and countertops with a 45 degree portion chopped off at one end-  is that it's the only way to maximize cabinet space in a small (by US standards) kitchen and solve our bottleneck to the passage way between the kitchen and the breakfast room.  I could make the cabinets square, but that would take away 20% of our linear counter space (small kitchen by US standards). My present mortise cannot make 45 degree mortises.
So, I purchased the joiner. And what a great device it is. Here is the frame of the first of 3 new cabinets showing the angle in question.
To close to quote Mike in a Fine Woodworking post

Make sure that your next project is beyond your skill and requires tools you don't have. You won't regret it.

PS: being in a hurry I forgot to but in the photo of the frame, by the time I looked at the blog again, the cabinet was further along.

It also shows why DW is on my case about dust management. Which will bring us to the the next post.  

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