I had a set of custom doors to build from scratch and boy was the timing right. Festool picked me as one of the few carpenters to get a Domino XL for user evaluation. And I took full advantage of the opportunity, one that I felt was both a privilege and a responsibility. I carefully documented the process for my peers on THISisCarpentry. Maybe another contributor will follow up with a different angle on this awesome second generation tool.
Without further chatter let’s build some doors.
First, to build doors from stock, you have to laminate your stiles and rails. I try to select vertical grain materials, and Douglas Fir is a perfect choice. The species is known for limited movement—great stability, and distinct hardness for a ‘softwood’. Maybe this is why a lot of wood doors are made from fir. When laminating, it’s best to orient your lumber so the grain is opposed.
I know that this photo doesn’t show that opposed grain as well as it might (see photo, right)—we got pretty lucky with vertical grain being…well…vertical. In fact, some of the grain actually turns at the end and runs the same direction as the piece it’s laminated to. I also inspect the lumber and will sometimes compromise the grain direction to bury a defect in the glue face.
|Just a few passes and we have the dado. A few minutes with a sharp chisel and you have a nice clean bottom dado.|
Next I cut the rails to length. Be sure to leave extra length for the tenons on each end.
There’s high dollar machinery for this step too, but I found the MFT table to be a fantastic substitute, with my OF1000 router riding on the rail with a ¾” dado bit making a single pass per tenon side.
Cutting the Tenons
This is an extremely simple setup. First, set your router up on the guide rail. Pick your shoulder cut location and set up a stop on the MFT fence. Dial in the cutter depth and then have at it. The MFT table and the router is almost too sweet for this use; the precision and repeat-ability insure each rail is exactly the same, which is critical for building doors square. This was one of those moments where the cost of a Festool product was immediately justified by the time it saved me to perform the task at hand. Tenoning each rail took less than two minutes each.
Excuse me while I take another sip of the green koolaid here…umm my, that is delicious.
Here’s a tip, don’t fuss too much trying to make your stile and rail mortise and tenon joints super snug—you don’t want it sloppy, but you shouldn’t have to fight it. Having a little wiggle space here makes the glue up a lot easier. Once the domino is added into the mix, those joints will tighten right up anyway.
I cut the mortise pockets in the rails first before cutting the tenons—so the rails would have square ends and better support for the Domino. But I’ll admit I also made those cuts first because I was over eager to fondle the XL. I cut the tenons later.
Once you have all your stiles and rails run, cut the panels. I had ¼” VG Fir ply in stock but I wanted a ½” panel so I laminated two sheets together with spray adhesive.
|The secret weapon here is 3M Spray 90. I love this stuff.|
|Chamfer the edges of the panels and the tenons on the rails a little to help them slide into the stiles. I used the RO90 for this.|
Honestly, this wasn’t intended to be a fix for Festool junkies, it just feels that way.
If you don’t round over the tenons a little, it’s nearly impossible to get everything together when you’re gluing up. Test your assembly before glue up—including your clamps. More than likely you will have to ‘tune up’ a rail or two to get all the joints tight. I always do. So, keep that MFT table setup until you finish the glue-up.
|I like to keep my stiles long for extra clamping space, and so I don’t have to fuss around keeping them perfectly flush. It’s easy to cut the tails off with a tracksaw after the glue-up dries.|
So How About that XL?
My first impression of the XL was that I was surprised at how small it was. I was expecting a behemoth given the sizes of the new dominoes, but it really isn’t a whole lot bigger than the 500. While similar in size, the units are completely different.
I prefer the ergonomics of the new XL much more than those on the 500. With the 500 I’ve found myself actually holding the cord end where it meets the machine for ‘keep it flat control’. But the XL seems to lock onto the material much better with a more positive forward placement of the front hand. From my perspective, the improved ergonomics provides a superior clamping force compared to the 500, which frees the back hand to focus on controlling the plunge cut.
Actually, both hand placements are an improvement, providing more consistent plunge cuts and improved control. This is really important given the length of these new dominoes. If you are off in plane between holes, these long behemoths won’t allow the joinery to close. I’ve had the same problem with the 500 but only when I wasn’t paying close enough attention and allowed the machine to sag off the work piece slightly. That ‘sagging’ is usually the only cause of misalignment.
|The new hand positions resolve the issue, and now as long as I’m applying significant pressure to the front hand, the machine feels ‘locked’ down.|
I also like that I can see the bit doing its thing. While you can’t actually see it plunge into the material, just being able to see it gives me a bit more confidence. You also don’t have to break the machine apart to change the bit. It makes it easier if you do, but I was able to make a change without taking off the front handle/table assembly.
The XL maxes out at 70mm deep, half the exact length of the 140mm dominoes. I had to use the 100mm dominoes because my mortise-and-tenon joint ate away a half inch (12-13mm) of depth.
The new XL offers two mortise widths versus the three widths available on the 500. Given the specialty nature of the XL, I expect this will be adequate; I found the 3MM oversize a nice amount of play when assembling the doors. I chose to bore a tight hole in the rails (horizontal members) and use the oversize hole for the stiles. This gave me a little wiggle adjustment between the three rails to accommodate any slight discrepancies in my markings, as well as allowed for adjustments for keep things square.
To adjust the width of the mortise you switch a lever (see photos, below).
Another improvement over the 500 is a easy-to-view display of the mortise width adjustment, right on top of the tool.
If I had a bunch of doors to do, I might set up a story pole to be precise about placement, especially for heavier exterior doors where strength is more of an issue.
I discovered a few other tidbits during my introductory evaluation. First, let’s look at the positives.
|The indexing pins on the front of the machine called ‘stop pins’ can now be locked up and out of the way.|
There are now six stop pins, which provides a lot more options for spacing mortises, which is handy for quickly setting up repeatable cuts on a variety of projects.
|And when you don’t need them, just push them up and they’ll click out of the way.|
|You’ll find the depth of mortise adjustment is different too—on the XL there’s a lot more settings available so you can dial in the exact depth of cut.|
As I said before, it’s easy to remove the motor from the fence. In fact, it’s a little bit like the Domino 500. You use the same technique, with the wrench, but in this case you lift a lever that’s on the base of the fence (see photos, below).
Of course no review is good without a gripe or two. The doors I built were 1-3/8″ thick, standard thickness for interior doors—which is just under 35mm. Naturally, I wanted my mortises in the center of that dimension, at about 17.5mm. Unfortunately, you can’t dial in a custom mortise location based on the thickness of your stock. Like it’s smaller brother, hard stop settings are 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 40mm.
I’m not a big fan of pre-set depth adjustment settings. Either what you want isn’t available, or—as happened in my biscuit-jointing past—vibration or an accidental drop knocks off the adjustment setting just enough to ruin the job. The good thing about the XL is that the stops are ‘positive,’ they won’t move accidentally.
|To dial in the exact depth I wanted, I used a 2mm spacer placed under the faceplate of the tool set at 20mm. This put me .5mm off but it was close enough as long as I marked all the tops of the parts.|
I admit I did a little rough handling test of the XLs friction lock for the height adjustment. Like I said before, the lock held solid. But I’d still like to see a micro adjustment device here, similar to a router, given the precise nature of the tool and how accuracy affects the success of the joint. Especially when—like in this example—you have a domino going through a secondary tenon and alignment is critical within that tenon.
And while I’m on a rant, given that this machine excels at door building, why not have centerline stops for 1-3/8″ (17.5mm) and 1-3/4″ doors (22mm)? Just sayin’.
But all gripes aside, watch the video below and marvel at an awesome machine, one that effortlessly cuts the most precise mortise pocket known to man. Visibility and seeing your layout marks is superb—same as the 500, which makes placement a snap.
Once I had all the holes cut and dominoes in place, I test fit the whole assembly again. Of course, this is when I discovered the depth loss in the mortise hole due to the height of the stile-and-rail tenon (you don’t think I figured that out before I made the cuts, do you?).
Once satisfied with the fit of all the joinery, I disassembled the whole door again and started the glue up.
|I don’t use a whole lot of glue. In fact, I don’t apply any to the panels, so they’ll float and move. I apply a small bead of glue along the bottom of the tenon on each side.|
The reason for this is squeeze out. These are stain grade doors, and glue wreaks havoc on stain grade. In this application, less is more. You should have a little consistent squeeze out on each seam. Nothing more. Let that squeeze out set up for an hour or two then carefully chisel or scrape it away while it is still a little pliable but not runny. When it comes time to finish sand the doors, you’ll be glad you waited.
And when you clamp up, be sure to have clamps on both sides of the door to create opposing clamping force. This keeps the clamp from pulling the door into a bow or a belly. Also, use a straight edge to insure your assembly stays flat. Adjust your clamps as needed.
Additionally, I lay full-length strips of 1/8-in. plywood beneath the clamps, to protect the door—which also makes sanding a little easier. It takes quite a bit of force to get everything tight with all that joinery going on. You don’t want to dent up your work with the clamps.
Allow setup to dry overnight, and enjoy a frosty beer while you watch the glue dry. If you’re inclined, fondle the XL a little more and marvel at its magnificence. It just saved you a ton of time. Once the glue has dried, unclamp and cut off your stile horns with the track saw, sand out imperfections and glue joints, then set up a router for hinge mortising.
While sipping a brew, I got to thinking of other ways the XL could benefit my operation. We’re a custom door shop, first and foremost, so anytime I’m building a door from scratch there’s no doubt the XL will have a part in it—for building doors, this unit is a phenomenal time saver. In fact, you could even build doors right on a jobsite, like our grandfathers did. Wait a minute…how did they do that without a Domino XL?
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Watch this bonus video on Making Doors with the Domino XL, featuring a brief introduction by Gary Katz:
Great review Robby, and don’t worry about sounding ‘addicted to green’. We are all seeking help here at THISisCarpentry.
I think you’re right in that door construction seems to be the primary use for the new Domino but for those who might not do many doors, what other uses do you see that we could put the XL to use? I know I’m thinking of making a trestle table and the XL just screams “USE ME FOR THE WEDGE MORTISE!”
I can’t wait to see how ingenious users make this tool even more versatile.
Thanks Matt! Appreciate the comment. As far as the green, I’m actually glad I took that first hit. I agree, the XL is tailor made for door building which is why I’m surprized the hard stops don’t accomodate the centerline of standard doors. But in defense of Festool, doors are different in Europe, they all have rebates cut so the dimentioning there is probably different. The XL will also be great for edge laminating big timber slabs for tabletops. Thanks for taking the time to read the article. One of the things I love most about TiC is that we are all cut from the same cloth.
You’re a very lucky guy. Also a great craftsman. You deserve your luck. I’ll probably have to buy my way into this one.
Yes I am Dave. Lucky that is, as far as a great craftsman, well, Im still learning every day, just like the rest of us. They say luck is where preparation meets opportunity, therefore, I always try to be prepared.
Sorry about the typo’s!
Thanks for the great review. Looking forward to picking the XL up as soon as it’s available to try out on some patio doors.
You mentioned that you’d like some centerline stops at 17.5 and 22mm. Does the XL have the same ability to fix a plate to the bottom, like the smaller Domino does? (A bigger version of the Domiplate is what I’m thinking of)
That way you could have a 2.5mm plate (to reduce the 20mm to 17.5) and a 3mm plate (to reduce the 25mm to 22) depending on your desired door thickness. Fasten that plate to the bottom and you’ll be cutting right where you want to be.
Excellent suggestion. I think that you could attach a plate to the XL but, I found that simply setting the spacer on the material worked fine. You can see that in the plunge video. Thanks for the comment.
That’s not a very long tenon for a full sized door, especially if you don’t glue in the panel. I am in the process of making some doors with haunched tenons and mortises. The tenons are 3.5″ wide x 2.5″ deep.
I have to agree. My intention was to use the 140mm but like I said in the article, given the primary mortise and tenon, I lost about 50mm in machine plunge depth so had to go with a shorter tenon, which was a bummer. Sounds like your haunched tenons won’t be of a concern in this regard. Thanks for the comment!
50 mm? More like 12mm. Jeez, I gotta stop trying to think at night..
I sort of thought the same thing, but I’m no door builder. It looked so easy to cut the tenon with the router and guide rail that with just a couple more steps you could have any depth and width you need. Combined with the deep plunge of an OF1400 or 2200 and the plexiglass guide to cut the mortise in the stile you could do a more traditional joint. Either way, that green kool-aid sure is the best.
THANK YOU for another great article and another unique perspective. I really enjoyed the photos you sent in for this story, especially this one:
Psst. Hey Mister. You wanna buy some stuff?
Robby, thanks for the article. I have a slightly off-topic question: what’s your method for laminating all your stile & rail stock?
Basically Jack, I just took 1×6 VG Fir arrange the boards so the grain went in opposite directions while selecting the best faces for appearance. I then glued them together using Titebond II wood glue. I clamp them up in pairs or four boards at a time to save clamps. Then I let them dry up overnight, scrape the glue off one edge, run it through the jointer (or you can use a hand power planer. Then rip to width on the tablesaw.
Thanks for a great review. Two questions:
1.Your description of the glue-up process seems to omit gluing in the dominoes. You DID glue them, didn’t you?
2. Your text indicates a tight mortise in the rails, but the video shows you making a loose mortise in the rail. Which is it?
Jerry, I DID glue the tenons, sorry I didn’t mention that. Thge only thing I didn’t glue is the panels. I will also add that I also “Paint” the tenons with glue using my finger to pull the bead of glue over the tenon. I just don’t use any more glue than I feel is neccesary to keep the squeeze out to a minimum. Thanks for helping me to clarify that.
The video was actually shot while I was figuring out the shim to solve my centering issue. That piece was actually just a tester and I was trying to decide at that moment whether I should overbore the stiles or the rails. Good eye! Obviously you’ve built a few doors.
Great article, Robby,
A question about the close-up photo your primary tenon in your rails: what is the purpose of that deeper groove in the tenon next to the shoulder? Your tenons have a sort of mushroom shape and I haven’t seen that before. Is it for glue?
I just finished make a gate using a very similar construction. I cut the shoulders on the Kapex and then used a router to get rid of the rest of the material, seeing your video makes it clear that I could have just skipped the Kapex entirely. Because I used two machines to make the tenon, I also had a few (much smaller) grooves where the Kapex blad cut deeper than the final depth of the shoulder. Seeing this, I decided it couldn’t do any harm as the glue I used would fill it, and I wondered if it might not even make the joint stronger. Any thoughts?
I used the Domino XL to place 3 14mm tenons next to each other in every rail. The Domino’s indexing pins didn’t have the spacing I needed, and even if it had, the pins didn’t reach far enough into the primary mortise in the stile to register in the domino mortise. To make this work, I mortised the center Domino on a pencil line, then cut a notch in a domino that corresponded with the 37mm pin and the spacing I wanted. I shortened this this notched domino to 70 mm so that it would stick out into the primary mortise enough for the pin to register. By sliding it into the center mortise, I could then place my next mortise at distance I wanted. I then pulled the domino out, flipped it so the notch was on the other side, and was able to place my third mortise. Used the same notched domino on the rails. Three mortises on the smallest setting (without the 3mm play) and the thing slid together beautifully on the first try. Terrific machine. This was the first time I used it. Can’t wait for a chance to use it again.
Greetings from Holland,
Nice Job! That is exactly how I envisioned building a gate with this machine, I’m hoping that Festool willo start to manufacture the large dominoes in the hardwood for exterior use. I’m actuall y working on a design for a gate right now, and your triple tenon is just how I intend to do it. Great tip using the notched domino for indexing, very clever! I’m sure I’ll find a use for that as well!
To answer your question, that photo is of one of the rails I had to ‘Tune up”. It was real tight at the shoulder of the tenon and one of my guys had taken down the router to use on another project so I jumped onto the tablesaw and took a little bit extra off in my haste. Thanks for pointing it out… You Dutch don’t miss a thing. I’m going to start calling that a Dutch tenon!
Here Festool does make the 14mm dominos for exterior use. They come in lengths of 75 centimeters, so you cut them to the length you need. I sanded the corners off just to be sure they slid in easily during the glue-up.
A Dutch tenon… has a nice ring to it!
As an aside, i wonder what Festool was thinking in that the ergonomics look similar to the old Porter Cable 556 biscuit joiner which wasn’t too popular.
BTW I had one and liked it.
Hey Robby, thanks for a great article. I’ll be back with a few questions later. Keep it coming man!
Bring it on Kent! Although I doubt there is anything there you don’t already know…
Killer article. Cheers.
Great article, I construct doors much the same but with loose tenons. could you tell me the reason for laminating the stock? the only reason I can come up with is to prevent the doors warping
That would be the reason.
What… No pics of the finished product?
Sorry Ryan! Those doors were for a customer and actually went out of the shop the day after they were built, far before the article was completed. If I can get my customer to snap us a photo, I’ll post it up. In all honesty though, the article on building them as it relates to the Domino XL was more the topic that the doors themselves. They weren’t all that special. I’m not going to make any promises, but I have a far more interesting custom build on the books that we plan to shoot while building. African Mahogany, with Bubinga panels and Black Walnut Sticking, that one will be photo worthy!
Great article. I haven’t made a door yet, but I’m going to venture out and make one. Do you see any issue with laminating exotic species such as Teak or Cumaru?
I would feel OK using Teak, but I’ve had some serious crazy warping happen with Cumaru. If I absolutely had to build a door from it, I’d veneer an LVL core for the stiles and rails to keep the Cumuru thin enough where it couldn’t have enough fiber tension to move the LVL beneath it.
Thanks, Robby. I’ve had a little Cumaru warping too, but it was pretty extreme conditions (left the boards outside in a tropical storm). What I’m trying to do it build a heavy solid door for noise control. Soundproofing experts told me that thickness and density are the biggest factors in the creation of the door itself… but I don’t want it to look like a giant slab without at least something interesting about it.
It has been my experience that the effectiveness of the deterring sound transmission through doors is actually more relevant to the frame and weatherstripping that the slab itself. A solid core slab is usually very sufficient, most sound travels through the air gaps around and under the door. Play close attention to sealing all gaps with weatherstripping (Pemko S88 smoke seasls work good or use exterior kerfed jamb with Q-Lon weathersrtipping) then use a flashlight in the dark to look for light coming around the door from the other side. Once you’ve closed off the light leaks, you’ve closed off the air leaks, thus the sound leaks. Good luck!
Hi Robby – great article – I learned a lot. And I’ll be purchasing the XL for making interior doors for our new home we’re building. I’m planning on making them out of Cherry. Couple of questions for you. You mentioned in the article that you laminate for several reasons. Would you laminate if you were making solid Cherry doors? And would you make solid Cherry panels or glue two pieces of Cherry plywood together for the panel? I’m making mission style doors like in the uploaded image. Also, is it necessary to have a traditional mortise/tenon? Would it be viable to just use two large domino’s to do the joinery? Thanks again for the article. I’m more confident that the Domino XL is going to be a wise purchase.
Thanks for your comments. The XL is a great tool, you won’t regret buying one. To address your questions.. I would definitely laminate your stock in defense of twisting and warping. If I was making the doors I would use a plywood panel without a doubt, thickness depending on the desired thickness of the panel. On the doors in this article I used two layers of 1/4″ simply because that is what I had and a single 1/4″ panel is a little “drummy”. I’d look for 1/2″ cherry ply. With regards to traditional mortise and tenon, yes and no, you are substituting the domino for the tenon and the XL is cutting the mortise. I think your question is with regards to cope and stick, or how the stiles and rails go together. You don’t have to use cope and stick construction, but if you don’t you will have to use sticking of some sort to hold your panels in the stiles and rails. I hope this answers your questions. Good Luck!
Additionally, take a look at the supplemental video at the end of the article, as long as you are OK with the look of square sticking, you can route your panel grooves into the stiles and rails before glue up.
Sorry bro – I should have watched that video at the end of your article. It’s exactly what I was trying to think through and you answered in your reply. I own the OF1400 router not the OF2200. I assume I can get buy with it but will need to take several passes for the panel groove. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. That’s why I love woodworking – the community is always willing to help.
Also meant to ask you how deep do you normally make your groove for the panel? You mention in the video that you take two passes with fir which tends to tear out. As you know I’m planning on Cherry, if I purchased the OF2200 (which these doors give me a good reason to do so), could I take a single pass? Thanks Robby.
Most definitely. I used a 7/16 rabbeting bit depth then made the panels 3/4″ over the hole size leaving a little room for expansion of the panel. Good luck!
Cool – thanks – final question I promise… :-) It appeared you were using a rabbet bit not an adjustable bit. I was going to use 1/2″ cherry plywood for the panel. That’s typically 1/32″ shy of 1/2″ Would you still use a 1/2″ rabbet bit or use an adjustable bit to dial it in exactly?
Hi Robby, Enjoyed your demo! I am looking at building doors similar to the attached photo for a client (and she wants them 2 1/4″ thick) . I don’t have the shaper to cut the scrolling ogee/dado cuts, so I’m thinking about starting with a stable piece of 3/4″ plywood and applying the styles and rails to both sides. I would rabbet the edges of the rails so that they would wrap around the edge of the plywood and look exactly like the edge of a standard door as you showed in your demo (with a seem up the middle of the edge). My question is this: your door showed a standard floating panel
(woops! accidentally submitted my comment before I finished writing it. Here’s the rest of it and the photo I said I would attach). Question: your door has a standard floating panel. I am proposing to glue the styles and rails onto a 3/4″ piece of plywood. I think this should be fine so long as the plywood is dry and acclimated. Do you think I will have trouble with expansion/contraction?
Depends on the moisture content of the plywood, but I would think it would be alright. Especially for a pair of barn doors, most plywood is pretty stable. You’ll want to be sure that your stile and rail wood is stable as well as it still may be able to warp the plywood that you attach it to if it isn’t. Looks like a fun project.
Me again. Here’s a sketch of the joinery that I’m considering. Basically using the plywood in place of the mortise and tenon joints–gluing it into place rather than floating. Any comments/ideas? Am I crazy for thinking this might work?! Thanks man!
That’ll work just fine. I’m not sure how you intend to cope and stick that deep of a panel but I’m sure you have it worked out. Most any flat panel door you buy these days has either MDF (paint grade) or plywood panels (stain grade). And they never have 3/4″ panels nor are they 2-1/4″ thick. What you are proposing is superior in every way to anything coming out of a box center. Nice job, can’t wait to see it done!
One more door question fer ya (and then I promise I’ll shut up:). If a guy was to take the door shown in your demo and add a 3.5″ wide decorative molding around the inside edge of the styles and rails (applying it to the plywood panel), would you worry about a gap opening up between the molding and the door rails? This will be a white, paint grade door.
You always run the risk of wood shrinking and making you look bad. That’s one of the reasons most sticking overlaps that joint. Simply route out (or cut on the tablesaw) a 1/4 rabbet out of the back of that panel molding so it will overlap onto the stiles and rails and conceal that seam should the wood shrink some over time. Glue the miters to help seal the grain and glue the corner together. If its stain grade be real stingy with the glue so it doesn’t ooze out all over the wood and leave a flaw in the finish. Good luck.
Just re-read your post and noted its paint grade. In that case use a little more glue…. and I might even go ahead and glue the sticking to the panel to further assist in shrinkage defense.
I enjoyed your video. I have one question for you. I’m thinking of making some interior doors using vertical grain doug fir. Do you think gluing up the interior panels, edge to edge, with solid stock would be a problem, as opposed to using plywood? I’m having trouble finding a veneered product that has the same grain characteristics as solid material. A typical panel would be five feet in length by a little over two feet wide.
Sorry for the delayed response here. I must have missed this post somehow. Was real busy this summer moving my shop.. To answer your question. I edge glue sometimes and its rarely a problem but adds quite a bit of work to the assembly. Its actually how panels used to be made before everything got cheap….
What glue do you use too laminate the 3/4″ stiles and rails together with?
I use Titebond 2 for Fir, epoxy for some woods like white oak and teak. Just depends on the material and application.
I hope it’s not too late to comment on this post. I only have the 500 Domino and I need to make a Fir (paint grade) storm door for a client. Do you think it will work to use the 10mm Sitka Dominos? I may stack them and do groups of two into each stile. The door will probably be 1-3/8″ thick +/-. I will also need to rabbet an area for the removable screen and glass panels in the upper and lower sections of the door. Any thoughts?
I have been having problems building a frame with 2″ oak squares. For vertical stiles I have been pushing 14mm x 100mm domino’s right through and centering the domino to pick up horizontal pieces either side but the domino’s were going in at a slight angle…probably a due to bad posture, perhaps making the mortice in the vertical stile over-sized will help…i keep feeling that packers underneath the XL so it slides horizontally would help ?
Most likely had the tool teeter a bit during the plunge. Easy to do sitting on a 2″ piece of wood. I’d suggest putting several stiles together side by side on the work table to make certain the plate of the XL has a good base to sit on insuring you keep the tool in alignment all the way through the plunge of the bit.
I enjoyed the article. I’m somewhat new to the architectural millwork game but have an order for 10 sets of French doors each with 3 lights up top and a raised panel below. Horizontal sash bars will need to be cope and stick dividing the lights. Do you see any reason I couldn’t domino all rails and stiles and cope and stick afterward? Other than the router blowing through the domino mortises? Rails would be cut 1/2″ oversize and dominos would have to be trimmed accordingly. I just keep reading that you can’t domino and cope and stick. Anyone tried it?
First off with that many to build, i would consider buying them from a door manufacture like Simpson or TM Cobb, but it you must build them yourself….
We domino and cope and stick every door. Its important that you assemble your frame (stiles and rails) to insure everything aligns, then mark each piece, then cope and stick.
I always do my tenoning before the cope and stick run. Better to mortise square stock than profiled stock. You do lose some length in the tenon (domino) due to the overlap of the cope and stick, just trim your tenons down.
Great video and article, do you have to clamp the door lengthwise?
As a homeowner I don’t have clamps that long, is there a workaround?
You don’t have to clamp the door lengthwise but you will need to clamp across the width and will require several ( I use 8 usually) clamps to span the width of your door. Good Luck!