In a perfect world, we’d conveniently build furniture and casework at our shops with the workflow set up just the way we like it. Then we’d pack it up for easy transport, unload it without a hitch, and carry it gently to its installation point. What a breeze, right? That’s a far cry from reality, of course. We set up temporary workstations to build on site, or figure out how to move it to the site without damage, muscling it up steps, around corners, and so on. Once, PTR Contributor, Adam Spafford and I had to carry two couple-hundred-pound desks up a flight of narrow stairs and then through the most nightmarish game of real-life, 3D Tetris you can imagine. Well, Festool Domino Connectors are here to fix those pinch points. Let’s check it out.
- Quickly and easily assemble, separate, and reassemble knock-down joinery
- Connectors can be positioned universally – in combination with Domino or a series of holes
- Detachable Domino jointing system enables assembly and disassembly of a piece of furniture – in the workshop or on site
- All joints use the Domino DF 500 joiner
- Connectors feature large tightening distance and long bolts
- Routing and cutting tolerances of up to 1.4 mm
Open up the signature Festool Systainer and you’ll see what looks like a grown man’s Tinkertoy set. Festool Domino Connectors allow you to bring all those beautifully made mortises together for strong joints that can be assembled and disassembled many times.
Casework is not my primary focus, but it immediately occurred to me that these connectors are invaluable for when I make long, wooden countertops. Picture a common L-shaped countertop that’s perhaps 8-feet on one side and 7 feet on the other.
Now, imagine trying to carry that assembled countertop to its installation place in one piece! That wouldn’t be easy at all. Clamping it together on site, and then begin my finish work? That’s not ideal. But by using Festool Domino Connectors, I can assemble it in my shop, do all my finishing work, then disassemble for transport and much easier installation.
Make Your Connection
You may find yourself in a similar situation, like creating built-ins where assembly beforehand is nearly impossible because of what it takes to get it to the final installation site. There’s also the issue of space on your trailer when you’re transporting finished products to the customer.
I know a cabinet maker that assembles cabinets in his shop. On one job, he had to make ten trips to Tampa (a 45-minute drive each way) because of the space the cabinets took up. If he’d used the Domino connectors, he could have assembled and finished everything at the shop. Then it’s just a matter of disassembling those pieces so they all fit in one trip and putting them back together on site.
Festool Domino Connectors have another use as well. If you prefer to build onsite, you can use the Domino system to construct knock-down hardware stands and workflow tables with joints that can withstand repeated set up and tear down. Wood screws or bolts aren’t going to give you the stable, wear-proof connections that these connectors will.
Price & Value
The Festool Domino, and its connector range, really doesn’t have a whole lot of competition on the market right now. Festool products typically fall into that “top tier” of woodworking tools that allow for doing your best work. For that reason, while we definitely consider the $375 KV SYS D8 set expensive, it’s not necessarily overpriced when you consider your time savings and the quality of your finished work.
The Bottom Line
Festool Domino Connectors give you the flexibility to make your work knock-down and modular. It can make very difficult transportation, installation, and finishing much easier, and that’s likely worth its premium price.
Festool Domino Connectors Specifications
- Set Numer: KV-SYS D8
- 70x DOMINO/DOMINO KV D8 basic structure connector
- 20x DOMINO/LR32 KV-LR32 D8 basic structure connector
- 10x DOMINO/DOMINO MSV D8 center panel connector
- 10x DOMINO/LR32 MSV-LR32 D8 center panel connector
- Cover Caps (50 of each)
- Dark brown cover caps (KV-AK D15 brown)
- Silver cover caps (KV-AK D15 sliver)
- White cover caps (KV-AK D15 white)
- Grey cover caps (KV-AK D15 grey)
- 20x DOMINO D 8 x 36 mm
- BS-KV D15 drill template
- KVB-HW D15 CE hinge location cutter
- in SYSTAINER SYS 1 T-LOC
- Price: $375