A former Festool hater explains his love of the Domino

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I used to be one of the biggest Festool haters around,” said Eric Lind, owner of Glue, Screwed and Tattooed Custom Woodworking. “I thought that Festool was a brand for guys with more money than me. ‘There’s no reason why a saw should be that expensive. Yadda yadda yadda.’”

Last week Eric got a Festool tattoo.

He spoke with us from his workshop in Neenah, Wisc. about why he changed his tune about Festool and how the Domino has changed his business.

 

eric-lind1Festool: Tell us a bit about Glued, Screwed and Tattooed.

Eric Lind: I’ve been really doing woodworking since ‘95 when my wife and I got married. We wanted new furniture, but we were insulted by the prices that companies were charging for crap furniture. I started making my own things. Friends and family started asking me for projects, and the projects started getting bigger and bigger. It went from there.

We mostly do custom furniture. Beds, tables, custom kitchen cabinets. We like to do one-of-a-kind things. What’s really opened the door for us is the Domino.

How so?

It’s been an absolute game changer for me. If you want to glue up big tables, it’s going to be a nightmare. With the Domino, half the time I don’t even need clamps. By the time you get everything set together, the clamps are an afterthought. It’s already a solid piece. Combine that with the track saw, so you don’t have to worry about getting everything squared up. You can also square it up later with the track saw. It’s opened up a lot of avenues for us.

We’re doing so many tables now. We can have them cut, shaped and in clamps in a matter of minutes.

You recently made some tables and a bar top for Lion’s Tail Brewing Company. Tell us about that project.

eric-lind3For Lion’s Tail, we built a 27-foot bar. We had over 200 Domino [tenons]. There were two people helping me, and we had the entire bar in clamps inside a half hour with the Domino. There were electricians and plumbers and contractors who were watching. They were all still putting their tools down watching what we were doing. They were shaking their heads, because they couldn’t believe how fast everything was going.

Once the top was done, my wife and I started sanding it with a Rotex and an ETS 150. We had a plumber and an electrician there. Everyone was talking, and no one needed dust masks. Nobody could believe how little dust we had.

Has the Domino affected your business?

When I got done making 15 tables for Timshel Cafe, the owners wanted to know quickly I could build a coffee table for their house. They just loved the tables. Festool makes you look good.

eric-lind4The Domino paid for itself on the first job — twice over. It was money well spent. I like how everything works in a system. They work together, and it saves you time. You’re not wasting time looking for this tool and that tool. Everything’s right there together.

What was your first Festool purchase?

My first tool was the ETS 125 sander. Then the CT 26 to go with it. I consider the Domino my first real Festool. That’s when I was really bought in.

I kept researching it on YouTube. There’s a big price tag on the Domino, and I’m a one-man shop. I had a hard time justifying it. Within the first day, it was making me money. Within a week, I had 15 tables done.

Has Festool improved the speed of your work, or has it improved the quality of your work?

Yes and yes. I’m being truthful. If you can point and shoot, you can use the Domino. The most difficult part was learning metric. It’s not mindless, but it’s pretty simple. I’m an average Joe. You still need to know how to work the wood, and it won’t make you an overnight sensation. If you know what you’re doing, it’s going to make you profitable much faster than working with a traditional way.

You work a lot with your wife. How does she feel about Festool?

She loves the ETS 150/3. It’s calm as can be.

She also loves Festool because I’m home on time now. I’m not stuck at the shop all night. She can see first-hand how much it’s helped my work.