My tools #1: Adding long legs to the Leigh FMT

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Blog entry by Al Navas posted 12-27-2008 03:23 PM 2721 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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From my blog:

Sometimes a project calls for drastic action. This is exactly what I had to do, to allow me to cut integral tenons on very long rails for a project for a client.

I normally work with the Leigh FMT on the workbench. But now I am using the workbench to make a stand that will allow me to set the FMT on this new stand on the bench: A kind of self-raising, tower crane. I start the process by milling stock for the legs, and all rails. After a couple of test cuts, I am ready to cut the mortises, and then the tenons:

Cutting the mortises:

And now, cutting the tenons:

I always dry fit, prior to glue-up. I do it in stages – I like to glue up the legs first:

Then I glue the rails onto the two sets of legs previously assembled, and check for square:

Some tweaking is required – and hand tools are sometimes the quickest way to get it done – thus, the integrated shop:

Now I can test the surface mount Leigh clamps on the new plywood top:

The self-raising, tower crane-like FMT on its new perch, with a mock-up of a long rail; I must use a cleat to make attachment to the bench a little cleaner:

This little stand will allow me to cut integral tenons on long pieces. But I still must figure out a way to better clamp all four corners – I think I will probably use cleats on either side of the stand.

Thanks for reading!


-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

4 comments so far

View Jeff's profile


21 posts in 4109 days

#1 posted 12-27-2008 08:45 PM

Very good idea for long boards, but I want to see the photo of you using it from a ladder! The FMT is a great tool, I love mine…


-- Jeff, West Linn, OR,

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 3505 days

#2 posted 12-27-2008 09:44 PM

perhaps it is from my lack of experience, but wouldn’t it be safer to make some frame to mount the router horizontally (perhaps resting on the table & clamped in the vice)? looks like you have plenty of surface space…

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#3 posted 12-27-2008 09:57 PM

Great Al so how long can youcut now?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 3900 days

#4 posted 12-28-2008 01:52 AM

I probably will use a ladder – but that will be decided at a later point… ;-)

On the FMT, the router is mounted on a router base that rides on guides to shape the mortises and the tenons. Therefore, it is impossible to make the router stationary. You might want to watch the FMT video at the Leigh web site .

At the current height I can cut tenons on pieces 68 inches long. And it do double duty as a tall base for the D4 dovetail jig, too. Sometimes I have a need for carcases that are 48 inches to 60 inches tall, so this should fit the bill.

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

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