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All Replies on Leigh FMT mortise and tenon jig

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View Slacker's profile

Leigh FMT mortise and tenon jig

by Slacker
posted 2029 days ago


19 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4746 posts in 2212 days


#1 posted 2004 days ago

An impressive looking tool. I wonder if it is really worth $800 for the hobbiest? How many M/T joints would you have to make for this to break even? I can see for a small production shop spending that kind of cash, but it is way too far out of my price range…:-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Steve2's profile

Steve2

75 posts in 2070 days


#2 posted 2004 days ago

Consider the TREND M&T jig for $300 as a great alternative

-- Regards, Steve2

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4746 posts in 2212 days


#3 posted 2003 days ago

Thanks Molly, I think I’ll stick with my Hirsch chisels for now … I don’t think I could convince Jen that I need a M&T Jig as well as a new(ish) bandsaw.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 2374 days


#4 posted 2003 days ago

Slacker and Mark,

You NEED the FMT. Hard to beat, easy to use, repeatable, wonderful… Hmmmmm ….. I am sure I forget something… ;-) It is (just about) impossible for a hobbyist to justify ANY large tool based on cost alone. Many other factors are usually taken into consideration. :-)

Sorry I just now see this post – I have been on the road, and did not view or read posts for one week.

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO, http://sandal-woodsblog.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

6741 posts in 2147 days


#5 posted 2003 days ago

The FMT is clearly inspired by a shop-made jig that appeared
in Fine Woodworking. The author built it for making angled
tenons on chair parts originally.

You could put together such a jig for under $50 – you would have
to make your own templates though.

View Slacker's profile

Slacker

178 posts in 2200 days


#6 posted 2002 days ago

I just read a couple of reviews on the Trend jig, and while not unfavorable, they did say the Leigh is superior. It appears as if the Trend jig has some problems making accurate tenons. What I did not find was where to buy the thing to see what the actual price was. One of the reviews indicated $375 plus another 50-75 for accessories, which put it in the range of the Leigh.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View lcurrent's profile

lcurrent

97 posts in 2314 days


#7 posted 1673 days ago

View lcurrent's profile

lcurrent

97 posts in 2314 days


#8 posted 1673 days ago

View Rob Bois's profile

Rob Bois

33 posts in 1894 days


#9 posted 1401 days ago

I was pretty much sold on buying a dedicated hollow chisel mortiser, and budgeted about $1000 for it. I was looking at the PowerMatic, as well as the Laguna, but then I happened to be looking at my most recent Woodcraft catalog and it just opened to the Leigh jigs page. I hand’t considered the FMT, but why waste time cutting mortises on one machine and tenons on another if this can do both? It seems like the ease of setup and repeatability are second to none, and if you consider that it does the same job as a $1000 free standing mortiser, the price doesn’t sound so bad. Am I missing something here? I’ve heard some comments that it won’t cut tenons on longer pieces, but that’s why I have hand tools.

View gerrym526's profile

gerrym526

265 posts in 2307 days


#10 posted 1400 days ago

Most woodworkers, myself included, have an undying fascination with complex jigs, fixtures, and machinery. In my experience, the purchase of a jig or machine should really rest on-1) the amount of production you intend to put out with it, and 2) whether time=money or not.
In the case of mortise and tenons, I’ve-1) cut them with handtools, 2) used a router for the mortises, and a bandsaw for the tenons, followed by rounding over the edges with a file, 3) bought a Delta Hollow chisel mortiser, and used a tenoning jig on my table saw.
Guess what-all these techniques produced good mortise and tenon joints! Guess what-all the machines used required set up time, and if I had to go back in time, would have probably asked myself if some of my projects couldn’t have been done just as fast if I had cut the joinery using hand tools vs. setting the machines up.
Just my 2 cents on the topic.
Gerry

-- Gerry

View Rob Bois's profile

Rob Bois

33 posts in 1894 days


#11 posted 1400 days ago

Part of my reason for looking at a new tool is that I just wrapped up a six leg sideboard project that entailed 25 mortise and tenon joints. I tested several different methods for cutting the joinery, and finally settled on the tenoning jig for the table saw, and drill press/mortising chisel for the mortises. I did hand cut a few tenons, but this proved to be about half the speed of machine cutting them. But the idea of the FMT doing both operations at the same time, and making the process completely repeatable is very appealing to me. My guess is I probably could have shaved a good day or two of work off this last project.

View gerrym526's profile

gerrym526

265 posts in 2307 days


#12 posted 1399 days ago

Rob,
You are an excellent example of what I was talking about. 25 M&T joints needs some machine help!
And using machines helps “finish the project while we’re still young!”-LOL.
Gerry

-- Gerry

View Domer's profile

Domer

238 posts in 1866 days


#13 posted 1398 days ago

For $800 you can buy the Festool Domino. Of course you really should buy the dust vacuum as well. But it works really well.

Domer

View WoodNuts's profile

WoodNuts

74 posts in 1448 days


#14 posted 1398 days ago

I picked up the Super FMT for considerably less than the original model. As has been mentioned, Time is Money; the accuracy and engineering of this jig is top of the line, with limited down-time. There are some dimension parameter limitations in stock width, by design; horizontal length dimension limitations can be overcome creatively if you build a rig for the jig (Rig a Jig-Jig?). Overall, the thing sets up quickly, turns out great results, and production time is vastly improved, hands down…

BTW, I have read about the Domino not being very stellar for larger stock. You might want to research that some more.

-- ...there's a fix fer dat...

View motthunter's profile

motthunter

2140 posts in 2298 days


#15 posted 924 days ago

I have it now for several years and I still love it

-- making sawdust....

View bvd's profile

bvd

8 posts in 771 days


#16 posted 442 days ago

I’m a hobbyist and I have the Leigh FMT pro and the D4R pro and I love them both. I’m a armature wood worker and I find that buying the best is helpful when starting out. These jigs are superior to any others, they are very accurate and built to pass on to the next generation. These are jigs you only by once in your life. How do I justify this? First I don’t have a 23,000$ Harley Davidson like a good friend of mine, and I drive a 1995 Chevy van.

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

1475 posts in 992 days


#17 posted 442 days ago

The FMT is beyond good, its great. I’ve seen quite a few used ones show up for sale as some folks are replacing them with the Domino. If you watch you can get a good deal, though even a good deal is still quite a few sheckels. What I like best about the FMT is it’s ease of use. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy….compared to my D$ when i have to pull out the book every time I get the jig out.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1130 posts in 756 days


#18 posted 441 days ago

I posted yesterday looking for options relating to making mortises and the Leigh FMT was one of the suggested options. Here is my thread. I still have some unanswered questions, but I am leaning toward the Pantorouter. It seems to have much greater capability at a much lower cost if you don’t count your shop time. HTH

-- Art

View bvd's profile

bvd

8 posts in 771 days


#19 posted 440 days ago

The Domino will not do through tenons and I prefer one glue joint rather then two. The FMT Pro will also make squaire tenons.


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