Leigh FMT Mortise & Tenon Jig - Cheating?

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Forum topic by Tim Dorcas posted 05-22-2012 10:51 PM 2490 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim Dorcas

188 posts in 3884 days

05-22-2012 10:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise tenon jig fmt leigh hand cut joint dovetails

When it comes to dovetails, there are hand cut and there is everything else. The normal procedure for mortise and tenons is to use a mortiser/chisels and the tablesaw. I’m wondering about the perception of using the Leigh FMT Mortise and Tenon Jig.

-- - A Woodworking & Renovation Blog & - I make. You buy.

9 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2719 days

#1 posted 05-22-2012 10:56 PM

None at all, and I’m a handtool guy. Handcutting dovetails is a spiritual thing, almost. Mortise and tenons, meh. If I could afford a Leigh, I’d own one.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View 69BBNova's profile


341 posts in 2242 days

#2 posted 05-23-2012 12:14 AM

Its the oddest thing that you ask…

Even though I’ve never done them by hand (the last time was years ago doing dovetails with a jig), I cant help but think if I was to build an oak machinists toolbox and I didnt do it by hand (dovetails) I would feel it is cheating and I have no idea why…

Mortices I think is a very different thing, and I know it is ridiculous, but I just cant help felling that way…

So i’d say using a jig is ok…lol

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3378 days

#3 posted 05-23-2012 12:53 AM

the dovetail joint is usually seen and a sign of craftsmanship, while the mortise and tenon is not seen, and unless someone is told the joint is a mortise and tenon, no one will ever really know..I have heard awesome things about the Festool Domino’s fast..accurate and strong as heck.. if your going to buy a Leigh..for a few dollars more you can own the Festool

-- Randall Child

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#4 posted 05-23-2012 01:08 AM

Any router-driven joinery solution has depth limitations.

View Tim Dorcas's profile

Tim Dorcas

188 posts in 3884 days

#5 posted 05-23-2012 07:00 PM

For the record I own the Leigh FMT and it’s awesome. It’s funny, I could never understand what the fuss was all about UNTIL I became interested in chairs – then it became obvious. I also have a mortiser which almost never gets used now.

Randy, you make a good point about the joint never being seen. However…

What if I said I was going to use a doweling jig? How would that make you feel?

-- - A Woodworking & Renovation Blog & - I make. You buy.

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3378 days

#6 posted 05-31-2012 07:30 PM

I would feel fine as long as the joint was structurally sound.. I use dowels all the time for faceframes and seats.. nothing wrong with them..Dowels have their place as do other methods of joinery..

-- Randall Child

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2662 days

#7 posted 05-31-2012 08:57 PM

I use a variety of ways to cut M+T and I don’t think it matters in the end as long as it’s a nice fit. Dovetails on the other hand need to be cut by hand in my opinion, kind of a double standard. I think as long as the tenon is part of the actual board, its good in my opinion. I have used the domino, and its great, but I feel like a floating tenon is a little cheating. I also like square tenons. A lot of this is personal opinion, but there are a lot of strong suitable ways to get the job done. It all boils down to whether it bothers you to go with the quicker and a lot easier options.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2603 days

#8 posted 05-31-2012 10:04 PM

It’s not cheating.
It’s making the best of what’s available.

I’m willing to bet that if the current jigs for joint making were available way back, they would have been used extensively.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3422 days

#9 posted 05-31-2012 10:10 PM

It all boils down to doing what YOU want to do.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

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