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Leigh FMT mortise and tenon jig

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Forum topic by Slacker posted 09-26-2008 03:57 AM 8824 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Slacker

178 posts in 2451 days


09-26-2008 03:57 AM

Just saw a video in the Fine Woodworking web site in which Mario Rodriguez builds a wall cabinet. He made some mortises and tenons with the Leigh FMT, which is beyond awesome. I want one, but for $800 I wont be getting it anytime soon.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome


19 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5119 posts in 2463 days


#1 posted 10-21-2008 02:11 PM

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

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Steve2

75 posts in 2321 days


#2 posted 10-21-2008 02:27 PM

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

-- Regards, Steve2

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5119 posts in 2463 days


#3 posted 10-22-2008 02:14 PM

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 2626 days


#4 posted 10-22-2008 03:07 PM

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

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Loren

7825 posts in 2398 days


#5 posted 10-22-2008 03:49 PM

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.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Slacker's profile

Slacker

178 posts in 2451 days


#6 posted 10-23-2008 02:34 PM

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

113 posts in 2566 days


#7 posted 09-17-2009 12:59 AM

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lcurrent

113 posts in 2566 days


#8 posted 09-17-2009 01:15 AM

View Rob Bois's profile

Rob Bois

33 posts in 2145 days


#9 posted 06-16-2010 03:09 AM

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 2559 days


#10 posted 06-16-2010 11:35 PM

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 2145 days


#11 posted 06-17-2010 02:56 PM

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 2559 days


#12 posted 06-17-2010 10:04 PM

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

248 posts in 2117 days


#13 posted 06-18-2010 08:32 PM

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 1699 days


#14 posted 06-19-2010 07:37 AM

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

2141 posts in 2549 days


#15 posted 10-05-2011 08:39 PM

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

-- making sawdust....

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