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The price is a deal killer unless you have a shop where this is an important part of your process. It looks very professional but if you need it then you are making a bunch of different sizes and generally that isn't cost efficient. All of the reviews I've seen about being able to make a living at woodworking said that you need to be making only a few products so that you can adapt to make them efficiently (mass production techniques). If that's so then a couple or three home made jigs that do the same thing for $30 or much less makes way more sense since there would be only a few possible configurations.
 

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I've made mortises and tenons about every way possible, starting with the mallet and chisel, then with a drill press, then a mortiser using the square mortising bits, then with a router and shop made wooden jig. Then I began making floating tenons on my table saw and planer while making the mortises with my router and wooden jig. Each step was a significant improvement in speed and accuracy over the previous method. Then I tried a Trend Mortise and Tenon jig to cut
both the mortise and the tenon with the router. While making both with the router was great, the jig was difficult to set up and impossible to adjust for the tightness of fit between the mortise and the tenon. I gave up on this jig and went back to router mortises and floating tenons for a few more years but wanted something better.

For a while I then very much wanted either a Matchmaker or the JDS Multi Router, but I ended up buying a Leigh FMT Pro jig instead. While these two jigs are very flexible and can do many things, neither tool had a good way to make fine adjustments to get the tenon to fit the matching mortise as accurately as I wanted. I watched several demos of each tool, and then discovered that when they wanted to slightly increase the tenon size to fit the matching mortise tighter, the demonstrator was wrapping Scotch tape around the pattern follower bearing to slightly increase the size of the tenon being cut. There was no micrometer type adjustment feature for this on either of these jigs. Also, both jigs needed different templates and setups to cut the mortise and the matching tenon.

So then I looked at a Leigh FMT jig and watched several demos of it. The Leigh FMT has a micro adjust feature in both their Super and their Pro FMT jigs. This knob adjustment allows for easy and repeatable fine tuning of the tenon and matching mortise to make them fit together with any level of tightness that is desired to thousandths of an inch accuracy, without depending on how many wraps of a certain brand of tape to get the fit desired. The FMT jigs can also cut both the mortise and the tenon while using the same template and setup for both, so it isn't necessary to change the template or re-calibrate the jig when switching from the mortise to the tenon or back again. If doing the same size M&T joint you get it right when setting the jig up, and then you can cut all day long. So the FMT jig only needs one template and one setup to make both the mortise and the matching tenon, and it also has the capability of making precise and repeatable adjustments for the fit of the tenon to the matching mortise. These were the deciding factors that made me no longer interested in the Matchmaker and the JDS Multi-router. So I spent several years just wishing that I could justify buying an FMT jig. Then I bid on a job that was going to require over 1,600 mortise and tenon joints and I figured the cost of making them with what I had, versus the estimated time savings that the FMT jig would save me, so I gambled a bit and bid the job to include the cost of the FMT jig. It proved to be one of my better decisions. I won the bid and bought my FMT Pro jig. That one job justified and paid for my FMT jig, while still allowing me a good profit. I've owned my FMT Pro for about 10 years now, and I'm still convinced that I made the right choice. I have never seen a better, faster, and more accurate way to make M&T joints

A few small improvements that I've made since buying the jig -

1. I put a strip of female Velcro on the front edge of the top plate of my FMT jig and the matching male piece of Velcro to a piece of 1/8" thick 6 X10" clear Lexan, so it could keep the wood chips off of me when cutting the front side of the tenons and hopefully get some of them to go around to the vacuum port behind the tenon. Hopefully It also offers a slight safety improvement to protect the user,should the bit ever break too. You shouldn't ever have your face and eyes in line with the router bit while using the jig, so looking through this piece of Lexan while using the jig is not a good idea. It's just mostly for keeping the wood chips from hitting you as you rout the facing side of the tenon. Lexan will not shatter when hit like Plexiglas does.. They make bullet proof windows from thicker pieces of Lexan.

2. I built a platform the same height as the jig that sits behind the jig. This platform holds the router whenever I need to lift it off of the FMT jig. Being able to keep the router at the same level as the jig helps keep my arm muscles from complaining as much when cutting M&T joints all day.

3. I also switched to using a DeWalt DW618 router with the plunge base, because it's the lightest 2 hp router with 1/2" collet capability that I have. When doing smaller M&T joints that don't require 1/2" bits I now use my DeWalt DW611 router and it's plunge base on the jig . Router weight becomes very important when using this or any router jig all day.

Charley
 

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Thanks on,

Yeah, the Matchmaker and the Multi Router look like more fun to use, but the FMT ended up being the better choice for me. Only once have I had a problem using the FMT on a project that a Multi Router or Matchmaker could have done easier. The project required making tenons on the ends of 6 1/2 foot long boards. I solved this by borrowing the use of my neighbors deck railing. The railing top is a 2 X 6 laid flat, so the FMT clamped easily to it. I clamped the board that my FMT is mounted to on the railing with the FMT actually facing his back yard. Then mounted the work pieces so they hung down past the deck. They could have been 12' long since the deck is 9' above his back yard. Using the jig while it's facing away from you offers some unique challenges, but it worked well. This is the only time that I have needed to do this. My work bench has been high enough for every other project that required tenons. Instead of clamps, I now have metal thread inserts in my bench top and use 1/4-20 threaded jig knobs to attach the FMT base board
to the bench. Since I also use my Leigh D4R dovetail jig in this position, I spaced the threaded inserts so that either jig can be mounted the same way.

Charley
 
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