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Let’s see, the former Leigh FMT (Frame Mortise & Tenon Jig) is now the Leigh FMT Pro, and the new “low-cost” version is the Leigh Super FMT, shown above. The $849.99 (from Highland Woodworking, router not incluced) FMT Pro, shown below, uses aluminum extrusions, while the $399.99 (also from Highland Woodworking, router still not included) Super uses CNC punched steel plate. Both versions claim to do “over 70 standard joints,” handle a large variety of routers, and have similar accessories. The FMT Pro has built-in dust collection with two adapters, but the Super FMT requires an optional two-adapter vacuum box.

Is this worth it if you do a lot of mortises and tenons? Have any Toolmongers used either one of these? Are there reasonable alternatives?

Leigh Super FMT [Manufacturer’s Site]
Leigh FMT Pro [Manufacturer’s Site]
Leigh Jig Comparison [pdf]
Leigh FMT Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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9 Responses to Hot Or Not? Leigh Super FMT

  1. aaron says:

    i dont know the ins and outs of these, but router-based mortise&tenoning jig designs are a dime a dozen and you could build something that probably works just as well for much less than 10% of the price. i know that my loose tenoning mortise jig (build from particle board) cost about 50 cents, not including the clamps that are required, and works great for 90º cuts.

    if i was a cabinet shop i might have a different opinion, but then i’d also have more $ to blow… but then i’d probably also have a hollow chisel mortiser and a table saw tenon jig.

  2. Dave P says:

    I’ve been able to use one of these before. They are AMAZINGLY capable–but most of those capabilities are pretty advanced (double tenons on a compound angle, anyone?)

    A NOT for home woodworkers: a tenoning jig and dovetail setup will suffice.
    A NOT for cabinet shops: If you’ve got the time to use this…you should be out selling jobs.
    A HOT for furniture guys: this thing is almost indispensable for chairmaking.

  3. Gary says:

    Dave P, what do you mean by a tenoning jig and a dovetail setup? Those are two different joints.

    I’ve also used one before and liked it a lot. Most home woodworkers make furniture, don’t they? All the ones I know do. I guess it comes down to whether you can afford one and think you “need” it.

    Anything you can do with these jigs, you can do with rip and xcut saw, a chisel or two and a shoulder plane. Just depends on how you like to build.

  4. PutnamEco says:

    I think if I was going to drool over a jig like that I would be drooling over one of those Multi-Router jigs

    http://jdstools.com/multi-routeroverview.aspx

  5. shopmonger says:

    I would agree that these are very specific for furniture makers. I don’t make a lot of chairs, or other large furniture so i don’t own one. However, i do use a dovetail jig that is indispensable. these can replace many tools in the shot. Everyone who watches woodworks (re-runs) wants the multi-router,,,well this is like that concept but makes more joints and easier.

    ShopMonger

  6. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    shopmonger Says:

    Everyone who watches woodworks (re-runs) wants the multi-router,,,well this is like that concept but makes more joints and easier.
    —–
    I would love to see a comparison between these tools (Multi-Router vs Leigh FMT Pro) with the Woodrat thrown into the mix as well.
    (http://woodrat.com/)
    If you have knowledge of such a review, please share.

  7. Gary says:

    Re PutnamEco says:

    I would love to see a comparison between these tools (Multi-Router vs Leigh FMT Pro) with the Woodrat thrown into the mix as well.
    (http://woodrat.com/)
    If you have knowledge of such a review, please share.

    Here ya go (I’m pretty sure it included the woodrat, but it did include mortisers, slot mortisers, fmt, and the multirouter):
    http://www.finewoodworking.com/ToolGuide/ToolGuidePDF.aspx?id=32530

  8. Andrew says:

    In the past I used the hollow chisel and tenoning jig for the table saw. Setup was always a pain. I could never get anything done fast so I never used it. Then I bought the FMT which I use all the time.

    Once you get the hang of the tool, you find all sorts of other uses that you wouldn’t have previously considered – large and small. My current project is building a number of jewellery boxes. The sides of theses boxes aren’t flush with each other, so M&T’s are a great way to securely connect the pieces together. Setup was dead simple and milling out the pieces takes no time at all. In the end I have strong, perfect fitting joints.

    I would highly recommend the tool.

    PutnamEco: I purchased the woodrat before I bought the FMT. Far too complicated. I returned it and bought the FMT.

  9. ShopMonger says:

    Putnameco and Gary, that is awesome, so true, these are great examples of tools that have little differences and would be hard to choose which one to get.

    Shopmonger

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