Download Quicktime (*.mov)
In this episode I introduce Leigh Industries’ FMT, their flagship Frame Mortise & Tenon (M&T) jig. This is the latest tool in our shop.
Why the FMT? Because it excels at cutting mortises and tenons with high accuracy. With this jig we have the following options:
Use the FMT to cut all integral tenons and mortises for a project. The result: Perfect-fitting M&Ts.
As an alternative, cut all the mortises with the FMT, and also shape long tenons with the FMT. These tenons are then cut off on the table saw, to make loose tenons. The result: Perfect-fitting M&Ts.
A secondary alternative: Use the FMT to cut all the mortises, and cut loose tenon stock on the table saw, followed by shaping on the router table. With this option the loose tenons may require some “shaving off” and tweaking to optimize the fit.
I have confirmed that the versatility, simplicity, and the ease of use of this jig was the correct decision for me. The best way I can explain this is as follows. I need to make only one layout for the mortises, and one layout for the tenons; I then select one router bit and its matching guide, and make test cuts to confirm that my layout is OK. From this point on I can make as many tenons and matching mortises as I need for a particular project.
Enjoy the video, and let me have your Comments, either here or via e-mail (please note the e-mail tab in the menu above).
Recognition: I thank my friend and woodworking colleague John Fry (Chisel and Bit Custom Crafted Furniture) for reviewing the draft of this post, and for his feedback.