Reply by Nicholas Hall

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Posted on Does anyone have experience using the Leigh FMT Pro Frame Mortising and tenoning jig?

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Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2585 days

#1 posted 01-26-2014 08:18 PM

I have the mortise-pal and I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Brand new it costs $200. It works so well that it feels like cheating. I couldn’t love it anymore.

I brought it with me to my Father-in-Law’s house to build a bunk-bed of lovely sugar maple and I cut 40 perfect mortises faster than you can say slip-tenon. I barely escaped with it, as it fit quite nicely in his Bosch Router.

I think the Mortise-Pal could do the curved stretcher on the bench pictured above pretty easily. The way I’m thinking it could be done is as follows:

1. Butt a jointed board along the length of the curved stretcher with the curve opening away from the jointed board. (if you haven’t cut the curve yet, you can just use the board itself and the extra jointed board is unnecessary)
2. Each place where a mortise would be cut would first need a vertical reference line drawn in the center of the slat. This would be accomplished by putting a square against the jointed edge, and then draw the vertical line representing the center of the slat.
3.Next at each point where a vertical line is drawn, draw a horizontal perpendicular line to serve as a reference line for the mortise-pal. Now you know what dead horizontal is to align the base of your mortise-pal
4. Now you cut 3 wedges of varying incline about 8 inches long. Maybe 15 degrees, 20 degrees, and 25 degrees would do.
5. Next you put your align you Mortise-Pal along the horizontal reference line.
6. Place a wedge in the gap until it seats nicely and your mortise-pal is aligned with the horizontal line you just drew. 7. Clamp the wedge in place with a small clamp, tighten down the mortise-pal as per usual.
8. Cut your mortise.

It takes longer to explain than do. I’m guessing I could do the above in about an hour to 1.5hrs with just the mortise-pal and a router. Presumably there are more experienced folks who can describe a better way than the above, and they’ll either post a better way, or correct me if I’m wrong.

Best of luck. Let us know what you choose to do.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

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