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Leigh FMT PRO Impressive On Many Levels

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Review by pintodeluxe posted 11-17-2020 07:00 PM 639 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Leigh FMT PRO Impressive On Many Levels Leigh FMT PRO Impressive On Many Levels Leigh FMT PRO Impressive On Many Levels Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was really impressed by the build quality of the Leigh FMT PRO. Everything about it feels substantial and solid. It’s evident that a lot of care went into the design and manufacturing of this jig. The overall size is about right, because I never felt any instability in use, yet I can easily tuck it away on a shelf when not in use.

Basically, you select the size guide for the size mortise you’re making. Say, 5/16×1-1/4” tenons, or 1/2×2-1/2” tenons (with accessory kit). Snap the guide into the milled recess on the left side of the jig. The guide sits down into the recess, and absolutely cannot move while in use. Slide the retractable sight forward, and clamp a tenon workpiece against the vertical stop. Lift the SINGLE TABLE LEVER to release the table, and align the sight with the crosshairs on your workpiece. Lock the table lever, and set the router + sled in place on the jig.

For routing tenons, the left guide pin travels around the guide. The manual clearly explains how to do a light clockwise climb cut, before shaping the tenon in the traditional counterclockwise direction. You can hold your router handles like you normally would, or you can guide the sled with your left hand on the sled handle. I call it a sled because it glides like a toboggan on the teflon guides. No extra friction, just a smooth pleasant action. I found the tenon routing procedure to be flawless. The tenon cheeks are notably smoother than what a premium dado blade can produce at the tablesaw.

For routing the mortises you position the workpiece horizontally in the jig, and clamp it in place. The clamps stay positioned between one tenon piece and the next, but you’ll have to move them to clamp the mortise board in place. I found myself locking the Front-Back table stops for a little added security when routing mortises. Slide the sight forward, and center your crosshairs. Set the router depth of cut slightly deeper for the mortise, and rough it out with full-depth plunging cuts. Then clean out the mortise with a clockwise pass or two. For routing mortises, the left guide pin slides back and forth within the central groove of your guide. One guide is used for both the tenon, and matching mortise.

I found the joints assembled flush without issue. You are not limited to flush joints however, and offset joints are just as easy.

When cutting mortises, especially big / deep mortises, the bit can bobble just a touch here and there. It still produces a much cleaner mortise wall than my hollow chisel mortiser. I’ll add a link to my blog on how to get top notch mortises with the FMT.

The clamps hold the workpiece tenaciously, so I found myself trusting the jig right away. Since the clamps work on boards up to 3” thick, they are rather large. Sometimes the clamps get in the way of each other. I do wish the clamping slots were through slots, open to the left and right of the jig. I found myself removing the vertical guide periodically to reposition one of the clamps. In the real workflow of a project though, you rout all the tenons at once. Then rout all the mortises. So any repositioning of the clamps only happens once. Switching from one tenon board to the next is magical, because the clamps are held in position by knurled nuts. Very nice design in that regard.

Blog Post can be found here… https://www.lumberjocks.com/pintodeluxe/blog/131800

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush




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pintodeluxe

6231 posts in 3729 days



2 comments so far

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LittleBlackDuck

5962 posts in 1737 days


#1 posted 11-20-2020 08:13 AM

Great review pinto... Have had mine for over 10 years and has never let me down… has also enabled some fancy quads,

that are unfortunately hidden to the unsuspecting public when assembled…

One other benefit for me was that it kept me away from that mongrel Fe$tool Domino... unfortunately, I surrendered to my dark side when Domino breakdown hardware was released… still sleep with mine, though not in the same bed anymore.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6231 posts in 3729 days


#2 posted 11-20-2020 04:41 PM



Great review pinto... Have had mine for over 10 years and has never let me down… has also enabled some fancy quads,

that are unfortunately hidden to the unsuspecting public when assembled…

One other benefit for me was that it kept me away from that mongrel Fe$tool Domino... unfortunately, I surrendered to my dark side when Domino breakdown hardware was released… still sleep with mine, though not in the same bed anymore.

- LittleBlackDuck

I was hoping you’d weigh in. Nice quad tenons!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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