Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Central North Carolina
I gave up chisel mortising years ago, went first with a shop made router jig, then a Mortise Pal, then a Trend M&T jig, and I now own a Leigh FMT Pro jig. I will never go back to drill press mortising or any of the similar methods. It's just way too time consuming when you consider the time required to make the mortises and then the time that it takes to make the tenons to fit them, plus all of the hand fitting to get each M&T pair to fit together properly. The Mortise Pal made it much easier, but it required floating tenons. I made floating tenon stock using my table saw and then my planer to get them the exact thickness needed, then just cut them to length as I needed them. This worked quite well, but the FMT Pro does both the mortise and the matching tenon with the same setup. There's even a fine adjustment to get the tenon to exactly fit the mortise to the tightness desired, with no need to hand fit each tenon to it's mortise after cutting. It is so accurate that I can cut many mortises and tenons of the same size and after cutting they are interchangeable, each tenon will fit all of the mortises and all of them will fit together the same way. I bought the FMT Pro when faced with needing to make over 1,600 M&T joints on a large project. It paid for itself several times over on that first job. I might still be hand fitting each mortise and tenon if I was using a drill press mortiser or similar and then cutting and hand fitting each tenon on that project.