The Super FMT uses just one bit, one guide and one setup for every standard joint. Its that easy. There are no bit or guide changes to fuss with and the setup stays the same for both parts of the joint. Joint fit is easily adjusted for perfect results every time. Using the Super FMT and optional guides and bits allows you to create any size mortise and tenon from a tiny 1/16" x 1/8" to a massive 1/2" x 5".
I have been a furniture-maker hobbiest for over 20 years. It was hard to justify spending $500 bucks (plus the accessory kit), but I was impressed with Leigh's FMT videos and decided to bite the bullet. I purchased the less expensive Super FMT since I don't need production speed. I just finished a coffee table and was very impressed with how perfectly the legs and aprons fit together. No tweaking with chisels was required but it took a lot of setup time, which may be due to my limited experience with the device. That said, there is a significant flaw in the design (the clamping system) that makes it frustrating to use at times.
The clamps are essentially two small bar clamps with a 90 degree arm and magnet at one end. They are inserted from the back through the holes in the front face plate. You have to move them around to different holes to accommodate different width stock. That in itself would not be too cumbersome but you'll quickly discover many of the holes can't be used because the arm is blocked by the vacuum box (which is highly recommended to clear the sawdust). On the above mentioned coffee table, it was virtually impossible to position the clamps so that TWO clamps held the legs in place. One clamp was insufficient because the downward pressure of the plunge router would cause it to move slightly out of position and it only takes a fraction of an inch movement to ruin your alignment.
After experimenting with a number of solutions, I found a fairly simple one; I used only one clamp and two Magswitches (on/off powerful magnets) to provide additional support beneath the leg while cutting the mortises (taking advantage of the steel construction).Read more ›