Trend mortise & Tennon jig opinion wanted


I see where Rockler has this jig for $299. Do any of you have an opinion of this jig? I saw one demonstrated and was impressed by the accuracy and ease of use. I think it is a lot cheaper in price than the Leigh. Thank for your comments.
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Tom :

About a year or so ago, at a very slow woodworking show, I got a one/on/one demo of this jig from the Trend rep. I think it's a great tool. At the time, I was looking at the WoodRat, Trend, and QuickTenon (which I think is no longer sold). I think the jig is well made and would be a great tool to have in your tool box, but I didn't have the dough or need at the time, so I didn't buy it. Might look into it now, tho.
There was at one time, a similar tool sold by someone else but I don't think it made it past a year or so.
MJ Wallace
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Most Leigh jigs sell for around $300 to $325 on Ebay. Almost all the sellers say, "Used it once to make a set of drawers and haven't used it since so selling". Most look like new in pictures. Not that I'm partial to Leigh, but going that route price is similar.. No warranty of course either..

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Mortise and tennon drawers?

to
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to
Different jig for different joinery.
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Last update: 6/21/06
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Tom wrote:

Look into the TOTAL price of this jig. In addition to the jig itself, you need their special guide bushings, the one for the mortise is 2 1/2" in diameter - not a very common size. You also need a set of semi- special bits - theirs are 1/4" shank and longer cutting length than common bits. If the guide bushings and bits are included it's about $50 less than TREND's list price.
I picked up the jig, guide bushings and bits at a show price of $275. Mortises are cut using the 2 1/8" diameter guide bushing which centers the bit in the guide opening in the top of the jig. Sliding plate are used to set left and right "stops". Great for doing just mortises for loose tenon M&T joints.
Cutting tenons with the jig is a bit trickier. If you don't keep the guide bushing against the outside of the opening in the top of the jig you can easily cut into your tenon.
Things get a little more complicated if the nominal diamters of the guide bushings and bits and the actual diameters are different which some of the ones I got were.
Since I did the three pages on this jig on my site I've talked with Terry at TREND USA in Kentucky. Gave him the url of the page on my site with a table of the "nominal" vs Actual diamters of the guide bushings and bits. Got an e-mail back that let me know the design folks and the QC folks had looked at the info and are intending to improve QC.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/TrendMTjig/TrendMTjig1.html
I'm finishing up four bonsai stands - each with 16 mortises - all done with the TREND M&T Jig. Using just the 2 1/8" guide bushing and an Onsrud upcut spiral router bit, the jigs made that job fairly quick and easy.
Would I buy it again for $275? Yes! But at $350, well I'd have to think about it.
If you have more questions ask away or e-mail me directly.
charlie b
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Tom wrote:

Hi Tom
I would like to respond to your question by stating that a lot of these jigs looks massively effective in the hands of a good demonstrator. But the crux of the matter is what do you want to do with the jig ,is it only for certain joints or do you want a jig that you can do any type of jointing system with ,if so you will do quite well to do research into the woodrat,I do Powertool and woodworking training in Lanseria South Africa,WEB adress -miltystrainingcentre.za.net and if you want value for money and one machine to do it all with i will Stand by my WOODRAT any time of the day if you need more info i will galdly sent you all that i have
Kind regards
Milty
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The Trend M&T jig does a pretty fair job, for it's price, but I found that there wasn't any capability in the design to allow you to adjust for the tightness of fit of the joint. Some joints that it produced were just too loose to suit me. I began using the Trend jig only for making the mortices for loose tenon joinery and then I made loose tenon stock to fit them, but I was able to do floating tenon joinery as good as this with a home made mortising fixture even before I bought the Trend jig. So the only thing that I really got for my money was a jig that wasn't made of wood and was sometimes a little easier to set up than the one that I had made myself.
Then I finally bit the bullet and bought the Leigh FMT jig. It has the capability in it's design to allow you to adjust for joint tightness. Although it was initially quite expensive, the Leigh FMT jig has proven itself to be a rock solid, precision tool that produces CNC quality M&T joints every time. I have been very satisfied with the results that I can achieve with it. If you need this quality of precision joinery and can't afford a CNC, then the Leigh FMT is the way to go. If you don't need tight fitting joints, then the Trend will work OK for you, but it isn't much better than a home made jig and loose tenon joinery, which is by far the cheapest way to go.
--
Charley

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