Trend mortise & tennon jig opinion wanted

I saw a demo of this jig on the woodworking channel site / British Woodworking clip. It seemed like it is a pretty neat jig. Have any of got this jig and what do you think of it? Thanks
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I had one, but discovered that it was not only tricky to use, but it was impossible to get snug fitting mortise/tenon joints with it as the jig has no provision for making fine fit adjustments. It gave me loose joints every time. I gave mine away and bought a Leigh FMT which does have the ability to adjust for exactly the fit that I want. It's also much easier to use and incredibly repeatable. You can search the archives of this newsgroup for more information and my prior comments on this. If you are happy with loose fitting M/T joints, and you have the time to tinker with it then it is just what you need. If you want professional results it isn't what you want.
Charley

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Curiously, I had the opposite problem. My joints were too tight. My other problem with the jig is it's a bit cheap. The parts wear out quickly. It's definitely not a heavy-use item.
Jeff
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wrote:

Actually, you can get different results with each router bit and each guide bushing that you try to use with the Trend jig. Sometimes, just the right combination will produce a satisfactory joint, but an awful lot of time is wasted every time you try to use the jig to get it to produce an acceptable joint. In my opinion, it's a toy.
The Leigh FMT will make repeatable M/T joints every time, as it has an adjustment that lets you change the joint fit by as little as a thousandth of an inch. Once this adjustment has been made to get the first good test joint with a given bit and guide bushing and the adjustment settings have been noted, I can come back in a day or a month and set the FMT up for the same joint in the same wood and get the same quality fit again without the need to make a trial cut. It's a real time saver. I've been using my FMT for over 2 years now without experiencing any wear or breakage problems and I h ave made well over 2000 M/T joints with it. I think it will last longer than I will be doing woodworking.
Charley
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Let's put this thing in perspective. You can make a router based loose tenon joinery mortising jig out of ply or mdf - and one that uses an edge guide isn't a Rocket Scientist mini-project.
http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/LooseTenonJig/LooseTenonJig1.html
Cutting the mortise(s) is not the tricky part - it's cutting the tenons that is.
SO - skip trying to cut the tenons and just go with loose/floating tenons. If you've already got a table saw and a planer you can make loose tenon stock and cut off what you need. You can make them so they fit real tight, just right or as loose as you want. AND, with
Comparing an under $300 US (I think these days that's about a buck and change in Canadian) mortise - and tenon - jig with a just under $800 US jig, closer to $1,000 "loaded" - just ain't right. If you want to compare the Leigh FMT with the Festool DOMINO I'll take the DOMINO side.
Back to the Trend Mortise and Tenon Jig.
The jig is kind of a PITA when it comes to cutting accurate tenons. Too many factors, each very small error in diameters accumulating along the way. The reason why is explained on this page and the next two pages.
http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/TrendMTjig/TrendMTjig1.html
BUT - if you use just the Mortising feature- you only need the jig and one of its router guides/collars - the Big One. Then, with any spiral router bit, or straight router bit thatcan make a plunge cut, you can cut your mortises without ANY of the Trend router bits. THEN - it's a decent loose tenon mortising jig. Obviously not in the Leigh FMT - or Festool DOMINO - league - but for $700 less you can buy wood to experiment on - AND a decent plunge router (I'd recomend the Dewalt 621) - AND some Onrud spiral router bits in 3/4", 5/8", 1/2", 3/8" and 1/4" sizes - AND have money left over for a Glenn Drake Tite-Mark, with "mortising wheels", with enough left after all that for a large pizza AND beer.
Now let me point out that with any of these "mortising jigs", or, for that matter, a dedicated chisel and bit mortising machine, with or without tilting head or XY table - you HAVE TO make some layout lines for each type of mortise
(here's more than you probably want to know about M&T http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/MT/MTPrimer0.html
and each jig or machine will require some set up and aligning before cutting any mortises or tenons.
Ignore most of the layout and set up stuff if you use a DOMINO to cut the mortises. If you want to know why go here and slog your way through several pages explaining why the DOMINO is so different and how it works.
http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/DOMINO/DOMINO_TableOfContent.html
I used the TREND Mortise and Tenon Jig for a dozen or so bonsai tables - wth aprons and stretchers - 48 mortises, 24 loose tenons per table. For cutting mortises for loose/ floating tenon joinery it works pretty well - even does angled mortises. When I got the DOMINO I gave the TREND M&T JIG to a woodworker with more passion and skill than dollars. She'd been doing M&T joints by hand and it was taking her forever on even a simple project like the bonsai tables. The TREND hopefully reduced some time and effort.
Now if you want to do through mortises - in thick stock - a woodworking bench for example - none of the router based mortising systems will work (without a lot of creative adapting) - so you need a chisel and bit mortising machine. Don't even think about using the "mortising accessory" that come with drill presses these days. The chisels and bits are keepers - but using them on a drill press is an exercise in futility.
Had enough?
charlie b
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