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DIY Incra table saw fence system

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Forum topic by Woodjammer posted 01-22-2019 05:51 PM 763 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Woodjammer

18 posts in 2200 days


01-22-2019 05:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

I like to build 3d end grain cutting boards, which require a fairly high degree of precision and accuracy in cutting out the components. I discovered the existence of the Incra tablesaw fence system and it would seem to answer some of my needs in this area, however, the $600 or so price seems a bit overblown. I’m hoping some other woodworker as miserly as me, but more skilled in tool design, may have figured out how to buld something yourself with similar capabilities. I’ve done a little Googling but not found anything so looking here for help from my thousnads of friends on Lumberjocks. Would appreciate any input. Thanks.


14 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

8159 posts in 1406 days


#1 posted 01-22-2019 06:10 PM

If it’s just precise movement of the fence you need, something like this could work.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View JRsgarage's profile

JRsgarage

350 posts in 777 days


#2 posted 01-22-2019 06:27 PM

I saw this vid while back…kinda like the above

View on YouTube

-- Two is One, One is None

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Woodjammer

18 posts in 2200 days


#3 posted 01-22-2019 10:18 PM

Thank you Kenny and JR. these are both good ideas and I’m thinking that I could perhaps figure out a way to combine the two concepts to adapt to my existing fence. The micro adjuster would work to adjust a fixed amount and the threaded rod gets you to a known location to adjust from. Combining the two gets something similar to the Incra system. Hurts my brain a bit to think about how to effectively combine these, but I do have a mechanical engineer friend that may be able to help me think it through. If I do figure something out, I’ll try to take some pics and post the results.

View ruger's profile

ruger

70 posts in 363 days


#4 posted 01-23-2019 12:06 AM

the incra ls 17 system is only 400 dollars. worth every dime. and opens up a whole new world for beautiful joinery’ I purchased mine last year, best tool purchase i ever made, and i can’t cut a strait line’

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Woodjammer

18 posts in 2200 days


#5 posted 01-23-2019 02:11 AM

Ruger,
The number I quoted was for the longer model and with state sales tax and shipping it ends up closer to $600 for that package. I agree that I would probably be very happy with it, but us old guys, raised by parents that lived through the depression, tend to be penney pinchers, even when we may not need to be.

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ruger

70 posts in 363 days


#6 posted 01-23-2019 04:11 AM

with you there,, i’m 65, turned wrenches in an auto dealership for 40 years. living on social security. but really the incra ls is a joy to use. top quality machining one tool that i have no remorse at all. called their cust, support to ask a question on set up, walked me through everything. just great all around.as you can tell i’m a big fan perry, the designer, was great with helping me, where else can you call cust, support and get the guy who designed the system on the phone.

View shawnn's profile

shawnn

142 posts in 1633 days


#7 posted 01-23-2019 08:01 AM

+1 on the Incra system. I have the router and TS LS systems, the older positioners. I got each of them used after diligent searches, for half or so the cost of new units. I cannot imagine going back to a traditional TS fence after using this – I NEVER question the cut accuracy or maybe more importantly, the repeatability. I feel I waste too much time scrimping on tools, fixing up used stuff to the point where I wonder if I’m doing woodworking or machine repair/rehab! In this case unless you just want the challenge of trying to DIY a fence system I suggest you bite the bullet and buy once/cry once and enjoy your very (IMO) worthwhile investment.

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

1141 posts in 1675 days


#8 posted 01-23-2019 11:39 AM

I’m an incra fan here too, I don’t have their fence setup though since I already had a beis clone before I knew about it and my unisaw came with a Vega. I’ve considered upgrading but the one down side is the space it requires – keep that in mind.
Search Google for diy incremental saw fence, Here's one – several turn up, they may be duplicates It used a threaded rod like incra to lock down in increments.
Keep us posted!

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Woodjammer

18 posts in 2200 days


#9 posted 01-23-2019 04:53 PM

Shawn and Grant, thanks for the input on the Incra equipment. I did take a look at that Youtube post by that talented young man, and it would meet my needs for absolute repeatability, but that build is probably out of my league even if I had a metal lathe and welder. I was also a little foggy about how he allowed for adjustmentss between the 16th inch increments while being able to get back to the original registration. Regrettably, metal lathe and welding are two skills, along with plumbing, that my father didn’t have an opportunity to pass on to me and that I didn’t realize I was going to regret not having later in life. He was a master plumber and amateur machinist.

I do have a question about the Incra fence. If I were to buy the shorter version, is there any way to quickly and easily remove the Incra and use the existing saw fence, for wider cuts? I have the 52” Saw Stop cabinet saw ( a great saw by the way ) and hate to give up that wide cutting ability entirely.

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shawnn

142 posts in 1633 days


#10 posted 01-23-2019 07:52 PM



I do have a question about the Incra fence. If I were to buy the shorter version, is there any way to quickly and easily remove the Incra and use the existing saw fence, for wider cuts? I have the 52” Saw Stop cabinet saw ( a great saw by the way ) and hate to give up that wide cutting ability entirely.

- Woodjammer


No, you have to remove the existing fence and rails then bolt on the Incra rails. If your saw has the Biesemeyer style fence you can probably sell it for a decent amount to offset a good portion of the Incra system cost.

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

445 posts in 2237 days


#11 posted 01-24-2019 05:48 PM

I have a Vega Pro 40 fence that I fitted a Wixey table saw fence DRO. Using the micro adjust on the Vega Pro, I can get better than 0.005” accuracy and repeatability. All for less than half the cost of an INCRA.

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Woodjammer

18 posts in 2200 days


#12 posted 01-24-2019 06:06 PM

Dschlic1,
I looked at the Vega Pro on their web site and I am intrigued, however, it is unclear to me how you achieve accurate repeatability with their fence. In other words, how do I get it back to exactly the same place after it has been moved. With the Incra, that is accomplished by locking onto the threaded rod and the applying your known micro-adjustments if needed. On the Vega Pro, it appears that you lock the fence down using the fence scale and then micro adjust, which means that you have to be measuring between the fence and blade to assure the identical cut width. I may be misunderstanding how the Vega pro works and perhaps you can correct my understanding.
Thanks,
Jim

View Smorgasbord's profile

Smorgasbord

11 posts in 80 days


#13 posted 01-27-2019 06:43 AM

Woodjammer, the key there is the Wixey DRO (Digital Read Out). Here’s a link: http://wixey.com/fence/index.html

If you’ve already got a good fence, then adding the Wixey can be a great way to add accuracy and repeatability. My problem with the Incra fence systems is the extra space they require. With the Incra, the arm moves with the fence, so if the cut capacity is 30”, then you need yet another 30” space for the arm when the fence is at the 30” position.

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Woodjammer

18 posts in 2200 days


#14 posted 01-27-2019 02:28 PM

Dschlic1 and Smorgasbord,
Guess I missed the reference to the Wixey DRO. That now makes sense. I have to give that option some serious consideration. Thanks for the input guys.
Jim

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