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Solid miter bar with some limitations

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Review by EarlS posted 09-05-2020 02:26 PM 732 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Solid miter bar with some limitations Solid miter bar with some limitations Solid miter bar with some limitations Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve been using the JessEm Mite-R-Excel II for 8 months.

Product Details:
The Mite-R-Excel II™ features nine miter detents with a spring loaded indexing pin at the most common angles. The front fence extrusion is 20” in length with a telescopic stop that extends up to 36”. The adjustable flip stop can be used with a sacrificial fence up to 3/4” thick. There is also a fence locating knob that allows quick reset of fence back to the correct distance to the blade.

Specific product details can be found at JessEm's website.

Additionally, Splintergroup also wrote up a very detailed review.

Summary:
As with all of the JessEm products I’ve owned and used over the years, this is a well made, solid, and dependable miter gauge but there are limitations to its usefulness.

It does an excellent job cutting miters.

It is well suited for cutting pieces under 20”, and more so with pieces under 12”. For me, longer pieces are cut using the fence, a Wixey digital fence readout, and a basic miter bar on the right side of the blade.

It certainly ins’t inexpensive, but the quality that you get for the price means it will be reliable for many years to come, providing good value.

Details:
Initial set up was a bit fiddly and took some time but the instructions were very clear with plenty of pictures and good written instructions.

There are a couple of important limitations that I observed on my Delta Unisaw.

The miter bar can only be used on the left side of the blade. This is due to the tightening screw for the telescoping stop on the left end of the miter bar

Additionally, the clearance between the fence and the blade is very close when set up to use the tape measure on top of the miter bar. Because of the proximity to the blade, an over blade dust collection shroud cannot be used with this miter gauge since the bar will hit the shroud.

Beyond these issues, I found that the preset angles were spot on, and for those few times when I needed an odd angle, the vernier scale was accurate enough for what I was doing.

You will have to adjust the fence for angled cuts rendering the preset tape measure useless.

As mentioned in Spintergroup’s review, the flip stop has some play in it that renders it less useful. I was able to compensate by placing a clamped block behind the stop to keep it from flexing. Alternatively, I could press on the stop with a finger or two while holding the piece. This issue sticks out because much of the rest of the miter bar is so well designed with very good precision.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"




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EarlS

3921 posts in 3193 days



14 comments so far

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LittleBlackDuck

5397 posts in 1666 days


#1 posted 09-06-2020 12:16 AM

Great review EarlS...

Would have sold me one if I didn’t have an Incra... love those adjustable nuts… will look into pimping my Incra with some.

With reviews like these, at times you may not help the vendors, but can provide ideas to the reader. Thanks for the inspiration.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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EarlS

3921 posts in 3193 days


#2 posted 09-06-2020 11:50 AM

LBD – Glad to know it gave you some ides. My main intention is provide information and ideas for the readers. The vendors spend plenty of cash on advertising to glorify their products. I’m not the recipient of any of that cash, nor any free trial stuff so I say what I think of the products.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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splintergroup

3977 posts in 2067 days


#3 posted 09-06-2020 02:40 PM

We’re in the same boat Earl!

Good call on the “left only” miter slot usage. You can move it over to the right, just takes some disassembly to get that slider extension to come out (not worth the effort IMO, that is what my older Incra is for 8^)

I never use the ruler scale, it’s never calibrated for me anyway.

For me, the best features of this miter are the ability to dial in all the critical setups, the accuracy of the angles (embiggened venier scale too!), and top of all the slot adjustment is easy and works perfectly with my frigging Unisaws uberwide miter slot.

Excellent review!

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LittleBlackDuck

5397 posts in 1666 days


#4 posted 09-06-2020 11:14 PM



We’re in the same boat Earl!

Good call on the “left only” miter slot usage. You can move it over to the right, just takes some disassembly to get that slider extension to come out (not worth the effort IMO, that is what my older Incra is for 8^)
- splintergroup


We’re gonna need a bigga boat...

Great call splinter... at least now I have that excuse to buy another “redundant” tool… hell, no sane duck would walk down a rocky road in one shoe!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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RCCinNC

268 posts in 1171 days


#5 posted 09-07-2020 02:14 PM

Despite some limitations, it looks like a very nice miter gauge. Personally, I like it when I have to “improve” tools to optimize them for my set up. I have added fences to both of my miter gauges with mixed results. Perhaps I’ll purchase this one and start from a higher level of accuracy for better success. Regarding the stop, can it be reversed so that the stop is on the right side of the adjustment block? I know it will lose mmt. capacity and available stop/cutting length, but it might be less wobbly- especially if you could lose the center section next to the stop. Does seem like an overly long bolt length in the design. Also, wouldn’t be hard to make your own stop block adjustment mount and use the oem flip stop.
Looks like I’m already redesigning it and I don’t even own it!

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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RCCinNC

268 posts in 1171 days


#6 posted 09-07-2020 02:20 PM


We re in the same boat Earl!

Good call on the “left only” miter slot usage. You can move it over to the right, just takes some disassembly to get that slider extension to come out (not worth the effort IMO, that is what my older Incra is for 8^)
- splintergroup

We re gonna need a bigga boat...

Great call splinter... at least now I have that excuse to buy another “redundant” tool… hell, no sane duck would walk down a rocky road in one shoe!

- LittleBlackDuck


Wonderfully eloquent… But Ducky, you gotta define what “sane” is in your world, because sometimes you come off as just a tad bit crazy….which of course makes your posts a joy to read… ; ) Never change, OK?

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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EarlS

3921 posts in 3193 days


#7 posted 09-07-2020 08:10 PM

RCC – the Mite-R-Excel II costs $300. I would have thought that JessEm would have considered some of the things you mentioned.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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RCCinNC

268 posts in 1171 days


#8 posted 09-07-2020 09:16 PM



RCC – the Mite-R-Excel II costs $300. I would have thought that JessEm would have considered some of the things you mentioned.

- EarlS


Yeah, I looked it up, saw the price…and changed my mind. I could have done maybe $180, but $300 seems a lot of coin for a miter gauge…especially one that seems to have some pretty basic design issues. The quality appears exceptional though. Between your review and Splintergroup’s you have provided lots of great info. Thanks for that!

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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RCCinNC

268 posts in 1171 days


#9 posted 09-08-2020 12:30 AM

Just perused amazon. Found this for $85. Obviously not in the same league, and would require some finagling to create an extension…but since that’s a fun project, fine by me! Has good reviews and $200 cheaper. If I wanted to modify something or improve it, I’d rather start from that price point. Put it in my wish list. Anyone familiar with it?

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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EarlS

3921 posts in 3193 days


#10 posted 09-08-2020 12:53 PM

Looks like something is wrong with the left side of the picture, or else that is one messed up fence.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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RCCinNC

268 posts in 1171 days


#11 posted 09-08-2020 01:21 PM

Nothing wrong, it can be switched into a low profile configuration, with the outside edge allowing for bevel cuts. Also the reason for the two tapes. ( I think) As it’s set in the image, it allows for angle cuts, long point of the cut forward, and the end of the fence set fairly tight to the blade. I can’t quite tell if the right side of the fence is the same from this pic. It doesn’t look quite square, but not exactly 45 degrees either. Perhaps just the angle in the photo.

Things I’d do to it….Either replace the miter bar with one with non spring loaded bar adjusters or modify the existing bar. Probably just lose the springs and replace with a solid piece behind the bearings that I could loosen or tighten with the Allen screw adjustment….And of course configure a fence extension. Looks like theirs plenty of slot to work with in the aluminum channel. Knowing me, I’ll probably replace the handle with something made out of wood. Out of town for a few weeks, but when I get back, I think I’ll order one of these and have some fun with it. I love this stuff…. ; )

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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PCDub

198 posts in 1089 days


#12 posted 09-08-2020 01:25 PM

quote Looks like something is wrong with the left side of the picture, or else that is one messed up fence.quote

[...Escher tool….]

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splintergroup

3977 posts in 2067 days


#13 posted 09-08-2020 03:12 PM

RCC:
Looks like a solid replacement for a factory miter that you could build on.
The stop looks solid, Adjusting the fence angle WRT the table surface would require shimming (just like with my Incra 1000). Good call on the bar adjusters, not a good place to rely on spring power to remove bar/slot slop. Forces during a cross cut could cause it to shift. Solid, tight clearance “inserts” would be peachy.

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RCCinNC

268 posts in 1171 days


#14 posted 09-08-2020 09:35 PM

RCC:
Looks like a solid replacement for a factory miter that you could build on.
The stop looks solid, Adjusting the fence angle WRT the table surface would require shimming (just like with my Incra 1000). Good call on the bar adjusters, not a good place to rely on spring power to remove bar/slot slop. Forces during a cross cut could cause it to shift. Solid, tight clearance “inserts” would be peachy.

- splintergroup


I have both a General T650 and a Sawstop PCS. The T650, typically heavy duty old school miter gauge, I snug up by dimpling one side of the bar in several places and then tap them down lightly with a hammer until snug in the slot. The Sawstop has the spring loaded bearings, which I find pretty sloppy, at least for large pieces. I far prefer the old heavy duty cast iron General!...but want something with positive stops. There aren’t many here, but I’d have to spend a lot more to get more.

I’m assuming the shimming you refer to is the angle of the face so it’s square to the table surface. Needing to shim it wouldn’t surprise me in the least…been there, had to do that. I’m familiar with the stop, and it’s a fairly good one. Short bolt and you can snug the slop out of it.

Thumbs up with the clearance inserts, but I prefer nectarines… ; ) “That would be nectariney” does kind of sound stupid though. ; )

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

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