Incra 1000 miter gauge trouble

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Forum topic by jaydub posted 12-01-2009 01:21 AM 10072 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jaydub's profile


63 posts in 4079 days

12-01-2009 01:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: miter miter gauge calibration

Hey all.
I picked up the Incra 1000se a few weeks ago to give me some more support when cross-cutting longer pieces, and for the indexed angle setting ease-of-use factor. I had a heck of a time getting it square, but finally got it to an acceptable setting.

1. The last time I used it to trim a panel square, it was completely out of, well, square. I got it set up again, but I’d hate to think that I have to re-check it every time I plan to use it.

Anyone experienced something similar?

2. For a toy chest project, I made the top out of 6” stock with 45-degree mitered corners with a smaller panel inset in the center. The miter cuts are long, and it was pretty hellish trying to set the gauge just right to make the pieces all fit tight. The 45-degree index setting didn’t seem just right (rather, wasn’t right), and I really had to play with it to get it right on. The top ended up getting smaller and smaller by the time I got it right. Not ideal.

Is the problem in the calibration? Should I expect to use that positive stop as a “close” setting and then having to monkey around with fine tuning? I don’t know if I’m being naive expecting to really set it up once for square, and then having all other angles work out just right, however that is why I shelled out the $$ for it.

To complement the Adirondack chairs I built this summer, I want to make a cedar table top to match with an 8-piece mitered border. For as much trouble as it was to make a 4-piece border for the toy chest top, I’m kind of dreading the idea of doubling my trouble. Double trouble – ha!

Can’t wait for responses. Thanks in advance.

- jw

-- happiness is a sharp plane iron

20 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5909 posts in 4627 days

#1 posted 12-10-2009 06:22 PM

JW—I’m guessing that you have already checked blade/miter slot alignment on your tablesaw.

I have been using an Incra miter gauge for over a year now, and have zero problems with it. I use the positive stops all of the time and have used it to cut 22.5 degree miters (for interment flag cases) with no problems.

Make sure the miter bar is properly adjusted to the slot on your table saw. It is possible you got a defective gauge, so I would check into returning/exchanging it.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5183 days

#2 posted 12-10-2009 06:42 PM

I agree with the Dane. A decent aftermarket miter gauge should not have this problem.

In addition to the possible causes mentioned above, are you sure the workpiece is not moving during the cut? Also, are you certain that your stock is dead straight? The tiniest bow could cause the miter cuts to be off.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 4414 days

#3 posted 12-10-2009 06:52 PM

I am using an Incra miter gauge as well with zero problems. Mine was set up dead on right out of the box. I adjusted the bar to fit my miter slot and haven’t had to touch it since. I just followed the set up directions that came with mine and everything has worked perfectly.

View PurpLev's profile


8640 posts in 4613 days

#4 posted 12-10-2009 06:56 PM

I’ll third the above comments. I have had mine for several years with 0 issues. if indeed it’s not your stock, or TS alignment that is out of square – Incra has very good Customer Service that can help you with that. give that a shot.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jaydub's profile


63 posts in 4079 days

#5 posted 12-10-2009 08:29 PM

Hi gents,
Thanks very much for the responses. We had a snow day here in upstate NY, so it was a good day to try to really get at the problem.

First for sure was my initial calibration. I’ve been depending too much on manufactured squares to check for square. I learned my lesson, and am trying to go w/ some more dependable purely geometric methods. I don’t have a jointer, so I can’t rule out the slight bow in stock – that’s a good mention, Charlie. Same with the stock creeping along the fence – Incra rep was a big proponent of a solid wood subfence on the front of the gauge fence.

I called Incra, and you’re right, Purp, they were great. The rep suggested several things to look at, which I’m in the process of. It was the first time that I ended up checking parallelism of the blade to the miter slot, and was happy to see it’s good about .0015 from front to back. (while I mention that – is that “good enough”?). I checked it before with tape measure only, but finally got myself a dial caliper.

My trouble now is that it’s hard to tell how much adjustment you’ve made once you loosen those three allen screws – I wish they had a more precise adjustment system than just loosen/adjust/tighten – but I think I have a way to keep a good eye on that.

So, after goofing around with it for awhile, I cut an 8 sided frame with 22.5o miters, and it’s not perfect yet, but definitely better. If that gap is 8x the error from true square, then I’m really in the ballpark. I almost don’t want to goof with it now, but it will just keep eating at me.

Great to hear you guys are happy w/ the product. Incra stood behind it 100% and said 99.9% of the time it’s setup error, but that they’d get me a new one w/out question if I really thought it was a manufacturing error.

Thanks so much for your responses.

- jw

-- happiness is a sharp plane iron

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19992 posts in 4640 days

#6 posted 12-10-2009 09:52 PM

jaydub, loosen, but leave them snug and tap with a mallet.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View AugieCoe's profile


44 posts in 3655 days

#7 posted 09-07-2012 02:28 PM


I’m just installed the Incra Miter 5000 system and am also in the “tuning” phase. I’ve made some initial cuts with the system set up out of the box, but it still needs some tweeking. I’m only off a small bit on the outside of the joints using 30 degrees, so I’m going to try adjusting the 1/2 degree adjustment to see if that corrects the gap. If not, then it sounds like I’ll have to resort to the shims.

I really appreciate your posts, they are helping me along!

-- There is a lesson in every project. Play safe!

View waho6o9's profile


8963 posts in 3541 days

#8 posted 09-07-2012 02:46 PM

Where and how would you use a shim?
That sounds crazy.
Good thread JW, glad you dialed in your Incra.

View GarageWoodworks's profile


555 posts in 3121 days

#9 posted 09-07-2012 02:51 PM

Squaring miter gauges using a dial indicator and a good quality square:

-- Subscribe on YouTube:

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3887 days

#10 posted 09-07-2012 07:03 PM

0 problems with my 1000SE out of the box.
Didn’t inadvertently drop it did you?

-- Life is good.

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 3634 days

#11 posted 09-07-2012 07:41 PM

Mine is working fine too. Even after dropping it a few times. Be sure it’s riding tight in the miter guage slot. Good luck.

-- Bryan

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4123 days

#12 posted 09-07-2012 08:07 PM

No problems ever with my 1000hd. I will say to be careful when using a sacrificial fence on the miter gauge (as for extending it to do smaller cuts where the pieces must be supported on the outside of the blade). It will bow and tilt over time…humidity does that with wood. :)

I like to test my miter alignments by cutting 6 equal length boards and making a hexagon. Any errors compound and will magnify it in the result. I would do this prior to making your octagon table.

-- jay,

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4273 days

#13 posted 09-07-2012 09:47 PM

I have a number of Incra tools and and extremely happy with every single one. I have the table saw fence, router table fence, 1000hd miter, incra router lifts and several measuring tools. All are dead on accurate after the initial tweaking. Very easy to fine tune.
Incra is a superior-quality American made company with customer service to match….and no, this is not a paid endorsement…just a very satisfied customer.

View ericbroder's profile


4 posts in 2422 days

#14 posted 06-07-2014 06:34 PM

I know this is an old thread, but I have a new question.

I just got my Incra 1000HD. Got it to where I think it’s pretty perfect at 90 degrees to the blade using test cuts. Then I put a protractor to the face and found it leans back a bit from being perpendicular to the table surface. The instructions say to loosen the 4 set screws (darn!! I just got it to 90 degrees!!) then shim under them. “Placing the shim behind the screws will increase the angle. Placing the shim in front of the screws will decrease the angle.”

I can’t figure out what they’re talking about “behind” and “in front”. Is this what they mean? If so, it would seem to me that behind the screws would decrease the angle.

Can anyone explain any clearer? Pics?

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

5328 posts in 4925 days

#15 posted 06-07-2014 08:34 PM

My 1000 SE has been well used, and was set with a drafting square to be indicated to the blade and miter slot.

-- [email protected]

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