Trying to figure out my first real table saw setup....incra help/input needed.

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Forum topic by Fenny posted 11-21-2017 11:48 PM 2105 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 989 days

11-21-2017 11:48 PM

Hello to all from the newest forum member! So after reading through a dozen or so threads on various incra setups I decided I should register and post my own question, so much useful help here. I’m a relatively young woodworker who’s learnt through necessity over the past few years. My wife and I picked up a old historic century home that is all wood and is in constant need of upgrading and repair.

I’m currently in the process of designing my shop as we’re in reno mode and so over the next year or two our 2.5 car garage is getting turned into a woodshop/garage/storage area. My wife insists on parking in the garage in the winter (Canadian winters) but the rest of the year it’s mine to do with as I please. It will be insulated with a heater I can use in the winter on an ass needed basis.

Anyways, I’m looking into upgrading my table saw setup, this wasn’t planned for another year or so but I recently picked up (impulse buy) an Incra 52” TS-LS joinery setup at a local auction. It’s brand new and I couldn’t pass it up at the price…..alas, now I’m starting to second guess the purchase due to the dimensions of the shop and my limited space. I’m looking for a solution that will make this table saw system work, let me know if anything comes to mind among you more experienced gents:

So I have a lowest-end-of-the-line-possible table saw right now, if you’re Canadian then you’ll cringe to hear its the mastercraft $100 special saw. It cuts the wood…and that’s about it. Poor precision, not for anything other than general construction (IMHO). So I’m looking for a saw to pair with the incra fence system, but the size of saw to get has me unsure, and here is why:

The garage is fairly shallow and due to the parking location and a center support beam I really only have two walls to work with (rear wall and right side wall). One wall is going to be all storage cabinets (right side wall) with a recessed area to tuck my 6” jointer on castors into while the second wall (back wall) is going to be a workbench the entire length (over and under cabinetry). However, this back bench wall can’t be too deep. These two walls meet to make an “L” shape and in that corner is where I plan to put the dust extractor. My most used tool, a miter saw will be on the back full length bench. It’s about a 30 foot back wall with about 20 of it usable for a work bench (dust extractor and door swing). Now the challenge I have is that I have nowhere to put a table saw with these large rails on it, it has to fit against a wall. My original plan was to make a workbench on castors that would slide into place against the back wall and would sever double duty as part of that full length work bench (saw and router retracted) as well as a mobile table saw/router bench. However, from what I’ve been seeing of this Incra system that doesn’t look possible as those rails extend up off of the bench a fair height and don’t look easy to remove. Is that correct? If that’s the case the only option I can think of is to to build a low table saw bench that will tuck under the back miter saw bench along the wall. But considering the height of those rails that seems like it would be awkwardly low. Anyways, what do you guys think? Does the rip fence come off the bench easily so that it could be hung on the wall while the bench serves double duty as a work station? Or am I screwed?

Primary uses for the table saw:
- Cabinetry, built ins, etc… <—->s not too confusing….I can take some pictures and make a sketch or two if that will help. Let me know, I appreciate any feedback.

4 replies so far

View gwilki's profile


355 posts in 2277 days

#1 posted 11-22-2017 12:15 AM

I looked at the Incra fence system for my table saw and confirmed with Incra that it needs 75” to the right of the blade to account for the telescoping of the sliding carriage. I don’t have that space to allocate to it, so I did not buy it. It sounds like your space limitations may be similar to mine.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View greenacres2's profile


354 posts in 2971 days

#2 posted 11-22-2017 02:38 AM

The rails for the 52” rip are 92” long. The 32” system is identical, but the rails are 72”. The positioner is the same with both, and has 32” of travel, you just set 2 stops on the rail to get the extra 20” of rip capacity. I bought the 32” system, mounted the rails farther over and can rip up to 40”.

So—the question is, how often will you rip wider than 32” to say 40”?? If rarely, then the options are:
1. the shorter rails could be purchased, long rails sold
2. the long rails could be cut shorter (never to be lengthened)
3. someone with short rails may be willing to trade

If you want that wide rip capacity, but don’t need all of it—the rails could be mounted farther to the non-rip side and still leave plenty of space for a 42” rip (I think in 10” increments—the US version of the metric system!!) The only time one needs the full travel for the positioner is when using for maximum rips. In my usage, that would be VERY rare. It would be tight, but I could mount the wide rails and IF I ever needed 48” to 52” i’d have to do some re-positioning of the saw. I live pretty well at 40” personally.

That all probably sounds a little vague to you, not having worked with the system—so spend a little time searching YouTube or similar to watch some set-up videos (Incra makes some good ones, but regular people can sometimes be easier to understand for me). Seemed like a foreign language when I first started using Incra positioners on table saw and router tables—now I would not trade it. I usually set my fence, rip my work piece, then measure it after it’s cut.

As long as I set the positioner where it should be set, it’s right. It’s accurate, but not smart enough to correct my mistakes!!
Good luck,

View Fenny's profile


4 posts in 989 days

#3 posted 11-22-2017 03:42 AM

Yeah, my challenge is that I think I have the square footage, if I get myself organized. It’s a large garage, easy two cars wide and if it was properly organized I could fit everything a hobby woodworker needs into it. We can only ever put one car into it because of a main support post in the middle and so my wife would only have the car in there 3-4 months of the year. So if I can work out a way to tuck it out of place during those periods it could be very doable.

Unfortunately, right now I’m in the middle of renos of the apartment above the garage which means everything has been moved into it and it’s packed to the gills with crap. Once we get through the winter I’ll be able to get it emptied out more and get a better idea of exactly how much room I have for a back work bench when the van is parked in it. So my concerns are two fold:

- Depth: Putting these rails on a decent sized table saw is going to make it pretty deep and I’m worried that if I put it against the back wall, really the only place to put it, that it will impede with the van when parked. Or at the very least make it tight to move around.

- Length: Assuming it has the depth to go on the back wall with the long rails it may take up too much of the wall to fit the chopsaw, bandsaw and drill press.

I finally found a video of the rails being removed and it doesn’t look like that big a deal, so that looks good, I could possibly remove them and hang them on the wall between sessions….and use the table as a workbench as well.

I don’t do a lot of large ripping, because I wasn’t planning on getting a new table saw until these renos were done I picked up a used plunge saw and track system. I’ve used it for the longer rips I’ve been doing and was planning on using it for the cabinets.

If I can get the longer rails to fit I’d love to make it work as a table saw and jointer bench. On wheels I could move it out into the middle when I need it and move it back on those occasions I need the space for something else. It would also make for a nice large work bench with the saw and router retracted.

Recommendations on a small to medium sized saw to put it on?

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