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When is an Incra fence really useful?

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Forum topic by MiniMe posted 10-18-2019 10:11 PM 2193 views 0 times favorited 129 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


10-18-2019 10:11 PM

I am getting sick of this, not only that I can’t order the product from Amazon as I would like but most of the other re-sellers have 10-12 weeks of waiting time.

I have a long list of projects and I am wondering if I really need this.
Here is the list:
-free standing kitchen cabinets (need to relocate existing by making new cabinets and move doors) x2
-kitchen island
-2 end tables
-2 wood strip lamps
-bathroom cabinets for two bathrooms
-2 shoe racks
-2 organizers (for my wife’s purses and scarfs) :-))
-one coffee table
-4 book cases
-20 frames
-one cross cut sled

Which one of the above requires high precision fences and miters?


129 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#1 posted 10-18-2019 11:02 PM

None of them do. I don’t have one and I build items like those and more with complete success. I have a sturdy Unifence that’s properly aligned, and I know how to use it, my saw, and the rest of the tools in my shop.

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MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


#2 posted 10-18-2019 11:20 PM

I have the original miter and fence that come with the Ridgid TS3650 table saw
Is that reliable enough for the above items?
My impression after watching the Incra videos is that their system is really good and it makes sense to have one when you are executing repeatable tasks and you want the same precision and guaranteed identical sizes

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Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#3 posted 10-18-2019 11:43 PM

The Incra miter gauge, like the Incra 1000, is an excellent accessory for your saw. However, if you build your crosscut sled first (and you should), then it becomes an item you can live without until you begin work on your frames (I assume you’re referring to frames with mitered corners). Even then, you can get creative and add a miter-cutting fixture to your crosscut sled. There are lots of posts and videos available for ideas on how to do that.

I assumed the post was referring to the Incra TS-LS fence. That is completely unnecessary. I’m not saying it isn’t a useful, quality accessory for a table saw, it’s just not necessary to complete your project list. Take that money and buy a good blade and other tools you’ll find you need or want.

One suggestion: Build more than one crosscut sled in different sizes. I have one with a 12” capacity, one with a 20” capacity and one with a 30” capacity. When you start work on your cabinetry, the big one will be invaluable for cutting the side panels, floors and any shelves. Rip them to width, then crosscut one end to trim it square and finally crosscut to length.

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MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


#4 posted 10-18-2019 11:59 PM

Yes that sounds pretty much like what I am thinking
I have posted a list of tools already have, now I need to see what other tools I might want to spend 750USD on, it’s an Amazon gift card.

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Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#5 posted 10-19-2019 12:03 AM

I remember seeing your post. You’re going to have a lot of fun shopping with that big of a purse. Best of luck and looking forward to hearing how things go.

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Madmark2

538 posts in 1123 days


#6 posted 10-19-2019 12:18 AM

Cabinet and drawer dimensions need to be tight when building multiple units. 1/32 is good all the time but the rigidly is unmatched and the repeatability is a godsend when making volume (interchangeable) units. Any drawer in any cabinet built over time is easy with an Incra when 1/16 is a big error.

The Incra will bump up the quality and speed of your work to the next level.

M

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MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


#7 posted 10-19-2019 12:28 AM

Do you think that what I listed there is volume?
I do not plan to have drawers, just built in shelved.
Maybe I will have drawers for the bathroom cabinets (two top drawers for each)
It is worth spending ~900 on the LS-TS combo?

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Madmark2

538 posts in 1123 days


#8 posted 10-19-2019 12:54 AM

TS-LS 32” is $400, 52” is $525 or so. Worth every penny. Just making cabinet doors can be volume if you make one at a time and need a dozen. Repeatability is off the scale and precision setups are fast. Trust me, it’s worth it.

I have a new griz 833 with the incra m1000, ts-ls, right side router table with a big Milwaukee 3-1/2 hp router. Does cabinet & raised panel work in 1/2 of a two car garage. Not only that but I also have four of their rules and marking gauges. Round out the set with a wixey angle cube, digital height indicator, 8” digital calipers and a wixey readout on the planer for a precision shop at a dirt cheap price.

I do a lot of 1/2 and 1/4 stock work and thous start to stack up in a hurry.

This is all 1/8” material and we needed all the accuracy and repeatability we could get to allow the drawers to swap …

M

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Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#9 posted 10-19-2019 12:56 AM


Cabinet and drawer dimensions need to be tight when building multiple units. 1/32 is good all the time but the rigidly is unmatched and the repeatability is a godsend when making volume (interchangeable) units. Any drawer in any cabinet built over time is easy with an Incra when 1/16 is a big error.

The Incra will bump up the quality and speed of your work to the next level.

- Madmark2

Most of my business lately is custom cabinets for bathroom and kitchen remodels. It’s not rocket science. It’s not even fine woodworking by my definition. You’re building boxes, drawers and doors. Things like quality workmanship, good designs, grain matching, book matching, expert finishing, etc, have a far greater impact on the beauty of my work.

On drawers for any cabinet, give me a dimension for the opening, and the type of hardware, and I’ll build you fifty drawers that fit perfectly. I’ll even reset all of my saw adjustments each time and start from scratch for every one. They’ll all be perfect. It’s more about the craftsman than a specialty accessory like that.

If the Incra TS-LS was necessary for accurate, efficient work, you’d see them in every professional shop—but you don’t.

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ruger

132 posts in 631 days


#10 posted 10-19-2019 01:45 AM

it is for this. the joints are flawless.

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pottz

6639 posts in 1520 days


#11 posted 10-19-2019 01:49 AM

ditto to what rich has said,dont even hesitate thinking you need one to do what youve listed,ive done woodworking for over 40 years without one and dont even have a desire to ever spend the money to get one.just curious ,what makes you think you even need one? fine quality joinery has been done for a lot longer than the incra fence has been around,learn skills first then decide if you “need” one.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#12 posted 10-19-2019 01:54 AM


it is for this. the joints are flawless.

- ruger

First, did you see that on the list of projects the OP is planning? Second, a skilled craftsman can do those with hand tools.

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Madmark2

538 posts in 1123 days


#13 posted 10-19-2019 01:57 AM

I knew I “needed” one the first time I used one. Yes you can make Chippendale highboys with flint knives and sharkskin for sandpaper too. I know it advanced my shop in ways I never expected. And yes, I started a woodworker apprenticeship at 10 and am now 62 and have used an Incra TS-III and now the TS-LS for 20+ years in three different shops.

M

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ruger

132 posts in 631 days


#14 posted 10-19-2019 02:09 AM

I never built a thing ,not even a bird house till I retired after 40 years as a master tech in a ford dealership. purchased my first table saw 5 years ago. my first router 3 years ago,last year my incra ls fence system. so I can tell you first hand it can make an old fool like me,, look like an expert. I’m no skilled craftsman lol over the years have spent a lot of time in auto machine shop turning crankshafts milling blocks and stuff like that and I can tell you with the incra you can rout the joints and dovetails so precise you cant even see a glue line. some applications I don’t think you would need glue, the joints can fit that tight,I know that sounds crazy.

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pottz

6639 posts in 1520 days


#15 posted 10-19-2019 02:17 AM



I never built a thing ,not even a bird house till I retired after 40 years as a master tech in a ford dealership. purchased my first table saw 5 years ago. my first router 3 years ago,last year my incra ls fence system. so I can tell you first hand it can make an old fool like me,, look like an expert. I m no skilled craftsman lol.

- ruger


thats the problem with todays woodworkers everyone to get that tool that makes them an expert,nobody wants to take the time and learn the craft,very sad to me.ill say one thing, a master woodworker like a maloof,krenov,nakashima could take the cheapest tool from harbor freight and create a beautiful piece of furniture,they didn’t rely on gadgets and high dollar luxury tools.learn the craft!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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