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Jessem Mite-R-Excel II?

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Forum topic by jklingel posted 11-18-2019 03:30 PM 472 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jklingel

107 posts in 1719 days


11-18-2019 03:30 PM

I need a new miter gauge for my SawStop table saw, and have read a bunch of reviews in various places. The Incras, of course, pop up all over the show, but their ratings concern me; from “sad” to “excellent”, regardless of model it seems, which is almost like having no review. The Jessem gauge looks fantastic, almost like there is too much machining in it for someone to not make it accurately. The proof, however, is in the hands of users. I am wondering if anyone has used one of these “newer” ones. (I gather that these were discontinued, and are now back.) Are they very, very good, P, EOS, or just another tool whose reviews span the gamut? Thanks, and I am not worried about the price if they are excellent tools. john


30 replies so far

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EarlS

3309 posts in 2910 days


#1 posted 11-18-2019 04:47 PM

This is one place where you get what you pay for.

I just bought the Jessem Mite-R Slide II and the Ultimate Excel II package, along with a smattering of other JessEm accessories. They are exceptionally well made, well designed, and top quality. The router table set up is a pleasure to work with, easy to set up with very precise, repeatable results. I intend to write up a review once I’ve used it in a few more applications.

My Christmas list includes the Mite-R-Excel II miter bar based on how impressed I am with the router table package.

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

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jklingel

107 posts in 1719 days


#2 posted 11-18-2019 07:51 PM

Another thought just crossed my head on this. Why, if one has the $70-ish MiterSet package, https://vsctools.com/shop/miterset/, does one need anything but a miter gauge that locks tight and stays in position? From the video I’ve seen on the MiterSet, they about make a fancy miter gauge obsolete. That Set looks pretty quick, very accurate, and never needs tweaking. Thoughts? j

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EarlS

3309 posts in 2910 days


#3 posted 11-18-2019 08:47 PM

I think part of the appeal of JessEm is the quality of the miter guide bar as well as the precision of the presets on the miter gauge. If you have a mediocre miter bar that has some slop in it, then all of the precision in setting up the angle is lost. As a bonus, a fancy fence is also included that makes set up quicker and easier than using a ruler or square to set the stop distance.

At $150 you are most of the way to the cost of the JessEm miter guage, and you still have the cost of a miter gauge to go with the miter set. I think you would be money and time ahead with the JessEm miter gauge, which is why I want one for Christmas. Your opinion may differ.

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

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jklingel

107 posts in 1719 days


#4 posted 11-18-2019 09:07 PM

Thanks for the thoughts, Earl. Yes, the steel bar will eliminate any possible flexing, which I can see in the aluminum rail i mounted my original miter gauge head to. I think I will give the Jessem a go, and if it is not quite “there” then add on a MiterSet down the road. I suspect the Jessem will be as accurate as I can be….

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PaulDoug

2265 posts in 2265 days


#5 posted 11-18-2019 09:44 PM

I don’t want to get another “tool” out each time I want to set my miter gauge. That is the one thing I don’t like about my Incra miter gauge. It takes an extra tool to extend the bar and adjust things. I’d trade my Incra for that JessEm if I could.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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jklingel

107 posts in 1719 days


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

“I’d trade my Incra for that JessEm if I could.” Good to know. Craig’s List is waiting for your Incra. Will the price difference kill ya? If you can go that route, git ‘er done. After all, when all is said and done, we rent all this stuff anyway…..

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Woodbum

898 posts in 3627 days


#7 posted 11-19-2019 12:44 PM

Get the Incra 1000SE. IMHO the 1000HD is a little overkill, but an excellent tool. The 1000SE has performed flawlessly for me for over 10 years. Using an extra tool to adjust your miter gauge, router table, table saw, band saw etc is just part of the process to me. But that’s just me. We all have our own method of working and what is critical to me, is just not that important to others. Jessum makes a fine line of tools, but sometimes, like all other companies, they put out a product that is just ever so slightly less useful to some. Simply put: buy the best tool that you can afford that meets your criteria for the work that you do and the way you want to do it. For me, that is Incra, for miter gauges, router tables and fences, IBOX, and many measuring and marking devices and accessories. Work Safely, Have Fun and Good Luck!

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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EarlS

3309 posts in 2910 days


#8 posted 11-19-2019 02:28 PM

I showed this to my wife last night and told her I wanted it for Christmas. She told me to order it but I have to wrap it and put it under the tree when it arrives. I’m OK with that, and it is $30 off the normal price. At least I won’t be getting a lump of coal.

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

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jklingel

107 posts in 1719 days


#9 posted 11-19-2019 03:21 PM

Thanks again for the replies, folks. I am about to make a slight gamble on the Jessem. Those low ratings for the Incra are too much of a red flag. It sounds like they are a bit too much hit and miss for me, even though I used to own an Incra and it worked super well. I sold it w/ the table saw I sold to get a SawStop. Should have maybe kept it….. Life happens. Well, make dust, not war. Cheers. j

View Robert's profile

Robert

3571 posts in 2043 days


#10 posted 11-19-2019 03:31 PM


I showed this to my wife last night and told her I wanted it for Christmas. She told me to order it but I have to wrap it and put it under the tree when it arrives. I m OK with that, and it is $30 off the normal price. At least I won t be getting a lump of coal.

- EarlS

My suggestion: Unbox it, wrap up the empty box and try it out (come on, you know you want to) Christmas Eve, put it back in the box and re wrap it.

She’ll never know the difference.

Let us know how it goes LOL.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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EarlS

3309 posts in 2910 days


#11 posted 11-19-2019 06:20 PM

+1 – Robert!!!

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

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cmacnaughton

142 posts in 206 days


#12 posted 11-19-2019 06:35 PM



I don t want to get another “tool” out each time I want to set my miter gauge. That is the one thing I don t like about my Incra miter gauge. It takes an extra tool to extend the bar and adjust things. I d trade my Incra for that JessEm if I could.

- PaulDoug


Has anyone tried replacing the hex bolts on the Incra miter with their ratchet knobs? (https://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/incra-bknobs2) It would seem to eliminate that “extra tool” issue.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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splintergroup

3064 posts in 1784 days


#13 posted 11-19-2019 08:46 PM

I bought the Mite-R-Excel II back in May when they had an intro offer.
It wasn’t so much that I needed to replace my old miter (Incra 1000), it just was I was getting tired of dealing with the Incra’s loose miter bar and fiddling with my fix for it.

The Jessem has some cool features, foremost for me is an excellent miter slot adjustment system. The preset angle stops are dead accurate and the few times I have had to rely on the veneer scale I’ve had no issues.

The initial setup is easy and rock solid, setting the fence square to the table is easy whereas my Incra was impossible (the weight of a 6” quick-grip clamp bends it off square).

It’s a pricey unit with some dubious features, but In my opinion it complements my old Incra 1000 and I’m glad to have both.

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jklingel

107 posts in 1719 days


#14 posted 11-19-2019 09:05 PM

Splinter: thanks for the info. Re: “It’s a pricey unit with some dubious features,...”, define dubious, pls. Thanks. j

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splintergroup

3064 posts in 1784 days


#15 posted 11-19-2019 10:12 PM

J,

At some point I’ll do a proper write up w/pictures, but here are a few things that I found.

There is a feature where the fence can be released from the base and slid left/right (same as the hex screws on the Incra.
Now of course this is a “must” feature so you can position the fence close to the blade when cutting at an angle or swapping in a dado set. There is a pin that allows the fence to reposition exactly when setting the miter back up for a 90 deg. cut after having moved the fence previously. This is ok, in the sense that the installed ruler tape (which is set up to position the board stop distance from the blade) is accurate. There is a fare amount of hardware installed on the miter gauge to make this all possible. Currently I never/have never used this ruler on any miter gauge so I find it superfluous and would have gladly traded the feature for a lower price.

Another minor issue is the above mentioned board stop. It is handy in the general sense since it swings down when needed and up out of the way when not needed. The issue for me is it is a cantilevered design with a small amount of “slop” (about 1/64”) when varying the pressure one applied against it. This is a non issue for most work, but when I am cutting box or frame parts, I need dead nuts consistency so I just use the old school stop block held in place with a clamp.

I’m still glad to have this part on the miter, it makes it easier to do quick stack of “almost” equal length boards, but I’d rather have seen a more ridged design that replaced my old school clamp/block setup.

The last of my “gripes” would be the two thumb screws that loosen to allow the fence to slide left/right (after pulling the pin explained above).

The main “knob” on this miter is a large beast (I like this!), but it limits the room too gain easy access to these thumb screws. Since it takes less than 1/2 turn on each to go from loose to tight, I would liked to have seen the same “ratchet knobs” mentioned in Chuck’s #12 reply above (I can’t remember their common industry name). This would allow easy tight/loose with better leverage for sore fingers.

On a good note, the reason I love this miter is the setup. Set the bar to ride in (any width) miter slot without any slop and stay that way? Easy!
Set the “0” to be perpendicular to the saw blade and stay that way? Easy!
Set the fence to be square to the table and stay that way? Easy!

It’s been 6 months and I still have a lot to explore, but I’m fairly certain it is easily a step above my Incra 1000 (at twice the cost!)

The Incra gets the nod for setting repeatable angles every 5 degrees (and 22.5), but the Jessem allows the same fine tuning, just not as quick and easy if the angle is not 0, 15, 22.5, 30, or 45 degrees)

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