Incra LS positioner - router table fence


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Quick review of the Incra LS positioner for my router table fence.

 

I have the incra table, mast-r-lift router lift, and the 17" incra wonder fence positioner system all on a custom made cabinet. (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/77526)

 

I have had the setup for around 2 years now. In that period of time I used it as a regular router fence. Rabbits, grooves, dados, edge forming, etc etc. Today I decided to finally dive into the potential. In a matter of 45 min, reading 2 pages of instructions, cutting parts, and performing the operation I had made a simple little MDF box with half blind dovetails.

 

I know this box is not much or fancy what so ever. But I am so excited of the potential of this system and what it has to offer I had to post and share. I have not even come close to scratching the surface of what this system has to offer. I am very excited to push it to the next step in my tackle box build starting tomorrow.

 

As I said above, quick little review in what I had delved into this evening. 

 

If you are an incra system owner please chime in as well!

post-2720-0-73271700-1395455907_thumb.jp

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Nice job!  I use mine for dovetails all the time.  The first time you do it you feel like your brain is melting, but once you figure out the system it's super fast and easy.  Through dovetails are a bit more challenging.  I still need to try doing some of the crazy double doubles and all that other jazz.  I kind of see them as novelty joints, but they'd still be cool for something.

 

My only complaint about the Incra system is that you have to match your stock to the template and bit and only certain sizes of stock will work with certain sizes of bits...and you're limited on the size of bits you can use as well.

 

My goal is to phase out the Incra for as many projects as possible and start doing most of my dovetails by hand.  The right way. :)   It takes (me) a lot longer, but I think it gives the piece a totally different personality...like a human actually made it instead of a factory of robots.  But no doubt the Incra is a very powerful and versatile tool.  It produces incredibly precise and clean joints.

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Trust me, I know very well about the impatience part...and don't get me wrong, I'm not above machined dovetails...I've been doing them for years with pride.  But the truth is, hand cut takes a piece to the next level...after you do a bunch of projects on the Incra, you'll be ready for a change.  Honestly I've just gotten bored with the procedure and the perfect results.  Too perfect.  Lifeless.

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Haha bored with perfection. There is some truth to that in life. Same on thing everytime can get you but I was wondering why the incra system was so expensive. I saw all the videos and demos etc. Until last night. In 45 min I made a half blind dovetail box. Well worth the money.

And yes I agree milling the stock to the height of the bit seems like a big limitation

Anyone recommend a set of dovetail bits that range in all sizes?

Typing on cell phone. I apologize for any typing errors.

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Eric, you hit this one right on the head.

 

For a few months, and more so in the last few weeks I just knew I was going to buy the Incra LS. In the end, I just couldn't pull the trigger. I know I need to work on my hand cut joinery, and this would have set me back a few years on that because the results are so intoxicating.

 

This isn't a knock on the Incra LS, but really how great the system is if you want router cut joints. Nothing wrong with them, but I went another direction.

 

I'll post pics of what I did buy when it gets here. I think I'll be happy for a long time.

 

As for the bits, Incra recommends the Whiteside kit made for the Incra. CMT and Freud also makes a nice kit based on reviews. Be aware of the different "Incra" router bit kits. Some are still on the market that have fewer bits for the older system... They work with the LS, but the kits with more bits use the LS to its full advantage. I have also seen some what I call "budget" bit sets. I wouldn't cheap out on router bits, but they are out there for guys that need that option.

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Another warning about matching bits with the Incra...if you go to do some box joints, make sure that your bit is EXACTLY the size it states.  If you're using a template that requires a 1/2" bit, but your bit is 63/128"...gaps.  The fence system is that precise.  I remember seeing in the book that there is a (confusing) way to get around this issue, but I made it easy on myself and took my calipers to the router bit store...after learning my lesson the hard way.

 

And Mel, if you're not planning on doing dovetails on the Incra, then IMO buying it would be a waste of money.  So good call on that.  There are other features on it that are cool, but the endless possibilities of dovetail joints are really what sets it apart from other tables.  The only other feature that is a huge draw is its micro-adjustability...and it is micro.  But I don't think that alone justifies the cost if you're not interested in the dovetail features.

 

As far as the bit kits go...I'm not sure what they can offer other than a kit of bits that are the suitable sizes for use with the templates.  A half inch bit is a half inch bit...as long as it's actually a half inch. :)

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  • 3 months later...

Another warning about matching bits with the Incra...if you go to do some box joints, make sure that your bit is EXACTLY the size it states.  If you're using a template that requires a 1/2" bit, but your bit is 63/128"...gaps.  The fence system is that precise.  I remember seeing in the book that there is a (confusing) way to get around this issue, but I made it easy on myself and took my calipers to the router bit store...after learning my lesson the hard way.

 

And Mel, if you're not planning on doing dovetails on the Incra, then IMO buying it would be a waste of money.  So good call on that.  There are other features on it that are cool, but the endless possibilities of dovetail joints are really what sets it apart from other tables.  The only other feature that is a huge draw is its micro-adjustability...and it is micro.  But I don't think that alone justifies the cost if you're not interested in the dovetail features.

 

As far as the bit kits go...I'm not sure what they can offer other than a kit of bits that are the suitable sizes for use with the templates.  A half inch bit is a half inch bit...as long as it's actually a half inch. :)

But Eric....it's sooooo sweet to be precise! :P  I bought the Whiteside dovetail bit set.....are you saying the Whiteside is 63/128 or other sets can be?

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