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I'm looking at the incra miter gauges. There are so many options, I can't decide what's best, 1000hd, 1000se, 3000se, should I get the sled or build my own, combo pack? Brain explosion! I've never used any of these, so I need a lesson.

 

BTW. Money is not a deal breaker, I will save for the right or best option.

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That depends on your line of work.

 

One item to consider is the resolution you need to repeat a cut after you changed your setup.

 

If you need exact repeatabiliy with a resolution of 1 degree or even less, then you should go for the 1000HD or even the 3000SE.

 

If 5 degrees of resolution is enough for your repeated cuts, because your angles are always multiples of 5, then the 1000SE should satisfy your needs.

 

I know nothing about the sled, never seen it face to face, save for the pics at Amazon.

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It really depends. I have the 1000SE and the 5000 Miter sled. The miter sled I find to be fantastic, the ability to hold your piece down and move with the sled is great. It's quick and easy to setup. The only issue I have with the 5000 is it's pretty big and when it's not on the table you need to find a place to store it. Once I'm done with my shop rearrangement I'll be hanging it on the wall. I use the 1000SE for quick cuts, or cuts where the 5000 isn't worth taking out. It's smaller, and doesn't have as much support, or length as the 5000.

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It really depends. I have the 1000SE and the 5000 Miter sled. The miter sled I find to be fantastic, the ability to hold your piece down and move with the sled is great. It's quick and easy to setup. The only issue I have with the 5000 is it's pretty big and when it's not on the table you need to find a place to store it. Once I'm done with my shop rearrangement I'll be hanging it on the wall. I use the 1000SE for quick cuts, or cuts where the 5000 isn't worth taking out. It's smaller, and doesn't have as much support, or length as the 5000.

 

From the Incra website: The Miter 5000 blends the incremental angle control features of the Miter 3000SE with a very special 3-panel Sled for the ultimate miter cutting workstation for the table saw.

 

If I go this direction, can I remove the sled easily to use the miter gauge as a stand alone option? I'm guessing you can't do a crosscut with blade tilt when using the sled?

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I also have the 1000HD, I have had it for almost a year.  I haven't worked it to is fullest intent but it has been great with everything I have done with it so far.  Cross cuts are great and after just a smidge of tune up the miters were right on.  Since getting this, the only thing I have used my miter saw for is to break down lumber.

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Take a look at the Osbourne for $130 with free shipping  its a great miter gauge.

 

Looks like a viable option. I like that the fence has a detachable piece for crosscut miters. I'm not sure how friendly the incra is for that application.

 

Edit: looks like I was mistaken, it's not a detachable piece, just 45 deg on the business end.. Either way it's the main reason I would want to use a miter gauge.

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I have several Incras...

 

I LOVE the bare indexing heads w/ miter bars, basically the cheapest versions sold without fences.   They're great with MDF or wood fences and stops clamped to the fence.  I also use them, alone or in pairs, with sleds screwed to them for zero clearance support, to do specialty cuts like box miters.

 

I really don't like Incra fences and stops.  I have a stack of them on the shelf that never get used.  I think the fences are too thick, they require tools to adjust, and the stops, while nicely machined, are no more useful than a shop-made flip stop clamped into place.

 

I've used the Osborne that PB mentioned, and it's a far better tool than the up-line Incra products.  I'd buy it if I wanted a full-featured miter gauge with fence over any of the fully equipped Incra versions.

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If I go this direction, can I remove the sled easily to use the miter gauge as a stand alone option? I'm guessing you can't do a crosscut with blade tilt when using the sled?

 

Not easily... my recollection is the protractor mechanism is screwed thru the sled to the miter gauge.  And you're correct, you really can't tilt the blade without cutting away parts of the sled you'd want to retain for 90deg cuts.  I've got the 5000, and share the comment that storage is a challenge. Its not small.

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Looks like a viable option. I like that the fence has a detachable piece for crosscut miters. I'm not sure how friendly the incra is for that application.

 

I don't really use mine on my saw but more so for the shaper. They are great for coping because you can put a little sacrificial backer in the end of the fence. Its just a little triangle with dowels. This lets you have the sacrificial piece and still use the fence and the flip stop. It would be just as handy for the TS so you don't get that bit of tear out on exit.

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From the Incra website: The Miter 5000 blends the incremental angle control features of the Miter 3000SE with a very special 3-panel Sled for the ultimate miter cutting workstation for the table saw.

 

If I go this direction, can I remove the sled easily to use the miter gauge as a stand alone option? I'm guessing you can't do a crosscut with blade tilt when using the sled?

 

You can remove the sled. Not easily, it's designed to be a sled. If you go Miter Express it's got a track for easy removal of the gauge. First time I used my 5000 or any project it was for making a segmented bowl. The pieces fit together perfectly. It's super accurate.

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I have 2 crosscut sleds and 45 miter sled and my EB-3 has handled everything in between.

 

 

Isn't having a miter sled and the EB-3 redundant? What will one do the other won't?

 

 

You can remove the sled. Not easily, it's designed to be a sled. If you go Miter Express it's got a track for easy removal of the gauge. First time I used my 5000 or any project it was for making a segmented bowl. The pieces fit together perfectly. It's super accurate.

 

 

What will the 5000 do that the miter express and a 3000 won't do? Is it just a matter of the size of the sled, increments of the gauge?

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I don't really use mine on my saw but more so for the shaper. They are great for coping because you can put a little sacrificial backer in the end of the fence. Its just a little triangle with dowels. This lets you have the sacrificial piece and still use the fence and the flip stop. It would be just as handy for the TS so you don't get that bit of tear out on exit.

 

That's intriguing.

 

I may just have to buy one of everything.  :P

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That's intriguing.

I may just have to buy one of everything. :P

I prefer to keep things simple. I have a couple factory PM miter gauges that came with my saw and shaper. They are pretty good. I just keep one at 45 and the other at 90. If I need to move one I use the Osborne. The PM ones are compact and work just fine.

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 And you're correct, you really can't tilt the blade without cutting away parts of the sled you'd want to retain for 90deg cuts.  I've got the 5000, and share the comment that storage is a challenge. Its not small.

 

 

That's where a simple MDF floor and fence screwed to the 1000 series heads shines!  Just make an MDF "L", with the long leg flat on the saw, and the short leg ~ 4" high, suitably sized to the job.  If you use screws or nails to join the two parts, keep the kerf in mind when you place them...     :D   Screw the assembly to the protractor head and have at it.  If the floor is big, use two protractors...

 

This allows you a cheap as chips, even disposable, method to do extremely precise compound or simple miters.  After the first cut, the fence and floor provide a perfect reference to align future cuts. 

 

If you scribe a few reference marks in the heads above the screws, you can remove and reinstall the floor for future uses.  Simply transfer matching reference marks to future floor jigs from the marks on the heads. 

 

You can also add cleats that bracket the head's mounting face to frequently used floors, for fool proof future alignment.  I have several quick and simple finger joint jigs that pop on and off to a pair of Incra heads.  

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There was a lot of great advise to go by here and this was actually a tougher decision for me than choosing a Table Saw! Thanks for all that chimed in, you all had different opinions and they all made sense.

 

I decided to go with the Incra combo (1000SE and express sled). I should get it Monday.

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There was a lot of great advise to go by here and this was actually a tougher decision for me than choosing a Table Saw! Thanks for all that chimed in, you all had different opinions and they all made sense.

 

I decided to go with the Incra combo (1000SE and express sled). I should get it Monday.

 

I was going to make you a video on the Osbourne. I have had brand new one sitting in the cabinet for three years. Now you have doomed it to remain in its tomb for another three years. :)

 

I think you will like the Incra. 

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Go for it PB, I'm still shopping. Thinking the front runner right now is the Kreg miter jig. Still thinking about the incra and osborne.

Since yours is just sitting, just send it to me to test out, if I don't like it in a few years, I'll send it back. .

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