frivolous spending (Incra 5000 review on page 2)


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I got the shorter version when I bought my new table saw a while back. I still haven't gotten around to building a new sled, because I just use the Incra for everything. Only issue that I've had is that the miter bar that connects the fence to the sled sometimes comes loose. It's probably because I'm not that delicate with it when I move it from the table saw to the spot where I store it. Just takes a few turns of an allen wrench to fix. No big deal. Overall, I am very happy with it. It is extremely accurate with very little set up.

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Or wait to buys E's in two weeks cause he tires of it or it ain't perfect! 

Didn't need it, bought it anyway.  I haven't treated myself to a new toy in a long time.  It doesn't really solve any problems that needed solving, but it's a fancy new addition that will be fun to us

That's the reason I buy stuff from HF. My expectations are much lower and the few times it last until I get home with it, is Lagniappe.

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I've been real interested in this for a long time. My only issue is I feel like it should have support past the blade. so you aren't blowing out the back of the board. It annoys me that it doesn't, so I haven't bought it. 

Oh and congrats :)

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On 10/4/2017 at 9:02 PM, Cliff said:

Oh and congrats? :unsure:

FTFY

It's real easy to pop a sacrificial board onto the fence with the t-track hardware.  The base of the sled creates zero clearance for the bottom of the cut, but you're right about exiting out the back of the board.

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23 hours ago, Eric. said:

 I've had more issues with Festools than anyone I know.

I'm having an issue with my Kapex right now - it's simply not cutting square. I called Festool, and they are happy to take it back for a tune up and replace any needed parts. Sucks to have to send a 2.5 year old saw (@$2000 CDN price tag) for issues so soon. It's not like it's rolling around in the cab of a truck - it's bolted to a stand and does't move.

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On 10/4/2017 at 9:06 AM, Eric. said:

I have a flatness issue with the base of the sled.  Didn't notice it until late last night when I went to do some test cuts.  It has a hump at the connector and it dips down toward the blade.  The error is bad enough that a square against the blade shows lots of light.  Called Incra and they're sending me a new base, no arguing needed.  We'll see if this resolves it and I'll report back later.  Pretty irritating but Incra doesn't manufacture the MDF so I guess I'll give them a pass...for now.

On 10/3/2017 at 9:49 PM, K Cooper said:

Or wait to buys E's in two weeks cause he tires of it or it ain't perfect;)

20171005_173638.jpg

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I guess I'm ready to give my first impressions of this sled.  Incra sent me a new base and I spent a couple hours setting it up pulling my hair out this morning.

Let's start with the good:

The miter head and fence: A+...this part of the sled is the usual killer Incra precision.  With the one degree and half degree indexing, hitting any angle with absolute perfection is a breeze.  Calibration is a snap and it holds its settings perfectly.

The base: F (yes I said EFF)...this is where the whole thing falls apart (at least the parts that I've received...apparently others have been luckier).  The base is laminated MDF and comes in two sections which are connected by an aluminum track.  There is an additional track to the left of the sled that receives the fence clamp which prevents the fence from flexing.  I had a problem with ALL FOUR of these parts.

Now I don't expect absolute dead flat out of MDF like I would on a jointer bed.  But BOTH bases I received had what I consider to be an unacceptable amount of warp.  Obviously the base has to meet the blade at exactly 90* or there's going to be some error in the cut.  And for $300+, error should not be in the vocabulary.  I can get a .009 feeler gauge under a straight edge in the middle of the better of the two bases...the other one I didn't even bother with feeler gauges...it's like 1/16".  However, the approximately 12" directly to the left of the blade are fairly flat (now, after shimming) so as long as I make sure my workpieces are registering from this area, I shouldn't have problems.

Where the two base pieces meet just left of the blade was another problem.  One or both of the rabbets which connect to the aluminum track were not milled properly (one was deeper than the other, and one was not of consistent depth).  I had to actually put a rabbet bit in my router table and mill them more precisely.  That's ridiculous.

On top of that...the aluminum track itself was not milled (or extruded, whatever) properly, so I also had to shim up the right base side with some very thin washers so that both sides were in the same plane.  THEN I had to shim the right side of the base at the blade with blue tape to reconcile how it dipped down toward the blade, causing a non-90* cut.

Finally, the track to the left of the base that receives the fence clamp was incredibly bowed (see pic).  I mean I wouldn't want to work with lumber with this much bow in it LOL.  Absolutely mind-blowing deficit of quality control.  I'll be calling Incra tomorrow to have them send a replacement.

After a couple hours of tinkering and test cuts I'm getting square results in both dimensions (fence squareness was never an issue).  But it was complete and total BS that I had to go through that much trouble for such an expensive jig that is supposed to be so super-precise.  I mean that's the company's entire point - precision.  If they can't get that right then I don't know what good they are.

One more complaint - although I kind of expected this issue before I bought the sled so it's not a surprise - since there is no zero clearance support at the fence, there's a considerable amount of tearout at the back side of every cut (40T Forrest combo blade).  Obviously this can be alleviated by adding a sacrificial fence, but that kind of complicates some of the other features of the sled - specifically the flip stop when cutting miters (the flip stop is designed in such a way that the point of a miter registers perfectly against the stop because of the way it interlocks with the fence...that feature is negated by using a sac fence, though possibly still not a problem).

 

Yes this gap is as big as it looks.  Outrageous.

 

fNcOQZU.jpg

 

Despite the fact that I now seem to have the thing dialed in to an acceptable level, I still haven't decided if I'm going to keep it.  I love the functionality that it offers but I'm more than disappointed in the manufacturing.  Marc did a review of this sled in the Guild just last week and he had rave reviews with only a few reservations about functionality, but none about build quality.  So take my review for what it's worth - one person's experience.

Final grades:

Conceptually: B+

Build quality: D- (all issues in the base...if it weren't for the miter head and fence I'd give it an F)

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12 minutes ago, rodger. said:

I was looking at this today online. It's now off off my list too. Eric probably could have made an awesome ts sled in the time it took to noodle around with the incra 300 dollar unit.

A 90* crosscut sled...absolutely.  But making one that has such precise angle indexing abilities would be a challenge and way more than a couple hour project.  I'm sure it could be done but the reason I bought the 5000 was so I didn't have to.

Bottom line is it's now in working order and it will do what I expect of it.  I just found it unacceptable that I had to do so much tweaking (anytime you slap blue tape on a new tool you know it's gonna piss you off LOL).  But after cooling down for a few hours I do think I'll keep it.  My goal was not to scare people away from purchasing but just to be aware of the possible QC issues that I experienced.

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Think I will stick with my delta slider, even though it is a PITA to set up!  I have been thinking about attaching the 3000 miter gauge to the slider table as I sure like the precision of that unit for the miters.  It is disappointing to see you had that much QC problems from Incra! 

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After $300 and all the time you've put into it, it would bother me having a rigged miter sled. I expect to have to make adjustments on new machinery to get it dialed in but no way a miter sled from Incra should have all the problems yours did. I personally would have Incra send me and entirely new unit and if that worked out of the box I would keep it - otherwise put that $300 towards accessories for your Minimax :) 

Don't you already have the 3000? Is so, what does the 5000 gain other than the sled? 

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1 hour ago, estesbubba said:

After $300 and all the time you've put into it, it would bother me having a rigged miter sled. I expect to have to make adjustments on new machinery to get it dialed in but no way a miter sled from Incra should have all the problems yours did. I personally would have Incra send me and entirely new unit and if that worked out of the box I would keep it - otherwise put that $300 towards accessories for your Minimax :) 

Don't you already have the 3000? Is so, what does the 5000 gain other than the sled? 

Well it's not really "rigged" at this point...aside from the slight warp in the base which isn't much of an issue, the sled is now dialed in dead nuts.  The blue tape bothers me but functionally it's fine.

I have the 1000HD.  The advantage of the sled is friction-free cutting like a sliding saw offers, plus more clamping options due to the aluminum tracks, plus zero clearance at the bottom of the cut.  Is that worth $300?  I don't know.  If I wasn't so in love with the head and fence I probably would return it.  But now I'm time invested and it's working fine so I think it's mine.

What Minimax accessories?  All it needs is a blade. :)

1 hour ago, Janello said:

Eric, take a look at that flip stop again. I have the miter express (little brother) and there was a way to adjust the flip stop for a sac fence. I have all my stuff packed away so I can't look at it now, but it was simply doable. 

Cool, I was not aware of that.  I'll check into it, thanks.

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