Incra table saw fence


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I'm trying to decide what table saw fence I will get. I've viewed the video of the Incra table saw fence several times. Apparently this is the only micrometer type precision adjusting fence on the market. What I don't get is why Incra decided to mount the screw and micrometer feed on top of the saw? I think the screw should be on the front of the saw and out of the way. Does anyone have one of these and if so do you like it?

Jon Banquer

San Diego, CA

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(If I recall correctly) Marc had one for about one video. He said that he got rid of it because it was in the way.

I think they put the screw feed in the center of the fence so that the fence doesn't skew. A Tee style fence goes slightly out of square when you push on the front, and then comes back into square when you lock it down. To be really accurate you need to move it into position, lock it down (which causes it to shift slightly), unlock it, nudge it into position, then lock it again. Or so I've been told - I never get that fussy about accuracy. Presumably, the Incra doesn't have that problem.

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"He said that he got rid of it because it was in the way."

That's the first thing I noticed when I viewed the video of it. I'm thinking on a manual metal lathe the carriage screw and the thread cutting screw that you engage the half-nuts to when you want to thread are always mounted on the front of the lathe. I can't think of any exception to this on a manual lathe. Seems to me that Incra didn't spend the proper amount of time engineering this precision fence and yet it appears to be the only one on the market. I love the idea or a precision, repeatable fence.

Jon Banquer

San Diego, CA

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I own the Incra TS3 fence - It has pros and cons like anything else. The repeatability is second to none, it always stays square, and it's very accurate too - Probobly more accurate than wood that expands and contracts needs.

I've become used to it, and I wouldn't want to trade it - But it will take getting used to.

Hope this helps

Gregory

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I own the Incra TS3 fence - It has pros and cons like anything else. The repeatability is second to none, it always stays square, and it's very accurate too - Probobly more accurate than wood that expands and contracts needs.

I've become used to it, and I wouldn't want to trade it - But it will take getting used to.

Hope this helps

Gregory

Greg,

I'm glad to read that you really like your Incra table saw fence.

I've done very little woodworking so it's not like I've got lots of preconceived ideas on how something should work based on actual wood working experience. Fortunately, or I guess unfortunately depending on one's perspective, I do have plenty of preconceived ideas on how precision equipment should be designed, constructed / machined, inspected, setup and operated. With the preconceived mechanical ideas I have I'm naturally attracted to precision and wish to go this way even if I end up designing my own unit in SolidWorks and making a precision fence system with more traditional, established and accepted mechanical principles. I think the best way to do that is to start with this unit and get to know it well and then over time decide exactly what I think is needed.

What you wrote does help. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Jon Banquer

San Diego, CA

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I'd go with Marc's apparent advice & not get the Incra. Go with a beismeyer (sorry if spelled wrong) style fence. They are strong, square and jigs fit over them (I think that's their biggest advantage).

Good luck with the fence purchase.

Dyami,

I've actually used a Biesemeyer fence in the past. I was extremely well built! In my opinion the Biesemeyer I used approx 15 years ago was much better built than the Incra fence is. The problem I have is that although the Biesemeyer is exceptionally well built it's not what I consider to be a precision measuring or locating device.

Jon Banquer

San Diego, CA

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If you're looking for micro-adjustablity, they are pretty much the only game in town (as far as a top to bottom solution goes). And if micro-adjustability on the tablesaw is that important to you, you will probably be able to quickly overlook whatever shortcomings or quirkiness there might be in the design.

As far as my experience goes, let's just say I am not the right person for this fence. :)

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If you're looking for micro-adjustablity, they are pretty much the only game in town (as far as a top to bottom solution goes). And if micro-adjustability on the tablesaw is that important to you, you will probably be able to quickly overlook whatever shortcomings or quirkiness there might be in the design.

As far as my experience goes, let's just say I am not the right person for this fence. :)

Hi, Marc. Thanks for all you do for the woodworking community and for being so positive. I can't even begin to state how much I've gotten out of all the free videos you've done. I think it's only a matter of time before I join your guild.

I have a few questions for you if you don't mind:

1. Did you notice any real world difference when you went from a magnetized fixture that moved to using a dial indicator and setting your jointer blades within .001? Is this still something you only check once a year?

2. Do you like the concept of using a precision fence or do you feel the concept has no value to you?

One thing I've learned over my short 15 years of machining is there are lots of ways to skin a cat and my way might not be the way (and probably isn't the way) someone else would program / machine a part so it's cool if you don't like this fence or the concept. If I had to work in something like a cabinet shop for a living this precision fence and the concept of using a precision fence would probably put me at a huge disadvantage. After many years of machining I can use worn out / junk equipment and poorly designed fixtures and still produce very tight tolerance work. Sometimes I really enjoy the challenge but for sure it's not the fastest or best way to do the job.

Jon Banquer

San Diego, CA

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Jon, knowing you're into working with metal, and knowing that even fine furniture building does not require quite the precision that machining metal does, I thought you might appreciate Matthias Wandel’s web page if you are not already familiar with his site. You wouldn't guess he's into trying to be precise by looking at the things he makes. He is into woodworking and not metal working.

http://woodgears.ca/ - “An engineers approach to woodworking”

http://woodgears.ca/joinery.html - This is his joinery machine page. His videos are typically at the bottom of the page for each link. Please take a look at his Accuracy of Mortise and Tenon Joints link. He discuses dimension changes in thousandths of an inch.

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I just thought I would throw in my 2cents worth, I have the LS positioner with the Wonderfence and love it. If it is quallity and accuracy you are after I don't think you can beat the Incra but in my eyes it comes at the cost of convenience and habit. Add to that and unless you are doing prodution type work where you are always repeating and duplicating your cuts it may in vain. Like I said I love my router setup and my Incra measuring tools but the TS system seems just too querky FOR ME, and I am VERY fussy with my work. If you have the chance try to get your hands on it to see what you think before signing on the dotted line and please let us know what you decide and how you like it, it may be perfect for you but then again it may no be.

Nate

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I just thought I would throw in my 2cents worth, I have the LS positioner with the Wonderfence and love it. If it is quallity and accuracy you are after I don't think you can beat the Incra but in my eyes it comes at the cost of convenience and habit. Add to that and unless you are doing prodution type work where you are always repeating and duplicating your cuts it may in vain. Like I said I love my router setup and my Incra measuring tools but the TS system seems just too querky FOR ME, and I am VERY fussy with my work. If you have the chance try to get your hands on it to see what you think before signing on the dotted line and please let us know what you decide and how you like it, it may be perfect for you but then again it may no be.

Nate

That's fantastic advice - Get hands on with both style fences, and see which one works for you - I would Imagine you could track down some folks in your area who own one of each - Even if it means driving a few hours...

I've gotten used to my incra fence, but there are times that I could really benefit from a Bisemeyer, especially when doing a cabinet job, and needing to rip/cross cut pieces larger than 31" - With the Incra, setting the fence wider than 31" is possible, but it takes me an extra 2-3 minutes of set up.

I used to fiddle around with the Micrometer on the fence, but I never touch it now.... The incra fence locks in at 1/32" incraments, and for me, that works 99% of the time. I bought the fence because of the micrometer, but since, have really embraced its repeatability instead.

Also, I don't like the fact that I can't use saddle type jigs with the incra, but on the other hand, all the fancy t-track built into the TS3 provides for a large ammount of mounting and sliding surface.

I've had students who have used my saw/fence and comment "This is complicated", but after a minute or two, they're asking "Where do I get one of these?" - My woodworking classes have probobly sold a bunch of incra stuff. And in full disclosure, I do not have any deal with Incra, Woodpeckers, or any of the companies that sell their stuff - I Just really like their products, and own their router fence, several positioners, and miter guages as well.

What I can tell you, is If I could design the perfect fence (If I were an enthusiastic machinist, looking to make the next wonder tool), it would be a bisemeyer style, with the incra positioning system built into the front of the unit, on the lower support rail. I think this would be the best of both worlds! I'd buy that fence!

Hope this helps,

Gregory

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I'm trying to decide what table saw fence I will get. I've viewed the video of the Incra table saw fence several times. Apparently this is the only micrometer type precision adjusting fence on the market. What I don't get is why Incra decided to mount the screw and micrometer feed on top of the saw? I think the screw should be on the front of the saw and out of the way. Does anyone have one of these and if so do you like it?

Jon Banquer

San Diego, CA

The Incra LS (on my router table) is the best-made tool I've ever purchased, hands down. I was stunned it's Made in the USA; wouldn't trade it for anything.

For a table saw, it seems a bit of a tradeoff; it's more precise than the cut can be, but also is a bit tougher to adjust.

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I used to fiddle around with the Micrometer on the fence, but I never touch it now.... The incra fence locks in at 1/32" incraments, and for me, that works 99% of the time. I bought the fence because of the micrometer, but since, have really embraced its repeatability instead.

I'm pretty much of the same thinking. I have the Miter5000 miter guage and sled combo and I really like the 1/32" teeth. Once I zero it on the blade, I like just automatically snapping to the right position. I haven't actually ever bothered with trying to micro adjust it. Because of my desire for that repeatability, I was thinking of getting the tablesaw fence.

Another related question: Do you have an outfeed table and did you have any problem reconfiguring it to work with the fence? Mine is attached right to the back of the saw rather than a seperate table, so I'm assuming I would have to do some creative joinery to fit it all together.

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I'm pretty much of the same thinking. I have the Miter5000 miter guage and sled combo and I really like the 1/32" teeth. Once I zero it on the blade, I like just automatically snapping to the right position. I haven't actually ever bothered with trying to micro adjust it. Because of my desire for that repeatability, I was thinking of getting the tablesaw fence.

Another related question: Do you have an outfeed table and did you have any problem reconfiguring it to work with the fence? Mine is attached right to the back of the saw rather than a seperate table, so I'm assuming I would have to do some creative joinery to fit it all together.

incraoutfeed.jpg

The outfeed table in my case is just a piece of melamine resting between my two saws. I have my main cabinet saw, plus a contractors saw facing it (barely noticable in the upper left) A piece of aluminum angle supports the outfeet table, and bolts right on to the incra rails. Then, a large chamfer-round over in the leading/trailing edges of the outfeed makes sure that pieces don't get hung up.

I buy the aluminum at www.brunnerent.com - They have a huge variety, they'll ship it, and they'll sell it piece meal..

Best,

Gregory

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The outfeed table in my case is just a piece of melamine resting between my two saws. I have my main cabinet saw, plus a contractors saw facing it (barely noticable in the upper left) A piece of aluminum angle supports the outfeet table, and bolts right on to the incra rails. Then, a large chamfer-round over in the leading/trailing edges of the outfeed makes sure that pieces don't get hung up.

Thanks. I hadn't even thought to look if there were attachment options on the other side of the bar. That settles it for me then.

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Jointech is another company that makes a micro adjusting table saw fence called the Saw Stop. Just putting another option out there.

http://www.jointech.com/index.html

Appreciate that you took the time to post this link. I did not find them in my search and if you hadn't of mentioned it I would not have known about them or that an option existed.

Jon Banquer

San Diego,CA

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The Incra LS (on my router table) is the best-made tool I've ever purchased, hands down. I was stunned it's Made in the USA; wouldn't trade it for anything.

For a table saw, it seems a bit of a tradeoff; it's more precise than the cut can be, but also is a bit tougher to adjust.

I started in machining by buying all U.S. made tools. I then started to add some Japanese tools because I greatly prefer the feel of Mitutoyo micrometers to Starrett ones. This is especially true with blade mics. I have brand new Starrett blade mics that I hate and would love to get rid of because the Mitutoyo ones are so much better.

Without a doubt the very best tools I own are not Mitutoyo. They are Swiss made tools from Tesa and Interapid.

Jon Banquer

San Diego,CA

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What I can tell you, is If I could design the perfect fence (If I were an enthusiastic machinist, looking to make the next wonder tool), it would be a bisemeyer style, with the incra positioning system built into the front of the unit, on the lower support rail. I think this would be the best of both worlds! I'd buy that fence!

Hope this helps,

Gregory

For sure you and I think a like in this area.

Jon Banquer

San Diego, CA

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