Author Topic: Incra  (Read 13746 times)

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Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Incra
« on: April 02, 2007, 09:57 AM »
Everyone,
When I think of a group of tools that comes to my rescue again and again in projects, first comes Festool, then comes Incra.

I've got Incra's Precision Router Lift (PRL) and the LS Positioner router fence in a table from Woodpeckers.

I have been using these routing tools for about three years, and I could not imagine woodworking without them now.  I love being able to set router height smoothly and with amazing precision.  The fence is fantastic, allowing me to sneak up on various cuts.  It does a great job on box joints and dovetails (I have only used it for fairly traditional styles, but it can go way beyond this).  I have a jointer, but I have used the LS fence for jointing smaller pieces that would be unsafe in the jointer.  In many ways, jointing on the router table is better.  I get more visibility and more precision.  But of course I'm limited to 1x for this.  For anything bigger, or to do face jointing, I go to my jointer (one of the new Orion models made for Craftsman).

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 30, 2007, 11:57 AM by Matthew Schenker »
FOG Designer and Creator

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Offline ejantny

  • Posts: 182
  • Scotia, NY
Re: Incra
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 10:03 AM »
I too have the LS and is is a wow setup. With it I have the Twin Linear. The heavy raiser and a dedicated PC 7518.

It is one of the first things I want to get up when my shop is at a point where it allows me to work without falling over things.

Offline Jim Dailey

  • Posts: 278
Re: Incra
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 12:29 PM »
Matthew,

I'm also a big Incra fan.  I have a Linear Twin w/ a Jessem MasterLift on my shop built router table. 

However I think most people are thinking of Incra positioners as only router table or table saw positioners.   They have other uses in the shop.  I have 5 Ultra Lite 12" positioners around the shop.  I have one permanently mounted on my drill press.  I been meaning of duplicating the set up on another drill press because it works so well.  I have a pair mounted on my Unishaper.  I use one on my BS to do precision rips (makes perfect feather boards).  They are a wonderful indexing device.

The Incra fence with the Shop Stops is also a great addition.  This fence & Shop Stops I use on the drill press, Unishaper, Dewalt RAS, DeWalt compound miter box, and my Leigh FMT.  The Leigh FMT has fences mounted left & right as well as vertical.  This set up allows me to do repeat mortises or tenons in under 30 seconds.  This set up is great for a production run.

The precision inherent in the Incra is additive.

jim
Life is just a series of projects...

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Incra
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 01:03 PM »
Do any of you guys have the Jointech version of the router fence set up?   I have been to their factory and the whole system is very impressive.  However, they are quite a bit more expensive than the Incra version. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, Trion, MFT/3, T15, OF 1400, RO150FEQ, TS55, RTS400, CT22, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, CSX, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, Kreg router table

Offline Lou Miller

  • Posts: 482
  • North Wales, PA
    • Some of my work
Re: Incra
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 02:28 PM »
Howard,

I have the Jointech version. Their cabinet maker's package. For all intents and purposes, its the same thing as the Incra but with a little bit heftier build to it. There are some differences, but they are minor and each unit will do the same tasks.

My Jointech is probably 6 or 7 years old now and its been a great addition to the shop.

Offline JayStPeter

  • Posts: 360
Re: Incra
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2007, 08:40 PM »
I have some Incra stuff.  I like Incra and their customer service.  I have a 1000SE miter gauge, plunge lift, and a bunch of their t-track.  I recently picked up a used Ultra-Lite system to make a bandsaw fence out of (it'll be a while, but couldn't resist).

I used to have a Incra Pro system on my router table, but replaced it with a Jointech.  The new LS fence addresses the positioner reason for the replacement.  But, I still like the Jointech fence better than the Wonderfence. 

HowardH, you can't compare the base Incra system to the Jointech system as far as price is concerned.  The base Incra system is only a joinery system and doesn't work well as a general purpose fence.  There are some modifications you can do that make it OK, but the Wonderfence is the real solution.  With the Wonderfence, the Jointech/Incra prices are comparable.  If you are only going to use it for joinery, by all means get the cheaper Incra.  Both systems are good and you should be happy with either.  If you want a general purpose fence, I suggest playing with both at a show if possible.  IMO, It's largely personal preference.
Jay St. Peter

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: Incra
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2007, 03:00 PM »
Your suggestion to try each of these systems at a show is definitely correct.

When I was looking for an upgrade to my old router system, I considered both the Incra and the Jointech.  The Jointech is definitely a nice system.  I went with the Incra because it was, just to my own subjective mind, a bit more elegant.  But again, there's no proof of that.  As Jay says, it was my "personal preference."  I'm sure both systems would serve for most of our needs.

One thing I know is that once I got the Incra system set up, I would not choose to work without it.  The same would probably be true of the Jointech if I had gone with that one.

Regarding the lifts, since I got the PRL from Incra, others have come on the market that are well-reviewed, including one by Jess-Em, which is a great company (I used to own their unique "Router Slide" system, which has since been discontinued).

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 03:02 PM by Matthew Schenker »
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: Incra
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 06:31 PM »
I chose the JoinTech positioner and fence.  It was a time-consuming nuisance to initially setup and adjust, but it works very smoothly now.  Mine is mounted on a hybrid TS with extension tables on both sides that have router plate cutouts.  My view is that JoinTech and Incra's products of this type are now nearly comparable.  You can use the same router bits with either system to make all the joints in their books.  The incremental adjustment feature is particularly nice when you want to sneak up on the final dimension of a tenon, e.g. a sliding dovetail.  And both of them have built dust collection into their fences.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline richard.selwyn

  • Posts: 631
Re: Incra
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2007, 06:44 PM »
I know you can't get it yet in the US, but I regularly use the Festool router in the CMS / Basis table.  Whilst its certainly not up to Incra standards, it works pretty well and I often turn to it for smaller pieces instead of my big shaper.  Its also great to take on site (with router/ jigsaw and TS/AT55 inserts.)  Have you guys ever got to the bottom of why Festool don't import their table/inserts into the US;  I have heard many suggestions on the FOG, but as I know the powers that be are sometimes listening in, maybe they could explain.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1096
Re: Incra
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2007, 02:57 PM »
The plan is to build Uncle Norm's router table cabinet and then put on either the Incra or Jointech table and fence system.  I sold my spouse on the idea of refacing all our kitchen cabinets which would necessitate having a router table of some sort to do the raised panels, rails and stiles.  I do like the Jointech centering feature.  I understand Incra has a similar version as well.  I'll get the cabinet built and then do some comparing.
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, Trion, MFT/3, T15, OF 1400, RO150FEQ, TS55, RTS400, CT22, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, CSX, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, Kreg router table

Offline Peter Teubel

  • Posts: 148
Re: Incra
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2007, 06:27 PM »
Don't be afraid to mix-n-match. I have a BenchDog cabinet, Jessem Excel top (w/built-in lift), and Jessem fence. I also had an Incra LS positioner sitting around that I finally wanted to use. But the fence was too lightweight for my taste. So I attached a table extension on the backside of the table and attached the LS positioner. I then attached it to the Jessem fence. Now I can have indexable fence movement and still retain the features of the Jessem fence I like so much. There's no undue stress on the positioner moving the heavy fence because I still retain the stock fence hold-downs.

Online greg mann

  • Posts: 1789
Re: Incra
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2007, 08:22 PM »
Don't be afraid to mix-n-match. I have a BenchDog cabinet, Jessem Excel top (w/built-in lift), and Jessem fence. I also had an Incra LS positioner sitting around that I finally wanted to use. But the fence was too lightweight for my taste. So I attached a table extension on the backside of the table and attached the LS positioner. I then attached it to the Jessem fence. Now I can have indexable fence movement and still retain the features of the Jessem fence I like so much. There's no undue stress on the positioner moving the heavy fence because I still retain the stock fence hold-downs.

Peter,

That is a great approach. I am very impressed with the general layout of the Jessem fence but felt the one thing it lacked was a positive positioning system. I would like to see some pics on how you did that combination.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Peter Teubel

  • Posts: 148
Re: Incra
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2007, 08:40 PM »
Here you go, Greg.

The "adapter" is just a piece of 3/4" ply with a short section of t-track. The t-track allows me to center the fence. The only drawback is now the SIZE of the table top (a bit awkward). Even without using the stock fence hold downs, the LS keeps it quite stable. But I'm not the most gentle guy in the shop, so I don't want to depend on all the cantilevered mass.

Online greg mann

  • Posts: 1789
Re: Incra
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2007, 09:17 PM »
Very cool. You could probably get rid of the cantilevered issue by just buying another Jessem table and mount them back to back.  ;D

Great pics, what took so long.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan