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Thread: Advice needed on Incra fences

  1. #1
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    Advice needed on Incra fences

    I would really appreciate some input from users of the Incra fences. When we go north next month, I want to upgrade some equipment, but I'm not sure how best to proceed.

    I have a TS3650 with a Bench Dog cast iron router table installed in place of the left table extension. I'm satisfied with the stock saw fence and guard/splitter, but I want to get the Incra positioner (with all of the joinery bells and whistles) for the router. I had a lot of fun last summer building some small boxes, and I want to try some of the fancier joints that Incra advertises.

    I thought about getting either the 17 or 25 inch positioner, and mounting the clamping unit on a build-it panel (or a replacement panel for the Miter5000) and locking the panel in the saw's miter slot with a miter slider. I don't see any negative safety or accuracy issues in going that way, and I don't want the trouble and expense of going to the full saw/router combo (including a new guard system for the saw) If I don't need to.

    Any thoughts? Thanks,

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  2. #2
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    Tony,

    Most rational people (like, say, Vaughn) install their router table extension to the left of the blade. This has several advantages with the incra fences. It especially means a quick switch between sawing and routing.

    Irrational people (like, say, me) install it to the right of the blade. It means I have to flip my fence over to switch between sawing and routing, but it also means I can leave the blade guard on my ts 3650 in place.

    For some reason, having it on the right just seems natural to me. I was using it that way before I got my TS-LS with the wonder fence, when I was still using the incra positioner.

    I've actually been thinking about splitting apart my combo, and going back to a dedicated router table setup. Since I got my festool guided saw, I don't need 48 inches of fence capacity to the right of my table saw blade, and the whole combo setup takes up an awful lot of room in the shop.

    Thanks,

    Bill

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Tony,

    Irrational people (like, say, me) install it to the right of the blade. It means I have to flip my fence over to switch between sawing and routing, but it also means I can leave the blade guard on my ts 3650 in place.
    Thanks,

    Bill
    Bill: I'm confused; I thought that with the complete TS-LS system, the Incra rails would not permit use of the TS3650 blade guard. Does your setup permit you to dispense completely with rails on the left side of the blade?

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    We now divide our time between southwest Florida and southwest Vermont.
    Posts
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    Anybody?
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  5. #5
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    Sorry Tony, I messed your second question.

    I'm pretty sure you're right...the full rail prevents the blade guard from being able to attach to the saw. I'm not sure, because I haven't tried attaching mine since I put the rails on. I have a strong dislike of blade guards so I don't use them, but that's a personal preference and not one I recommend to anyone who feels comfortable with one.

    That said, I think it'd be easy to cut the rear rail into two rails, and set them up on the saw with a gap in the right location to allow the blade guard to be in place. You might need a few extra rail mounting brackets from Incra, and you might have to lift the fence assembly to move it across the gap instead of sliding it from the tablesaw setting to the router table setting, but functionally it should be fine.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  6. #6
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    Tony,

    Sorry, I didn't understand. Yes, I cut the back rail so I could still use my blade guard (I never run my ts 3650 without the guard in place). No problem, the rail cuts easy, I can take pictures if you want. Doesn't interfere with incra operations at all...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    We now divide our time between southwest Florida and southwest Vermont.
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    Thanks, guys. Bill: no pics necessary; it looks like I can make it work with the full TS-LS setup.

    I'd still like to explore the possibility of using just the 27" positioner on the router table side, but I have some concern that without the rails supporting the fence, clamping the unit down with just a miter slider (as I described in the first post) the fence may not be supported firmly enough. I'll call Incra for advice on that, and let you know if I learn anything certain.

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    We now divide our time between southwest Florida and southwest Vermont.
    Posts
    137

    Talked to Incra

    I spoke to Mark at Incra (he sounds like the person who does their demo videos). He said my idea about mounting the positioner to a board and anchoring it with a miter slider will work fine. The fence rides directly on the table (using some uhmw tape for easy sliding).

    Apparently, the base clamp has a 3/4" thick lower portion which can be removed; the upper portion can then be attached to a piece of 3/4 ply or mdf fitted with the miter slider. Looks like a go.

    Tony
    The optimist says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist says it's half empty.
    I say the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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