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Thread: Mini Review of the Incra Miter Express -with promised follow-up

  1. #1
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    Mini Review of the Incra Miter Express -with promised follow-up

    On a recent trip to the USA, I bought this as a gift for myself. (aside: with the US dollar sinking against most major currencies to the point where Canadian dollar now worth $1.07 US, I may be making several such purchases).

    I opened, assembled, and played with it today and I am happy that I bought it.

    What is it? It is table saw sled that accommodates a miter guage.

    Here is a picture of the parts before I assembled them:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The assembly instructions are well written and well illustrated. It took me about 50 minutes from the time I opened the box till the time that I made the first cut.

    After assemble, the main component is a sled that incorporates a miter guage of your choosing. There is a secondary component called a “drop panel”.

    Here is a picture taken at the stage where I have assembled most of the parts and am using the table saw to cut a piece that is to become the drop panel off the sled:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It is possible assemble the Miter Express so that the sled is used to the left of the blade or to assemble it so that the sled is to the right of the blade. I chose to have it on the right of the blade where there is more table. The drop panel is inserted into the miter slot on the opposite side as shown in the picture below and locked into position with three set screws. It is slightly lower than the sled (lower by the width of some glide strips that are installed on the back of the sled).

    I have two miter gauges for my table saw –the original General one and a JessEm Mite R Slide. Once I decided to opt for the sled on the right, I could not use the Mite R Slide (shown at the back of the picture below) because I have set it up to be used on the left of the blade. The miter slot in the sled does not have a T-slot retainer, so I had to remove that part from the bar on the General miter gauge. The miter guage can be placed anywhere within the slot in the sled and it is locked into place with 3 cam screws. It only takes about 10 seconds to insert the miter guage into the sled or to release it from the sled.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A handy Hold Down Clamp comes with the unit. In the picture below, I am sawing a piece of 1 foot by 8 foot by 1.25 inch pine which is held in place on the sled by the clamp (red) opposite the miter guage handle. I used a small piece of scrap cut off when creating the drop panel underneath the far right of the board being cross-cut.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I made half a dozen cross-cuts on three different boards and the cutting operation was smooth and stable on all the cuts.

    In the picture below, I am about to make a cross cut on a piece of MDF that is just under two feet wide. You can see the Hold Down Clamp better in this picture.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the picture below, I am about to make a 45 degree cut cross on a piece of MDF. Observe that this time I put the clamp in a different place.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Both the cuts shown above also worked well.

    I only have two complaints (so far?). The first is that the T-slot retainers optionally attached to the miter bar that comes with the sled do not seem to fit as well as those on the bars of my two miter gauges, resulting in a bump when they leave the slot in the saw table on wide cuts. I might remove the retainers. The second is that the slot in the sled is not a t-slot, meaning that I had to remove a part from the bar on my miter gauge.

    In the future, I expect to experiment with using the sled on the left side of the blade in order to be able to utilize my JessEm miter gauge. If I do, I will report in this thread about my experience in doing so. (I did this -see post #5 in this thread)
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 11-14-2007 at 06:40 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Frank,

    I've had mine for a couple of years and really like it. I have it on the left with my Incra 1000SE. (Drop board is not on the table in the pic.)



    Interesting mounting it on the right...I bought mine at a woodworking show and just put it together like the show model. I might cut a few boards and try the right mounting some day.

    I can't remember if the unit came with tape on the sled, but I have (probably added) 3/8" slick tape strips on the bottom of mine to aid in sliding.

    Thanks for the review.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Smithville, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Cook View Post
    Frank,

    I've had mine for a couple of years and really like it. I have it on the left with my Incra 1000SE. (Drop board is not on the table in the pic.).
    I used mine to the right too, it was a shop made unit, but similar. The previous three I had made worked left of the blade, but by switching to the right you get to use the rip fence for registering dimension stops and have the added support of the table already there. I made a little ledge to go around the rip fence so that longer boards/panels were support at the same height as the sled, and it had a 1" block on the one end so I could register a dimension without having to ride on two fences and risk binding issues. This was a great setup until I went to a real slider.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Blasco View Post
    I used mine to the right too, it was a shop made unit, but similar. The previous three I had made worked left of the blade, but by switching to the right you get to use the rip fence for registering dimension stops and have the added support of the table already there. I made a little ledge to go around the rip fence so that longer boards/panels were support at the same height as the sled, and it had a 1" block on the one end so I could register a dimension without having to ride on two fences and risk binding issues. This was a great setup until I went to a real slider.
    Good ideas Sam. I will try them.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
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    The sled on the left side of the blade

    As promised in my original review, today I experimented with the sled on the left side of the blade in order to be able to utilize my JessEm miter gauge. It took less then 5 minutes to switch over. The first step was to loosen the three cam screws in the sled and the three tensioning screws in the drop panel. These are both loosened with Allen keys as shown in the following photo:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The sled and drop panel were then flipped end to end and inserted on the opposite sides:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Oh, oh there is a problem! I did not realize that the blade on my saw is closer to the right miter slot than to the left. This means that there are gaps on both sides of the blade with this set-up and this will result in tear out on the bottom of many boards. Nevertheless, I carried on.

    Again, because the miter slot in the sled does not have a T-slot retainer, I had to remove that part from the bar on the JessEm Miter Express. The picture above shows that being done. Once I inserted the miter gauge into the slot, I realized that the fact that the blade is not equidistant from the miter slots causes another problem. The scale on the bar is now off by about an inch and a quarter Ėas can be seen in the photo below:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I carried on and cut a couple of boards, one shown in the picture below:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It is nice to have a miter gauge with a longer bar and stop block, but it is unlikely that I will use this configuration. I have already switched back to the original. I guess that I could purchase a second Incra Miter Express and set it up this way, but itís not worth $130 (US) to me to have this.
    Cheers, Frank

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