The Basement #10: Incra Router Table - Template Holder

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Blog entry by JL7 posted 12-28-2010 04:09 AM 8413 reads 10 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Incra Router Table - More Progress..... Part 10 of The Basement series Part 11: Incra Router Table - Bit Storage »

Before getting into the specifics, I should say, this won’t mean much unless you own an Incra positioner, but if you don’t own one, they really do a great job in repeatable cuts, unmatched actually. In the past 2 years, I have purchased 3 different Incra setups off of Craigslist for less than 50 cents on the dollar. I gave one of them to my Dad, and still have the Ultra which I’m using on this router table, along with the TS LS (table saw linear screw) on my table saw.

I also have an original Incra jig (which I purchased new) on a smaller homemade table that makes a great second table setup. Functionally the original jig (which is all plastic) has the same precision, but just less travel, and these can be purchased new with a fence for around $100 or so.

So if you are interested in an Incra, keep your eyes peeled, they are out there and worth the money!

Anyways, back to topic, there are 50 templates that come with the larger Incra positioners, and are always a pain to find the one you are looking for, here is a photo of the raw templates:

I was inspired by these 3 sites for this project:




My design is mostly inspired by number 3, as a matter of fact he worked out the Incra settings in CAD and posted a roadmap that is spot on for the cuts. In addition, his design was based on using a straight cutter as opposed to a dovetail bit which I liked.

The biggest difference is I cut slots on the top and bottom of the same board, which reduces the overall thickness of the finished piece. He used 2 boards and a somewhat elaborate approach to making the thin templates stand up from the base so you can grab them.

Instead of one wide board I used 2 narrower boards for 2 reasons, I had some scraps about the right size and it is half as many fence changes to make the same result.

I started with 2 pieces of ~5/8” plywood 9” wide and followed his CAD settings to cut 13 slots on both sides of each board. They were later ripped to a final overall dimension of 17-5/8”. These pieces are sandwiched between plexiglas:

To simplify the removal of the templates I designed the top row so the template sits just proud of the front edge of the plywood, this allows your finger to easily lift it up and remove. The bottom row has a narrow strip of plexi glued in front of the slots so the templates can’t lay flat on the bottom, again, easy to remove:

Since the bottom row of templates sticks out farther than the top row, I chiseled out the dividers ~1” from the back and glued in a stop.

I was originally going to mount this rig on drawer slides, but it occurred to me that it only needs to slide maybe 6” or so out the front of the cabinet to find the template you want, so decided to let this slide on it’s own at the bottom of the space, it’s only about 1” thick total. I am planning to add 2 bit storage drawers above this:

When it’s all said and done, I would be willing to bet that I would have spent less time searching for the right template the old way, than I did spending on building this, but what the hey, I love the gadgets…..

Thanks for looking.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

6 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3849 days

#1 posted 12-28-2010 04:33 AM

Ha. I love your last statement. I do the same kind of things myself.

I only have the original plastic Incra Jig. It comes in really handy. Still debating going for the bigger versions. I guess I should watch eBay.

Love your table. Looks like a fun build,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View JL7's profile


8646 posts in 2932 days

#2 posted 12-28-2010 04:43 AM

Hey Steve – I figured that would spark some response. If I was in business, this may not pass the cost/benefit analysis!

Thanks for the comments.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3256 days

#3 posted 12-28-2010 05:48 AM

very nice work, i’ve been wondering what to do with those.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3396 days

#4 posted 12-28-2010 03:15 PM

Why did I not think of something like that. I have dealt with that bundle of templates for years now. Really great. Thank you for the inspiration and for posting your ideas.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 2921 days

#5 posted 12-28-2010 03:56 PM

I see your point. Once you get using the Incra stuff it becomes a little like using a Mac, you find yourself becoming a zealot. I have positioners, lifts, tracks, stops, and miter gages on every piece of equipment I own. I find it hard to imagine going back to anything else. Does that make us “Incra fanbois”? :-)

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3754 days

#6 posted 12-28-2010 04:15 PM

Totally sweet solution to a problem most of us incra users have. Performing a cost benefits analysis here is not an effective measure of the pleasure, saatisfaction, and ease of use of template selection moving forward. I say well done and thanks for sharing your work with us. I still am green with envy over your techno cool router table.

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