|Review by TechRedneck||posted 05-16-2011 01:20 AM||8072 views||4 times favorited||6 comments|
Being a weekend woodworker (some evenings too) my time is important. Most of the joinery I’ve done is the basic stuff.. Biscuits, dadoes, M&T and pocket hole. I wanted a system to make some nice jewelry boxes for my grandchildren and step up my work a notch without spending a ton of money on a bunch of dovetail jigs, and making a bunch of box joint jigs that take up room in the shop. The Incra system interested me.
I watched the videos and thought the concept was interesting from an engineering standpoint. Most of the reviews here on LJ’s were positive about the Incra systems. I have an Incra miter gauge that is fantastic, so I waited for a sale and pulled the trigger on this entry level system.
A couple months ago I was in WoodCraft to pickup a drum sander I ordered and saw a Jessem Router table and Fence floor model on sale for $100 off. I figured since I drove three hours, why not upgrade the router table.
Thing was, I really liked the Jessem fence and along with a Triton 3HP router the thing was just great. The Incra was an afterthought and I was not going to get another table ( the wife has been very understanding) So I grabbed a scrap piece of 3/4 oak ply and two shelf brackets, went to the local hardware store and bought the necessary hardware to install the setup below:
The extension table stands on four bolts counter-sunk into the table allowing me to fine tune the extension level with the router table. The board that the Incra sets on has a lip screwed into the bottom that runs the entire length of the back of the board so all I have to do is set it down and attach two small “C” clamps.
I would recommend watching the videos and reading the manual before starting to get the concept of centering the bit and adjusting the bit height. I also purchased the large book of templates (well worth the price) and their instructional video. The people at Incra were a pleasure to deal with.
From unpacking the box, assembling the extension table, mounting the Incra and choosing a pattern it was about four hours to make my first box joint.
I was very pleased, the wife saw this little box and I had to make four more, she hung them in the guest bedroom and put candles in them. (always pays to give the wife the first project from a new toy)
I highly recommend this system for those who want to make great joinery without a whole lot of skill and time. I will always appreciate the hand cut dovetails but that is way in the future for me.
This little Incra was intended for joinery, I use the beefy Jessem fence for most of the router work since the DC works great and the face adjusts for different size bits. I can use the Incra fence for precise work if needed. If you don’t want to spend the money for the full Incra Setup, this is a good add-on.
-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle