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Incra miter gauge very good, but it takes a bit of work

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Review by ic3ss posted 10-13-2014 04:51 AM 4649 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Incra miter gauge very good, but it takes a bit of work Incra miter gauge very good, but it takes a bit of work Incra miter gauge very good, but it takes a bit of work Click the pictures to enlarge them

So I finally took the plunge and ditched my miter gauge that came with my old Unisaw. I never really used it, it just sat there if needed. Well, I knew from experience that it was crap so it has gone away. Bought the 1000HD a while back and have been using it for a few weeks and man am I impressed. This is what Made in USA is all about. I’ve been loving everything about it, but it took a bit of work. I picked it up at Rockler on sale for $119.

First off, the thing is packaged very well and comes with a set of directions that is very clear and has full color illustrations to drive home the points. The parts are in sealed plastic bags and each bag has a paper label inside that says what the parts are. In setting it up the directions are very detailed and walk you through adjusting the fence 90 degrees to the blade. Then I noticed that the 0.1 degree cursor was misaligned to the protractor scale by a small bit but it did make a difference. The fix is not in the directions but I loosened the screws that hold down the protractor scale and was able to move it around where I wanted it and tightened it down. Problem solved.

Next was checking the fence 90 degrees to the table top. It was not. It talks about shimming the fence bracket with paper and at first it didn’t make sense to me how to place the paper but then it came to me. I had to take the gold fence off, unscrew the bracket from the protractor, and to make it easier I took out the center pivot bolt from the protractor to the rail. I had the whole thing torn apart just to get some scraps of paper in there. When I put it back together, the protractor center pivot screw, a shoulder screw, didn’t go all the way over the shoulder and smashed the edge of the hole in the protractor, then I couldn’t get it in at all. I had to use a small round file to open the hole just a touch so the screw could go back in. Note to self. . .

I got that back together finally and checked the square to the table, and I went the wrong way, I made the error worse. So I had to do it again to move the shims from one side of the fence bracket screws to the other but this time I didn’t take the protractor center screw out.

That’s all it needed, it is now exactly square to the blade and the table. The rest of the setup is about adjusting the measuring tape on the fence, but honestly it didn’t make much sense to me so I skipped it. I did some test cuts, 4×45 degrees and I just needed a small adjustment and the second set square up perfectly.

I love how solid it is and the fact that once calibrated it will stay calibrated regardless of the angle. This is a big upgrade for my old Unisaw and even though it takes a bit of time to set it up right, I highly recommend it. I love the accuracy and the quality of manufacturing that went into it.

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."




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ic3ss

389 posts in 2589 days



23 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

1478 posts in 1434 days


#1 posted 10-13-2014 10:28 AM

I always cringed every time someone would pick up a mitered box. I always got kind remarks but I knew they were just being polite.
THEN, like you, I bought the Incra 1000HD but my miters went to hell, should have read the instructions first.
Since I got it dialed in, I almost challange people to inspect the miters because I know that they are now correct.
I also have the LS Incra fence for my Unisaw and on my router table. Great products and great people to deal with.

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1594 posts in 1236 days


#2 posted 10-13-2014 02:49 PM

What a great upgrade. Congratulations!

Nothing like being able to cut miters on the table saw, and not skip a beat. You are going to love using it and wonder how you did without it for so long.

Now, where to store it when not in use?

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1850 posts in 2450 days


#3 posted 10-13-2014 03:28 PM

I finally pulled the trigger on one of these too – same Rockler sale. Set it up last night, but didn’t have time to cut anything yet.

-Paul

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 3121 days


#4 posted 10-13-2014 03:53 PM

Great choice…
It is by far the best miter gauge on the market. I have one for my table saw that I have used to make hundreds of mitered boxes and it is always dead on accurate. I also have one that I use in the slot of my router table.

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1605 posts in 2766 days


#5 posted 10-13-2014 04:09 PM

I’m in with Greg here, and agree that I think this is the best miter gauge on the market. I still usually go to my fixture on the disk sander to finalize my miters, as there are still variables with the blade, etc. but this is my go-to miter gauge (of the several I have). Current on line sale at Rockler for $119 is probably the best deal anyone will ever get. My shop is a real-time testimonial to Incra products. I’m obviously a fan.
Roger

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

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8137 posts in 1298 days


#6 posted 10-13-2014 04:22 PM

Have one and love it. Just wish I got it for 119$.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3287 posts in 1610 days


#7 posted 10-13-2014 04:25 PM

Greg and Roger,
How would you compare your use of the Incra in comparison to your experience using the Osborne?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1605 posts in 2766 days


#8 posted 10-13-2014 04:58 PM

CharlesA: I have an Osborne. I think the Osborne is particularly well suited to heavier work; like for a working carpenter or cabinetmaker. It is rock solid. It offers many fewer choices than the Incra, but is a good solid gauge. The Incra though, tends to be the one I have on the saw at all times. But then, I mostly do boxes and a bit of period furniture. The precision is comforting. Just feels good. I have nothing really bad to say about the Osborne. I find myself hard-pressed to give you a really clear reason for my preference. But I almost always grab the Incra.
Roger

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

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

389 posts in 2589 days


#9 posted 10-13-2014 05:09 PM

Brad,

The miter gauge has been on the bench because I usually keep the sled on the saw. I’ve not figured out where to keep it yet, like most of us storage in my garage/shop is at a premium.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3287 posts in 1610 days


#10 posted 10-13-2014 05:16 PM

Storage: this may or may not work wit the Incra. With my Osborne, I attached an eye bolt and a hook to the side of the contractor saw, and hang it there. I had been frustrated for a long time on where to store it.

Roger, thanks for the comparison. I really like my Osborne, but I’ve never used an Incra. Your description sounds fair, and confirms that I probably made the right choice with the Osborne given how I use it.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View jacquesr's profile

jacquesr

339 posts in 1235 days


#11 posted 10-13-2014 05:32 PM

I too had to play with it to get it properly set-up.
Will have to start over again once I get my 36-2745 in two weeks.
Thanks for the review

View Lumberpunk's profile

Lumberpunk

334 posts in 2149 days


#12 posted 10-13-2014 06:06 PM

I used brass shim stock from lee valley to square the fence… it has been true for 5 years now.

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

394 posts in 1782 days


#13 posted 10-13-2014 07:28 PM

To store accessories for my table saw, I placed some 1/4” studs into the sides of the saw. I hang everything from these studs including the Incra 100HD. The 1/4” stud will go through the curved slot in the miter gauge.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 1858 days


#14 posted 10-13-2014 07:33 PM

I got mine during the last Rockler sale and love it.

-- paxorion

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 3121 days


#15 posted 10-13-2014 07:52 PM

CharlesA…I had an Osborne EB3 miter gauge and it was a very fine and sturdy made tool. I ended up selling it on Craigslist primarily because I liked the ability of the Incra to adjust at extreme precise repeatable angles that were hard to do with the Osborne. I really liked the fraction of a degree precision adjustability of the Incra.

As far as storage goes, I have a cabinet attached to my right side wing of the table saw and it makes storage of the Incra and other goodies convenient and easy. I keep it right inside the left cabinet door.

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