If the Incra jig is wrong I don't ever wanna be right

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Forum topic by ColonelTravis posted 10-22-2013 07:43 PM 2083 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1932 posts in 2095 days

10-22-2013 07:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: incra positioning jig dovetail

Here’s the thing – I love hand tools. For example, most people prefer electric planers and jointers over hand planes. I don’t. I like squaring a board the hard way. Maybe that’s because I don’t make 5 billion tables a month or 100 or even one. No doubt I’d change my tune if I did.

Here’s another thing – I love electricity. So I ordered this and it just arrived:

I can just see Rob Cosman’s face if you showed him this. He’d look at you, shake his head and laugh and walk away. 10 seconds later he’d come back and point his finger right in your face and say, “You are an idiot!” and fling all the tools off the bench and walk away again.

Maybe one day I’ll have the patience to cut dovetails the hard way. Right now – screw that, hello easy way. At the same time I can’t help but think it’s cheating and I don’t really care.

9 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3786 days

#1 posted 10-22-2013 07:54 PM

I bought the expensive model incra jig for dovetails and box joints and no matter how I tried I couldn’t get it to cut dovetails it did nice box joints but I sold it and glad I did.Incidently many others had the same difficulty as I did and have yet to meet someone who got good results. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View ColonelTravis's profile


1932 posts in 2095 days

#2 posted 10-22-2013 08:18 PM

That stinks, Alistair, sorry to hear about that. Although you live in the same country that produces my delicious Highland Park 18 so I can’t feel TOO sorry!!!!!

Kidding. What kind of problem(s) did you run into?

To your point, it’s why I ordered this model instead of, say, the full blown positioner and fence. As it just arrived, I haven’t installed it yet. I’ve read about so many people who’ve had success with it but, yes, I have read people who’ve not been pleased. If it turns out to be a bust, one good thing is that I ordered it off amazon with some gift certificates, added very little of my own money.

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2162 days

#3 posted 10-23-2013 12:55 AM

I love hand tools but I haven’t yet learned dovetails. I say if you’re a hobbiest, use whatever works for you and you have fun with. Don’t feel a bit guilty. Just enjoy those perfect dovetails if you can get the jig to work, and if you feel the urge to do it by hand some day, then do that. If you never do, no loss. You shouldn’t feel guilty about a hobby.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2891 days

#4 posted 10-23-2013 01:27 AM

Please let us know what you think after you get it set up and have used it some. A review is in order!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2676 days

#5 posted 10-23-2013 01:39 AM

hello easy way. I haven’t installed it yet.

Get back to us once you have played with it. I bought it, could not make it work. I finally broke down, practiced dovetails every day for about 2 months….now there is no machine that can make them quicker if you count the time it takes to set them up and get all the positioning right.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1932 posts in 2095 days

#6 posted 10-23-2013 01:42 AM

Will definitely give a review. Preliminary observations:

The DVD it came with is very helpful but I see I’m running into Ye Olde Prepeworke again. Man, so much prep work before you can do ANYTHING in woodworking. Restoring hand planes – prep work out the wazoo, including secondary prep work to set up the primary prep work. But I’m fine with that. Table saw? More prep work, but that’s OK, I’d rather not cut off a hand. Router? Well, my Bosch needs an extra special bushings adapter to the bushings adapter before you can use bushings. But that’s OK. And now this Incra thing.

First, I’ve got to prep the table to make the jig work with the table.
Then I can start making stuff right?
No, once you get it on the table you have to make a right angle fence.
Then I can start making stuff?
No, then you have to set up the router bit and make a few passes and adjustments to make sure
your joints will fit correctly.
THEN I CAN START MAKING STUFF????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, then you can start making stuff.

View JL7's profile


8690 posts in 3166 days

#7 posted 10-23-2013 02:03 AM

I’ve cut dovetails on this same jig…..with mixed results. You need really square ends on your stock and take your time to ensure the stock is clamped square and flush to the table in the right angle jig…. Design your table to be sure you can clamp the right angle fixture to the table before clamping the stock to the fixture…..

Good luck…...

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View PaulDoug's profile


1646 posts in 1904 days

#8 posted 10-23-2013 02:21 AM

I just bought and received that jig. It made me want to rebuild my router table top before using it. I have gotten to the point of routing the hole in the table top for the new Incra plate I also bought and walla, my router that worked the day before doesn’t work now. I think it is the switch, got one on order.

Hope the jig work for something. We will see.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Woodbum's profile


834 posts in 3266 days

#9 posted 10-23-2013 06:58 PM

Hello Alistair, I’m Bob. Glad to make your acquaintance! There sir, you have now met someone who has made an Incra jig work! I have had an Incra twin linear fence/jig set up on a router table and a Wonder fence set up on an Incra TSIII table saw fence to use on my left mounted router table for years and think they are great tools. I have cut most of the joints in their extensive project books including simple and complex dovetails and box joints and found the setup and use to be pretty easy. I have never used the original Incra positioner, but am a huge fan of all things INCRA! I too like electricity and work in a predominantly power tool shop. I still maintain that if the furniture makers of the 16th 17th and 18th centuries had the tools we have today, they sure as hell would have used them. I have great respect for the purists who like to use hand tools exclusively, but that is their passion, not mine. Call me ignorant, but who the hell is Rob Cosman, and why would he care what tools you or I use or don’t use. I enjoy what I do, I have fun, and make what I want and need when I want an need to. What could be better about our favorite pastime then that.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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