Incra LS32-TS Table Saw Fence System

Many of you have emailed me about my experiences with the Incra LS32-TS Table Saw Fence System. If you’ve followed the videos in order, you will notice that in Episode 30, I was very excited to have this “high end” fence on my tablesaw. Many of you soon noticed that I was back to my old Powermatic fence shortly thereafter. I certainly do owe everyone an explanation.

Before I go into the details, I would first like to talk about product reviews. I never claim to be a real “reviewer.” I don’t have standardized testing procedures and I really don’t care to. All I can do is tell you how a product worked in my hands. That doesn’t necessarily indicate how it will work in your hands. But I do feel the everyday-man approach can sometimes be much more informative than the formal, over-complicated, and “out of touch with the real world” scenarios we read about in many publications. So please take my comments with a grain of salt. They are, after all, just one man’s experience.

So why did I upgrade the fence in the first place? I was very happy with my Powermatic fence, but I really liked the idea of micro-adjustability and increased accuracy. I wasn’t convinced that I NEEDED it. I just WANTED it. I am sure you can relate. After all, Incra has a reputation for unparalleled precision and accuracy and doesn’t want a little more accuracy.

incra-ls-32The system was pretty straight forward and the instructions were clear. The kit came with a excellent DVD as well. Everything was going smoothly until it was time to align the fence with the blade, which I usually align with my miter slot. Alignment of the fence is accomplished by tightening down the 8 screws that hold the positioner in place on the far right side of the saw. When I do the initial setup of a fence, I’m not really picky. I just use my finger to make sure the fence is parallel with the miter slot. Once the fence is roughly aligned, I’ll move to a more accurate system for the final adjustments. I do it this way because that initial setup gives me an opportunity to quickly test the fence’s ability to lock down consistently each and every time. So I will lock the fence near the miter slot, check with my finger, unlock the fence, slide it back and forth, then lock it down again and test with my finger. It’s quick and dirty but it tells me a lot about the behavior of the fence. Much to my surprise, the Incra fence was not locking down consistently. So I decided to continue with the setup and calibration process in hopes that this was either just my imagination or perhaps I had a defective part. After several weeks of use, I still wasn’t confident the fence was locking down perfectly parallel each time.

Yes, I realize this is VERY much unlike the experience others have with this unit and I was just as surprised as you probably are. At this point, I should have called the company to pursue replacement parts, but time is money and I had already invested enough of both. Besides, there were other factors at play that brought me to the conclusion that this wasn’t the right fence for me. Let’s press on.

incra-adjustment-knobOne of the great features of this system is the micro adjustability. Once you have your fence lined up for a cut, you can raise the cam clamp into the first position, which engages the lead screw. At that point you can use the little click wheel to make adjustments down to 0.002″. How cool is that?! To completely secure the fence for a cut, you pull the cam clamp to the second position and then tighten a small thumb screw at the user end of the fence itself. So locking the fence down for a cut is a two-step process. Now it may just be the fact that I “grew up” on a traditional Beisemeyer style fence but I began to miss the simplicity of a simple lock and go mechanism. It may sound silly to some, but the extra job of tightening a knob for each cut started to become bothersome. Coupled with the fact that I still wasn’t confident in the fence’s ability to lock down parallel to the blade, things weren’t looking good.

incra-lockI was willing to live with these issues for a while in hopes of either changing my habits or resolving the problems I was experiencing. But there was another issue that cropped up when I began my first project with the fence. It was a simple cabinet out of 3/4″ Baltic Birch plywood. I thought it would be a great test for the new fence. Forget all this testing, measuring, and over-analyzing, let’s make some real cuts! Unfortunately, this exposed what, at least in my shop, proved to be the Achilles Heel of the entire system: limited rip capacity. The widest rip the 32″ version of the fence could handle was 29″. Clearly I should have gotten the larger unit. Now I could certainly live with that if I had no other option, but apparently I had become so accustomed to having full cabinet saw rip capacity, that this was a deal breaker. And to clarify, you can shift the rails to the right and re-adjust everything for a wider cut, but that’s just too much darn work for me.

All of these compounded factors lead me to the difficult decision of removing the fence from my saw. And I have to tell you, it was like taking off a pair of uncomfortable fancy dress shoes and slipping back into my perfectly worn Adidas sneakers.

Clearly, this just wasn’t the fence for me. Even if we assume the fence alignment was a defective part or a defective user, I found that the system was a bit cumbersome in-use. And while the micro-adjustment options were initially appealing to me, it turned out that my work habits have developed over the years in such a way that I don’t really need micro-adjustability at the table saw to be a happy woodworker. For me, nothing beats the simplicity of a standard fence.

I have been avoiding this write-up simply because of the overall negative tone for what is a highly-rated product from a top-notch company. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t second-guessing my own experiences. After all, I own several other Incra products and I have experienced their quality first-hand. The LS32-TS just didn’t work out for me.

So if you have experiences with the Incra system that differ from mine, please feel free to respond to this post. If you are interested in this fence system, try to find a friend that has one so you can get get some hands on time for yourself and be sure to read through the comments here. I am sure many will chime in with positive experiences that you should consider in your decision. I’m sure others will simply chime in to defend a product they spent their hard-earned money on.

In summary, the Incra system is a huge upgrade from most cheapo fences that come standard on contractor saws. But if you have a decent t-square fence that is in working order and you aren’t hung up on the concept of micro-adjustment at the table saw, I don’t think I would recommend the Incra unit as an upgrade. To me, the inconveniences weren’t worth what little I gained. Your mileage may vary.

Category: Reviews

Comments

  1. Ryan (http://) December 21, 2007

    Just this week upgraded my table saw fence to the Vega Pro. It also has a built in micro adjust…. although not incremental like the Incra, you can still figure out how far one turn moves the fence, and I have to say that I am very happy with the upgrade. The 50 inches to the right of the blade and the comfort in knowing the fence is parallel to the blade was the main reason for the upgrade, but the micro adjust is also nice. It was also considerably less than the Biesemeyer. I had checked out the Incra at the last wood show, and I just wasn’t convinced it was sturdy enough for reliable precision. It sounds like I made the right decision, thanks for the blunt and straightforward review.

  2. Germain December 21, 2007

    Thanks for taking time to share your experience, Marc. I’m sure the Incra fence system works well for a lot of people. Obviously, in your case it did not. As they say, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary.)

    I currently have a T-square fence from MuleCab which works quite well. I had considered trying the Incra. Your experience will likely save me a lot of time and money by sticking with my MuleCab.

  3. Zorn December 21, 2007

    I wasn’t considering one but wondered what happened. The only Incra products I have experience with are the rules. At my age I can barely see a .5mm pencil mark and lead that small breaks REALLY easy on wood. The 6″ Incra square rule is my favorite tool for transferring marks from one side to another, its much easier to hold in place than a combination square… not that that has anything to do with a table saw fence.. but they are far more precise than my ability.

  4. Carl Flansbaum December 22, 2007

    Hey Marc — I have been wondering how you liked this fence. I have had mine for probably about 2 years and it’s definitely been a love/hate relationship. Still better than what came with my saw, but if I was able to do it again, I would probably go with something else for the reasons you mentioned plus others…

  5. Kevin December 22, 2007

    Mark,
    Years ago I bought one of the early Incra all metal table saw fences. I had the same issues as you. I didnâ

  6. Jason (cfiiman) (http://) December 22, 2007

    Thanks for the heads up Marc, hey while we are on the subject, do have a recommendation for a good/acurate/affordable miter gauge for my PM 64A??? The gauge that came with it is junk it seems like, I mean it doesn’t even fit tight in the slot so it is impossible to get a perfect 90* cut…I really thought at this level of saw (I know it isn’t the best, but it is a great saw) that everything would be perfect…I was thinkin about the KREG, but that is just b/c I have a pocket screw jig of theirs and it seems really well built and accurate…Thanks!

  7. Mitch (http://) December 22, 2007

    Hi,

    Thanks for the review. I’ve watched the fancy Incra DVD promoting their fences and was impressed, but when I saw one at Rockler, I wasn’t impressed with the plastic parts.

    Did you give Tech Support at Incra a chance to help you out?

    What was your experience.

    Keep up the great shows and blogs!

  8.  

    Hey Jason. I can tell you that just about any after-market miter gauge will be a significant upgrade from the stock one. I personally use (and love) the Incra 2000. The Kreg looks pretty cool too. Again, I don’t think you have to worry too much about which one to get as the will all perform pretty well. I can safely recommend the Incra’s.

    Mitch. I did not call tech service simply because these were fundamental issues with the system. I honestly didn’t think there was a darn thing tech service could do for me. That is unless they offer a “re-engineering service”. :)

  9. Todd (http://) December 22, 2007

    Marc, I must say I do love my Inca TS Fence but I just received as a gift a new Jet cabinet saw with the 50″ fence. Of course the Incra is not long enough to fi the new saw I would have to replace parts or buy a new one and now you are worring me. I have been using the Xacta fence and like it, but it does not allow you to duplicate cuts like the Inca does. As far as the fence being suspended, mine was adjusted so it sat on the guides at either end of the fence, the ones you refered to as tightening down to secure the it. I believe I will just leave it on the old contracter’s saw and include it when I sell it.

  10. Brian December 22, 2007

    Marc,

    I just got one of these today and spent a bunch of time setting it up, but I haven’t seen the drooping you have been talking about. The guides along the back of the rail keep the fence itself supported, so you shouldn’t see any drooping.

    On another note though, the entire thing is made out of aluminum and it’s going to not be quite as strong as the steel setups like a bies or unifence.

    On my old PM 66 that has tubular rails it s quite an upgrade so I’m looking forward to trying it out over the coming weeks.

    Brian

  11. Brad_Nailor (http://) December 22, 2007

    That is a nice fence, but the fact that you couldn’t trust it..that would bother me more than any other issue. You have to be able to trust your fence! I kinda knew that you wern’t going to like the limited rip capacity when you first put the fence on. I just couldn’t understand why you would want to go from 50″ to 39″? And you have the room for a 50″ fence too! Well, live and learn right! How would you have known if you didn’t try the thing out..

  12. Greg Jones December 23, 2007

    Marc,

    I have the same fence and I could not be more happy with it. The Incra is considerably nicer and more functional, for me, that the Biesemeyer and Xacta II fences that I used prior to the Incra. I believe had you spent a little more time with the Incra, you would have discovered how to adjust it to fit the way you work. If you are inclined to give the Incra another chance, here are some tips to address the concerns that you had. Also, Mark at Incra tech support is an excellent resource if you run into problems; he assisted me with one of the issues that you raised and he was spot-on with the solution.

    1) Alignment off when clamping the fence. The Incra rides on the main rails on 2 fence glides that attach to the back of the fence (pictured in the third photo that you posted). These glides have 4 nylon buttons each that contact the top of the main rails. If the fence goes out of alignment when these glides are tightened, then they need shimmed. The problem is that either the left two buttons or the right two buttons will not be in contact with the main rails when the fence glides are loose. When you tighten the glides, the buttons are forced to contact the rail, which distorts the fence slightly. This causes the fence to go out of alignment with the blade, and out of square with the table top also. If the right buttons are off the rail, place a thin shim above the bolts that attach the glide to the rail, reverse if the left buttons are off the rail. It does not take much of a shim-a piece of paper did the tricck for me.

    2) Fence droops because the fence is suspended by the arm. Mine does not droop, so a call to tech support may be in order. Possibly the droop will take care of itself if the other issues discussed are addressed. Technically, the fence is suspended by the guides (see above) and the arm moves left-right to adjust the fence setting. When adjusted properly, there is no weight to speak of that is supported by the arm. Also note that the cardboard shims are not for making sure the fence sits perpendicular to the table top. These cardboard shims are used during initial setup to set the gap (about .050 inch) between the top of the table and the bottom of the fence. Once the initial setup is complete, these shims are not used again.

    3) Rip capacity is limited to 29 inches. There is a lot of flexibility with the Incra system to get a rip capacity that meets the needs of the user. The recommended mounting of the main rails in the Incra manual will give the user 32 inches to the right of the blade and 16 inches to the left of the blade. If you were getting only 29 inches to the right, then I suspect that the base support was mounted too close to the blade. If you have a left-tilt saw and do not need to use the fence on the left side of the blade, then the main rails can be mounted further to the right. To rip pieces wider than 32 inches, the entire base assembly is loosened and moved to the right. Stops are included in the hardware so that you can move the base on the rails and back without loosing your settings. The included DVD is a great visual on how this works. I have mine set to give me 0-32 inches in the main position, and 16-48 inches in the far right position. As a final option, Incra offers as an option a set of 92 inch rails so you can have still have 16 inches to the left of the blade, nearly 50 inches to the right, or a whopping 70 inches of rip capacity with the longer rails mounted all the way to the right.

    You may decide to try all the above and still find that the Incra is not to your liking and that’s fair, however I did want to point out that all the concerns that you experienced can be addressed with adjustments during the initial setup. The Incra is truly a wonderful fence when adjusted properly, and mine has stayed in adjustment. I’d hate to go back to using a T-square style fence again! If you do try the Incra again, good luck!

  13.  

    Thanks for the helpful info Greg. The real deal breaker for me, as I mentioned was the limited rip capacity. I remember adjusting it several times and the best I could do was 29″. Even if I could get the 31″ that extra 2″ really isn’ the issue. Its the 20″ or so I was missing. And the fence could have been the end all be all in every other regard and I still would have had to remove it based on the rip capacity. Based on the other issues I had with it, I had no desire to get the longer unit.

    I also did make adjustments, as per the instructions, to the fence for alignment. I had things as snug as they could be just before the point of binding. Again, it just never felt reliable when it was locked down. In addition, the whole process of locking the fence down in two steps was awkward.

    And I suppose the cardboard shim issue is a negative result of me waiting so long to write my impressions. I remember speaking with a viewer who had similar issues with the fence and he did call tech service and I believe he was told to shim the fence. Maybe he used the cardboard shims that came with the kit (I can’t recall). But I got it in my head that that’s what they were intended for. But you are absolutely correct, they are intended for use in setup only. I apologize for that.

    The bottom line is that this fence was too finicky and unreliable in my hands. I guess I come from the school of thought that a fence should not be that much trouble to adjust and set up. And a fence with so many adjustments has an equal number of things that can go wrong with it. I guess the simplicity and reliability of a T-square fence are more my speed. I think Germain said it best: “Your mileage may vary.”

  14. Claude Stewart December 23, 2007

    Why would anyone in their right mind spend over 400$ on a fence? I know because I did but it was an Excaliber fence. I was a pain getting the front and back rails attached to my old grizzey contractor saw but after that was done that fence worked great and you could have confidence in it. If fact it is still working great after about 15 years. I’ve since moved on to a Delta unifence and I like that too. It may not be the best but it is still very good. I’ve always thought that Incra products were too expensive and also kinda complicated for my use. I just don’t think that .001in. measurements have that much use in woodworking. But it sounds like you had about as much luck with that fence as I with Delta’s sliding table attachment that I spent 300$ on and then had to readjust it at least once a year to keep it halfway accurate. That got thrown away finally. I made myself a cut off jig that works every time all the time. Anyway Marc sorry about you wasting your money but join the club. Claude

  15. Jeff_K December 23, 2007

    Hey Marc (and fellow Wood Whispererites)

    Does anyone have any thoughts about the Jointech system? It seems to have a some more positive locking features as opposed to the Incra. How about these “positioning fences” as compared to say a standard good t-square fence with the Wixey digital readout system add-on. I really like the idea of something digital / repeatable. If the Wixey system works well, you sure can’t beat the price. While it may not be the positive engaging system like the Incra and the Jointech, it seems you would be able to make repeatable cuts (at least to 1/32″) with the Wixey readout.

  16. Germain December 24, 2007

    It seems to me tool and accessory opinions are very similar to the Mac/PC debate. People who are willing to tinker and enjoy doing so typically prefer the PC. People who want something that just works and continues to do so without fuss prefer the Mac.

    Since Marc is a Mac person, I’m not surprised he wasn’t happy with the Incra fence. Since it requires a lot of tinkering, it seems to be more of a “PC” accessory. I’m wondering if there’s a conterpart fence which is more like a “Mac” accessory. Perhaps that would be the Biesmeyer and its clones.

    Happy Christmas, everyone.

  17. Steve December 25, 2007

    Marc — thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I was planning to treat myself to the Incra. Just when I thought this was going to be easy. I’d thought “If Marc has one… it has to be what I need”

    Now I have no idea what system I should purchase. I’ve read a lot about the Biesmeyer and wonder if it wouldn’t be a better choice. The only thing I’m sure about is that I definitely need to upgrade.

  18. Ron December 25, 2007

    I am not in any all fired hurry to buy the Incra but I’ve always eyed them. I bought their inexpensive mitre, added an incra fence to it later. Darn thing is the best mitre I’ve ever used. Love it.

    The limit on ripping is not a problem for me as I tend to do that with a straight edge and my little P-C finish saw. Much easier than man handling a big sheet of plywood.

    I normally don’t mind a bit of fussing either – if it’s done once. I hate repeat fussing. So I can see where you decided to raise the white flag and bail. I’m a Mac guy too (as I type on my IBM).

    Anyway, Incra has a similar setup for the router and the router is really where my work flow could possibly benefit from the Incra system; more so than the tablesaw. Is this something you have considered, tested or possibly already done?

    PS: I receive the Lie-Nielsen large router for christmas and it’s so darn windy outside I ain’t gonna play with it this weekend. :p

  19. Marc – thanks for the info and your experience with the Incra fence. I have been thinking about this fence for a while now, I will probably hold off on the table saw fence but, I have their super fence system for my router table, and love the repeatability of it. I find the setup before I use it a little time consuming, but that gets better the more I work with it. Once the setup is done for a particular bit, changes to the fence are way faster than the stock fence. I did run into a small problem with the initial setup , but I got a fast and accurate answer from Incra’s tech support. I love the fact that once the setup is done that I always know the distance from the center of the bit and from the outside of the bit to face of the fence. At least for the router fence I am very happy with it.

  20. Bruce Somers (http://) December 26, 2007

    Realizing that you are a woodworker, a teacher, entertainer and defacto marketing rep (for your own on line store), it is refreshing that you provide both positive and critical comments on the products/tools you use. Since woodworking is a hobby for me, feel free to send any castaways to florida for further testing. Jk. Bruce AKA FLWoodRat.

  21. I’m glad to hear your impressions on the fence, Mark – pretty much all the reviews I’ve read on the Incra fence have been completely positive, so it is great to hear some criticism. I have the router table version of this fence (the “LS Super System”) and I love it. I can’t see how any of the issues you have here would apply to the router table fence, so maybe some day you should give it a try! Anyway, thanks for the review!

  22. Hi Marc,
    I appreciate your honest review of the Incra TS fence. However, I don’t agree with your assessment and I think that Greg hit the nail on the head with his post. It’s all in the setup. Even if you need to tweek it a bit, once done it’s good to go.

    You’re probably right in saying that the Incra fence just isn’t for you. I think you had your doubts about it before you even got it on your saw ;-) For me, the advantages of repeatability, micro adjustments and precision are well worth the cost and time spent in initial setup.

    I personally love the Incra TS and find it a joy to use. I need the accuracy and repeatability because I do a lot of small cuts as opposed to cabinet sized cuts. The 32″ rip capacity is more than enough for me (besides, I don’t have room for 90″ fence rails). The magnetic ruler allows for quick resetting of the scale or zero-ing the fence when using auxilary or sacrificial add-ons. This feature alone is worth its weight in gold! I also have the Incra LS on my router table and love that for all the same reasons mentioned.

    I just want to encourage anyone who was interested in the Incra to not scratch it off their list because of this one negative review. With the correct setup and adjustment, the Incra TS is an awesome upgrade to any saw. It offers a lot of advantages over other fences and contrary to Marc’s experience, I find that it locks down very solidly without distortion or binding and doens’t need complex setup. The fact that there are numerous adjustments that you CAN make just ensures the accuracy you can achieve. I didn’t have any problems getting mine perfectly aligned when I set it up but it was (and still is) a comfort to know that I can tweek it in many ways if needed.

    Incra customer services has been awesome to work with as well. I recently upgraded from a contractor to cabinet saw and needed some help. I actually spoke to a real person each time I called and was treated like royalty.

    Marc, you gave a fair review from your perspective. I just hope that others aren’t discouraged by your negative experience. They really should listen to your advice and take your comments with a “grain of salt” :)

    Thanks,
    Joe

  23. Rolf Weidelich January 13, 2008

    Joe sells/works or owns a piece of Incra – could he be more obvious!

    I heard similar issues with the system inn other forums and WAS considering it, but not any more. I am an Engineer and find it hard to understand why these systems are built/designed in a way to make it difficult for the end users to have a positive experience right out of the box. I hear countless people saying that they had to “tweak” (I say repair something poorly manufactured) their machinery/tools and things are fine. I bought a Delta band saw and had to shim it to get it co-planer. That step should have been done in the QA part of the tool plant.

    Marc made it clear, that for Him, this product was not a good fit, and tried to be nice to Incra and yet still convey his honest “opinion”, which is His right.

    Keep being honest Marc!

    Rolf

  24. Lew (http://) January 23, 2008

    Hello All:

    I am a home woodworker and have had an Incra LS for several years on my old Rockwell table saw. It has revolutionized my wood working. I am also an engineer, and love this fence for its accuracy and repeatabiltiy. It is very enjoyable to cut wood at the table saw and not use a tape measure. Before buying the fence, I also read the reviews, some of which were negative. I have not experienced any issues with the fence. It may take a little more to install and initially setup than some are used to, but, once set up, no further adjustment is necessary.. Re-adjustment for the larger rip capapity is not a big deal, its over in 5 minutes, and then another 5 minutes to set it back to original location.

    When I initially got the fence, I called the Tech folks at Incra regarding the thrust adjustment on the lead screw–they were very helpful and answered my questions quickly, and fixed what I thought was a problem–but it wasn’t, it was just an adjustment.

    I love the fence so much, I just ordered the jointery package for dovetailing and other joints.

    I have had a very positive experience with the Incra Fence, the Incra Tech Support, and the company I purchased the fence from, Woodpeckers.

    Lew

  25. Marc,
    I was posting a long explanation of the advantages of the Incra TSIII-32. One member commented that you had a bad review of it, so I looked it up, and was surprised.
    Please do me a favor, and read the entire thread from page 1, listen to everything that I have to say about the Incra fence, and I have Powermatic equipment PM66 5hp, 8″ jointer, and hollow chisel mortiser stand up station and love them. I have the Accu fence and love it as well.
    But this review is a clear cut misunderstanding of how the Incra fence works.,
    You do not have to publish this reply/comment, but I would serously study my post, and hopefully correct your review.
    I spoke with you in the past, and appreciate you taking the time to get back to me.
    Here is a link to my post at SMC. http://www.sawmillcreek.org/sh.....post759936

  26. Larry Maykin October 22, 2008

    Hi Germaine
    I was just checking out the debate about incra v the rest?
    and PC v Mac
    I have a Mac and an Incra.
    so go figure and I paid over a 1000 Aus dollars
    Larry

  27. The Wood Nerd July 21, 2009

    Just to make it clear: With the long rails, the Incra has a 52″ rip capacity. By slightly offsetting the rails from the left side of the saw, I was able to easily get 60″. Adjustment from the “short” to the “long” rip postion takes about 10 seconds, loosen 4 knobs, slide the carriage to the other set of stops, tighten the knobs.

    Marc, I really think your fence may have been defective. I slide my fence back and forth all the time and it *always* returns to completely parallel and absolutely the same position. Rips are are within a few thousandths of the setting. The Incra is head and shoulders above my old T-fence.

    The only issue I have with the Incra is dealing with the backlash in the leadscrew. But it is, after all, a leadscrew and not a ground ballscrew. Now *that* would be cool. Expensive, but cool.

    •  
      thewoodwhisperer July 21, 2009

      That could very well be the case. To this day, I am still surprised that I didn’t really enjoy the fence!

  28. Keith Schath May 15, 2010

    Hopefully most who were looking at the Incra caught the telling aspects of reviewer user aptitude of which there were several. I caught a few responses here where someone indicated they took the negatives and will not try the fence, too bad because anyone interested would more than likely love it.

    I have never had any doubts about the squareness of the fence once it’s locked down and secured with the front wingnut type additional lock. I’ve used Beisemeyer and the other “high end” fences and they all leave me having to do check cuts and multiple adjusting to hit a repeat setup to match a prior cut. I don’t even check myself anymore, the setting is that reliable.

    Contractor friends are blown away when I set the saw for an inch and make the cut without checking only to get one of those dead nuts on one inch cuts when they measure it.

    It is my opinion that this “review” did a serious disservice to a really great product. It reminded me of a stereo “reviewer” with budget equipment trying to assess a seriously high end product only to make the observation that he really couldn’t hear that much difference between the $2000 preamp and the $10,000 one that would make it worth the extra money. This reviewer is a no frills kinda guy and the plain jane good fence is just fine for him.

  29. John Hammett September 20, 2010

    Marc,
    I’m really upside down now. I have a very old, but great Craftsman table saw with a fence that needs to be burnt, so I’ve been looking at a lot of different fences, Incra TS was one of them. I figured that most fences will cost about 400 and the best value for the buck would be an Incra. After reading your very valued opion about the Incra I have doubts now.
    The only plus I can see, is that I bought and I’m using the Incra Router table fence and love it. My problem is getting the boards cut the same every time. (by the way my table saw was made in 1946.)
    I’m still looking for more reviews and will update you as I make up my mind.
    Thanks for your efforts in woodworking,
    John

  30. Stephen Edmonds November 5, 2010

    I just purchased this fence today on ebay and should have it next week. I will post a mini review once it’s installed for those who are still interested.

    • CRAZYDAVE May 23, 2011

      Well i read them all, the good ,bad and ugly. I have to say that i think the incra fence is bad ass. I dont have one looking to get one and put it on an old craftsman contractor saw (fence is and always was junk). Lets face it the saw turns the blade thay all do but if you dont have a good miter or fence its just junk. Im a ptototype designer cnc,cad,mills (30 yrs). 20 yrs ago i got a sears saw thinking if i can make it in steel i can do it in wood (not). I had to be just as accurate. After reading all the posts and seeing the design of incra i can see this fence turning my sears saw into a very accurate mill for wood. I will be getting one so i can do my kitchen cabinets maybe save a few bucks. The fence is pricey but just think 1/32 and anywhere in between theres not a fence iv see that does that. I got the miter 1000hd wow this is sweet also 1/10 of a deg. So when it comes to how this is designed i see it working with out a problem. Set it up rite it should work for years.

      Thanks for reading (start crooked and it will end up crooked).
      im sure i dont have to tell you guys that..

  31. Herb Shaw December 19, 2010

    I happened to stumble on to the review of the Incra table saw fence system and thought it might be useful to describe my experience with Incra’s system for router tables. I first purchased the unit about eight years ago and have added several upgrades along the way.

    The setup for router tables does not require precise alignment as the table saw version does and I’ve not had to re-adjust it in all that time. I find it very precise and repeatable. The router version is a system that allows the making of very intricate parts.

    It is a superb tool for dovetailing, moldings, rabbeting, etc. for small projects.I make high end presentation boxes and found that with a little practice, double dovetails can be made quite quickly with the accuracy and precision afforded by this system. It is an investment, but it has allowed a substatial expansion of what I can do with a router.

    If there is one downside, it is the real estate required to accomodate the system. Normal size router table tops are generally not large enough, but an additional 8-inch extension works fine as long as the supporting structure can accomodate the added length. The other answer is a purpose built router table.

  32. The Village Carver December 25, 2010

    I’ve got an old Delta 10″ contractor saw and I want to install the Jessem sliding table attachment. How much of a problem will I have adding the Incra fence system?
    Dan

  33. Rogerv January 27, 2011

    I have had one of the original TS systems about 8 years hooked to a craftsman 3hp contractor saw and love it. So much I purchased the latest version. I am building a custom cabnet with a Stockroom supply 24″ sander on the left Tablesaw in the center and router on the right. Full dust collection for all three with custom blast gates. I would call mark at incra about compatability with your sliding table arrangement he is great to work with. He is the guy that does the demo videos

    Roger

  34. Raymond March 23, 2011

    @ Marc – I too am surprise that your experience wasn’t what you expected.

    @ Everyone – My experience with Inca products has been fantastic. I have a few Leigh jigs collecting dust (and rust) as the Inca router table is second to none and I don’t make a joint without it, simple, complex or just for show.

    As for the table saw fence, I only have one complaint – its just too big for small shops, due to the sliding arm. I recently moved and have a smaller setup than before. I have not re-installed the Inca fence (yet) to my saw as I just can’t spare the extra 3-4 feet right of the wings. But I miss it.

    Today I had to rip a 27 & 15/16″ section of plywood and honestly lost a few moments as I had forgotten how to do that with my stock fence – and ended up ripping it 3 times, each time tapping a little to the left to get the cut right. With my Inca fence, I would have set the fence, made the cut and moved on without thinking or measuring. Did I say I miss it?

    I’m thinking of installing one of those cat/dog pass-thru doors so I can re-install the fence and eliminate the space issue. ;-)

  35. Raymond March 23, 2011

    On the subject of capacity of an Inca fence system: One point to be made on this issue is to reverse your thinking and subtract. The Inca fence (with a good blade) is so accurate and repeatable that sometimes you need to think of the “typical” waste side of the cut to actually be the “good” side.

    So if you wanted 50″ from 72″, subtract 22″ (minus) an 1/8th for the blade, making sure to support your piece on the left side of the blade. You would have your 50″ and don’t need 90″ of wings or sliding the system left or right. Personally, I never moved it from side-to-side and routinely made “left” side cuts with complete (and unthinking) accuracy. I even set one of my rules to account for the blade width so I wouldn’t forget (and marked it as “Left Side”).

    Much like a really well setup bandsaw, the Inca fence on a table saw opens up the idea that the cutoff is actually the piece you want.

  36. John Hammett March 25, 2011

    Well, I bit the bullet and bought the Incra Table Saw fence. Marc, I read your problems with the adjustments, so I took extra pains in getting the adjustments just right, and the fence works great. However, I noticed that I have to learn how to use the table saw all over again. Example, is the way you think about cutting multiple pieces the same size from a single board. Either cut the size you want and adjust the fence to make the second cut or set the fence to make the waste cut away from the fence.
    I do like the way I can make a cut down to the 1/32″ and even closer if needed. I also have found that all blades are not the same. Some blades cut more then 1/8″ and most cut just a little shy of 1/8″. With practice, I am able to get the cuts I needed.
    I really think I did good with the Incra Table Saw Fence. It’s a milestone in my woodworking saga…

  37. William April 19, 2011

    Interesting listing of replies – some good, some bad, some obvious.
    Regardless, Marc – you kept saying you ‘didn’t feel confident’ with the fence locking down in the correct spot. Feel??
    I assume you measured – yes? So, when you didn’t feel certain, and you measured, was the fence off?

    Thanks
    Dr Y

  38. William April 19, 2011

    Crap. I was very excited to get this fence. Sigh… may try it anyway and see if I get the same results. I appreciate the review and your candor.
    v/r
    Dr Y

  39. Rogerv April 19, 2011

    I finaly finished my custom cabinet I am now making cabinets for the laundry room i had to remove the fence three times to rip some full sheets of plywood replacedfence and its right on within a couple of thousants if I had the room I WOULD HAVE

  40. Rogerv April 19, 2011

    Continued I would have got the 52″ capacity I havie been using the alignment delux gage to check the results. I like the convience of setting the length with the hairline curser and having it right every time.

  41. John Hammett April 19, 2011

    Marc, I know your from the old school, but my table saw was built in 1946 and I was lucky to get within a 1/4″ of what I wanted for a cut. Now with the Incra Fence, I’m within 1/32″ and I really like the repeatable fence setting.
    And Rogerv I understand about the sheet goods I use the old way on the floor and a skil saw. However, once I have the rough cuts done, I can square everything on on the table saw. I don’t have the room in my shop for the 52″ fence, but I’m really happy with the 32″. My cabinets and other projects are a lot better and square now.
    John Hammett

  42. Terry Orth May 7, 2011

    Hi Marc, new to TWW and love watching the videos, I notice these comments are several years old. Has incra taken any of the reviews and improved the issues that you and many others have had? Ive been saving my pennies for the TSLS Combo #1 for my cabinet saw…just curious. Thanks

    Terry Orth

    •  

      I am sure if they even saw this review, they probably consider it an outlier and an anomaly, since most folks are very happy with them. So I would say its probably safe to buy one if you like the feature set.

  43. Scott S January 5, 2012

    I have the Incra fence and love it.
    The fence makes up for a lack of talent. I am an accountant and just got into woodworking as a hobby.
    I measured and measured, it was dead on every single time. I love it.
    When I need more rip capacity I use a straight edge and a circular saw.

  44. lance January 21, 2013

    I have a ridged TS. The fence that comes with is is a very good fence. The Incra fence is such an improvment over any fence. Its dead on for every cut. It takes only a little while to put it on any TS out ther. It does take some time to set it up. But once its done thats it. Marc is right. If you have a friend that has one then try it on thers.TO see what you think. I was lucky my Step mom bought one for her Ridgid saw. I put it on and set it up. So she was the ginny pig. lol
    The only sugestion I have. Is order a braket for every hole on your table saw. Were the old fence is bolted to. If you do this it makes the Incra Fence a lot more stable and the wings are better supported.

  45. Tim Herrmann February 6, 2013

    Hi Marc, I bought the Incra fence/router system for my table saw almost exactly a year ago. I build small jewlery boxes and other small objects, so capacity at 29″ was plenty for me. I truly believe the fence aligns perfectly every time–at least in my eperience. The repeatability is the big thing for me–it saves me time and material, in that if I screw up a piece and need an exact duplicate, the fence allows you to make it–I rarely cut “extra” pcs while creating a project due to the ease of the repeatability. Also, I don’t necessarily have to cut every like setup at the same time, like you would have to do with a normal fence–I can cut the project pcs in the order I build rather than “size” order, if you get my meaning. All in all, I love using the fence–it has made the bump and measure method obsolete for me. It’s made workshop time much more enjoyable for me as well–imho. Love your videos, keep up the great work.

  46. Vladimir March 4, 2013

    I had some problems with the set up of TSLS, aligning to the blade took some time, but in the end: everything works well.
    The only thing I am not happy with it’s a left side router table, it is a junk and total waste of money, I ended up with “Jessem” table and a plate, original set was wobbly and the plate wouldn’t seat properly……

  47. Vladimir March 4, 2013

    I installed my incra TS fence on my bitten up Bosch 4001-9, contractors portable saw and very happy with performance.
    If you need the accuracy, even though, it takes some efford to slide a whole assembly for a routing, using my Jessem left side extension table with Jessem plate. The reason I went with Jessem: is mostly the quality and a doble miter slot on the table.

  48. Gary February 18, 2014

    Seeing that the review and comments are at least 2 to 3 years old now, Not sure how relevant my comment is. Marc, thanks for digging this out of the archives for me. It has leant some insight and made me make some critical and hard decisions. And analyze just how I use a table saw and whether an Incra fence meets those needs. I ma in the progress of converting al my tools and method to a festool setup, AND I am building a torsion box table for doing both sheet goods breakdown and cross cutting major panels. That leaves the more mundane small cuts to my table saw. And although that usually means cuts that typically need to be repeated many times when I am building a project. The Incra would aid in that, but I am not convinced that with some planning I can’t make up for that for the most part. I am really intrigued by the setup than many people are using with small lightweight jobsite saws, or contractor saws without the legs that are somehow incorporated with a table system. I also don’t feel that given the Festool track saw uses, I just am not going to need a high end table saw in the first place. That would be a huge cost savings.

  49. J.P. February 23, 2014

    I own an Incra TS LS 32 with the 92″ rails. Have had it for 2 years now, I tend to not be so gentle on things.
    One negative thing I an say about it is that when you are set up for ripping large cuts the sliding part of the adjuster sticks out another 25″ or so.
    Basically it takes up a lot of room.

    The other thing is that the small screws that came with it for assembly could have ben slightly longer and of better quality. I stripped a few………

    I check the fence once in a while with a dial gauge and make adjustments. but as long as you zero the fence to the blade each time after you move the base clamp your going to be dead on the reading it gives you. Zeroing the fence takes no tools and 30 seconds of your time.

    I would say if you have the room for it and the dinero, go for it.

    There are some very super cool fences out there that look pretty nice, but the Incra is what I choose. Mainly for it’s fine adjustability and the repeatability of those adjustments. I don’t sneak up on cuts with this. I can measure with calipers and cut once.

  50. J.P. February 23, 2014

    One more thing to note. I thought it would be handy to put a router table out to the left of my saw. It’s not handy.
    It works…… But handy or convenient aren’t the words I would use. I put up with it for a month and bought a separate setup just for a stand alone router table. Much better, as a matter of fact i could use tow or three more …… or a multi spindle shaper…………….

  51. Perry Karipidis April 2, 2014

    Hi all.

    I want to buy the ibox jig by Incra and have found a distributor here in Melbourne, Australia. The problem I face is finding a table saw to buy (I don’t own one yet) that meets the specifications for the ibox. Most of the brand names mentioned in the Incra compatibility table are not available in Australia and of the couple that are, they are over $2000 which is way over my budget.

    I am looking to buy either the Bosch GTS10J table saw, the Ryobi 254 mm table saw or the Makita MLT100 table saw.

    Can anyone please tell me if any one of these will work with the ibox? I would greatly appreciate any help as I am just starting out in this hobby.

    Thank you.

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