Dovetail jig or Incra system for table use? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2008, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dovetail jig or Incra system for table use?

I'm enjoying my router setup (triton in a CMT table).

I recently received a set of Oak-Park box joint spacer fences and dovetail liner kit (doesn't do end dovetails joins), but I haven't tried them yet. So far, I'm in for about $80 for this gear.

I'm looking towards the near future when I'll want to do some dovetail joinery for boxes, drawers, etc.

My question is regarding folks' experience with the upscale dovetail jigs (KatieJig, Leigh, Akeda, etc.) compared to an Incra LS system.

All of these have slightly different approaches (and limitations and idiosyncracies) for making dovetails, all allow variable spacing. The Incra doesn't seem to be limited to making these joints and appears to be a more versatile device (I'd be able to retire the Oak-Park pieces mentioned earlier).

By the time one gets a jig and accessory plates, bits, etc., the price differential isn't that great for an Incra, and if possible I'd like to leverage to use the router table rather than handholding the router (a strong feature of the KatieJig)

So, what are your thoughts about the Incra LS vs the dedicated dovetail jigs.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by AlanZ; 10-04-2008 at 07:01 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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Hi there

I'm new here as well and I am just about to buy an Incra LS..

The main thing I have looked at is what you are saying about what you can and can not do with jigs.. And after looking reading and talking to others I can not see another thing on the market that beats this system..

Just goto youtube type in Incra LS and watch the video its just unreal.. its more than a box jointer

Cheers from Noel
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-04-2008, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yup, I've watched all the videos <s>

It also seems that JoinTech.com has a direct competitor to Incra.
http://www.jointech.com/woodworking1.htm

Triton 2.25 router; CMT Industrio table; Jointech fence; SC planer; Dewalt miter; Delta 14" bandsaw; Festool TS55, MFT/3, CT22, ETS150/3, OF1400, PSB300EQ; Dewalt Scrollsaw; Lathes: Nova DVR XP, Delta 46-460; JJ-6CS jointer, Ridgid OSS; Grizzly 1023s cabinetsaw

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 04:47 AM
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Alan, keep an eye on Amazon.com. Their price on anything Incra varies greatly on a daily basis. I picked up a 16" Incra Ultra for $150 about 9 months ago. Anything you read about Incra makes it sound like you just slide in the template and start routing. But there is quite a learning curve. The first thing you will notice is bit size. The Incra is accurate to 1/1000", but your bit may be off by 5/1000", and the joint will not fit correctly. I recommend Whiteside bits. You can call them @ 1-800-225-3982. They can tell you which bits are made for the Incra, or they sell a set for all Incra joints.

My Incra has the pro fence with a 1" bit opening. I plan to use it for joinery, and my homemade adjustable fence, for everything else. If I did it over again, I probably would have got a system with the Wonder Fence. And used it as my primary router table fence.

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If You Want It Bad, You Get It Bad The Worse You Want It, The Worse You Get It
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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AlanZ,
I recently went through the same process. What I found was that most jigs, whether to be used on the tabe, or stand alone, did not allow for center to center spacing closer than 1". Others, such as the Gifkins allows for 3/4" spacing, but little versatility in your joinery end result, unless you were to get quite creative with the process. PC Omnijig has a miniature template, but is very expensive, and looks too complicated for an occasional user.
I originally wouldn't consider the Incra or Jointech type systems because I thought the process of moving the fence for each cut would be ridiculously slow. Someone mentioned to me about stacking pieces for the cuts to cut multiple pieces at the same time! With this in consideration, and the versatility of the joinery that can be created, I just ordered a LS Super system, and a set of Whiteside bits (I heard the Freud bits were undersized).
I hope it works well for me.
Good luck!
Jonathan
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 11:30 AM
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I have the Ulta from Incra bot on amazon for $130.00 it is useful but the learning curve is steep at least for me.
I've seen the Jointech at a friends and it appears more substantial.
Both allow for really fancy dovetails, box joints etc.
for large projects ie drawers and blanket chests the others might be a better choice.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 05:48 PM
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I ordered the 25" LS Super system from amazon about a week or so ago, and I am happy with it (although I have yet to use it.. been slightly cold)...

the 25 was cheaper then the 17 at the time, still not cheap, with shipping I paid $400, but when you consider a good dovetail jig on its own will set you back a $100 to $200, if not more, it does help offset the costs.

The reason I went with it, is because my garage is not insulated, and with the temp varying wildly currently (the home made MDF fence I made the week prior to the purchase warped within the week of sub freezing temps, only to have it mid 60's the following week, and now back down to sub freezing).. all of my wooden jig items in the garage have lost any straightness to them...

So, in my case, deciding to get the LS, I was also looking at a fence system, and those ran around the $100+ mark too, so I figured what the hell, its only money

ps.. while I am new.. and this may sound like a pitch for incra, I am in no way associated with them, just.... a fanboy I guess, but I was very impressed with the videos, those were kind of what sold me....

Edit: I forgot to add, the ultra is being fazed out, I sent an email to them looking for a comparison chart (similar to what they have for their miter guages) for the differences between the LS and the ultra, and the response was that the LS is their newest stuff, and they will be dropping the ultra line soon. What that means is that you can probably find them brand new in the future for dirt cheap, or just go with the LS)

Last edited by jvanbrecht; 12-22-2008 at 05:56 PM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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i've got 4 dovetail jigs, including the porter cable, and the keller. The LS positioner is so far ahead of these, it shouldn't even be discussed in the same subject. That system cannot be made any better, and makes my cuts so accurate and repeatable, it is amazing.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 06:29 PM
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With the wild swings in envrionment warping your wood jigs, why isn't your router table likewise suffering?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 06:33 PM
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Well I can answer regarding the unit in my shop. The LS was on a Woodpecker table.

Unlike most jigs the router table has two metal "L" brackets on the bottom forcing it to stay flat and level. it also has laminate on both sides and is pressed under a high pressure which also helps with the stability. But wothout the metal supports I did get warping.

But not on my CMT table and I have no supports under it.
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