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Incra or Jointech?

8763 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Garyk
Good afternoon all. I recently gleaned some great advice from some of you and I am asking for some more opinions. This relates to the router table I will be building, which was asked about in my last thread, but I wasn't sure if I should add this to it or start anew. My apologies if I shouldn't have started a new thread.

Question is: Which of these two fences would you use on your router table if you had the choice? I had picked up the Jointech at an auction for $40 and it has been sitting, waiting to be put to use. The Incra I just got off of Craigslist for $250. With my penchant for overkill I had a hard time passing it by. Since the table is on my January "to do" list, one of these will go on to it. If I use the Jointech I would want to come up with some type of dust removal system which, with what's bouncing around in my head, would take some tinkering, time and maybe $50 or so more. Since many of you have much more knowledge than I do, I'm seeing what you think.

Without question I am leaning towards the Incra and selling off the Jointech but, if the general consensus is that the Jointech would serve me well I could also just flip the Incra for a few dollars more and the Jointech would basically be free. Opinions are very much welcomed on this.


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The jointech is nice reliable fence but I is no longer sold you can not buy parts for it!
I think they went out business approximately 10 years ago
It sold new for round $250 to$300 dollars
It all depends on what you want to do with your router. If you use a router for edge profiling, or making dados or grooves, any old fence will work.

If you want to use your router table to make decorative boxes or make other small creative projects, you can do some amazing stuff with the Incra LS Positioner. There was a tread last month with some examples of things I’ve created learning to use the Incra fence.

If you decide to use the Incra you should plan on making a bigger router table to take full advantage of its capabilities. A possible dealbreaker for some potential users.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.[/QUOTE said:
I've found that to be true in marriage also, lol.

Space for me right now is limited but, with being empty nesters coming up soon, possibly later I could have a much better work space. Also, without really knowing how deep I will go into woodworking, I keep thinking that the "potential" for the Incra would be something nice to have around. Although I'm sure at this point the Jointech would be fine for me. Then we go to my tendency to buy more tool than I need (I have a 6" Wilton bullet in the garage :wacko:). Surprised my wife hasn't left me after all these years.
Incra's original positioner, still marketed, is similar to the Jointech you bought. Really functional, and I've seen posts on a few news groups on how to make your own templates for the Jointech. Doable, but do you want to do the work. You got a pretty good buy on the Incra LS, and with all the templates and the project book--you'll have enough to keep you busy AND more importantly, help you see other ways to use it with your own creativity. Knowing what I know today, i'd keep the Incra. If, in two or three years, you're not woodworking, you'll still easily make a few dollars when you sell it. If you sell the Incra and tinker a bit with the Jointech--you'll end up buying the Incra system back at retail. Cheaper to keep the Incra now!!

(in case you're wondering, I passed up a few great deals on the predecessor of the LS, and bought a used original version cheap. Less than a year later--I paid close to retail for the system you have, and while I don't regret it--it would have been good to save the dough!!)

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Okay I thought this out for a second and I vote Incra. That way you can't ever want for a nicer fence.
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I have the Jointech Saw Train which includes the router fence, lift and table. If it were still manufactured, choosing between it and the Incra system would be hard. But today, Incra would be my choice.
I have and use the Jointech IPM-1 because it's shorter, but I replaced the original fence with a shop made fence so I can use zero clearance inserts in it. I never need to have the fence very far from the router bit, and it usually is in a position that surrounds the bit, so the added length of the Incra or even the longer version of the Jointech original model the IPM-2 would only get in the way in my small shop and not be of any benefit to me.

If you didn't get the strips needed to do dovetails, box joints, etc. with the Jointech and you want to try doing any of this, I have posted the files needed for printing them (several years ago) on this forum. They print out best on a color ink jet printer capable of printing photos, and will survive better if you print them on good quality glossy photo paper. A chop style paper cutter lets you get accurate straight cuts to make the strips from the sheets.

Here is the link

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I have the Incra. It is a good well made piece of equipment and can give you great precision if you need it. That said unless you intend to make the items in their book it is an expensive fence for normal woodworking. Some of the home made fences that you see in magazines like Woodsmith or the offerings from Rockler, Kreg and etc. would (IMHO) work just as well and you could use the money you save for another tool. There is nothing wrong with INCRA but think through what you want out of a fence before spending big bucks for one.
Take a quick read through this...basically the samd question you have..."why Incra"
Look up a thread from last month called “Incra fence uses”. I’d link to it but I don’t know how.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
Terry Q, Nickp, Garyk, CharleyL, Gene Howe, hawkeye10, greenacres2, Semipro. First...Merry Christmas to all you and to your families also. Appreciate the input. Terry Q I did find your thread and you do some amazing work. I believe that I'll keep the Incra and sell off the Jointech. Everyone had some valid points and opinions. For me, I just keep thinking that who knows where I'll be in the future with this and it'd be good not to have to worry about an upgrade later. That, and as greenacres said, I'd probably have to pay retail for it whereas it's here now for a decent price.

Terry, in the thread with your work you mentioned needing a large table for the fence. How large would you suggest?
The directions that came with the fence tell you how far the fence should be from router bit opening. I just used that info and designed around that. I have the LS25 (which is rarely, if ever, an advantage over the LS17, but live and learn) and needed a table about 20x40.

If you don’t have the mounting instructions let me know and I’ll see if I can send pictures of mine. You REALLY need to follow the mounting instructions exactly or your results will be disappointing because the fence won’t work nearly as smoothly as the videos show.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
You will never need the fence to go past the largest router bit, so extend the positioner to it's full length and then set the fence past the router bit to the opposite side of the table bit opening. Then even the largest router bit can be completely inside the fence. Wherever the other end of the positioner ends up is where it should be bolted or screwed down. This should give you the maximum usable range for your fence adjustment.

As all know that follow me, I'm an Incra person. In regard to the question, the fact that have only had experience with the LS system I can only speak to it. However, in regard to the subject of router, router tables, lifts and fences for the table. It all seems to depend on how much one is willing to spend and what they expect. I take pride in my set up but wil be the first to admit that I probably don't "need" all of the bells and whistles, but, man do I like the set up, and believe that it is safe to say that if one decides to go with Incra, they will never be sorry. I do also admit that in some cases space on one's shop can be an issue, but that's not the fault of the tool.

After thinking back to our craft show days I must submit an addendum on my use of the Incra. We must have made several hundred of the "train whistles" in the Incra book. The Incra did make it easy and quick when made in batches.

We made them so that we would have something inexpensive for the kids, we sold them for 50 cents. We lost money on them BUT we would hear the sound of the whistles all day anywhere we would be in the show. That was worth the price of the Incra jig. Sometimes profit comes in a different manner.
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