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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Default Calibrating Incra LS System

O.K. here I am again with a nit picking thread that wll drive some of you nuts and probably tell me so, but....., it might interestest a small number of those of you that read thIis thread.

In an earlier post a member asked about precision setting of the TS fence, and a post to that thread brought up the Incra LS System and I posted to it and in my post I talked about the error that just happens when cutting wood because of the nature of the material, blade flutter etc.

The obvious question that anybody like myself would ask is, then how do you calibrate the system since you can't cut a perfect cut to the a thousandth of an inch. I do not actually have the answer but will explain what I do.

I get the scale as close as I can in the normal manner, then I make ten cuts and using the dial caliper I measure all ten of the parts which will vary by several thousandth, add them up and take the average and then use the micro adjust to set the scale at the setting revaled by the average of the ten cuts. Now, I will be the first to admit that a dial calipber is not a high end measuring tool, and that after making ten cuts, if you let them set for a while they will all measure differently and that I am chasing shadows when even thinking about such things but I can't help myself, maybe a small number of members will understand my thinking problem and I hope that the rest of you will just indulge my weird and strange thinking. I am not really wanting to make excuses, just wanting to talk about something that others may have thought of and wondering if anybody else has ever wondered about the matter.
Let's see what posts come from you that read this thread.

Jerry Bowen
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 12:05 AM
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Jerry, if I can get down to 1/64th, that is good enough.

Wood will change by 0.001" if you breath on it.

IMO, I would not worry about 0.001".

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 07:08 AM
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Jerry, I fully agree with James.. 1/64th is close enough for most any application in wood. That is 16 thousandths in round numbers! Or 0.015625 if you really want to nit-pick. But unless you really need the ten boards you cut, that's a fairly expensive method without any real gain. Once you have "calibrated" the fence.. the parts you cut will still vary by a few thousandths!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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Last edited by Dmeadows; 03-27-2013 at 07:13 AM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 09:19 AM
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The way I see it is this;

If you can get your cuts as accurate as possible without spending 7 hours micro adjusting the fence and then ploughing through a cube of prized wood making a zillion test cuts then why not?

If everything is 'close enough' then don't b1tch when your inset door clearance is not perfect.

Errors are compounded.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 09:44 AM
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Here is how I do it. I bought a set of feeler gauges, bring the fence as close as the eye can see then using feeler gauge 0015 I adjust the fence with the micro gauge to just touch the a tooth on the blade. Then I set the magnetic laser ruler to zero. My cuts are within less than a 1000th of an inch. If I can' work with that tolerance I should go play golf.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainBart View Post
Here is how I do it. I bought a set of feeler gauges, bring the fence as close as the eye can see then using feeler gauge 0015 I adjust the fence with the micro gauge to just touch the a tooth on the blade. Then I set the magnetic laser ruler to zero. My cuts are within less than a 1000th of an inch. If I can' work with that tolerance I should go play golf.
Are you assuming they are within .001"? Or have you actually measured them?

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagenuts View Post
The way I see it is this;

If you can get your cuts as accurate as possible without spending 7 hours micro adjusting the fence and then ploughing through a cube of prized wood making a zillion test cuts then why not?

If everything is 'close enough' then don't b1tch when your inset door clearance is not perfect.

Errors are compounded.
Hmm.. probably why one should size inset doors to the already constructed opening rather than a measurement off a plan?? Sure we should be as accurate as possible, but that doesn't eliminate the need for some craftsmanship?

Also there is a difference between precision and accuracy. Just because the size of something is stated to 6 decimal places, does not make it accurate! If you measure an opening with a tape measure accurate to 1/16th of an inch, does it really help to cut parts accurate to .001". I think not.

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

Last edited by Dmeadows; 03-29-2013 at 06:08 PM.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Dmeadows;330090]Hmm.. probably why one should size inset doors to the already constructed opening rather than a measurement off a plan?? Sure we should be as accurate as possible, but that does eliminate the need for some craftsmanship?

Also there is a difference between precision and accuracy. Just because the size of something is stated to 6 decimal places, does not make it accurate! If you measure an opening with a tape measure accurate to 1/16th of an inch, does it really help to cut parts accurate to .001". I think not.[/QUOTE


For the most part, so far anyway, nobody that has posted to this thread seems to get what I'm talking about. It is not that my cuts need to be so perfect, the thread has to do with setting the fence and calibrating it to the scsle on the LS system that I am referring to and while this probably isn't important in the real world, it is important to me anyway to at least know that if I set the fence to cut at a certain distance from the blade that the scale is close to the actual setting of the fence. The cuts of course will vary due all the issues that we all know about. But as I suspected, who cares besides me and I just wondered if anybody else was wired the way that I am, guess not and I'm just weird I guess but these things seem to be important to me, sorry to bore you with it.

Jerry
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 12:49 PM
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Hi Jerry, I agree with you on accuracy, but you can cut a piece of wood, measure it, leave it lay for a half hour, measure again and it will have changed. I like the multiple cut and average idea. Saw you lurking out there. Hope you have your desktop up running.

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Last edited by Willway; 03-27-2013 at 12:53 PM.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 01:02 PM
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The beauty of the Incra TS-LS, is that once it's set, it's pretty much set. I needed some strips 1/4" wide on Sunday. Walked out to the shop, moved the positioner to the 1/4" mark, plugged in the saw and flipped the switch. Five strips measuring 0.250 in under 5 minutes from the time i walked out of my kitchen. If i wanted to do it again tonight--same result. The wood won't stay true, but it can start that way.

When i change blades, i slide the positioner to kiss the blade, reset the magnetic tape (if needed), and go to it. I don't use Jerry's method of making 10 cuts, so i might be off by maybe 3 to 5 thousandths (shoot, i may not be off that much)--but that's without using any measuring devices to do the set-up. Slick system, mounts to the vast majority of saws with no modification, plenty of t-track mounting possibilities, and easy to work with. I looked at several different aftermarket TS fences--quite happy with my decision.

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