Ok folks I have talked myself into buying either the top of the line
Jointech Router Fence System for $599 or the Incra LS Super System for
$359, does anyone own either or have opinions as to which is better? I
am wanting a system that will do good work on box joints and dovetails
up to 16" and 3/4" thichness. Do you guys know about these systems
and are either capable of doing the Job on a continuous basis and
moreover will the systems stand up or fall apart? Thanks in advance.
If you search the newsgroups I expect you will find other comparison
The ones I have read typically end up with the folks who bought Jointech
being happy, and the folks who bought Incra being happy.
I have the Incra Ultra 16 in system with the simple fixed fence. The LS has
a different method of micro adjustments, but the basic method to clamp the
scale extrusion is the same.
I have used my Incra for almost 3 years. No signs of wear and tear.
Both Jointech and Incra are a joy to position, and re-position the fence. I
would never want to go back to the adjust-measure-nudge-measure-nudge
approach of a conventional fence. Setting the Jointech or Incra is as
simple as reading the scale, and then you know the exact distance of the
fence to the router bit.
I have not read much about the Delux split fence. The Incra fence is meant
to allow the depth of the fence to be adjusted to enable the router to be
used as a jointer to clean up an edge. I use this method from, time to
time, but after reading a message stating the fence is not rigid enough due
to this design feacture, I did not purchase this fence, but instead made my
own which fits over the front of the Incra. Works well for me. If I want
to do jointing I clamp a piece of melomine to the output side of the fence.
The Jointech Smart fence allows the lower section of the fence to move, but
does not have depth adjustments. Perhaps this will be rigid enough.
Lee Valley tools also makes an adjustable fence which is likely to be able
to be used with either Jointech or Incra.
I purchased a Jointech model about a thousand years ago and have generally
been happy with it. The positioning function is simple to use. The
documentation and templates are first rate. I do have two nits to pick
(that may have been addressed in subsequent models), to wit:
1. There is a slight mismatch on the fence face plane where the (orange)
insert meets the (black) fence plates. On mine, the "downstream" fence
plate protrudes just a bit (~1/64") from the insert face. This creates an
irritating tendency for a workpiece to catch on the fence plate when its
leading edge encounters the transition from the insert to the fence plate.
The solution is either to remove the downstream fence plate and file a bevel
on its leading edge or to apply a thin shim to the insert face.
2. The feathers on the featherboards supplied with the kit are too stiff.
Small changes in adjustment quickly lead from a transition from inadequate
to excessive pressure. If the pressure is excessive, it can make feeding
pieces difficult. When one uses the vertical featherboard to keep a piece
on the table (say, when rabbeting), the excessive pressure can also cause
the fence to ever so slightly rise from the table. When this occurs, I just
grab a couple of "Quick Grip" style clamps and secure the ends of the fence
to the table.
One thing learned from my experience: when cutting pins and tails with the
Jointech, clamp the workpieces to the push block and do not release them
until all of the pins/tails are cut. Do not rely on the force from your
hand grip to restrain the pieces. If you do, despite all attempts, you will
not be able to maintain a consistent workpiece position relative to the bit
and will not be able to prevent the workpiece from shifting slightly when
the bit first "grabs" it. The result will be pin/tail gaps in the final
On balance, I've been happy with the Jointech system, as it represents a
good value (capability/price ratio). The people who demonstrate them a the
woodworking shows make them look dirt simple and nearly foolproof to use.
Like any other tool, the reality is that you have to practice to acquire a
"feel" for it. This isn't a bad thing. It's woodworking.
Des Moines, WA
I to purchased a Jointech about a thousand years ago and have the same
complaint about the fence not matching input and outfeed faces. I
always thought I just had a bad one. I have used mine a great deal and
like it very much. Very versatile tool.
My Jointech system is 4 years old. No problem with the input and output
fences meeting. System is solid (in my opinion a little heavier than Incra),
very easy to use and reproducable (sp?).
did have some problems finding centers of work piece at first. Called
Jointech. they were very helpful and offfered to take it back if I thought
it was off. Turns out it was my mistake and I didn't read the directions
I really like the fact that the slide is short and easy to handle both on
and off the saw
I like the fact that
I've had the JoinTech Cabinet Maker System for about five years.
I've done through and half blind dovetails in 3/4" birch, beach
and oak, along with a ton of finger joints for tool holders/racks,
cut dadoes and stopped dadoes, rabbets and stopped rabbets, AND
sliding dovetails from three inches up to 14 inches long. I've
used it to make lock miter joints that require both precise bit
height and bit exposure in front of the fence. Being able to
move the fence in thousandths of an inch is essential to some
of these cuts. The inexpensive, easily changed , cut to fit the
bit - at the required settting - is really nice.
Having steel parts where plastic parts would wear, is one
of JoinTech's selling points. Precision is another. Add
to that, they're a group of good people who take care of
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