I'm considering a new router-table fence setup and am looking for
recommendations. This is for home renovation and hobby work, but I
figure if I buy one it should probably be a really good one. The
Rockler looks good but the Incras sound fantastic. Opinions on these
I've got an Ultra 24 with the Wonderfence. I found it simple to setup,
precise and fast to make adjustments & bit/cut changes. The two POS parts
of the system are the plastic DC outlet on the fence and the sliding dust
shields over the bit opening. I have not used the tall fence extension for
standing panel cuts - it's a bit less slick than the rest of the system.
For the cabinet making I do, I could have gotten away with a lot less fence.
Incra is fantastic. Get it from Woodpeckers (woodpeck.com) or somewhere
else if you find a better price. I bought the Twin Linear from them and I
The only caveat is that the fences take up more space than another fence
because of the adjuster bar, so make sure your table is big enough. How
big depends on the fence you buy, go to Incra.com and look at the product
manuals, they spell out the recommended table size.
Before you spend some big bucks on some less than satisfactory solution,
take a look here first for an idea.
Pat Warner did an article about two years ago for FWW where this fence was a
project you could build from the article. Not quite but it was easy enough
to figure out how to make the precision cuts for the aluminum sliders etc.
after an email or two with Pat. He was very helpful with that and I
subsequently ordered several of his books and router accessories.
Pat also sells these fences as you'll note on his site but you can make one
if you're willing to take the time to do it right so the precision is there.
There's more to it than meets the eye and even Pat will be the first one to
tell you, a straight board can be used for a router fence. But if you want
to make repeatable cuts with .001 accuracy, his design can do that and then
It is a bit of work but it was a very interesting challenge too. I learned
a lot just making that fence - and I made several variations incorporating
some modifications to suit my needs. I've looked at other router fences and
toyed with some at the stores but none that I had my hands on were as
accurate or had the stability of the one I built using Pat's design. It's
obvious he has put a lot of thought into it and in my estimation, it is a
hard one to beat. The 5 layers make a big difference - no flexing, rock
solid and dial indicator accuracy.
I haven't checked lately but FWW site used to have the link to the pages for
that article and part numbers and suppliers. If it's not available any
longer, you may want to ping Pat. I would highly advise getting one of his
books also - great read and lot's of good tips. Pat hangs out here once in
awhile and offers up some advice.
I've never heard of the Jointech. Unfortunately having now read their
website I'll have a hard time considering it, with spam-like text such
as " If your (sic) looking to purchase a Top-Of-The-Line Router Fence
- SmartFence is the one".
So the web page person doesn't spell very well. Their design,
and manufacturing people, as well as their customer service folks are
great/pros/good people. They're out of San Antonia, the
escaped there from Silly Cone Valley where he was a Lockheed Missiles
Space engineer. The JoinTech precision positioning fence system has
around for over 20 years and rather than spend money on gold anodizing
put those bucks into hardened steel where that's needed and precision
threads where that's needed and ... No plastic or nylon to wear out a
year or two down the line. This is an extremely well thought out
that works very very well. Little things like easily removable/
zero clearance inserts that you can get more of any time you need
the infeed and outfeed fences can be moved independently in 1/32 or it
could be 1/64 inch increments, horizontal openings on the bottom of
the hollow, dust collecting fence to suck up the crap that shoots
out the end of a cut, inscibed on top and underneath the cross hair
to eliminate parallax ...
The base for the back of the positioning mechanism can be moved back
to increase the capacity of the system when needed and moved back
to normal mode when not needed. The table top doesn't have to
accomodate the whole range of movement by itself, thus wasting
precious shop space when not in use.
For fun look at the extrusion that the positioning mechanism of
the Incra at
then, in another window look at the JoinTech extrusion
Put the JoinTech back on your list, check it out some more and
seriously consider their Cabinet Maker System. I've had one for
close to 3 years. It was the second equiptment purchase I made.
The first was a Robland X31 combination machine. Next to the
X31's table saw it's the most used tool in the shop.
If the words turn you off, so be it. I know the product and it works
great. As I stated before, both are nice products but the jointech got
my money based on the operational demo and IMO, is built better. It is
also easier to setup.
Michael Press wrote:
I've got the Incra Ultra and when I use it it is fantastic. However, that is
when I use it. 90% of the time I find myself just clamping a straight edged
board to the table and using that as a fence.
Note, I don't leave the Incra set up because I have a false top on the table
and use it as an additional work surface. There is never any such thing as
too much work surface.
Michael, I too have the Twin Linear from Woodpeckers. It's fine, but
bear in mind it isn't a shrinking violet! You need a deep table to hold
it. I got a table from them and wish it had more surface area by the
router end. I also wish the table were wider. (I've always got tool
"wishes"). Getting back to the TL: it's well made and if precision is
your bag it's got that with a micrometer adjuster for the depth and
another micrometer adjuster for the offset.
Michael Press wrote:
Make them. Make a table with screw inserts or the like in it, and have
a range of fences that can easily be installed.
I have an Incra Ultra, but I rarely use it (expensive too - wouldn't
buy another). Most of the time I use a home-made MDF L-girder box
which is taller, has sliding false fences to give good support right
up to the cutter and has dust extract.
If I had the money for the Incra again, I'd buy a Woodrat.
Inbreeding - nature's way of always giving you enough fingers to count your cousins
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