I'm aware of debate about the absolute necessity for such devices... I know (a little) about the merits of pivoting fences, I know that keep-parallel fences are regarded as unessential for certain operations and workflow situations and I've seen Marc Sommerfeld on DVD demonstrating the excellent results HE gets from his "hit it till it's right" fence adjustment method but with my mindset, background, aspirations and shortcomings I feel it would benefit ME to have the repeatability, adjustability and accuracy of a fence positioning system.
I'm also in U.K. on a tight budget.
I've seen the Incra videos. It's sales talk, I know, but I'm still impressed I absolutely love the engineering and apparent build quality of the Incra gear, and I'm contemplating the "basic" router table fence mounted on the 17" positioner (or even the plastic "original" jig and fence)
Either will cost me at least as much to import as the U.S. purchase price.
or, from the UK Importers, I get (for the 25" version) £259.95 - $463.21 USD
or with the wonder fence add-on. £349.95 - $623.58 USD
I've just come across the Pinnacle® Premium Positioner Fence System on the woodcraft site. It seems to be a woodcraft exclusive, but you might know better.
From where I stand, it seems to be a functionally very similar piece of kit, and a $129.99 U.S, domestic, potentially a very attractive price advantage, even including exorbitant import and taxes.
I have never seen one in the flesh and have seen no reviews apart from the Charles guy on Utube who enthuses 'cuz it does minute/little/small adjustments. (I get the idea that it's accurate enough :-) ) It's a passionate endorsement, but doesn't give me much detail to go on. It seems to use the same "snap to the thread" clamping idea, has a similar fine-adjuster and has no coping slides or stops (but apparently includes plans for building your own) I gather that the Incra template system is compatible with it, so it should be able to produce the same fancy triple-dovetailed joints that the Incra does but I haven;t the faintest idea if it is say, easy on one and difficult on the other, difficult on one and just about possible on the other if you spend hours on each joint and are very, very lucky
So, I'm asking you chaps for your views, opinions, experience and er, advice, please.
Is the Pinnacle a clone / parallel evolution / cheap joke / a not-paying-for-the-name bargain / something else ?? Is it half-way between the original and new Incras?
**STOP PRESS** I've _just_ heard that the Pinnacle IS actually an Incra ultra (lite?) with a different dye job and badge. Maybe that was obvious to you. It wasn't to me. /**STOP PRESS**
If I got the Pinnacle (or the plastic Incra) would I then regret it? If so, why?
What might the de-luxe Incra positioner give me in terms of operator convenience that the others wouldn't - in other words, does the Incra (the new Positioner model) do some task SO much more elegantly than, say, the Pinnacle which might produce the same result but require a lot of fudging or kludging workarounds? Is the original Incra jig and fence all that is necessary in real-life, and the improvements just over-engineered and well-marketed hype?
Should I give up routing and just nail rough timber together into crude rain shelters to keep the awful British weather at bay as we all live in mud huts and talk funny over here and haven't got any power for our tools anyway?
Anything else helpful on the Incra / Pinnacle issue? (Kreg? Sommerfeld?)
addendum: after some discussion with the importer, (Roger at http://www.woodworkersworkshop.co.uk )I've almost come to the conclusion that a positioner (25") would do more than everything I want on the router table. (He recommends the 17" in almost every case for dedicated router work,)
The extra length would allow me to kludge it onto my extremely bottom-end table saw by clamping onto a me-build extension wing with an alignment jig. The TS is a toolmaster 10" - some one-off 2 horse FE badge job. It has a lousy fence and tiny table, but the blade runs true. It won't do large panels but I'd like to know that what I ripped to width is going to be right. There's no way I can afford the Incra railed TS system, which would be massive overkill on this thing but I think I can improve accuracy and convenience immensely by lending it the router-table's positioner. I can imagine objections about clamping the arrangement down on the T.S. but I'm confident that butting a clampable baseboard against alignment stops is going to give me all the accuracy I can handle. I might even co-mount the RT with the TS. Still thinking.
Is this scheme lunacy?
Sorry for the infinite monologue. The questions are my thought processes at work and I don't really expect them to be answered on a blow-by blow-basis, but you have an idea of what I'm trying to find out and can't find out on the web and I value your experience. My original question was posted but failed to appear in the group, was modified and re-sent and modified yet again as I learned more, so it has become a long stream of consciousness personal debate.
Thanks in advance for your patience and all your kind help.