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Thread: Mini Review of the Incra Miter Express

  1. #1
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    Default Mini Review of the Incra Miter Express

    On a recent trip to the USA, I bought this as a gift for myself. (aside: with the US dollar sinking against most major currencies to the point where Canadian dollar now worth $1.07 US, I may be making several such purchases).

    I opened, assembled, and played with it today and I am happy that I bought it.

    What is it? It is table saw sled that accommodates a miter guage.

    Here is a picture of the parts before I assembled them:

    Incra Miter Express 01 -parts -small.JPG

    The assembly instructions are well written and well illustrated. It took me about 50 minutes from the time I opened the box till the time that I made the first cut.

    After assemble, the main component is a sled that incorporates a miter guage of your choosing. There is a secondary component called a “drop panel”.

    Here is a picture taken at the stage where I have assembled most of the parts and am using the table saw to cut a piece that is to become the drop panel off the sled:

    Incra Miter Express 02 -cutting part in half -small.JPG

    It is possible assemble the Miter Express so that the sled is used to the left of the blade or to assemble it so that the sled is to the right of the blade. I chose to have it on the right of the blade where there is more table. The drop panel is inserted into the miter slot on the opposite side as shown in the picture below and locked into position with three set screws. It is slightly lower than the sled (lower by the width of some glide strips that are installed on the back of the sled).

    I have two miter gauges for my table saw –the original General one and a JessEm Mite R Excel. Once I decided to opt for the sled on the right, I could not use the Mite R Excel (shown at the back of the picture below) because I have set it up to be used on the left of the blade. The miter slot in the sled does not have a T-slot retainer, so I had to remove that part from the bar on the General miter gauge. The miter guage can be placed anywhere within the slot in the sled and it is locked into place with 3 cam screws. It only takes about 10 seconds to insert the miter guage into the sled or to release it from the sled.

    Incra Miter Express 03 -installing General Mmiter guage -small.JPG

    A handy Hold Down Clamp comes with the unit. In the picture below, I am sawing a piece of 1 foot by 8 foot by 1.25 inch pine which is held in place on the sled by the clamp (red) opposite the miter guage handle. I used a small piece of scrap cut off when creating the drop panel underneath the far right of the board being cross-cut.

    Incra Miter Express 04 cross cutting long heavy nboartd -small.JPG

    I made half a dozen cross-cuts on three different boards and the cutting operation was smooth and stable on all the cuts.

    In the picture below, I am about to make a cross cut on a piece of MDF that is just under two feet wide. You can see the Hold Down Clamp better in this picture.

    Incra Miter Express 05 -cross cutting wide piece at 90 degrees -small.JPG

    In the picture below, I am about to make a 45 degree cut cross on a piece of MDF. Observe that this time I put the clamp in a different place.

    Incra Miter Express 06 -cross cutting wide piece at 45 degrees -small.JPG

    Both the cuts shown above also worked well.

    I only have two complaints (so far?). The first is that the T-slot retainers optionally attached to the miter bar that comes with the sled do not seem to fit as well as those on the bars of my two miter gauges, resulting in a bump when they leave the slot in the saw table on wide cuts. I might remove the retainers. The second is that the slot in the sled is not a t-slot, meaning that I had to remove a part from the bar on my miter gauge.

    In the future, I expect to experiment with using the sled on the left side of the blade in order to be able to utilize my JessEm miter gauge. If I do, I will report in this thread about my experience in doing so.
    Last edited by Brent in Montreal; 11-11-2007 at 02:56 PM. Reason: At Frank's request
    Cheers,
    Frank

  2. #2
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    Default

    Even though I don't think I'll be getting one ... thanks very muich for the review.

  3. #3
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    Default JessEm Mite R Slide

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pellow View Post
    I have two miter gauges for my table saw –the original General one and a JessEm Mite R Slide.
    Hi Frank,
    Thank you for the review. I'm curious about the JessEm Mite R Slide. My miter gauge is the one that shipped with the saw and is a piece of junk so I'm interested in what could replace it.

    Cheers!
    Greg

  4. #4
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    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the review. It gives me something to think about as an alternative to the JessEm Master Slide (having a hard time getting past cutting my rail).

    Have you pushed it to it's limits as far as panel cutting yet?
    Brent

    SPCHT

  5. #5

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    Great review and thanks for posting. tom

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent in Montreal View Post
    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the review. It gives me something to think about as an alternative to the JessEm Master Slide (having a hard time getting past cutting my rail).

    Have you pushed it to it's limits as far as panel cutting yet?
    Thanks Brent.

    I think that I have pushed the Incra Miter Express to the limits that I would expect to use it for and it has passed with flying colours. If you would like to suggest something beyond what I have shown in the photos, I woul;d be glad to try it.

    By the way Brent, I put the wrong name for the JessEm miter guage in my review. It should be Mite R Excel , not Mite R Slide. It's now past the time when I can edit the post and I would appreciate it if you were to make the correction.
    Cheers,
    Frank

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvarga View Post
    Hi Frank,
    Thank you for the review. I'm curious about the JessEm Mite R Slide. My miter gauge is the one that shipped with the saw and is a piece of junk so I'm interested in what could replace it.

    Cheers!
    Greg
    Actually, the name of the Jessem after-market miter guage is Mite R Excel , not Mite R Slide. I screwed up the name in my original past.

    I did a lot of reading about miter gauges and tried out a few before deciding on the JessEm, and decided that it was the best. I have not been dissapointed. There are a couple of threads on Saw Mill Creek where I talked about the gauge shortly after I purchased it. You might find them of interest, Here are two links:
    http://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=32459

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=32395
    Cheers,
    Frank

  8. #8
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    Hi Frank,

    So you felt good about the 2' cut? Were you at the limit of the slides capability there?
    Brent

    SPCHT

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent in Montreal View Post
    Hi Frank,

    So you felt good about the 2' cut? Were you at the limit of the slides capability there?
    Brent, the "just under two feet wide" cut that I showed in the review was actually only 22 inches. That's the limit if you want to clamp down the work as I did in the photo. And, yes it felt quite secure and safe.

    Without clamping, one can cut cross-cut a piece up to 31 inches in width. That does not feal as good and I wouldnt want to make many such cuts.
    Cheers,
    Frank

  10. #10
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    Default The sled on the left side of the blade


    As promised in my original review, today I experimented with the sled on the left side of the blade in order to be able to utilize my JessEm miter gauge. It took less then 5 minutes to switch over. The first step was to loosen the three cam screws in the sled and the three tensioning screws in the drop panel. These are both loosened with Allen keys as shown in the following photo:

    Changing miter gauges 1.JPG

    The sled and drop panel were then flipped end to end and inserted on the opposite sides:

    Changing miter gauges 2.JPG

    Oh, oh there is a problem! I did not realize that the blade on my saw is closer to the right miter slot than to the left. This means that there are gaps on both sides of the blade with this set-up and this will result in tear out on the bottom of many boards. Nevertheless, I carried on.

    Again, because the miter slot in the sled does not have a T-slot retainer, I had to remove that part from the bar on the JessEm Miter Express. The picture above shows that being done. Once I inserted the miter gauge into the slot, I realized that the fact that the blade is not equidistant from the miter slots causes another problem. The scale on the bar is now off by about an inch and a quarter –as can be seen in the photo below:

    Changing miter gauges 3.JPG

    I carried on and cut a couple of boards, one shown in the picture below:

    Changing miter gauges 4.JPG

    It is nice to have a miter gauge with a longer bar and stop block, but it is unlikely that I will use this configuration. I have already switched back to the original. I guess that I could purchase a second Incra Miter Express and set it up this way, but it’s not worth $130 (US) to me to have this.
    Cheers,
    Frank

  11. #11

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    Hi Frank,
    Now that you've had the Mitre Express for a while now...anything new to add in your critic?

    I am seriously considering purchasing the mitre express along with the 1000SE....it's on sale as a package through Woodcraft for only $250 USD....according to their website ordering system that's only $300 CAD to my door. Through http://www.allinonewood.com it would cost me $428 before taxes and shipping.

    Is it difficult to take the mitre express off the table to do some rip cuts with the TS fence? It seems this would be a bit of a pain...I know that with the Jessem slide table it's not an issue but that is $600 locally.

  12. #12
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    Peter, there is nothing new to add that I can think of. I still like it and I still use it quite a bit.

    I have three different accessories for my table saw and am constantly changing the one currently in use. These are:

    (1) the General fence that came with the saw

    (2) the Miter Express used with the General miter gauge that came with the saw

    (3) a JessEm Miter Gauge (Mite R Slide)

    It does not take long to remove or to re-install any of these. For example, I would say that it takes at most a minute to remove the fence and install the Miter Express.

    If you have any additional specific questions, please ask.
    Cheers,
    Frank

  13. #13

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    Thanks Frank. I've been spending way too much money lately so I'll have to hold off on the express. Besides, now with my TS mounted router table there I'm not sure I want the Express sitting there all the time...I would think it would become a PITA to take out every time I wanted to use the router table.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter in Maple Ridge View Post
    ...
    I would think it would become a PITA to take out every time I wanted to use the router table.
    Not really a PITA -it takes a minute, at most, to remove it and/or to install it.
    Cheers,
    Frank

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