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Incra LS Supersystem vs Incra Twin Linear

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RogerS

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Santa has been kind to me this year and I'm tempted with the Rutlands sale.
I can't make up my mind between these two.

http://www.incra.biz/Products/twinlinear.html

http://www.incra.biz/Products/LSSuperSystem.html

It seems to me that the Twin Linear has everything/does everything that the LS SuperSystem but with the added bonus of the two lead screws..one per fence.

But then I start thinking about what else i could buy if I just went for this

http://www.incra.biz/Products/Ultra.html but it doesn't have a split fence which seems to me would be very useful.

How valuable is a split fence? And if useful, would you go for the twin Linear or the LS Supersystem?

Cheers Roger
 

Waka

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Roger

Hard choice to make.

Do you need a split fence, my answer to this is yes if you want to do things like Stile and Rail etc. I am lucky in this respect becasue I have two router tables, one with the Veritas fence which is split and the other with the Incra Ultra Lite.

The Ultra Lite Fence really fills most of my needs and is the table that gets most use.

You could always buy the Ultra and make an adjustable fence that attaches to the Ultra, IIRC I think someone has alrerady done this and incorporated dust extraction into the fence.

For what its worth my advice would be to go for the Ultra, make an adjustable fence for it and use some of the money for other little goodies.

I'm sure others will be along when they've stopped attaching the turkey, wine and brandy.

Hope this helps
 

Chris Knight

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Wot Waka said really. The split fence is a real boon and a necessity for several things but you can attach one to any of the Incra positioning systems. I would go for the shortest, cheapest positioner, add your own split fence or a Wonder Fence and use the money you "save" for something else.
 

Scrit

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I am going to go against the grain here and say that a lot of the time you probably don't need a split fence. Think about what you are going to do. If it is simple moulding, such as a rounding over or cove then a split fence just isn't needed. Almost every other cut I can think of doesn't require the split fence - with the sole exception of edge jointing, a task better performed on the surface planer. Probably more important is applying a false fence plate to the front of the fence then backing the cutter through to give a zero-clearance - and by doing this you'll also be able to supply that nice high support plate into the bargain. Save your money and put it towards a more substantial spindle moulder or shaper - they come with split fences in any case, AND they'll make a decent sized rabate in one pass, unlike any router can.

Scrit
 
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I have used my Ultra 24 for a year now and think that a split fence would be a great advantage. I might even make a wooeen facing for it to allow it to split
 

Scrit

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Tony":1f2jg1eh said:
I have used my Ultra 24 for a year now and think that a split fence would be a great advantage.
Why do you feel a split fence is so necessary? You say it's a great advantage, but why, please? For actions such as grooving, rebating, rounding over or any edge profiling where even a small section of straight edge is left to register off your fence, it is simply not necessary, and can even cause problems if both fence plates are not aligned precisely. Even for working cope and stick I can see little, if any, advantage as you normally start with a jointed edge to register against the fence and part of that should be retained if the cutter has been set-up correctly against the fence. I only use a spindle moulder 3 or 4 hours a week these days (tenons are done on a single-end tenoner) and probably 95% or more of my work requires a flat fence, which is why I'm asking you to qualify your assertion.

Tony":1f2jg1eh said:
I might even make a wooden facing for it to allow it to split
The one-piece wooden facing is the type shown on the HSE website in the "Safe working practices at vertical spindle moulding machines" leaflet as a false fence. It has been standard trade practice to use such false fences for half a century or more on spindle moulders and it is normally applied as a single piece. BTW the advice given in that leaflet is equally as applicable to router tables and is therefore worth a read. I'd quote other resources, but frankly the HSE is one of the best.

Scrit
 

RogerS

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For my own clarification when we are talking about a split-fence..

are the various points of view referring to a split that is longitudinal
(ie allows space for large cutters..which kind of makes senese to me if you've not got a spindle moulder and so need to use these size cutters on the router table ...

OR

are we referring to a split fence that allows the outfeed to be adjusted forward/backwards relative to the infeed fence..and the only real advantage that I can see is the ability to support stock on the outfeed fence in cases where the cutting action has removed sufficient stock that the workpiece would not be supported if you had a coplanar (?) fence...if that makes sense?
 

RogerS

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Waka":1zl5w9da said:
Roger

You could always buy the Ultra and make an adjustable fence that attaches to the Ultra, IIRC I think someone has alrerady done this and incorporated dust extraction into the fence.
Waka, did you mean this thread? If so I don't think that the fence is split although the whole system is very elegant
.

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4469&highlight=incra
Going back to one of my original questions I now realise that one key difference between the Twin Linear and the LS is teeth vs lead screw.

Are there any pro's and con's for these two systems?

Those who use the teeth..do they clog up with sawdust?

Roger
 

Waka

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Roger

When I was talking about a split fence I was referring to the gap at the point where the router bit comes through the table. If you look at the pic's that neil put together you can see the each side of the bit the fence can be adjusted to take larger router bits and closed up for smaller ones.

As I mentioned previously a lot of routing work can be done without a split fence, but when using the likes for panel cutters, stile and rail cutters you will need a split fence.

Hope this helps in your decision making process.
 

Chris Knight

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Roger,
Split fences are usually - not always - designed to do both (as the Incra Wonderfence for example). Quite a few cutters/operations may necessitate, or make desirable a "stepped" outfeed fence. Plain jointing on the router table, some cutters like, mitre locks etc that can or do take a full width cut across the edge of the workpiece.

Of course there are lots of workarounds and alternatives but a properly designed split fence is a great convenience.
 
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Scrit":3c7w2j5g said:
Tony":3c7w2j5g said:
I have used my Ultra 24 for a year now and think that a split fence would be a great advantage.
Why do you feel a split fence is so necessary? You say it's a great advantage, but why, please?
Scrit
Scrit, I didn't say it was neccesary!

It would be more useful to have one than not. There are plenty of reasons for having a split fence (jointing, adjusting it to the width of a cutter to reduce gaps between cutter and fence for safer use etc.)
For me the main one would be that I could actually use my panel raising set with the table. I can't do this with the standard Incra due to the small gap between 'sides' of the hole in the middle. I used the set with my old B&Q table with split fence without a problem

Adjustable width on the fence would make the thing safer to use as one would not have a large gap between the fence and small cutters.


Roger

Had no instances of the teeth cloging up at all over the past year
 

RogerS

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I notice that on the Incra models, that use tracks, that the fine positioning control is mounted at the far end. This could be 12" or more away and so I wondered how effective in practice this was to use..especially when you're adjusting and your point of interest is the cutter. Guess this might not be so much of a problem on the Ultra-Lite being only 12" away but guess it may become more of an issue when you're using longer tracks ?

When the tracks are replaced with metric ones, do the scales need replacing as well and are they available?
 

Neil

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Hi Roger,

Re: you first question, its fine on the ultra-lite in terms of distance. You do have to hold the clamp down, though, which means you don't have a spare hand to do anything at the fence - the time when this is relevant is when you are 'zeroing' the fence where you need to hold a straight edge across the hole in the fence. I'm waiting for a tuit to add something to hold down the Incra clamp whilst doing this.

Roger":1sm08p08 said:
When the tracks are replaced with metric ones, do the scales need replacing as well and are they available?
Yes and yes. Bear in mind that you'll have to get both the scales and the racks direct from Incra US - Rutlands etc. don't stock them.

Re: your original question about which fence to buy, bear in mind that you can't change any of the leadscrew-based fences to metric. I would strongly agree with Chris here - buy the shortest, cheapest positioner (i.e. the Ultra-lite), add you own supplementary fence and buy lots of router bits with all the money you save! Bear in mind that Chris & Tim have both posted on this forum that in hindsight they would have bought the ultra-lite, and Tony took a saw to his Ultra to cut the length down.

Making a supplementary fence is quite straightforward. Personally I find the split fence very useful, you can quickly and easily modify the size of the opening to suit whatever router bit you are using. The ability to offset the outfeed fence is less critical, especially if you have a jointer, but you get this for free when you make a split fence anyway. Just stick a couple of shims behind the outfeed fence and off you go. It is useful when doing something like a bullnose moulding.

Let us know what you decide to get...

Cheers,
Neil
 

RogerS

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Neil":2yqyf380 said:
Hi Roger,

Re: you first question, its fine on the ultra-lite in terms of distance. You do have to hold the clamp down,
Why is that?

Does that apply to all models?

Making a supplementary fence is quite straightforward.
Mmmm..I guess time is a factor against this for me as is easy access to metal bashing/metal channels etc...have to say the major factor is time. Would you like to sell your very elegant one ?? :wink:

Tried finding the 'hindsight' comments but not much luck.
 

Neil

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Roger":1tnz1bmi said:
Why is that?
Dunno, just the way it is designed I guess.

Roger":1tnz1bmi said:
Does that apply to all models?
All rack-based models as far as I know. Possibly not for the leadscrew models? Have a look at the manuals on Incra's site if you want to know for sure.

Roger":1tnz1bmi said:
Mmmm..I guess time is a factor against this for me as is easy access to metal bashing/metal channels etc...have to say the major factor is time.
It doesn't have to be metal, an MDF box section would be fine and very easy with that nice TS55 you have...

Roger":1tnz1bmi said:
Would you like to sell your very elegant one ??
Ha ha ha! Not really. Make me an offer if you like :lol:, but it will have to be a good'un because I don't have time to make a Mk. 2 version at the moment, plus I'm now living 100+ miles from the place I got the alu section from.

Roger":1tnz1bmi said:
Tried finding the 'hindsight' comments but not much luck.
I can't remember where Tony posted about cutting off part of his, but for Tim look at his worst purchases here, and for Chris look at this post and the following two.

Cheers,
Neil
 

RogerS

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Hi Roger,

Re: you first question, its fine on the ultra-lite in terms of distance. You do have to hold the clamp down, though, which means you don't have a spare hand to do anything at the fence - the time when this is relevant is when you are 'zeroing' the fence where you need to hold a straight edge across the hole in the fence. I'm waiting for a tuit to add something to hold down the Incra clamp whilst doing this.
The latest guide refers to a 'flip clip' that you pivot into position under the carriage clamp and this holds the clamp in the micro-adjust position. Does yours come with this?

Still leaning towards the Twin Linear as (a) I should be able to get metric scales and tracks and (b) you can tweak the offset fence by twiddling a knob rather than having to undo and retighten three hex heads as you do on the LS fence. I've always found that I've run out of 'size' whenever I've bought anything and so the thought of having a long range is appealing as opposed to the available range on the Ultra-Lite. I just don't have the time to make a split fence either :cry: and i can't see any split fences that I can buy that will easily fit to the Ultra-Lite.
 

Neil

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No, no flip-clip on my Ultra-lite but it sounds exactly like the thing I was going to add myself.

I would get the twin-linear out of the two you highlighted, purely because of the ability to change to metric. I guess now is the time to buy it too, 20% amounts to quite a lot on something that expensive!

Cheers,
Neil
 

RogerS

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Ok - well, thanks all for the excellent advice. I've opted to go for the TwinLinear. I waited too long last year before ordering something along these lines and the prices went back up...so no hesitation this time :lol:
 
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