The Router Fence Upgraded!

It has been a while coming…

When I first purchased the LS Positioner, I gave a lot of thought to whether I could justify getting the Incra fence, or whether I could construct one as functional, and a lot cheaper. I decided to try, and the fence I came up with I am pretty happy with.

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It has UHMD plastic on its face, which can either be positioned to close near to the bit, or with a small central piece to act as a zero-clearance fence (ie, the opening in the fence has no gap around the bit, virtually eliminating any possibility of the workpiece getting hung up (ie catching) on the outfeed fence). There is a track on the front for a right-angle fixture, or a featherboard, and another on top for a stop. There are 2 rails of positioning track, one metric, the other imperial, and a movable rule.

However, there have been a few issues with it. Firstly, I never finished it- like the base of the table, it got put aside as more pressing things cropped up, and I haven’t returned to it. There wasn’t much else to do – dust extraction, feather board, and the stops themselves. I haven’t been completely happy with the zero-clearance design, and have since thought of better ways of doing it. The other issue, and more difficult to add, is the ability to offset the infeed and outfeed fences. This is critical for planing type operations (such as using the compression bit covered mid last year). It was a feature that I had on the Triton Router Table, but have missed being able to do it easily. I don’t use it all the time which is why I’ve been able to get around not having it. Finally, I never perfected a right-angle fixture. I did get a home-made one from a friend (Steve Bisson, who sadly passed away mid last year), after he upgraded his system to the full Incra one (and was the final inspiration that convinced me the Incra system was unique in its accuracy, and therefore versatility).

I have always regretted not biting the bullet in the first place, and getting the whole system, including the Incra Wonder Fence, so finally, the deed is done.

Here is the fence as it is tonight.

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It sure looks the part now! The fence halves are actually mounted on a length of Incra sawtable fence that I had, and I’ve included the high-riser (the black bit on top), which helps stabilise tall boards passing over the bit (such as a vertical panel-raising bit). I also (finally!) have the proper right-angle fixture which will make the various joints (dovetails in particular) much easier to complete.

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One thing that the Wonder fence does give, is very precise control over the offset between the infeed and outfeed fences. You can’t see it very clearly in the photo, but it means the offset is very easy to produce.

All the Incra gear seen here was sourced from Professional Woodworker Supplies.

3 Responses

  1. Stu …. as a fellow LS owner for a few months no (unfortunatley still in the box in the garage and has yet to see action) ….. I weighed up the options of the wonderfence before making the purchase and decided for the difference in cost it couldn’t be justified.

    From reading the post a little more closely I assume that you originally purchased the raw system and not the basic fence and made your own fence?

    I can see the advantage of the spilt system when using the compression bit (as per your podcast) but surely this wouldn’t be too dificult to achieve by shimming the outfeed UHMD plastic. The other advantage, the high riser, doesn’t seem all that important. Horses for courses I guess ….. I am sure that you would be more than happy with the complete system.

    Any chance of a vodcast using the system for dovetails demonstrating set up, effects of different timber thicknesses to joint selection and the like. It looks like it may be some time until I get mine setup so it would be great to see some tricks.

    Also well done on getting a mention on the woodtalk online podcast …… mixing with the big boys now 🙂

  2. I originally though the same about the cost of the Wonderfence vs making one, so went for the positioner on its own. I just had the opportunity to end up with the whole unit, so decided to grab it, but I still think my original fence was a pretty good solution. I just have to work out where it can now be best used!

    You can certainly shim the outfeed – after all, that is how Triton deals with the situation.

    I don’t know how much the high rise will get used, but it does give me more opportunity to use vertical panel raising bits. Not so much a consideration for me – they cost about the same, and the Triton 2400W router has enough grunt to handle the horizontal panel raising bits, which is the orientation I prefer anyway. Seeing as it was there, I decided to add it on anyway.

    I will be doing a few videos around it all, especially dovetailing (I want to make at least one double-double dovetail before the year is out!)

    btw, an Incra isn’t much good in a box!!! 🙂

  3. […] detailed in an earlier post, I had the LS positioner with a home-made fence, and finally, the current version is […]

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