Metric? We can get it in METRIC now?!!!!

ROCKIN’!!

What am I talking about? Incra. The Incra LS Positioner is now available in a metric version, and for people in countries that primarily use a metric system, being able to get what I consider the best router fence out there in a metric version just makes the best system even better.

The big reason why it has historically only been available as an imperial version is until now the router bits have also only been imperial, and where it comes to dovetails, that is critical.  What has happened (and I’d be very surprised if the lines of communication between the two hasn’t been strongly encouraged by Grahame of PWS), is Whiteside in the US have produced a complementing set of metric router bits (straight and dovetail), and the rest is history.

So what does this mean with respect to the Positioner?  It can now work with 0.05mm increments of position (and although you can set 1/2 points between these and get 0.025mm accuracy (which is insanely accurate, equivalent to 1/1000″, and well beyond what is needed in normal woodworking….but nice that a machine is so accurate that it can achieve that level of precision)).

If you already own an imperial 17″ or 32″ LS Positioner, you are not left out – upgrade kits are arriving (tomorrow?) for existing owners who want to transition across, costing $199 (ok, $200) for the 17″ version.  These are only currently available in Australia from Professional Woodworkers Supplies (and they are (afaik) the first offering the transition kit worldwide.)  The upgrade kit replaces the Lead Screw, microadjuster, and all the rules with metric ones.  If you have purchased your LS Positioner from Professional Woodworkers Supplies then you’ll be contacted in the next day or so with a special upgrade deal.  The upgrade to metric takes about 30 minutes or so.

It also means there is no need to maintain any of the other Incra tools (such as the stops etc) in an imperial version either – all can now become metric.

Of course this does mean you also need the metric router bits, and if (like me), you already have a full set of dovetail bits, (and I’m not sure if this also impacts my hingecrafter and associated bits) then they need to be replaced as well.  But not having to continuously work in an unfamiliar measuring system (or worse, constantly translating between the two) is VERY attractive!  And if you have been put off buying the best fence system there is because of that annoying measuring system, then procrastinate no longer.  (And no, I’m not having a go at imperial measurements, it is just very hard to work with if you have grown up in a metric world).

So what do you think? Tempted? Can’t wait to upgrade (or finally get an LS Positioner)? Or think you’d might as well stay with the imperial?

I know what I’d like to do.  If my brain was 20 years younger, I’d probably be able to cope with the mental acrobatics required to constantly work in both formats (and dare I say, if I was 20 years older, then I’d have grown up with an imperial system), but as it is, it just doesn’t click for me.

What is 2&3/32 divided into 3 equal parts?  Dunno – where’s a calculator!  But what is 54mm divided into 3? 18mm.  Add 3mm, then shave off 0.5mm? 20.5mm

Can’t do that for the imperial – still working out the original question! In all seriousness, the fact my current LS Positioner is in imperial may be a big contributing factor why I haven’t gotten dovetailing on the Incra worked out.  Just can’t get my head around the imperial.

6 Responses

  1. I think I’ll stick with imperial.

    Of course, I have a bit of an advantage there – or perhaps it’s a disadvantage. Whatever it is, my brain has been firmly steeped in imperial so it’s unlikely that I’ll change until the entire system does.

    (BTW: it’s 22/32 🙂

  2. Of course if you were twenty years older, you would be completely conversant with both systems.

    • Yeah, yeah, and if I were 20 years older, I’d know how to use (and still own) a slide rule! He He

  3. I now have the metric unit and to clarify some points.. check this link… http://www.incrementaltools.com/INCRA_Joinery_Router_Bit_Set_Metric_p/610-whiteside.htm
    the metric Incra actually uses imperial dovetail bits… only the straight bits are metric…
    Hope this is of help.
    Larry..

    • They are different sizes though to the ones that came in the set for the imperial Incra, so if you do have that set, there are a number of bits that would need to be replaced for the set to be compatible with the metric Incra.

      Perhaps metric-compatible to be technically correct, but in the end it is the LS positioner and whether it is metric or imperial that really dictates things.

  4. Just an update, the straight bits are obviously metric but the dovetail bits are the same except for one. Metric 5/16 – 10 degrees and Imperial 3/8 – 9 degrees.

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