An incremental conversion

A little while ago I mentioned that Incra now has metric versions of the LS Positioner – something I was not expecting would actually ever exist, but now does!

The big resistance has always been that router bits, and in particular dovetail bits were imperial and therefore would be  incompatible with a metric positioner. In an arrangement between Incra and Whiteside, metric dovetail bits are now available, paving the way for the metric LS positioner.

Because I really wanted the LS positioner, and metric wasn’t an option, I was always prepared to work in imperial when necessary, when using the router table (and kept the other Incra tools imperial as well), but in all fairness, I just cannot think in imperial – my brain just doesn’t swing that way.

So I am really excited to finally be able to convert fully to metric – it is going to make such a difference.

Conversion Kit

There isn’t a great deal to the conversion kit – the primary item is obviously the lead screw, and there is no question the quality of the metric version is definitely to the same standard as the original.  In addition to the leadscrew, there are a number of the plastic positioners for the various fences and stops.  Starting with the positioner, it is surprisingly easy to change over.

Removing the end of the positioner

The end of the positioner is removed, the thrust bearing removed (an interesting arrangement of a cup and large bearing), and a couple of plastic rods withdrawn.

Removing the imperial lead screw

The lead screw is then easily pulled out, and the new metric one dropped in.  The process is then reversed – this step taking only a few minutes.

Metric lead screw in place

The rules on top are replaced, although curiously there is no metric version of the centring rule.  Wonder if that is an omission?  Clicking through the microadjustment, and it is no longer 1/1000th of an inch, it is now 0.05mm per click (2/1000th”), however it is easy to see when you are half-way between clicks, so it means the accuracy is equivalent.

Taking the base apart

Next, the base is taken apart, with a new threaded bar and different shims.  Once that was reassembled, I tried out the positioner, and it was ok, but I found it too tight.  Taking out a couple of shims, and we were good to go.  A few tests and it was all running smoothly.

Imperial to metric

I then changed over all the fences and stops, but instead of ignoring that the bars are often longer than the original equipment, I took them to the bandsaw then disk sander to get the length down.  This was very effective, and from the other photos you can see both lengths in use.

A metric LS Positioner

Positioner finished!

Incra Mitre Express

Mitre Expres done

Mitre Gauges

1000SE Done!

Accurate Offcuts

Cutting down the v Groove was very easy – firstly on the bandsaw, then down to sand them on a disk sander.  The plastic is thermoplastic, so it melts with the friction of both the bandsaw and the sander.  That made it even easier to cut down the bars and clean them up.

So the upgrade is done, and I’m looking forward to use then to see what it is like now to use.  This upgrade is only available from Professional Woodworkers Supplies.

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