Back in the days when I was still using a Triton, I came to the conclusion that I needed to make a cross-cut sled that everyone seemed to suggest was a must-have jig in the workshop. When I started really researching it however, I couldn’t help but keep returning to the idea that the best cross-cut sled would include the accuracy of an Incra Mitre Gauge so I could set any angle that I wanted with the precision of laser-cut V-grooves.
As I kept looking at the mitre gauge, I became more and more convinced that what I really needed was to just be able to fit the mitre gauge itself to my tablesaw. I came up with all sorts of different ideas, and finally I got the Incra Mitre 1000SE, which I felt at the time represented the best combination of versatility and accuracy, and price. (These days I think I would be very hard pressed to go past the V120, as you’ll see a bit later in this article).
I still couldn’t fit it to the table, and although I could work out how to get there with supplementary tops for the Triton, it was about this point that the first seeds were sewn to upgrade the entire tablesaw to one with a standard mitre slot (and it might as well be cast iron if going to that extent). History will show that I ended up replacing the Triton WC2000 with the TS10L, 3HP cast iron topped tablesaw from Carbatec, and it is an awesome machine. And it can fit a real mitre gauge.
The next step was when I got the Mitre Express that allowed me to attach the Mitre 1000SE to the Express, to produce (in everything but name), a full blown cross-cut sled.
But back to the mitre gauges themselves. The Incra Mitre Gauges have long represented some of the most accurate mitre gauges on the market, and unlike the ‘standard’ design that use a combination of bolt and lock nuts to set 3 or 4 (if you are lucky) positive angle positions, the Incra laser cut V-grooves provide positive angle locks at many different angles. The 1000SE has V-grooves every 5 degrees from -90 to 90 deg, and with the extra vernier scale can produce 1/10th degree accuracy.
The budget end of the range (still with incredible accuracy) is the V27, with 27 individual angle V-grooves.
Both these have had the high definition treatment. With a significant advancement in laser cutting accuracy, having V-grooves every 5 degrees is a thing of the past, and now they are every degree. The V27 has a high definition version called the V120, and I have decided that it is perfect for the Incra Mitre Express, leaving (for me, the luxury of) the 1000SE as a stand-alone mitre gauge.
The Incra Mitre V120 is still at the budget end of the range, and as such represents real value for money. It doesn’t have an attached fence, so you’d be well advised to attach a fence to it – be that a piece of RHS aluminium, or a length of MDF or whatever is straight, flat, and won’t damage the blade if it happens to touch.
As you can see, the V120 now has significant accuracy, and represents an impressive upgrade to the V27. As pictured here, it is attached to the Mitre Express.
Here is the Mitre 1000SE and V120 side-by-side, with an additional aluminium (Incra rail) fence added to the V120.
Without the commercially included aluminium rail and flip-stop that the 1000SE comes with, I’d be hard pushed to justify its benefit over the V120
However, it is not just the V27 that has received the high definition treatment, and there is now an 1000HD, again with 1 degree laser-cut V-grooves. Along with the fence and flip-stop, that is an impressive package.
Now as I’ve mentioned, I have decided to mount the V120 in the Mitre Express.
The fence and flip-stop is not included with the V120. The flip-stop can be purchased separately, but in this case came with the 1000SE. The fence is actually from an 1000SE, and it happened to have accidentally met the tablesaw blade when the original owner (the late Steve Bisson) forgot to change the amount exposed during a 45 mitre cut, and proved that aluminium cuts as easily as timber. I’ve taken that fence, cut off the end to create a new expandable section, and with the addition of some of the jig knobs from Professional Woodworkers Supplies, (remember my recent post about the “jig components drawer” – this was hard at work here again!) created a fence as good as (although slightly shorter) than the one supplied with the 1000SE or HD, complete with an extendable section.
So the final result is an impressively accurate mitre gauge, and with the Mitre Express also becomes an excellent crosscut jig.
The various Mitre Gauges etc mentioned here are all available from Professional Woodworkers Supplies.
The V120 (which is what this article was particularly about, given it is the newest addition) is $175
PS – As I was writing this, I tried (and tried) to be true to the US roots of the Incra Mitre Gauges, and use the US spelling (miter). However, and apologies to my American readers, I had to change it back to the Oz spelling. I’m already spelling aluminium wrong (for the US that is), so I might as well keep going with the Australian aspects of this blog. Gidday, Strewth, “That’s not a knife, this is a knife” 🙂