Back to the Future: Rockler and Incra are Rockin' to the 1980s
Issue: Issue 142
Posted Date: 1/31/2006
Remember the 80s? Ronald Reagan was big; the San Francisco 49ers were big; Tom Hanks starred in "BIG"; glasses were big; hair was really big & and so were good woodworking ideas. In 1987, Taylor Design offered the original Incra Jig as an ultra-accurate fence positioning system. It took woodworkers about a nanosecond to put it to work on a router table, and history was made.
This original jig provided incremental adjustments in steps of 1/32" and dead-on repeatability in machining steps. The 8" length of adjustment was sufficient for almost all router table applications, and the woodworking public met it with strong acceptance. In many ways, the Incra Jig was the high water mark that other fence adjustment systems measured their success by. In a remarkable run, the original Incra Jig was on sale from 1987 until 1995.
Fast-forward 10 years to May 2005. The product folks at Rockler Woodworking and Hardware were working to come up with an exceptional value in a router fence that also had exceptional accuracy. Jim Frey, product development specialist, wanted to develop something as accurate and as easy to use as, say & the Incra Jig, and then it came to him: why not resurrect the original Incra Jig and pair it with a specially designed fence and table system that would take advantage of all of its features and benefits? A call to Chris Taylor at Taylor Design, and the deal was in the works.
The new Rockler exclusive jig is made of black plastic and includes a 20-page owner's manual and an instructional DVD. The supporting instructional material is the main upgrade to the original jig, according to Chris Taylor. "This jig is as accurate as any of our rack-based jig systems. There is very little that the more modern metal Incra Jigs can do that this one can't. The big difference is the length of adjustment."
Selling for $59.99 (the original version sold for $40.00), the response to the retro offering has been tremendous. When paired with a specifically Rockler-designed fence (approximately $60.00), the function of the jig is enhanced. Add an offset router table (about $159.00), and you have a super-accurate routing system that is an exceptional value.
Available at all of the various Rockler Woodworking and Hardware retail options (Internet, retail stores, catalog), you can find out more about it and its accessories at rockler.com.