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Thread: Jessem Mite-R-Slide II Review

  1. #1

    Jessem Mite-R-Slide II Review

    First, the backstory: I'm a cabinet maker. I build a new custom kitchen about every 4 or 5 weeks. It's not unusual for me to have to cope 100-200 rails per kitchen. For a long time I was using the Woodpecker coping sled, but that has a small footprint so it was a problem with long rails. Then I built my own coping sled that was considerably wider which worked better for long rails.

    The problem with coping sleds is that they're only good for coping the ends of boards. There are many times when I need a running coping cut on along the length of the board. That means resetting the bit height to the table top instead of the coping sled height and running the piece like it's a stile.

    I have two router tables, a Jessem excel and a woodpecker PRP4. One is for rails and one is for stiles. I was looking for a solution that would allow me to set both router bit heights referenced from the table, rather than one from a coping sled. This would allow me to set the heights once, then never have to change them regardless of the cut. The Mite-R-Slide II promised to be exactly that. It's attached to the fence rather than the table, so it's always perpendicular to the fence and it's Jessem, so you know it's machined well.

    I didn't want the original Mite-R-Slide because it becomes a permanent fixture to your router fence. The Mite-R-Slide II is easily removable and can sit on a shelf until it's needed. It's also $50 cheaper than the original Mite-R-Slide.

    -End of Backstory - Now the review...

    -Unboxing and assembly-

    The whole unit is four separate assemblies:

    -The miter fence
    -The rollers assembly that attaches to the fence
    -The bit shield assembly
    -The slide stops that attach to the ends of the fence

    Let me just say that the whole thing is impressive. If you're familiar with their router lifts or stock guides, then you already have some idea, but this piece of hardware even more substantially built. Most of the miter assembly is milled out of a solid block of aluminum, so there is just very little that go wrong. All of the attachment points adjustment hardware has no slop at all. It's just beefy and perfectly machined. WAYYYY better than anything I've seen by Incra or Woodpecker, and I think those are both great companies.




    Ok, the Miter fence assembly. Like I said, it's substantial and heavy so there's no need to go on about that. The markings are laser engraved and very accurate, but they're also very small. I would like to see a larger miter angle indicator because it's not hard to be off by half a degree simply because the hash marks are so tiny. Still, if you're working with 90 degrees and 45 degrees exclusively, you can dial those in very easily because that's the full travel of the miter gauge. For my purposes, 90 degrees is all that's important to me.


    Locking the angle down is done by tightening the handle against a stainless steel washer. It works well and doesn't see like it's ever going to loosen itself, but I may add a copper compression washer anyway, just to be safe.

    How the miter fence connects to the roller assembly is also impressive, with one glaring fault. It connects by way of a machined key way, and it adjustable up and down, in and out, by way of several adjustment screws. This allows the fence to ride slightly above the surface of the table at the inboard end. Two rollers ride along the fence's sub fence to keep the roller assembly from rocking. (Here's were the big flaw comes in)...

    I have a Jessem table, with a Jessem fence, with Jessem subfences, all attached to this Jessem Mite-R-Slide II. The subfences are actually proud of the fence by a 1/16". It's never mattered to me before, in fact, I never even noticed. But when testing the Mite-R-Slide II on my fence, the rollers would reach the end of the subfence (where the router bit is) and *shshunk* the miter gauge would alter its position for 2", then *shshunk* again as it re engages with the subfence on the other side of the router bit.


    The immediate solution was to remove those two rollers entirely. It's not a permanent solution because it means there is an element of wobble that comes into play and that doesn't work for me. Much of that wobble can be negated by adjusting the upper roller assembly to ride tightly in the track (an easy adjustment), but the more permanent solution is to make new subfences that are flush with the rest of the fence. Since this is entirely Jessem OEM stuff, I'm a little annoyed that it isn't perfect already.

    This brings me to the blade guard, or bit shield, or ouch preventer, or whatever you want to call it. I absolutely love this thing. I think this should be a stand alone item that Jessem sells rather than including it with the Mite-R-Slide II, but I'm happy they think otherwise. It's an adjustable guard that slides out of the way as the miter gauge nears the bit. It's genius, and, like all other Jessem stuff, massively over built and just fun to play with. Here's the thing. This guard works for virtually all router applications; Rails, stiles, panels, trim, whatever. I really think this thing is going to become something you see a lot of from other manufacturers. It's a game changer for router safety.



    The last part of this is the least impressive. The stops that you add at each end of the fence so you don't accidentally run the Mite-R-Slide right off the fence and onto the floor. On one hand, they're nicely made. There are dampeners so it's not jarring when you hit them, and like everything else, they're machined beautifully. On the other hand, they're useless. I don't accidentally push my miter gauges so far that they fall on floor anyway, and neither do you, so that's just Jessem fixing a problem that doesn't exist. Also, it defeats the purpose of having the Mite-R-Slide II. If the difference between version I and version II is that version II is easily removable, don't make people have to track down the right sized hex key to remove it. Lastly, they don't fit right in the Jessem Mast-R-Fence II. The T-track the fit into is shallower on top, so no matter how much you tighten them, they wobble around like a child wearing his dad's shoes.

    I'm sure I can find a use for these stops, but it won't be for the Mite-R-Slide II.

    In summation, this is a fantastic piece of hardware. It's is machined out of aircraft grade billet aluminum, laser etched, has no slop, comes with a blade guard that you will always want to use, holds its calibrations indefinitely, and solves many of the problems associated with miter gauges on router tables and the problems with coping sleds. At $250-ish, it's money extremely well spent.

    A couple of last notes: Jessem says this is only for Jessem router fences. This can easily be adapted to other fences as long as you have the ability to incorporate a continuous T-track along the top of the fence. I'm obviously going to have to work out some dog down clamps or other hold down to keep rails tight against the miter fence, but the fence itself has a T-track slot, so I'm not worried about it.

    Lastly, this is my first post on SMC, so I think I may have screwed up posting the pictures. Regardless, this is my review. Hope it helps someone out
    Last edited by jamil mehdi; 09-27-2020 at 1:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Jamil, welcome to SMC!

    Regarding photos, that's a feature for Contributors. (along with private messages, access to the free classifieds, a private forum area for discussions best not to be accessible to "the bots", etc.) A minimum $6 per year donation will get you Contributor status and "all the goodies". Just click on the Donate link up at the top of the page.

    Forum Moderator

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    OK. Thank you.
    Last edited by jamil mehdi; 09-26-2020 at 10:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Great review, thanks.

  5. #5
    OK. I figured out how to add photos correctly, so hopefully this review makes a little ore sense to people now. Cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Yorktown, VA
    Thanks for the review, Jamil....and for the photos. Good job!

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