DIY Table Saw Router Extension Wing #3: Finally getting somewhere- lift installed

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Blog entry by Mike_D_S posted 06-10-2016 11:32 PM 1936 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: More views of the basic table Part 3 of DIY Table Saw Router Extension Wing series Part 4: DIY Router Safety Switch »

So it’s been a while, but I finally got my other router table sold and bought the new Jessem Mast-R-Lift II lift. It came in a few days ago and I got it mounted in the table.

I started by cutting out a template for the router lift cut out. I cut four plywood strips about 3” wide about 15 inches long. Then I put the router lift on the top of the MDF board and square it up, then I put the strips up against the side of the lift letting one end butt up against the board to the left and sticking off the right side. This let me get a tight fit with a good square corner on the inside corners of the boards. I drilled pilot holes and user 1” pocket hole screws to attach the plywood strips. I then marked the corners to make sure I didn’t cut too far into them. The radius of the lift corner is 1”, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t mess up the corner by getting too close to it when I was cutting the pattern out.

I took the lift off and got out my router with a 3/4” pattern bit, then slowly worked around close to the edges until I had cut out the center. Then I ran the pattern bit around the edges to trim it flush to the strips on the sides, being careful not to run the router into the corners. A quick trip to the spindle sander with a 1” spindle and I had the corners shaped. I removed the ply strips and did a test fit. It needed one more small touch up in one corner with the sander and then it was a perfect fit.

So once I had the pattern, I put some blue tape on the table top and marked the desired position in pencil. Then I mounted the pattern using the t-track and some hold downs. I set the plunge base on my router so that the bit just touched the table top with the base on the template. The thickness of the router lift top was 3/8”, and I have the adjustable stop on my plunge base set to 3/8, so I just rotated to that stop and set the depth rod, then rotated the stop to the zero position, which will give me an additional 3/8” depth.

I made some light passes around the edge and then cut fully down to the 3/8” depth and followed the pattern around. Then I used my jig saw to cut away the center waste, leaving a 3/4” rim around the edge. I dropped my router lift in and to my amazement, the fit was nearly perfect. Removed the lift and did some clean up with my chisel on some rough spots, then put the lift back in and it was within a few thousandths of being level. Installed the leveling set screws and I was all done.

Next steps are to install some additional bracing underneath the table to help prevent any sag over time, but I’m 90% done and I think it’s good to go. I’m looking forward to trying it out. Just need to get a new switch to mount to the edge.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

3 comments so far

View MikesProjects's profile


172 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 06-13-2016 10:17 AM

Sweet, looks great!

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

View Charlie75's profile


312 posts in 2869 days

#2 posted 01-14-2017 02:49 PM

I didn’t get in on your tutorial until late. I am in the process of doing the same myself. Your Steel City saw seems to be a tad different then my Ridgid R saw. Wondering how you attached the rails to the saw.
I have made a temporary extension out of Melamine but I really don’t care for the stuff.
When I have time I plan on removing the stamped steel extension and make a new extension similar to yours.


-- Charlie75, Alto

View Mike_D_S's profile


603 posts in 2819 days

#3 posted 01-14-2017 04:36 PM


the pics below show how I mounted to the rails. Note that the saw already had a small plywood extension on that side that I removed to add the router wing. So the rails extended out about 14 inches and had holes for bolts already drilled in the rails.

I used those bolt holes to support the sides of the router wing and then drilled 3 holes into the side flange of the saw table and added three additional bolts there at the back of the router wing.

Also, I kept running all over looking for the router wrenches, etc so I also added a small drawer under the wing to keep the most commonly used items (wrenches, lift insert plates, spare collets, etc).

Hope this helps,

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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