Phenolic Router lift extension on the cheap ($165 total)

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Project by Mcnervy posted 02-08-2011 05:28 AM 4409 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

New router lift table saw extension done on the cheap $165 total

I got my bonus in January so I knew I was getting a tool for my self, money is too tight to buy anything real big But I saw the Jessem Rout-R lift II and decided that 120+ shipping was too good to pass up. I ordered it without thinking about it fitting into my existing Bosch router table that I had bolted between the wings of my ridgid table saw. Of course it did not fit. So now I had to make a extension to house the router lift.
One of my projects at work was a new Laboratory for Our R&D scientists. They were putting hundreds of square feet of Epoxy resin counter top. Better for chemicals not so good for working with wood. I asked them about Phenolic. They gave me a 22” x 27” 1” thick piece of phenolic for nothing, Score, my first free gift from a vendor. I mounted two maple rails to each of the aluminum fence extrusions front and back. I leveled them. I then cut Rabbets in bottom of the phenolic to level it with the table. I used forstner bits to drill clearance holes for the bolts that held the maple rails onto the fence rails. I then made a template for the router lift, using info from other lumberjock projects. It was ¾ ply biscuited together. I then made rounded corner pieces with the band saw. Glued them in place. Used spindle sander to make it fit nice, I used that template to make a second template, which I left attached to create a thick template. I centered that and aligned it using the table saw fence. I waited a couple of days for fear of ruining the piece of phenolic. When I finally did it my first shallow pass went perfect, second one great. On the third something did not feel right I stopped to find out in horror that the bearing on my pattern bit had ridden up the shaft and I was cutting into the template and messing up the phenolic. Luckily It was a ½ shaft bit so it was guiding on the shaft of the bit so it only cut 3/16 over size and only on one section. I regrouped and finished using the section of the template that was still intact. I had enough depth left to make the Lift fit secure, but there is a little nasty area on part of it. Life is a learning process. I then cut 1 ¾ ” wide by 3/8” deep dado for a miter/tee track combo extrusion from bench dog. I used the table saw fence. I found the best way was cut my first path to full depth in 4 passes and then move the fence along about 1/8” per pass. I did it so the force of the cut pushed the router against the fence, (right to left and moving the fence towards me. With a reasonable amount of work and stress I have a 1” phenolic router table extension, with a lift and miter and tee track for only $165, lift was $120+$15 shipping and $30 for the Tee track shipping included. I forgot to mention the mess and the smell (even through my respirator) I am very pleased with the result, Now I need to do a real project.

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem

4 comments so far

View Wiggs's profile


18 posts in 4205 days

#1 posted 02-08-2011 05:51 AM

Looks like a great result on your bonus! I know exactly what you mean about life being a learning process, it seems everything I make is a one off that comes without sufficient instructions, but I suppose recovering from one’s mistakes is always part of woodworking.
Have fun with your latest toy!

-- Wiggs, Western Australia --- Whoever said 'The devil's in the detail' was a woodworker!

View Ken90712's profile


18099 posts in 4525 days

#2 posted 02-08-2011 06:06 AM

Congrats to you on both your bonus and project. Great post!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View PurpLev's profile


8653 posts in 4985 days

#3 posted 02-08-2011 06:14 AM

looks fantastic! a horrible material to work with, but a great materials to have for benchtops and fences

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 4025 days

#4 posted 02-09-2011 09:39 PM

looks clean and neat
well done

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

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