Router Lift - Part 2

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Project by Henri Monnier posted 08-21-2013 11:34 AM 4317 views 7 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

With reference to in the original post HERE, this install would have gone much easier if I had constructed a new table, incorporating this lift in at the same time. However since I had a great table, I decided to retrofit this table to contain the lift. Once installed, this lift easily compares for rigidity and positioning as any of the commercial lifts that I have looked at. A good portion of the rigidity comes from the fact that the entire mount is supported by the cabinet itself, and not the router plate normally recessed into the table surface. And you have wonderful access to the router for bit changing and clean-up.

The main portion of the lift itself HERE requires about 18”(H) x 13”(W) at the rear top of the cabinet (below the underside of the table surface), and takes up about 3” forward of the back. Please also note that this does NOT include the portion of the lift (forward towards the front) that holds the router mounting plate). The router mounting plate with the router installed requires another 13”(W) x 13”(H). The router may have some small adjustment to the height. It does take up a considerable amount of ‘real estate’ inside of the cabinet. But the final result is worth it!

The router being used is a Makita 3612, a 3HP + unit. All of the plunge mechanics were removed, and only the two ‘slide’ posts were retained. As you can see in the picture HERE that the router is not one of those nice round units, this one requires a unique mounting plate because if its boxy outer profile.

The slide posts have an inside diameter that fit a slightly ground 3/8” nut HERE. These posts and nuts will become the real strength an rigidity in mounting the router. Also in this picture, note that the sleeve bearings, where the posts go into, those bosses are drilled and tapped for 3 10-32 set screws, which will stop the router from sliding up/down on the posts (like it used to). In the picture HERE, the nut welded (and cleaned up) in the end of the post. You’ll have to excuse the lousy welding, it is not one of my best skills. In this picture HERE, the posts, and the set screws are visible. The posts get located 1/8” below the top surface of the boss on each side, and the set screws tightened securely.

In this picture HERE, the spacing blocks have been put together, the router base plate has been cut to match the outer profile of the router (shoulda taken a picture), and the support bars mounted. The 4 mounting holes were not drilled until the entire assembly was put together. The spacing blocks are made from Trex scrap, with an additional piece of walnut. It is very difficult to compress Trex, and it will not shrink/expand in this environment. This picture HERE shows the router fully assembled on it’s base plate ready to be mounted onto the lift mechanism.

In this picture HERE the router is nearly at the top of it’s travel, it will go up high enough so the collet nut will be above the table by about 1/2”, and it goes down to about 5” below the table top (can’t imagine ever needing that!). This mounting method provided ample exposure for bit changing.

This is the final look HERE. Now for some inside work to replace various partitions to contain the dust and provisions for attachment to the dust collector.

One minor bug-a-boo in the original design was the mounting of the very top 3/8” nut. This is the nut used to put your speed wrench on to raise/lower the router. The design called for 2 3/8” nuts ‘jammed’ together with a lock washer to prevent them from coming apart. Well, by accident I ran the unit up to its highest position, and the jammed nuts did come apart. The picture HERE shows my current solution. I used a connector nut, drilled and tapped for a 6-32 stop bolt, along with the ‘jam’ nut. So far this has worked out fine, if it comes apart again, I’ll ‘tack’ weld the two nuts together. This does have the advantage of the nut being high enough so that an offset wrench can be used for minor adjustments…

If anyone decides to put this lift together, you will be VERY VERY happy, It is easy to use, and is very stable. I will provide all the toolpath files (dfx, txt, crv3d, or all) to anyone, just pop me an email at [email protected] Cutting the parts on a cnc machine helps in making them very accurate, so the lift raises and lowers easily without binding.

Thanks for looking….

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

3 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25193 posts in 3961 days

#1 posted 08-21-2013 11:41 AM

Nice job on that router lift and table, Henri. You sound like a man after my own heart with the things you do. we you a toolmaker too??
When I get things like that nut slipping I often put a roll pin through it and it does not move then and you can still take it apart at a later date.

Glad it came out so well. I love adjust-ability from the top!!!!!!!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Henri Monnier's profile

Henri Monnier

51 posts in 2722 days

#2 posted 08-21-2013 01:03 PM


Thanks, it turned out as a great project after many skinned knuckles, etc..
Nope, not a toolmaker past, an electronics guy in the computer field.

The reason I stayed away from a pin, clevis, cotter key, etc. was that I wanted as little backlash as possible. I don’t think I have the right tools for that.

And yes, the top adjusting is WONDERFUL, after all those years of plucking the router out to change a bit or make an adjustment. I have a total of about $73 in it, one of my best investments, I have several others that were ‘not good’ investments to make up for this one…LOL


-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3337 days

#3 posted 08-22-2013 08:35 AM

The ability displayed while making a project that demands accuracy and strength and in this case a challenging retrofit are a reflection of your talents. Thanks for posting.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

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