Home Made router lift #1: Home Made Router Lift

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Blog entry by remsen posted 01-24-2010 04:26 PM 37094 reads 13 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This was my attempt at a homemade router lift. Working with a router under a table has always been frustrating to adjust to just the right spot. That’s why I decided to research doing my own. I wish I could take credit for the design, but I found a really bright guy from Canada named Matthias whose example I copied. I cannot stress enough the enormous help his site was for ideas. Let me know if anyone wants a link to his site.

Here is what it looked when I first cut the plywood and the runners for the sled
humble beginnings

Here is the sled moving in its tracks. It moves quite nicely with very little play. Initially I thought that using a wood sled there would be too much wobble or movement, but that does not seem to be the case at all.
Sleds moved apart

Here is the sled in two pieces with the screws showing. On the left you can see the nut that I embedded in the wood for the threaded rod on the right to go into. On the bottom right you can see the rough for the handle that will be the crank. There is a bearing in that piece of mahogany at the bottom that allows the crank to turn tightly yet freely
Screws are in

Here is a better shot of the bearing and crank
bearing screw

screw crank


Here is the sled with the piece that will actually hold the router. I cut the cove by running the wood obliquely across the blade. I adjusted the angle until I got a cut that was pretty close to the router diameter. This piece is important as it really holds the router stiffly. The piece at the top was glued in to prevent dust from getting in.


Here is the back side where I have a locking mechanism once the height is set. I just embedded a nut inside a piece of red oak and made a crude knob. The threaded rod is 1/2 inch. Later I will fix up the knob by carving and sanding. Right now I just want it to work.


Here is the setup I used to cut the cove. It is pretty crude, but it worked. I don’t cut a lot of coves.
cove cut


Here is the router strapped to the base with 4” hose clamps. The fit is very tight and the router does not move at all. If you notice at the left of the picture I have a 5” bolt that serves as a crank handle right now. I will probably change that to something a bit nicer, but for now it does the job.
complete sled


Now I have to mount it underneath the table saw. I am currently constructing that. As I finish I’ll post more.

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to

13 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4459 days

#1 posted 01-24-2010 04:40 PM

very cool! I always wanted to do this. very well done!

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

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4170 days

#2 posted 01-24-2010 05:24 PM

That is nice. Please post the link to the plans.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View remsen's profile


21 posts in 3858 days

#3 posted 01-24-2010 05:56 PM

PurpLev, thank you for the kind words.

Hi Dave,
I don’t really have formal plans that I worked from. Like I said I wish I could take credit for the design, but I really just copied the idea from a guy named Matthias Wandel. His personal webpage is
He has a lot of amazing ideas and does a lot with gears made of wood

As far as my router lift, I just kind of flew by the seat of my pants and built it from stuff I had or bought locally at a hardware store. Sorry about the lack of formal plans. Let me know if you’d like me to clarify anything in particular or take better pictures.

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 4065 days

#4 posted 01-24-2010 06:12 PM

Here’s the link to the lift:

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4402 days

#5 posted 01-24-2010 06:29 PM

Looks like a good home made device which otherwise would cost few hundreds $.
And I noted that you have anticipated vibration issue by having the locking mechanism. Great job!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Diamondback's profile


88 posts in 3950 days

#6 posted 01-24-2010 06:48 PM

I have downloaded a couple of Wandel’s designs and am impressed with his ingenuity and quality of work. He does so much more than designing and making woodworking jigs. Take a look at Wandel’s stuff. It’s fun!

-- Oshkosh, Wisconsin

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4145 days

#7 posted 01-25-2010 11:01 PM

This is a great design and I really appreciate your post Remsen. I downloaded Wandel’s router lift plan today. I have to use a plunge router though, so I will probably have adapt the plan to allow for that. Very nice set of plans that download into your Sketchup 7 program. I’m really looking forward to building it. I am so tired of the hassle I now experience with height adjustments.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3919 days

#8 posted 01-26-2010 12:23 AM

THAT is freakin cool!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View remsen's profile


21 posts in 3858 days

#9 posted 01-26-2010 12:46 AM

I too have a plunge router that I was going to use, but I just went ahead and bought the porter cable 1.75 hp fixed base router and used the motor on my lift. I’m probably going to use that old router for a slot cutter.

With regards to the lift I built, I think when I get a little more time, I’m going to hook up an old drill to a switch and motorize the router lift. That’s probably overkill and I’m really going to do it for the novelty.

As far as the problems with the height adjustments go, I too was just fed up. I couldn’t ever get it exactly right. With this lift it is a breeze and very accurate.

-- Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4145 days

#10 posted 01-26-2010 11:40 AM

I would do the same, but unfortunately they don’t sell any fixed base routers here in Norway. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect they are illegal here, so I will just have to try and adapt my plunge router. The only other option I have is to use my lightweight plunge router where the motor housing can be demounted from the plunge and handle part. It’s round and would work well for the mount, but it doesn’t have much power and it doesn’t take 1/2” bits either. We are pretty limited here on what is available in some respects. Thanks for your comment though.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View JoshJock's profile


94 posts in 3653 days

#11 posted 08-19-2010 08:24 PM

nnniicee! This is going into my project workbench!! I have an older 1 1/2 hp craftsman router. is the type that has the knob depth lock system which is broken … so this is the perfet use for it!! thanks guys!!

-- "Does this lathe makes my butt look big?"

View MrRon's profile


5926 posts in 4054 days

#12 posted 12-06-2012 12:03 AM

This post is a perfect example of what woodworking is all about. I always admire the guy who can make something that duplicates a tool or machine that can be built for pennies. It shows the ingenuinity that some woodworkers possess. There are many examples on U-tube of how woodworkers can use simple tools and create machines that are as good as commercial products. If you can do this, you can be considered a woodworker in my book. Anybody can make a dovetail with a jig, but how many can do it without such a jig.

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4388 days

#13 posted 12-06-2012 01:07 AM

Good thinking ,nice work.


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