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Robust router lift for Bench Dog only cast iron tables

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Review by Holbs posted 02-18-2019 03:58 AM 1389 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Robust router lift for Bench Dog only cast iron tables Robust router lift for Bench Dog only cast iron tables No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

It came time to up my game. This is my first ever router lift after painfully manually adjustments for years. Because I have a Bench Dog table saw cast iron extension, I was limited (I believe) to either the Bench Dog router lift or Incra Mast-R-Lift-II-R . I went with the Incra because…well… what an awesome track record :)
What’s to be said about this lift? It’s awesome 5 stars. Installation was a snap. Installed a Milwaukee 3HP 5625 to ensure all routing needs would be met. All adjustments/fine tuning works exactly as you expect. Along with a Wixey router bit gauge, I tried out tongue & groove router bit set which usually would of taken me 2-4 attempts with test pieces to ensure things were set up right which means 15-30 minutes. With the adjustment capability of this router lift, was able to hit it on the nose with the first pass.
Very happy with this…expensive purchase. I used to disfavor using my manually adjustment router to the point of ever growing frustration. Now, it’s a joy! Oh…and the mag lock assorted sized metal inserts… more joy!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"




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Holbs

2172 posts in 2327 days



8 comments so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2550 posts in 2646 days


#1 posted 02-18-2019 12:21 PM

Be glad you didn’t buy the Bench Dog lift. While the lift itself is solid, the insert rings are garbage. Rockler’s parent company apparently bought Bench Dog and decided that cheap plastic inserts on an expensive lift would be a good idea. The Bench Dog lift also has 3 tiny screws that hold the insert into the lift top plate. I’ve had a screw fall into the router motor when I was changing plates.

IMO – you made the better choice.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Pixxture's profile

Pixxture

18 posts in 369 days


#2 posted 02-18-2019 09:38 PM

I also had a manually adjusted lift. Hated it. Finally bought a router lift similar (different brand etc) to yours, love it. I’m stiil learning all the things i can do with it, and how to do them.
Congratulations on your good purchase.

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poospleasures

827 posts in 2782 days


#3 posted 02-19-2019 12:13 AM

I,m looking so thanks for the good review.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2172 posts in 2327 days


#4 posted 02-19-2019 03:14 AM



I,m looking so thanks for the good review.

- poospleasures

Vernon… it’s a fantastic lift. Unsure what to put into a review as everyone knows about router lifts. I just wanted to stress this specific model only works in Bench Dog cast iron table tops, the mag lock insert rings are a marvelous engineering feat, and this lift is built like a tank.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View ramblinwreck's profile

ramblinwreck

23 posts in 360 days


#5 posted 02-20-2019 12:51 PM

I have the same table (mounted on a cabinet w/ optional end-cap), and just bought the same lift. I agree with your review 100%: a pure joy to use.

I have a Bosch 1617 mounted in my table, and previously was using the Bosch supplied fixed base with a regular aluminum router plate. With that setup, every single adjustment took at least a minute (open cabinet + reach around back of router to unlock base + adjust + re-lock base + close cabinet + try again and realize my adjustment is wrong + repeat..). Bit changes were even more of a pain.

Now with the Incra lift it’s super fast, and precise. Above the table bit changes are awesome, too. And it’s relatively quick to remove and re-install the router into the lift when needed (currently I have only one router..), since the only tool you need to do that is the same hex tool you use to raise/lower/lock the lift.

I also looked at the regular JessEm version of this, but I think the Incra branded version is the way to go since it has the magnetic rings.

-- Chris

View Charliefreak's profile

Charliefreak

18 posts in 491 days


#6 posted 02-20-2019 04:47 PM

Thanks for the review.

I’m planning to purchase this same benchdog cast iron router table. I’m curious when you say that certain lifts are not compatible? Why is this? I thought the plate opening in the table was a standard size, so any standard lift would fit (specifically I was considering the cheaper Jess Em Rout R lift).

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Holbs

2172 posts in 2327 days


#7 posted 02-20-2019 05:06 PM

Charlie. Be careful in this selection of router lifts if you have the bench dog cast iron router top as the router insert is not the normal dimensions as other popular insert dimensions. I believe the rockler website states what lifts are compatible (only 2?). The normal jessem lift has to be slightly modified to fit in a bench dog. Unsure how incra became involved between jessem, bench dig, and rockler. But glad they did!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View ramblinwreck's profile

ramblinwreck

23 posts in 360 days


#8 posted 02-20-2019 05:34 PM

It’s not a cast-iron vs non-cast-iron issue. It’s a Rockler/BenchDog vs everyone else issue.

Rockler (and Bench Dog, who was acquired by Rockler in 2007) tables have a smaller opening for the plate compared to other brands. Rockler/BenchDog is 8-1/4”x11-3/4”, and most other brands that I’ve seen use a larger 9-1/4”x11-3/4”.

If you’ve got a Rockler/BenchDog table, and you’re looking for a router lift, then you need to make sure your lift has the smaller (8-1/4” deep) plate size otherwise it’s not going to fit. I believe that limits you to either Rockler brand router lifts, or this particular Incra model which is sold by Rockler and listed as “designed for Rockler tables”.

BTW, this particular router lift (from Incra) is available in both sizes. Rockler carries the smaller version that fits their own tables. You can get the larger version directly from Incra, or other places, if you have the larger plate opening in your table.

-- Chris

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