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Right now I have a pretty crude Q&D router table I slapped together over a year ago, and I honestly haven't used it much, mostly because of the low confidence I have in the accuracy while using it.
EDIT: I found a picture in my workshop LOL


I have an old Craftsman Professional 3.5 HP Plunge router model 315.275110 that I have been using.

I am in the brainstorming, and soon design phase of a new, improved router table with dust collection, drawers etc… I would like to incorporate a router lift, as this has been the most pain in the butt aspect of my current setup (reaching underneath to change bit height). Is there an router lift that would accommodate my monster router? Or should I budget for a new router and just use the Craftsman for hand routing.

Also, which lift/plate would you all recommend, and I am teetering on whether I will build the fence, or buy one. What would you suggest I do, and if you say buy, what fence would you suggest. Please keep in mind, I will have a budget with this… I would rather not spend $700 on a router table LOL, although I know it is very possible.
 

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Part of the reason you haven't gotten any replies to your post is that it is sooo open-ended. There are lots of options… but here's a condensed version:

Nope, that router is probably never gonna work in a lift. Most lifts require removing the round motor housing from the base and clamping it in the lift mechanism. Your router, like many of the Sears designs, has the handles and switch wiring all incorporated into the motor housing. I faced a similar decision with my old Craftsman router when I acquired my router table and went with a DeWalt 616 router for the table and relegated the Craftsman to hand routing. If you have any idea what lift you want to use, the manufacturer of each lift has recommendations about which model routers will work with their lifts.

As for lifts, I use the Woodpecker Quicklift 420 and love it! The quicklift feature facilitates fast above the table bit changes and very accurate height adjustment. GaryK had a review of the latest Woodpecker lift here and it looks nice, really nice.

My router table came with the simplest home-made fence you could imagine and I haven't seen any reason to upgrade yet. When I do, it will probably be built on the base of the old one, minimizing cost. Particularly if you are on a budget, build your own.

Some of the most common shop projects here involve router tables and fences. Search the projects. There are some really clever people here and no one has bitched yet when I stole what I thought was a good idea :)
 

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Personally, if I were you, unless the top of that old router table is not flat, then I would just modify your old table. You mention you are not confident in it's accuracy. The accuracy comes from you and in your setup prior to making a cut. The two critical things are 1, the table must be flat and 2 the fence must be straight and square to the table. The rest is just nice details. I use the Router FX lift in mine with a Porter Cable 692 router. I love using the lift. It makes setting bit heights easy. Ultimatelyl the accuracy is the result of careful setup prior to making the cut (not to mention making test cuts to check). With that old table you have, you could easilyl incorporate a lift, add drawers and either modify that old fence or make a new one and spend much less than it would take to make a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies… the problem with my current setup is I am using a home-made router plate which has a bit about a 1/16" of slop around the cutout which causes the router to move when using it.

I want to build a better cabinet, probably the same style as Norm's. Like I said, I am in the planning stages, that's why I am asking such open ended questions.
 

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Let me comment that I am a big fan of the Woodpecker lift systems. I have the most basic 350 unit and I love it. At only $199 it is a great deal. However, it will only work with certain routers. It will not work with your Sears router. I use a basic (non-plunging) Porter Cable 890.

The only negative to this lift is that you do not have the option of adjusting the bit height from under the table. You must adjust it from above every time. I have some gigs that make that a problem.

I recommend building a solid flat table, getting a Woodpecker lift and a basic router and getting the Freud fence. In this combination you will find router heaven.
 

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Well, Intertrim, I'm kinda in the same boat… Looking at adding a router extension to my table saw and as of this minute, I'm leaning heavily on getting a Triton router that includes a lift… It is my understanding that it's a pretty slick unit. Then I just have to pick out a plate… My problem is do I get the 2 1/2 or 3 1/4 Triton… I understand the larger one doesn't come with a crank, but both work great mounted… please correct me if you have experienced any problems with this set up… or if you have any better ideas.
 
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