JessEm - Mast-R-Lift Excel II Router Package (Rating: 5)

Before I begin, I already had a Bosch 3 HP 1617 Router and a small benchtop Bosch router cabinet. Changing bits were a chore (usually ending up with cuts on hand when changing), and I did not enjoy the routing experience. In fact, I rarely did it because of the difficulty. Fortunately, I knew that as a wood worker, routing is an important technique that can enhance many projects.

Well, this just in! JessEm Mast-R-Lift Excel II Complete Router Table System! System came in 3 mid-size boxes, extremely well packaged, and very well organized. The packaged price was $924 with a 15% discount…coming in at $786. So, pricing was excellent (IMO). I also bought the JessEm Clear Cut Stock Guides and I'm going to say right here that this is THE BEST $100 you can spend!!! Hands down.

My excitement got the best of me, so I couldn't wait. I had to put this thing together. The assembly was not that bad. In fact, it was quite easy…even though at first glance it looks very intimidating. The instruction book was in black and white and in my opinion it would've helped a ton had it been in color. It took me about 3 hours to put together (and that's my fault). I simply took my time and made several videos for a future youtube video for assembly. Not sure I want to post the video quite yet. The router fence has the side measuring rulers bolted on top of the fence and it looks like it belongs. IT DOESN'T belong. It belongs on the side of the table. That was about a half hour of WTF. Also, don't assemble legs too tightly before you attach to base of router table. This will help when attaching.

So, what do I think of the JessEm Mast-R-Lift Excel II router table? It's FLIPPIN AWESOME! It's absolutely amazing! The phenolic table is a thing of beauty. There's no insert to deal with as everything is done with the innovative Excel II Lift System. The engineering and feel of this piece of equipment is unmatched. It's solid and smooth and the parts are engineered with precision with real attention to detail. It really is a thing of beauty. The Excel II lift system fits most routers and has an amazing feel when raising and lowering the router for bit changes. The fence is also very nice and solid and glides very smoothly on the side rails.

So, I gave it a try and just fell in love. The clear cut stock guides are all you need for keeping your stock locked to the fence with zero kickback. Absolutely genius engineering and no need for feather boards (although I bought four JessEm feather boards to be safe). The results are just incredible and I cannot recommend this enough. It's single handedly changed my views on routing and now I can't wait to do it. Check out the pics!

PS. I just bought the Mite-R-Slide Miter Gauge Accessory for Router Table and this is a $300 brilliant piece of engineering. It will also make my router table setup look even more awesome and enhance the overall experience.

PSS. I also bought the wixey digital precision gauge for precise bit depth measuring. I don't have it hooked up yet.

Overall, I love it. Let me know what you think and if you have questions I'd be happy to answer them. Make Dust!!!

-Jay