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Router Lift - Cadillac or daily driver?

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Forum topic by Dustin posted 03-25-2019 05:51 PM 812 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dustin

683 posts in 1068 days


03-25-2019 05:51 PM

So, I’m about to embark on redoing all of our cabinet doors and drawers using a Freud cabinet bit set (their shaker style). I could likely get by without one, but am using the opportunity to purchase router lift to make life a little easier.

That said, I’m debating on whether I’d really benefit with anything “higher end” than the Jessem Rout-R-Lift II. I know that Incra, Woodpeckers, and Jessem all make more expensive router lifts with nicer features, but I don’t often use my router table as it is. I simply want it to be as simple as possible to use when I do.

So what about you all? Going with the budget option gives me back my bit and some of my lumber budget. Were you in my shoes, what would you go for?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."


37 replies so far

View LesB's profile

LesB

2047 posts in 3770 days


#1 posted 03-25-2019 06:05 PM

I got by making manual adjustments on my router table for many many years. That is a nuisance if you do a lot of routing. These new lifters are a great accessory and I now have a Inca which I chose because of the magnetically held inserts. The latest with the electric drive are the Mercedes Benz of them all but I have more time than money.

If you seldom use you router table I would not get lifter if I have better uses for the money. Maybe down the road when you have a better budget or used ones start to be come available at a discount.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Dustin

683 posts in 1068 days


#2 posted 03-25-2019 06:09 PM



I got by making manual adjustments on my router table for many many years. That is a nuisance if you do a lot of routing. These new lifters are a great accessory and I now have a Inca which I chose because of the magnetically held inserts. The latest with the electric drive are the Mercedes Benz of them all but I have more time than money.

If you seldom use you router table I would not get lifter if I have better uses for the money. Maybe down the road when you have a better budget or used ones start to be come available at a discount.

- LesB

Appreciate the feedback, Les. Right now I’ve got my Bosch 1617 in it’s fixed below table base, but I really hate adjusting that thing. The bonus of adding a lift is not only ease of use, but a better router plate (mine was pilfered from a Kreg portable router table from when they didn’t have replaceable inserts). So that said, I’ll probably be getting a lift, but was debating between the $190 Rout-R-Lift II and the $350+ models available, though your feedback definitely steers me to the budget model.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1069 posts in 3145 days


#3 posted 03-25-2019 06:12 PM

I have the Rout-R-Lift II and really like it. Micro-adjustable, very solid. The only concern I had was the fact that it’s a phenolic plate (compared to the Mastr-LIft with its steel plate). But with the reinforcing bars underneath I haven’t had any problems in 3-4 years with a router permanently installed in it.
Unless you want digital control with a screen, but to my mind that might be useful in a production shop but seems like overkill for a hobbyist.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Dustin

683 posts in 1068 days


#4 posted 03-25-2019 06:46 PM



I have the Rout-R-Lift II and really like it. Micro-adjustable, very solid. The only concern I had was the fact that it s a phenolic plate (compared to the Mastr-LIft with its steel plate). But with the reinforcing bars underneath I haven t had any problems in 3-4 years with a router permanently installed in it.
Unless you want digital control with a screen, but to my mind that might be useful in a production shop but seems like overkill for a hobbyist.

- jdh122


Nope, no need for digital controls. And I appreciate it, this is what i was looking for.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View pottz's profile

pottz

4683 posts in 1312 days


#5 posted 03-25-2019 07:01 PM

i have the jess em mastr lift II and love it works very smooth and built like a tank.i highly recommend it.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117592 posts in 3904 days


#6 posted 03-25-2019 07:11 PM

Spendy but it’s worth it to me, It’s great for micro adjustments and saving settings if you have to run more of something like moldings at the same setting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0BuSFzJqwc

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5454 posts in 2821 days


#7 posted 03-25-2019 07:27 PM

Are you expecting the new one to drop into the opening you have? As best as i can tell, the Jessum will fit the Kreg opening…a good thing IMHO.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

683 posts in 1068 days


#8 posted 03-25-2019 07:33 PM



Are you expecting the new one to drop into the opening you have?

- Fred Hargis

Good question, Fred. I did check the size, and the Kreg plate I’m using right now has the standard 9 1/4” x 11 3/4” opening, so I was hoping it would. As is, I’ve merely re-purposed the old top, plate and fence from the aforementioned portable route table and mounted them in my table saw wing, so I wouldn’t be averse to picking up some Melamine and making a new extension if necessary.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

683 posts in 1068 days


#9 posted 03-25-2019 07:35 PM


Spendy but it s worth it to me, It s great for micro adjustments and saving settings if you have to run more of something like moldings at the same setting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0BuSFzJqwc

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

- a1Jim

Thanks, Jim, but doing that kind of work is out of my purview for the time being. I doubt I’ll ever make my own custom moldings (famous last words?).

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

472 posts in 107 days


#10 posted 03-25-2019 07:41 PM

Would not go back to a non-micro adjust lift, especially for fitting stile/rails or sliding dove tails. My Rockler Pro lift has been a joy.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2934 posts in 3765 days


#11 posted 03-25-2019 08:06 PM

Okay, my 2 cents. My son in law is an engineer. He makes woodworking plans on a cad machine and prints out plans that indicate thousands of an inch accuracy. He works with a digital micrometer. I am amazed at the length of time he puts in to get things perfect only realizing that, Hey! it’s wood, not metal. That kind of accuracy is funny to watch. This accounting is actually true. He’s a great guy though.

I have a Triton 3 1/4 hp router permanently mounted in my router table. I has an above table crank, and can be adjusted easily also by turning knobs under the table. The method that I find works best is to adjust the best you can and try it on a scrap piece of wood. Then re-adjust and ease into it till it’s just right.

If you’ve got a router, say a Bosch like I do for instance, then use that above the table. It’s great. Then purchase a Triton for below the table. It’s a beast. I’ve had mine for a long time now. It’s about the price of a Jessem router lift. Thing is, you’ll have a functional router lift with a router permanently mounted under the table and you won’t have to change them out each time to use the table or need it above the table.
The big triton is a beast. You simply can’t slow it down. Take too much of a bite, not a good thing to do, and the router will just chew through it like you didn’t have a bit attached. It also has a safety switch that must be activated to change a bit, and the bit locks when you raise it to change it. Nice features all-in-all.

I originally used my bosch under the table. It was fine till I began making raised panel cabinet doors with big Frued router bits. I had to take really small bites to get a good cut. Seventeen doors later, it took me all day.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1153 posts in 2914 days


#12 posted 03-25-2019 08:19 PM

I have the Kreg router lift with a Bosch router and a Triton router on another table. I like both but the Triton has backlash and the Kreg lift doesn’t. The Kreg you can lock in the height. The set of bits I use are a matched set. You set the height once and you are good to go for all three bits. They are sommerfeld bit set and they great.

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

866 posts in 3393 days


#13 posted 03-25-2019 08:20 PM

I have two Woodpeckers PRL v 2 router lifts and couldn’t be happier with them. I have had them for years and not one problem. That says it all for me. A little costly up front, but I like to buy once and forget it. I use my router tables a lot and they have never let me down. I have PC 7518 motors in them and can do anything that I can dream up with these combinations. These are great lifts and I would recommend them to all.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

586 posts in 1789 days


#14 posted 03-25-2019 11:30 PM

I have an older Woodpeckers lift. I found it on craigs list back in 2014 so really not sure how old it is.
It is solid aluminium top, but other than that, it seems to have the same features as the jessem lift you are looking at.
I tell you, the only feature I wish I had is the quick release raise and lower that some of the newer models have.
My lift is in the right wind of my table saw. And when I done with it I lower it all the way down. So the quick release feature would be nice for set up, bit changes, and storage.
The rest is over kill for me, and sounds the same for you too.
And I’m in no hurry to spend the $350+ for that feature.
Reading about the Jessem lift, a feature I like. Is the lock that is on it. Mine is supposed to be automatic when you remove the hex key wrench. But it sticks, and you don’t notice that it did not pop back up all the way. The height of the bit can move a little in mid cut. So with every set up, I reach under the table and make sure it locks.
http://benchmark.20m.com/reviews/WoodPeckers_PRL/Woodpeckers_PRL.html

-- John

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6136 posts in 2593 days


#15 posted 03-26-2019 02:35 AM

Add me to the list of Jessem supporters. It’s a great system and more than paid for it’s self on my kitchen cabinet
project. Money very well spent to my way of thinking.

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