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Thoughts on DIY Router Lifts

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Forum topic by Zvonko posted 11-26-2019 02:55 PM 678 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Zvonko

89 posts in 376 days


11-26-2019 02:55 PM

I’ve been wanting to add a router to the extension of my Delta Table Saw, but I got sticker shock when researching router lifts.

A router lift seems like such a pretty basic tool: hold router and raise or lower it. So why the heck are they so expensive?

Anyway, while watching YouTube woodworking videos I noticed some on building your own router lift. Cost-wise, I like that option way better. However, I’m wondering if I’m missing something.

I’d love to get some feedback on your experience with router lifts. For example:
  1. Do you have a purchased or DIY lift?
  2. What are the pros/cons of each?
  3. If you were getting one today,what would you look for?
  4. etc.

Thanks.

-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.


37 replies so far

View Roswell's profile

Roswell

79 posts in 2880 days


#1 posted 11-26-2019 03:00 PM

You don’t need a lift with one of these http://www.tritontools.com/en-US/Product/Power%20Tools/Routers/TRA001.

It’s built to be mounted upside down, and comes with a height adjustment handle you stick through the mouting plate from above.

Joe

-- _Never argue with an idiot. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience_

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

142 posts in 206 days


#2 posted 11-26-2019 03:10 PM



You don t need a lift with one of these http://www.tritontools.com/en-US/Product/Power%20Tools/Routers/TRA001.

It s built to be mounted upside down, and comes with a height adjustment handle you stick through the mouting plate from above.

Joe

- Roswell


That goes also for the Bosch 1617 and the Porter Cable 895 kits, I believe. But if the OP can’t afford to purchase a lift, he likely also cannot afford a new router setup. I’m currently in the same boat with my venerable 20 year old PC 690. I will opt for one of the two kits above when the budget allows.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6693 posts in 1274 days


#3 posted 11-26-2019 03:18 PM



You don t need a lift with one of these http://www.tritontools.com/en-US/Product/Power%20Tools/Routers/TRA001.

It s built to be mounted upside down, and comes with a height adjustment handle you stick through the mouting plate from above.

Joe

- Roswell


If I remember correctly there was some chatter on here about that router NOT holding the height set :<((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5783 posts in 3805 days


#4 posted 11-26-2019 03:29 PM

I have a router lift, I installed about 10 years ago and it cost $99. It is not made anymore, but it works just fine. The most important thing is what router will you be using. My router, An Hitachi has a locking device that is very hard to operate from under the table. Changing router bits is also difficult and requires me to remove the router from the table in order to easily change bits. If I were to do it over again, I would choose a more friendly router, maybe a PC or Milwaukee.

True! they are expensive, but they require many machined parts. I believe the Milwaukee router can be fitted to a table without any other lift as it can be raised/lowered from above the table.

View Zvonko's profile

Zvonko

89 posts in 376 days


#5 posted 11-26-2019 06:17 PM

... But if the OP can t afford to purchase a lift, he likely also cannot afford a new router setup…

- cmacnaughton

I’m assuming OP refers to me? It’s not so much that I can NOT afford it. I was just surprised at how expensive they are. It looks like I can get a nice router for less than an average router lift.

-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.

View DrTebi's profile

DrTebi

360 posts in 3829 days


#6 posted 11-26-2019 06:37 PM

I have been brainstorming the idea of a new router lift a bit recently.

There are many DIY designs out there, some of which appear to work really well. Most often they are built with wood. I think it may be worth it to think outside the box a bit. For example, I have recently bought a geared jack screw (for another project) and I think that, with a bit of ingenious configuration, it could work really well for a router lift.

One thing I would look for in a router lift is the ability to have a “side-winding” mechanism, like the Jessem Mastr-R Lift Excel. There will be situations where you have jigs etc. set up on your router table, and changing the bit height from the top may not be possible due to parts blocking the mechanism. It would also be advantageous for e.g. cutting mortises on a router table.

Other than that, I would definitely want an easy way to change router bits, from the top. And the ability to use different sized insert plates, for which I would probably use magnets to hold them in place.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

335 posts in 163 days


#7 posted 11-26-2019 06:52 PM

I got the Triton for this reason along with a plate but just can’t seem to find the time to work on the table top or stand. Now when I look all of the tops & stands they come with a plate. I guess I need to get off my a$$.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

553 posts in 1150 days


#8 posted 11-26-2019 07:12 PM

I don’t use a router lift other than the knob on the plunge base of my big 3-1/2 hp Milwaukee router. I use a digital height gauge to set the bit depth. To change bits I lift the router out plate and all, press the release to remove the base and plate and have 100% topside access in seconds.

The whole shebang mounts in an Incra plate in a right hand saw table on the TS-LS III on my Grizzly G0833.

M

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

142 posts in 206 days


#9 posted 11-26-2019 07:17 PM


... But if the OP can t afford to purchase a lift, he likely also cannot afford a new router setup…

- cmacnaughton

I m assuming OP refers to me? It s not so much that I can NOT afford it. I was just surprised at how expensive they are. It looks like I can get a nice router for less than an average router lift.

- Zvonko


Yeah. Apologies…guess I was projecting my budget woes onto you.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View Zvonko's profile

Zvonko

89 posts in 376 days


#10 posted 11-26-2019 08:54 PM


Yeah. Apologies…guess I was projecting my budget woes onto you.

- cmacnaughton

No need to apologize. I just wasn’t familiar with the OP acronym.

Also, just because I can afford it doesn’t mean I want to spend the money if I can get something comparable cheaper.

Thanks for the feedback.

-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.

View Zvonko's profile

Zvonko

89 posts in 376 days


#11 posted 11-26-2019 09:02 PM

Looking around some more I found this.

Considering the difference in price from the others I’ve seen, it clearly must be missing some (a lot of?) features. The reason I liked it is that it ”...allows depth adjustment of bit height from above the table.”

What say you experts? :)

-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

142 posts in 206 days


#12 posted 11-26-2019 09:08 PM


Looking around some more I found this.

Considering the difference in price from the others I ve seen, it clearly must be missing some (a lot of?) features. The reason I liked it is that it ”...allows depth adjustment of bit height from above the table.”

What say you experts? :)

- Zvonko

That’s just a fixed base for the Bosch 1617. I don’t think it would work with any other router.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View Dmitriy_S's profile

Dmitriy_S

17 posts in 550 days


#13 posted 11-26-2019 09:20 PM

I got bosh 1617 with fixed base. Its base has an ability to raise/lower the router. While nothing fancy like $400 router lift, but it works.

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2265 posts in 2265 days


#14 posted 11-27-2019 12:22 AM

I studied the one for the Bosch and if I am correct, you can not change the bit above the table, which for me is half the purpose. There are plans for a lot of homemade ones, I have even purchased a set of plans, but I hesitate to build it. Do they really work as good as a metal manufactured one? I don’t know but I do know there is a lot of chips and sawdust flying around under my router table. How will that affect a home-built, which is normally bulkier and not as precise as a purchased one? I don’t know the answers. The lowest price one I have looked at is the JessEm 02310. It gets great reviews, and I’m hoping I will see a sale on it before Christmas… Then again, I have been raising my table top to adjust the bit height and to change blades for years. I don’t use my router more than a few times a month…. to I need more?? Plus at 76 years old how much longer do I have to use it at all?? And my kids are not interested in my tools…... so ….. what to do.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View uptoolateman's profile

uptoolateman

61 posts in 632 days


#15 posted 11-27-2019 12:58 AM

I had a bosch 1617 in the fixed base mounted under the router table extension on my Cman saw. I was never happy with it, There was a lot of slop in the height adjustment screw and the sliding portion of the base would jam with not much sawdust. I ended up buying the Router Raizer RZ-200 kit for the Bosch (RA1166) plunge base that came with my 1617 router kit. This feels pretty close to an actual router lift.

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