New Router Table & Lift
Having a Bosch 1617 mounted in a table, I've never really felt a need for a router lift, though I never really had a problem understanding the benefits. So...when Amazon did their warehouse deals just before Prime day, I picked up an Incra version of the Mast-R-Lift II at a deep discount from normal retail. A rough bur on one edge of the plate took about 2 minutes to file smooth, and the rest was in great shape.
Next, I had planned to build a table for it, but then ran across an Incra 43" table & stand, coupled with a 25" postitioner/Wonder fence at not much more than i'd have spent in decent materials (not including the fence--to be sure). So...I picked that up.
Mounted a temporary dust box under the lift over the past few weeks while I built a cabinet for under the stand. In the ends, I used the 1/2" extrusions in the stand frame, rabbeted some 3/4" ply and added pegboard for convenient tool access. A pair of 29" wide/22" deep drawers should hold a lot of stuff, mounted on 20" full extension slides (which won't fully extend the drawer, but it's close enough for my taste). The drawer handles are some scrap walnut that I rounded over, then floated them on 1/4" thick cherry scrap.
The upper half is split between a pass-though cabinet with doors on continuous hinges for a little shelf so when I pull out bit trays or whatever I won't need to find a place to set them down. The other half is a dust box that fits within the frame, and is topped with weather stripping to seal it to the top. The air make-up hole may be a little undersized--need to keep an eye on that. The dust box and pass-through doors are held in place with rare earth magnets.
I've just finished assembly, but I may make some smaller walnut handles for the 3 doors (I used some free cabinet handles I had around--okay, but I love the walnut!!) If I do end up needing more make-up air, i'll probably add a v-shaped area in the dust box to help as well.
Most of the wood & hardware was already on hand from other projects, but i'm still deeper into this than I had intended. As with any shop project, I also learned some building & assembly technique.
Regarding the addition of the Mast-R-Lift...table routing is light years easier using the lift. When I wanted a 1/4" deep dado I raised the bit to even with the table top, turned up 4 cranks, and I had the correct depth. A pleasure to work with. I kept my other table set up for some edge work, but found myself avoiding making any changes on it. Will keep them both for now--and see how much use the other one gets.
A few pictures--you'll notice a few glaring errors, but it's a shop cabinet and the worst one happened when I was anxious to finish a task so we could go see the grandkids!!