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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Default Router Lifts -

I am a DIY weekend warrior. My obsession with woodworking keeps getting stronger.

I am fairly new to this forum but I have noticed many people do not use a lift system. I got the Rockler router lift for my PC890 series router about 2 years ago. I built my table, and boxed in the lift and motor. I added a dust port to connect my shop vac. At that time when you added up all the extras needed to do above table height adjustments the cost of the lift wasn't too bad. In soft wood and plywood 95% of dust goes into the vac. Routing hardwood cross grain 50% goes into the vac.

To change bit I pull the plate/lift and motor out the top, make the change, and drop it back into the opening. Height adjustments from the top with provided crank arm. This is very precise and minute adjustments are easy.

This leave the fixed base and plunge bases available for portable routing operations.

So why aren't more people using a lift system ?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 08:00 AM
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my router came with 3 bases , plunge d-handle and regular fixed. i was lucky and no lift was needed

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 08:49 AM
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Robert, speed in making set ups is the main reason most people do not use lifts. Consider you are shelling out more money to set up slower? Most people lean over to eyeball the bit height setting anyway, and in this position it is very easy to micro adjust your router. Old technology routers that require the motor to turn in the housing for height adjustments are a good case for owning a lift. Most brands have implemented variations on the Bosch 1617 height adjustment for their combo kits, and these models usually offer above the table height adjusment.(like your 890 series) Even the newest fixed bases from Bosch do this although it is not needed or very useful.
Set up time is something I am happy to reduce, so it is highly unlikely that I will ever use a lift. But using a lift is a personal choice. If it makes you more comfortable then go with it. There is no wrong way to enjoy routing as long as you follow safety guidelines.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:38 AM
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Hi Rob

I have my share of routers and router tables,,at 1st. I didn't think I would like the lifts but as time goes on I like them more and more,,it's a very quick way to set the bit height or to change the bit out from the top side of the table,,,many times you just don't want to take the time to pop the router out the top side, with the lift you don't need to..many times you just want to move the bit up or down by .010 or so and the lift makes it so easy, to me it's like having power windows you don't need them but it sure is nice when you have them..in a rain storm ...and once you have them you want them in all the cars and trucks you have...
Many have router cabinets with doors on them and the door is always open to get to the router the norm and with the lift you can leave the door close almost all the time..just one less thing in your way.

As far as setting up the bit, it's so quick no need to put your hand under the top and play with the router,many take out the springs to make it easy to lift the tank of a router ,the lift takes that error out real quick..

I will say I like the routers that come with them build it,,,why pay extra for something you can get for free..

========
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Originally Posted by Rob1 View Post
I am a DIY weekend warrior. My obsession with woodworking keeps getting stronger.

I am fairly new to this forum but I have noticed many people do not use a lift system. I got the Rockler router lift for my PC890 series router about 2 years ago. I built my table, and boxed in the lift and motor. I added a dust port to connect my shop vac. At that time when you added up all the extras needed to do above table height adjustments the cost of the lift wasn't too bad. In soft wood and plywood 95% of dust goes into the vac. Routing hardwood cross grain 50% goes into the vac.

To change bit I pull the plate/lift and motor out the top, make the change, and drop it back into the opening. Height adjustments from the top with provided crank arm. This is very precise and minute adjustments are easy.

This leave the fixed base and plunge bases available for portable routing operations.

So why aren't more people using a lift system ?



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Last edited by bobj3; 03-19-2009 at 09:59 AM.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:54 AM
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Mike the Moderator,
I beg to differ, I bought my lift for precisely the time saving it provides in bit changes and set-ups.
I no longer pull my router out of the table, bit changes and height adjustments are from table top.

Old,
Open door, push up on router, partially lift out, release cable from hook, (keeps cable from interfering with dust and chip collection), unplug router , set router on table, release plunge lock to lower router from base, release and change bit, set bit height, plug router lower router to hook cable, lower router into table. close door.

New,
Unplug router, crank motor up till insert lifts off base, remove insert, release and change bit, replace insert, lower motor to zero out bit to insert, reset elevator gauge to zero, crank bit to height.

I save on average 40 seconds for bit switching on crank-ups over pulling the router out. I never timed set-up but I figure there's a minute plus there. The elevator gauge allows me to quickly and accurately return to previous settings.

I no longer hold the plunge lock lever open and fight the plunge springs while holding a previous profile against the bit to line it up.

I jot down elevations at mock-up and blow through each aspect during a run.

I know the cost of the lift and router is high, if the lift and router continue to perform in its current capacity the time savings during operations will surpass the cost in about 1 1/2yrs.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 12:24 PM
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To me, the lift vs. no lift question is rather like blond vs. redhead. Some folks like lifts, others see no benefit - at least no benefit worth the cost of the lift.

I'm in the latter camp. I have one router that is dedicated to the table, and others that do hand-held work (fixed and plunge bases). The way my shop is arranged, and the placement of the lighting, it's easier for me to see adjustments and such by removing the plate and router from the table. This also ensures that the router is unplugged from the stub cord attached to the paddle switch on the front of the table. With a lift, I might be tempted to simply leave it plugged in.

But, my personal preference doesn't mean that lifts aren't useful to others.

- Ralph
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 06:38 PM
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Ronald, I am glad to see someone disagree with me on the speed of set up issue. I have yet to see a set up where a lift made for quicker adjustments, but this does not mean I am correct. I would really like to see photos of your set up. The forums are for sharing information so please do. If you have watched any of the Router Workshop shows you know how quickly Bob and Rick do their set ups. Using the fixed base on a Bosch 1617 with it's 3 rough adjustment and micrometer settings I take slightly longer, but an insignificant difference I am happy to put up with for the cost savings. My PC 7518 is another story. I seldom use it because of the amount of time for set ups. On this old technology router a lift would be an improvement. I think the majority of members use routers in the 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 HP range, and will be happy to set up a poll to see. If you have a better way I am willing to listen and learn. I have only seen two lifts in operation and I watched the cranking operation for adjustment and know it takes me about a third as long. Perhaps your method is more efficient? I have an open mind.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 07:30 PM
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Hi Robert. I have a PC 7518 mounted in a Incra lift. There is no need to remove the router from the table to make bit changes with most lifts or plates, here's why. Router plates has openings large enough for the large 3" panel bits so getting wrenches into the opening isn't a problem. The PC routers has two 1 1/8" collet nuts. They (Porter Cable) makes bent wrenches specifically for changing bits without raising the bit up or taking the router out of the table. If you go to Sommerfeldtools.com he sales the wrenches for about $14.00 each. You need two of them. I rarely ever have to raise my router up for the bit change. Simple and fast, period.
Hopes this helps.
Bruno
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 08:48 PM
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Gotta admit, I love my lift system. Bought the Jessem series about two years ago. Don't think I'll go back to the "old way"....
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 10:38 PM
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My router can be adjusted from above the table and lifts high enough to change bits, but what I usually do is unplug and remove the router so I can work on it on the bench. I like doing this because of he convenience of the operation.

Of course my router is out side the cabinet and is easy to reach. The disadvantage is that there is more dust from below, but by far the majority goes into the shop vac.

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