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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Default On lifts and collet extenders

I plan to design and build a new router table this summer after I finish off my current project (a couple of planters for the wife). The new table will probably be along the lines of an enclosed cabinet (I need the storage).
As such, I want to be able to adjust the bit height above the table and also to be able to change bits topside. One other constraint is that I am college poor with a daughter in her last year, so cost is a concern. My router is a DW625 and I have thus far used a homegrown lift that only works under the table. So for the lift I am pretty much sold on the Router Raizer for the following reasons:
1) It is cost effective - $90 on Amazon
2) I like the idea of being able to use the lift in or out of the table
3) It can work with any table/insert
4) It got overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon
Unless someone can show me another alternative that I have missed that meets or beats these criteria I think I have resolved that decision.

Where I am struggling is with the above the table bit changing. The DW625 is height challenged, especially with some of the 1/4" shanks. I have the MLCS collet extenders and they work great, but I have a couple of issues with them. Especially with the 1/4" extender, the bits tend to get stuck and I almost always have to resort to using tools to get them out. I fear I will ruins some bits along the way with this. It is too tedious and time consuming. Also these extender require two wrenches to loosen and tighten the collet, not a big deal, but somewhat annoying.

I have looked at the Xtreme Xtension which is designed by the same fellow who did the Router Raizer. It uses a single hex wrench to make bit changes which I like. I have read of some potential vibration problems with this extender, but the instructions give pretty detailed steps in how to minimize this and reduce runout.

So what am I asking? Any tips on using the MLCS collet extenders? What do you think of the Xtreme Xtension? Any other collet extenders I should consider? Thanks in advance!

- Frank
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 12:12 PM
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Hi Frank


I have the two from MLCS and use them all the time,but like you now and then one of the bits will get stuck,, I made a small pair of hardwood tools to get around this error...

it's just some 1/4" thick hardwood with a slot for the shank to slide into the slot , the wedge pair,,,, it's best to use two ( pair) you just slide one on and then tap the other one and the bit just comes right out easy..

The wedge looks like ball joint splitter only smaller..

I also use the 1/2" one most of the time with a 1/4" adapter that's keep the 1/4" bits from sticking..I got the adapter from MLCS also.

I also have the Xtreme Xtension and I don't use it,,because of the vibration.

=====

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustmaker View Post
I plan to design and build a new router table this summer after I finish off my current project (a couple of planters for the wife). The new table will probably be along the lines of an enclosed cabinet (I need the storage).
As such, I want to be able to adjust the bit height above the table and also to be able to change bits topside. One other constraint is that I am college poor with a daughter in her last year, so cost is a concern. My router is a DW625 and I have thus far used a homegrown lift that only works under the table. So for the lift I am pretty much sold on the Router Raizer for the following reasons:
1) It is cost effective - $90 on Amazon
2) I like the idea of being able to use the lift in or out of the table
3) It can work with any table/insert
4) It got overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon
Unless someone can show me another alternative that I have missed that meets or beats these criteria I think I have resolved that decision.

Where I am struggling is with the above the table bit changing. The DW625 is height challenged, especially with some of the 1/4" shanks. I have the MLCS collet extenders and they work great, but I have a couple of issues with them. Especially with the 1/4" extender, the bits tend to get stuck and I almost always have to resort to using tools to get them out. I fear I will ruins some bits along the way with this. It is too tedious and time consuming. Also these extender require two wrenches to loosen and tighten the collet, not a big deal, but somewhat annoying.

I have looked at the Xtreme Xtension which is designed by the same fellow who did the Router Raizer. It uses a single hex wrench to make bit changes which I like. I have read of some potential vibration problems with this extender, but the instructions give pretty detailed steps in how to minimize this and reduce runout.

So what am I asking? Any tips on using the MLCS collet extenders? What do you think of the Xtreme Xtension? Any other collet extenders I should consider? Thanks in advance!


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Last edited by bobj3; 05-21-2009 at 12:35 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Bob! I think you just saved me about $60! I don't mind using two wrenches if I don't have to fight to get the bits out. I appreciate you sharing your technique. I am sure I have some scrap hardwood in my scrap heap (I really do need to go through and sort that mess some day). With a little searching I did find the 1/2 to 1/4 adapter on MLCS...they call it an "adapter bushing". For $4 how can you go wrong?
Hmm, It is also interesting to hear that you also had vibration problems with the Xtreme Xtension. That sounds like a design flaw; at least I have not had any issues with the MLCS extenders...so I think I will leave well enough alone and use the money towards the new table. Thanks again.

- Frank
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustmaker View Post
Thanks Bob! I think you just saved me about $60! I don't mind using two wrenches if I don't have to fight to get the bits out. I appreciate you sharing your technique. I am sure I have some scrap hardwood in my scrap heap (I really do need to go through and sort that mess some day). With a little searching I did find the 1/2 to 1/4 adapter on MLCS...they call it an "adapter bushing". For $4 how can you go wrong?
Hmm, It is also interesting to hear that you also had vibration problems with the Xtreme Xtension. That sounds like a design flaw; at least I have not had any issues with the MLCS extenders...so I think I will leave well enough alone and use the money towards the new table. Thanks again.
My setup it seems is the same as yours: DW625 on Router Raizer setup with MLCS extenders for mostly above the table bit changes and height adjustment.

I had the same problem with getting the bits out of the MLCS extensions. After calling MLCS they said to tap the collet nut gently with a tool a few times slideing it across the router table top and the bit will loosen. I use a soft flat metal wrench and aim to hit the round of the nut. I've noticed that this has gotten much easier over time. I do not think this will negatively effect the shaft of the router if you were wondering. Time will tell.

What I don't care for is that I must reach below to the router to lock the shaft for bit changes. I might come up with an DIY spring loaded button press thats operated from outside the table. Any thoughts?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 02:29 PM
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Hi tprofera

You may want to check out the link below, he put in a knob on the outside of the cabinet to do what you to do..it's not a dewalt but I don't see why it wouldn't work on your setup too..

MainMenu

=======


Quote:
Originally Posted by tprofera View Post
My setup it seems is the same as yours: DW625 on Router Raizer setup with MLCS extenders for mostly above the table bit changes and height adjustment.

I had the same problem with getting the bits out of the MLCS extensions. After calling MLCS they said to tap the collet nut gently with a tool a few times slideing it across the router table top and the bit will loosen. I use a soft flat metal wrench and aim to hit the round of the nut. I've noticed that this has gotten much easier over time. I do not think this will negatively effect the shaft of the router if you were wondering. Time will tell.

What I don't care for is that I must reach below to the router to lock the shaft for bit changes. I might come up with an DIY spring loaded button press thats operated from outside the table. Any thoughts?



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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I think tprofera is referring to the spring loaded collet lock button. My approach would be to leave the 1/2" collet extender in place and use the lift to raise it above the table and do all bit changes topside. The only "reaching under the table" would be to lock/unlock the plunger after setting the bit height. For this an extension to a lever outside the cabinet would be ideal. Although the instructions to most lifts require locking the plunger, this is something I have never had to do before with the DeWalt with the springs installed in the plunger.

- Frank
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It is a journey of discovery,
An application of innovation and creativity,
And an opportunity at self improvement.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tprofera

" What I don't care for is that I must reach below to the router to lock the shaft for bit changes. I might come up with an DIY spring loaded button press thats operated from outside the table. Any thoughts?"

"CMT/Sommerfeld Junior Raised Panel Set - Finishing the chest." ************************************************** *************** Page 7

"CMT/Sommerfeld Junior Raised Panel Set - Finishing the chest." ************************************************** ********************* Page 6


==========
I should note I'm not a big fan of putting nuts on the rod to hold it in place I would suggest using a Z-Bend to hold it in place,, they are easy to make the one below is for small rod but you can make one out of some 1/2" key stock the same way,,it's a very easy tool to use just put the rod in the hole bend it over then turn the tool and slip in the rod in the hook and bend it back.it's that quick,you may need to heat 1/4" rod up just a little bit it's a quick right bend.

It will slip right into to hole and will not come out....but you can push with it or pull with it..

ONE more NOTE...I think Jerry ( xplorx4 ) wanted to hang up some peg board but he didn't care for the price of the hangers , not to cheap ,when you need a tons of them but with the Z-Bender you can make you own with some rod,,,I like to use the old signs you see after the candidates get in office, that they just put in the trash can, it's about 3/16" in diam.. and just right for the peg board hooks..


======



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Last edited by bobj3; 05-26-2009 at 06:23 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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That's the ticket! I don't know which amazes me more: the ingenuity of this solution, or the fact that you seem to remember so many websites!

- Frank
Woodworking is more than a hobby.
It is a journey of discovery,
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And an opportunity at self improvement.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 05:54 PM
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Thanks Frank


They just stick in my head LOL LOL


=====

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustmaker View Post
That's the ticket! I don't know which amazes me more: the ingenuity of this solution, or the fact that you seem to remember so many websites!



"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"

Marc Sommerfeld Tools ,Videos
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-n...RWaEpMA/videos

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 09:15 AM
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Hi Dustmaker,
and all the Forum contributors to this post.
I had the same decisions to make a while ago when I started to convert an old office desk into a combined router/ saw table.
On the collet extension, I recently bought the Xterme-Xtension which is outstanding quality and well worth every penny. Mine has no balance issues, though I haven't tried the 1/4" collet yet.

I recently used my longest bit for edge forming some Oak for a threshold strip, this bit wriggles out of the routers slot collet even with Arnie levels of tightness, but remained firm as a rock in the Xtreme-Xtension- an outstanding product.

Thinking a step ahead about router lifts when deciding on the router choice, I bought my router a Trend T11EK, which has a built in router lift for use when mounted in a table.
My only addition was to buy a speed-brace (a tenner from e-bay) for quicker height adjustment.

Last edited by HDS; 08-03-2009 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Typos
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