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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to build or buy a new router table and want to include a lift mechanism.

I'm also going to get a new 1/2", more powerful router.

What are your thoughts on the Freud 3 1/4 HP plunge router that says it can be adjusted from the top of the table?

Is a separate lift a better idea or is this a good combination?

Thanks
Randy
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 07:17 PM
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I can only comment on one lift as that's the only one I have or have ever had. It's the Jessem Master Lift. I really like it. It handles the 15lb PC 7518 (motor only) with ease.

I can't see any advantage either way....router lift or adjustable router fixed to the table.
The lift would probably give you more range...that's about it. Frued makes a good router, too. Got two of 'em.

Gene
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyCosgrove View Post
I'm going to build or buy a new router table and want to include a lift mechanism.

I'm also going to get a new 1/2", more powerful router.

What are your thoughts on the Freud 3 1/4 HP plunge router that says it can be adjusted from the top of the table?

Is a separate lift a better idea or is this a good combination?

Thanks
Randy
Hi Randy.......I own a Freud FT3000VCE that adjusts from the top, and like it very much, plenty powerful.....but for some reason I am always adjusting the height from the bottom, I think it is easier....I have been doing it this way for so long that I just don't remember the exact reason.
The adjustments are not as "micro" as I would like them to be.....sometimes I have to adjust back and forth 'till I have it just right.
I have never used a lift..........maybe this would be a little more precise.
Hope this help you.
Best regards.
Teo
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 08:02 PM
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FWIW, whenever adjusting any screw-driven device, there is some amount of hysteresis (slop) in the threads. For a lift (or threaded adjuster), if you need to lower the bit and precision is important you should lower it beyond where you need to go and then bring it back up to the final location. When lifting, gravity is your friend and helps ensure the router will not move when you start cutting. Otherwise it may shift downward a small amount during the cut.

This is the same reason you do the same thing with a wood plane. If you raise the blade, raise it farther than you need and then lower into the final position. That way the threads are pressing downward on the blade, holding it in place for the cut. Otherwise there may be some slop in the threads permitting the blade to raise when you cut.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 05:42 AM
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I have a Jessem FX lift for my PC890 motor. I love the height adjustment of the lift vrs. plunge router adjustments. If you can afford a router lift you will not be disappointed.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 09:27 AM
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If you go with a separate lift motor combo I'd suggest if possible, owning a router with a removable fixed base if it's your only router. If you already have one or more then I'd consider buying a motor only unit for a dedicated motor/lift combo that never leaves the RT. Extracting and inserting the motor from the lift is a pain.

I've never used or seen a plunge with a built in lift, are they also able for hand held work?

I agree with BigJim on the slop issue, my surface planers must be treated as such right from the box. But at least for "MY" Bench dog lift there is no slop that I can tell, (just over a year old). The slop if and when it occurs happens when the direction of the turret crank is changed, e.g., up to down.

The positive up or down pressure on the turret's threaded rod is released as the crank rotation is reversed. The SLOP is relative to the FREE space between the threads of the crank nut and threads of the turret rod and any other gears involved like the pinion gears on many planers.

I think because of the limit on parts involved with lifts the slop is minimal to -0- especially if the tool is kept as clean as possible as often as possible. As for the Bench dog, I'll have to check, but I think the big honkin threaded brass nuts are replaceable.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyCosgrove View Post
I'm going to build or buy a new router table and want to include a lift mechanism.

I'm also going to get a new 1/2", more powerful router.

What are your thoughts on the Freud 3 1/4 HP plunge router that says it can be adjusted from the top of the table?

Is a separate lift a better idea or is this a good combination?

Thanks
Randy
I have a PC 892 router which is adjustable from the top of the table. I picked up the fancy PC adjuster as well. It works nice but as others have said sometimes you just end up adjusting from the bottom anyway.
I boxed in my router with dust collection on the bottom but the door on the front just tips right down (magnetic clasp at the top) so adjust underneath is not hard.
The problem I have is that the threads are getting gummed up for the adjuster and when I try and raise the router I get a lot of tension and you can actually see the router bit tip slightly to one side. I found out the hard way that this tension releases while using the router resulting in the bit raising itself upward while I am cutting. I have ruined a couple pieces this way until I figure out what was happening. Gotta give the mechanism a good cleaning. It was brand new so probably excess oil on the surface is gumming up with the MDF dust I cut as my first project (building the router table).

As BigJimAK said, hysterisis is an issue. Whether you use a lift or built in adjuster you should always drop below level and raise up to height when on a table.

Anyway, once I clean up the teeth on the adjuster things should be easy to adjust again. Unless it impacts your decision on which router to buy I would say try out the built in above table adjustment first and see how it works for you. You can always add the lift at a later date and if you decide you do not really need it you save hundreds of dollars.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 08:34 PM
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I'm probably going to start a torrent of conversation here but its my $0.02 based upon my Incra/Jessem Mast-R-Lift. In my *opinion* a lift is best suited for a dedicated table router. My router lift is designed to lock the router in place with its clamps and (at least mine) isn't designed with tool-free removal as are my Craftsman and Freud dual-base sets. On the other hand, it is designed to lock that sucker in good!

It's definitely robust enough to handle many insertions and removals but it's not "convenient".

Others opinions?

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 12:32 AM
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Randy,

I own the FT3000VCE and have had it in a table for about two years. While it is a good strong router and serviceable, I am in the process of installing a lift and a PC7518 to replace it in the table. Freud does not want you to remove the spring from this router when it is in the table, adjustments are "jumpy" especially when you are trying to do ver small adjustment. I think it is because you are fighting the spring. In addition when I engage the lock after setting the height, it sometimes changes the setting. In the future I will be using it as a plunge router.

Regards, Bill
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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I noticed that most of these postings indicate that you spent the extra bucks to buy a specialty lift. What about the above the table adjustment devices found on some Porter Cable or Bosch routers. They can handle a 1/8" adjustment for one full turn of the handle. Is it just that you all need more accuracy than that or you love your hobby so much that money is no object?

While on a fixed income (between jobs), I am having a hard time justifying spending $300 for a new router to replace my Ryobi that I bought years ago.

--Dave
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