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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think this a little different setup from most people.

My goal is a router table that has a lift built into the base of the table, i.e. - not hanging from the top like most lifts. Then the top is on a piano hinge that allows me to open it up to make it really easy to change the bit.

This is where I am right now. I have a piece of 3/4-16 all thread on order for the drive, but I think a 3/8-16 would probably be just as good. Next is to build the structure in to the base of he table to attach it.

It shows the router held in place with a zip tie, but that is just for the proof of concept. The real hold down will either be a pipe clamp, or a couple of 1/4-20 bolts with another similar bracket on the other side.
 

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I think this a little different setup from most people.

My goal is a router table that has a lift built into the base of the table, i.e. - not hanging from the top like most lifts. Then the top is on a piano hinge that allows me to open it up to make it really easy to change the bit.

This is where I am right now. I have a piece of 3/4-16 all thread on order for the drive, but I think a 3/8-16 would probably be just as good. Next is to build the structure in to the base of he table to attach it.

It shows the router held in place with a zip tie, but that is just for the proof of concept. The real hold down will either be a pipe clamp, or a couple of 1/4-20 bolts with another similar bracket on the other side.
Great idea, Chris...I gather then that you found beefy drawer slides with no play...? I've looked in the typical places for drawer slides with no play for other projects but no luck...when you get the time, could you post brand/model and where you got them...?

Thanks so much...good luck with the lift and will be following this closely...I'm still learning...

Nick
 

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Does the wire tie hold your router solid without any play?
You might want to make a U-bolt (or two) and utilize it for your own security.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nick, they are just drawer runners from home depot. I do not detect any play, but if there was any play, I could simply pinch them a tiny bit in the vice which would remove the play.

Dick, it shows the router held in place with a zip tie, but that is just for the proof of concept. The real hold down will either be a big hose clamp, or a couple of 1/4-20 bolts with another similar bracket on the other side.
 

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Nick, they are just drawer runners from home depot. I do not detect any play, but if there was any play, I could simply pinch them a tiny bit in the vice which would remove the play.

Dick, it shows the router held in place with a zip tie, but that is just for the proof of concept. The real hold down will either be a big hose clamp, or a couple of 1/4-20 bolts with another similar bracket on the other side.
Gotcha...thanks...anxious to see your progress and the finished product...Nick
 

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I would go with a few hose clamps Chris. I would be worried about over tightening with the 1/4 x 20 bolts and damaging the casing on inner components. The base forms almost a full circle around the motor housing but squeezing from 2 sides will tend to want to make it elliptical. I would also look at gluing some high friction material against the wooden block.
 

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I like the design of that. See it is coming together now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK ... new plan ...

When I started trying to work out how to attach this thing to the frame and add in the threaded rod, I was not happy with any of the ideas I had.

Now the plan is to merge the ideas from that lift in the ShopNotes with this lift that Al B Thayer made:

Router Table Lift - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 

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Thanks for posting your R&D on this. Looking forward to the completed project. Some information on why you changed your views on type of lift might be helpful to others as well.

Having the slides adjustable to remove any play is important in my opinion. I have seen the hose clamp mounting the routers and it seemed to work fine. If the saddle is properly made the router would probably set back into the same position if you had to remove and re-install it.

Being able to open (raise) the router table top is a nice idea for cleaning as well as changing the bit. I like raising the chuck above the table to change bits so I do not have to clear everything off the table top to change a bit.

Excessive movement between table and router bit in that configuration (hinged top) might be a problem? Maybe some sort of guides to make sure it locks into the table to reduce any play with the top and the router not attached to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There were a few reasons why I changed direction ...

- Since the track is exposed and greased, I am concerned that some of the very fine dust from the router will stick to the track and impede the smooth rolling of the ball bearings.

- At 12", the opening below the table top is pretty constrained, and the none of the options for drawer slides seemed to fit.

- This new design allows for very fine adjustment of the sliding mechanism, and I have more confidence that it can be made to have no play at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Pic 1 - I took a piece of 3/4" solid oak flooring I grabbed from a guy on FreeCycle and made a couple of runners.

Pic 2 - I had some vinyl lattice cap molding from another project that look like they will be perfect for a female/receiver side of the runners. They are vinyl, so they should be good in terms of friction.

Pic 3 - The way they fit together. The groove is deeper than I like, so I am going to shave it down to make for a shallower groove.

NOTE: the vinyl things in the pics are from another project. For this project, they will be in a dado that provides the adjustability and also provides side wall support to the receiver.
 

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Thanks for all the photos and info, Chris. I'm enjoying watching this project evolve.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So after messing around with it some more, I am thinking that the vinyl lattice caps are not durable enough and also too flexible. Upon further research, it turns out that my Home Depot carries Hard Maple (I always incorrectly assumed it would be soft maple), so I picked up 6 feet of that and will use it for both the runners and the slides that the runners ride in.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Upon further consideration, and input from people on other forums, I now have another new design, which I am ready to implement.

The bolts are to attach the lift to the router table's base. To attach it to an insert plate, the bolts would not be necessary; you would use lag screws instead.
 

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On your comments of not being being able to adjust out play, on taking up free play and to pre-load... your design has the same short falls. Not a criticism, just trying to help your with what you say you want as you goals.

Instead of the squared edged splines and squared grooves... after some wear there may be freeplay that you are not going to be able to adjust out. If you used wheels in the grooves, you could adjust out the play by adjusting the wheels out... But you may get lateral play after a time.

If you used roller blade wheels in a rounded groove, that could adjust out all play. Using those as materials, you would not have to lube the meachism in a way that would collect and store dust.

If you used a v-cut groove (instead of squared) and matching v-splines, you could adjust out all play. For lube, if you use wax instead of grease, you don't attract as much dust.

I figure your picture has the containing frame as fixed with bolts... and you probably just drew those as ease in drawing right? Just saying you said you want to adjust out play... and over time you would have to remain adjustable to allow for wear, right?

Like I said, I'm on your side and trying to be helpful towards your cause. Love it so far. Wish I could do SketchUp like you!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mike, I understand where you are coming from, thanks.

Here is more detail on what I am thinking ...

The slides are in 2 pieces: the back 2 are glued together, and the front one is free floating. That allows me to tighten that the front down as much as needed to take up the front to back slack, while still allowing it to slide freely. If needed, I can put a thin strip of something slick on the inside front, like uhmw or something.

Also notice that the holes on one slide are elongated, allowing the removal any side-to-side play. This presents an interesting dilemma: that one bolt needs to support 2 adjustments, each of which have different tightening needs. IE - it needs two separate tightening mechanisms: (1) to secure it to the cross piece in back, and (2) to tighten down the front piece.

For that, I am going to embed a t-nut between the 2 pieces of the back part of the slide. That will be used to secure it to the cross piece, leaving the front side of the bolt free to tighten down the front as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Also, note that the left-to-right play is removed by the back half of the slide against the back part of the runner. The front (free floating) part of the slide is only for the removal of the front-to-back play.

Heck fire, I should probably try to patent this idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Upon further consideration ... it can't work the way I described it earlier ... the elongated hole needs to be in the cross piece, not the slide.
 
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