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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

So what is your opinion of a router lift?
Commercial (what brand) or make one myself?
Are they "useful", "must have", "nice but", "why in the world", "why waste your money"? Or....?
 

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A lift is not essential to use a router table but they sure are convenient if you use the table on a regular basis.

Make one or buy one? There are several ways to make if so inclined. Check out the forums. Lots of neat ideas out there.

I bought mine, was not inclined to take the time, gather the parts and assemble a lift for a 7518 motor.

Figured cost of commerical product vs personal investment costs to be a wash.

Ended up with much nicer lift than any I could make within the capabilities of my shop.

Mine's a Jessem master, got it as package with the 7518 motor. Great setup.
 

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So what is your opinion of a router lift?
Commercial (what brand) or make one myself?
Are they "useful", "must have", "nice but", "why in the world", "why waste your money"? Or....?
I wouldn't like to live without this simple but very effective router lift especially since replacing the Makita with a Triton TR001. A quick press on the pedal and the collet is above the table and for dowelling it sure is fast.

The last shot is an error and the ability to delete it in edit appears to be no more.
 

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Waste of money is relative.

My original table replaced a small shaper, my current motor/lift setup is a definite upgrade over the original. It provides the accuracy, dust collection and enough power to do all that the shaper did and more.

The bit sets I buy for this setup can be fairly expensive but in comparison to a set of shaper cutters they are a deal.

Too often I need to match a style for a project and nine times out of ten a router bit can be found to replicate.

Router bits can also be used hand held or in the table. (within reason)

Just one gain in production comes in when making that final cut to clean up an edge profile on a cabinet door to satisfaction. With the machine still running, I crank the bit up a tad knowing that the cut will be consistent, and since the depth change is visually monitored via the lift indicator, I know that I will not cut through into the hinge bore ruining the door.

Trashing a cabinet door costs a lot more than most suspect when it comes out of pocket.

Yeah, all of this can be done without a lift, did it for decades with a big plunger strapped to the original table.

Sure the lift/motor combo is like paying $500+ for a router but what it does for me is worth it. It stays in the table and it frees up the big plunger for on site/in shop hand held use.
 

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I'm with Ken - waste of money - so easy to drop the motor out and change bits. I can buy a lot of bits with 200-350 bucks. bit height adjustment - I set this way photo
 

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Router lifts are defacto SOTA

Quotes Originally Posted by Jim2
Lifts Are:
"useful"- for finessing cuts
"must have"- after you used one for awhile
"nice but"- cost money that you may need for something else
"why in the world"- not CNC but is SOTA for router tables
The comment on buying a "lots" of bits for $300 or so, invites an answer. Most of my USA made bits come in at 25-45 or more dollars each, which means maybe 7 bits. Since I have accumulated close to 100 bits now, but seem to use the same 5 or 10 bits again and again, I have no plans to buy a "lot of bits". (Note! Harbor Freight can sell you carbide bits for about $3-4 if you like to collect them).

I have three router tables and am considering installing a second MLCS Powerlift in another one of them to make quick setups, so I have more time to do something else (like lathe work). The only downside is that I can no longer swap out my 3 routers with "bits already installed".
Mark
ps
In the computer world, "SOTA" means "State of the Art"
 

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to some people, $300 is a lot of money. i am one of those people.

as a senior software developer, i make a good salary, but i have 2 kids in college and no desire to give what money i have left over to others for something i can make myself.

for me, $300 would buy a lot.
 

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Chris,
I totally agree.
When our daughter was getting her degrees, we helped all we could to avoid her depending on student loans.
We didn't seem to have very much discretionary income during that time.
That was then.
Now, we are retired, our daughter is married; and we finally seem to have some "play" money.
With both your kids still in college, it will just take a little longer.
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanx

This has been fascinating:thank_you2::thank_you2::thank_you2::thank_you2: reading...insightful, thought provoking and extremely helpful. Thanks for all who have shared.
 

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When I get around to building a nice router table in the fall. I will be combining these two plans...and maybe more by then.
I like the style and strength of the first one and the gear option of the second one. The tilt part is nice but I dont plan on being that hardcore in routing.
Going to incorporate the best of both and will have the main gear extend to the exterior of the router table for easy access.


http://www.americanwoodworker.com/userdocs/images/content/AW%2010652%20Router%20Lift/10652-lead2.jpg



http://woodgears.ca/router_lift/plans_t/tilting_lift.png
 
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