Bench Dog 40-016 ProLift Max - Router Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Default Bench Dog 40-016 ProLift Max

Bench Dog 40-016 ProLift Max

Rated by DeJure

I give this tool an 8 (only because there is always room for improvement)

I chose this router lift because everything I read about it indicated it to be a heavy duty, well made unit, and that I could, easily, swap bits from the top of the table. I am, absolutely, positively, not disappointed and anticipate years of quality use.

Changing bits is easier and quicker than on any of my [several] other routers. The entire collet and lock nut is easily accessible from the table top.

My apprehension about what it would take to adjust the height of the unit for bit changes and adjustments, was unwarranted. The lift raises and lowers quickly, but also allows me to tune it to minute fractions of an inch.

If you are contemplating a router table, if you are planning on doing a lot of table top routing over the years, and if you can afford the cost, I would give the Bench Dog 40-016 four thumbs up (I just went over an borrowed my neighbor's thumbs to make sure my opinion was well covered).

I tied my Pro Lift to Porter Cable's biggest variable speed router. They play very well together and there were no complications during installation. A small crane for lowering the lift and router into position during shim adjustments and such (e.g., when mating the insert plate to the table surface) might be helpful (pun intended).

The end ticket price of the combinations of toys, uh, I mean tools, is not insignificant. Nonetheless, I, like many, have a lot of router bits, but no shaper or shaper bits (yet), so the end price is still well below what it would cost me to set up for shaping work.


The Bench Dog Pro Lift came with all the directions and tools necessary to its set up and operation (minus, of course, the table and router). Included were three heavy duty insert rings that are easily swapped, using standard Allen wrenches. The height adjustment tool can be swapped for a standard ratchet, using the supplied socket, if desired. This will allow you to avoid moving the fence for height adjustments.

I abandoned my factory built table and built my own. It's a large rolling cart with two locking wheels on the out-feed end. It's proven very stable and not prone to wandering during use. Anything smaller would have been sac religious. In building my table, I kept my Freud SH-5 Professional Micro-Adjustable Router Table Fence. Out of all the units I've played with, I like its ease of adjustment the best. These are well made units and the two fences can be independently adjusted with the simple turning of locking screws and adjustment knobs. Too, dust collection via its head has been good. When used with a collection hood covering the sides, "bottom" and back of the router (on the underside of the table), it's very good.

After setting up the Bench Dog, I gave away my old stand, table top, and insert. That is the worth I placed on them. Breaking a plastic insert, which runs from twenty to thirty dollars, is easy to do. Tightening the lock-down screws, that appear set too far in from the edges, easily results in pressure which snaps the plastic (at least stay with aluminum, if you can't or wont buy a Bench Dog).

Like many router tables being sold, the Freud's weak spot is the plastic insert plate for the table top. Breaking a base plate isn't going to happen any time soon with the thick, well machined iron plate the Bench Dog lift relies on.

The system runs vibration free. The weight of the combination of the Bench Dog and the 3-1/4 horsepower Porter Cable probably go a long way to contributing to that fact.

Finally, I'm happy with how well the PC 7518 router plays with the Bench Dog lift. The PC fits the Bench Dog like a glove. Too, I haven't bogged it down, even using my larger bits (this thing is, no doubt, powered by a scaled down turbocharged, fuel injected, 327 V-8, modified to accommodate at least sixteen valves, possibly accounting for the pleasing smooth, consistent whine you hear when you power up).

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-04-2009, 05:26 AM
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First Name: Jerry
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Good write up, I have never had a store bought router table just the one I built but I like the idea of my own, that way I won't feel bad when I change it completely contemplating the cost.

Wisdom: Where experience and knowledge combine and become one.

"We are all one decision away from Stupid!!"

Lamentations 3:22-23

"How often we sacrifice the permanent plans of God on the altar of immediate solutions"

I have a very good memory, just short is all.
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