Router Lifts Rutland VT
West Rutland, VT
Fair Haven, VT
For the serious router table user, the benefits of owning a router lift are huge. Strap a 3-1/4-hp variable-speed router into one of these lifts and you have a routing system that can't be beat for convenience, power and accuracy. With a router lift, all your height adjustments can be made from the top of the table instead of underneath and bit changes no longer require removing the router from the table. A router lift is essentially a router-table mounting plate with an attached carriage that holds the router. A removable crank handle inserts into the mounting plate and turns to raise and lower the carriage with incredible precision. A dial built into the plate or fastened onto the crank measures height adjustments in 1/64-in. or finer increments. Most lifts do not give you a cumulative readout. In other words, you have to keep track of the number of crank revolutions for height changes greater than 1/16 in. Some lifts allow you to zero out the height indicator. This is a great feature because it makes it possible to set your bits to exactly the same height every time you use them. For example, it practically eliminates the need for test cuts whenever you make stiles and rails for panel doors.
Router lifts allow bit-height adjustments from the top of the table. No more groping under the table to release and adjust the router motor.
Above-the-table bit changes can be made with most router lifts. That means you no longer have to drop the router out from under the table to change bits.
Router lifts make super-accurate micro-adjustments. You can confidently make adjustments as small as 1/1,000 in.
Router lifts eliminate the three biggest complaints router table users have. Above-the-table height adjustments (Photo 1) eliminate the most common complaint: the need to awkwardly grope under the table to adjust the bit height. Above-the-table bit changes (Photo 2) do away with having to remove the router to change bits. Finally, accurate micro-adjustments are a reality with a lift (Photo 3). Still, as someone who just graduated from a hole cut in a piece of plywood, I was skeptical. After all, a router lift costs as much as a good router. But once I tried a lift, it didn't take long for me to become a believer. All the lifts we tested performed well. The height adjustments were smooth and accurate. Backlash (that slop you feel in the handle when changing directions) was minimal and most lifts have backlash eliminators (see Chart). We found that carriage travel varied quite a bit among brands. A router lift should have at least 3 in. of carriage travel. This allows you to start a tall bit low in the table and gradually raise it as you cut deeper with each pass. In the end, your choice of lift will depend on your particular circumstances.