Shop-Made Router Lift Barre VT
Shop-Made Router Lift
Shop-Made Router Lift
Router lifts are hot items these days and for good reason. Veteranrouter table users love their ability to make super-fine microadjustments or rapidly raise the bit right from the tabletop. No morefumbling under the table like a contortionist. The only drawback is theprice: $200 to $500. Ouch! That's why we were so thrilled when RichardTendick walked into our offices with his idea for a shop-made routerlift. Not only does Richard's lift offer above-the-table heightadjustment (see “Benefits of the AW Router Lift,”) but it costs lessthan $100. Plus, unlike the expensive commercial lifts, this liftallows you to change bits without cranking the router all the way up.It also features effective below-the-table dust collection. Whencombined with dust collection in the fence it results in near-perfectdust collection. This design also isolates the exhaust end of therouter in the cavity. That leaves the router air intake sucking onlyclean, dust-free air. And, unlike all the other mechanical lifts on themarket, Richard's lift hangs off the back of the router table, not onthe top where the excess weight can lead to sagging.
Our router lift consists of two components: the lift mechanism and therouter carrier. The lift mechanism uses finely machined steel rods thatslide through oil-impregnated bronze bushings set in upper and lowerslide blocks. Upper and lower clamp blocks capture the ends of thesteel rods and provide attachment points for securing the lift to therouter table back. The router carrier attaches to the lift mechanism. Aplywood router clamp holds the router motor in the carrier. Adjustingthe height is as simple as turning the acorn nut on top of a threadedrod.
Benefits of the AW Router Lift
Bit height changes are quick and precise. A speed wrench allows you toraise the router bit to any height in seconds. For fine adjustments, aone-quarter turn of the wrench equals a mere 1/64-in. change in bitheight.
Changing router bits is fast and easy. The lift is mounted to thecabinet, not the top. This allows you to hinge the top for easy accessto the router. It makes bit changes a snap.
Router table dust collection that really works! Two side boards mountedalongside the lift create a cavity like an elevator shaft. Wood dust iscaptured in the cavity and vented out a dust port in the router carrier.
Will It Fit My Router Table?
If you already own a full-size router table don't sweat. A few simplemodifications allow you to mount the AW lift into most commercialtables (see “Fitting the AW Lift to Your Router,”).
What You'll Need
This project requires some specialized hardware unfamiliar to mostwoodworkers, like bronze bearings and steel rod. We recommend you buyyour lifter parts from the mail order sources we used (see Sourcesbelow).