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Shop-Made Router Lift Iowa City IA

Router lifts are hot items these days and for good reason. Veteran router table users love their ability to make super-fine micro adjustments or rapidly raise the bit right from the tabletop. No more fumbling under the table like a contortionist.

Hill Hardwood Supply, Inc.
(319) 351-6640
3564 Dolphin Drive SE
Iowa City, IA

Data Provided by:
Nagle Lumber
(319) 338-1113
1201 S Gilbert St
Iowa City, IA
 
Iowa City Ace Hardware
(319) 354-4143
1558 Mall Dr
Iowa City, IA
 
Iowa City - D
(319) 351-8170
851 Hwy 6 East
Iowa City, IA
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Mon:8-22
Tue:8-22
Wed:8-22
Thu:8-22
Fri:8-22
Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Mon:8-22
Tue:8-22
Wed:8-22
Thu:8-22
Fri:8-22
Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Paul's of Iowa City
(319) 338-7217
424 Highway 1 W
Iowa City, IA
 
Amana Society Forestry
(319) 622-7554
1300 220th Trail PO Box 189
Amana, IA

Data Provided by:
Iowa City - Auth Hometown
(319) 337-8646
1676 Sycamore Street
Iowa City, IA
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:9.5-21
Tue:9.5-21
Wed:9.5-21
Thu:9.5-21
Fri:9.5-21
Sat:9-18
Sun:12-17
Store Features
Mon:9.5-21
Tue:9.5-21
Wed:9.5-21
Thu:9.5-21
Fri:9.5-21
Sat:9-18
Sun:12-17

Fastenal- Iowa City
319-338-7299
2228 Heinz Road Unit A Iowa City, IA, 52240
Iowa City, IA
 
White Cap- Iowa City
(319) 337-4681
2003 S. Gilbert Street Iowa City, IA, 52240
Iowa City, IA
 
North Iowa City Ace Hardware
(319) 354-4112
600 N Dodge St
Iowa City, IA
 
Data Provided by:

Shop-Made Router Lift

Shop-Made Router Lift

Features you can't buy at a price you won't believe.

by Bruce Kieffer and Richard Tendick

Router lifts are hot items these days and for good reason. Veteran router table users love their ability to make super-fine micro adjustments or rapidly raise the bit right from the tabletop. No more fumbling under the table like a contortionist. 

The only drawback is the price: $200 to $500. Ouch! That’s why we were so thrilled when Richard Tendick walked into our offices with his idea for a shop-made router lift. Not only does Richard’s lift offer above-the-table height adjustment (see “Benefits of the AW Router Lift,” page 40) but it costs less than $100. Plus, unlike the expensive commercial lifts, this lift allows you to change bits without cranking the router all the way up. It also features effective below-the-table dust collection. When combined with dust collection in the fence it results in near-perfect dust collection. This design also isolates the exhaust end of the router in the cavity. That leaves the router air intake sucking only clean, dust-free air. And, unlike all the other mechanical lifts on the market, Richard’s lift hangs off the back of the router table, not on the top where the excess weight can lead to sagging. 

Features

Our router lift consists of two components: the lift mechanism and the router carrier. The lift mechanism uses finely machined steel rods that slide through oil-impregnated bronze bushings set in upper and lower slide blocks. Upper and lower clamp blocks capture the ends of the steel rods and provide attachment points for securing the lift to the router table back. The router carrier attaches to the lift mechanism. A plywood router clamp holds the router motor in the carrier. Adjusting the height is as simple as turning the acorn nut on top of a threaded rod.


Super-Tune Your Drill Press

Before you start building, make sure your drill press will drill holes that are perfectly perpendicular. That’s the key to a smooth operating lift mechanism. We found that just checking the table with a square is not enough. Here’s how to super-tune your drill press:

Adjust your drill press table to 90 degrees as best you can with a square and a 1/2-in. steel rod chucked into the drill press. All drill press tables can be adjusted side-to-side but few can be adjusted front-to-back. Chances are your table is slightly off. Make adjustments by inserting paper shims between the drill press table and an auxiliary table. 


Drill a 3/4-in.-diameter x 2-1/2 in.-deep hole in a test block. The test block is just a four-piece stack of 3/4-in. MDF glued together. Label the front of the test block for reference so you know where to shim your table if necessary.


Check the drilled hole for square using one of the 3/4-in.-diameter steel rods for the lift mechanism. Check all aroun...

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