Router Table Extension Wing #5: Time to Zig

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Blog entry by HungryTermite posted 02-11-2011 04:51 PM 2458 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Which side is up? Part 5 of Router Table Extension Wing series Part 6: Delaminating Laminate »

As usual, no project ever goes the way I envision it. Even projects that I design 1st tend to take a left turn at some point. And so it is that I have hit that left turn in this project. With the top finished and ready to be cut for the miter track and the router opening I was left with trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and whether or not I wanted an insert plate. Two things happened which are going to change the direction of this project a little bit.

The 1st was finally finding a long lost treasure. I have had a copy of American Woodworker that I purchased at Barnes & Noble (back when I still used to buy books in person) in March 2004 (Issue #106). Back then the only tools I owned were a Router and Jig saw. I knew that one day I wanted a router table and it would be great to even have a router lift. The cover of that issue touted a DIY router lift for under $100. I dreamt about building it someday and have somehow kept it through 2 moves. I think the design is good and the parts are all still about the same price.

The 2nd thing was seeing this video on YouTube:
Shop Made Router Lift and Table

I thought this was really clever and completes the picture for the direction I want to head. I am not going to use an insert plate large enough to support the router but I will use some inserts that I can tailor to my bits and easily cut using a circle cutter. I am going to make the entire top flip up so I can do bit changes (someone suggested that in a previous entry in this blog). And I am going to build some hybrid version of the lift in the video and the lift in American Woodworker. The American Woodworker lift uses steel shafts and bushings instead of drawer slides but they are essentially the same otherwise.

Both designs support the lift from a router cabinet instead of the router top or insert plate. I like that because it will help prevent the top from sagging and the router plate won’t sag over time even if I leave the router attached. Now I need to stop and think and figure out how I am going to attach a lift to the table saw. I am almost thinking it would be worth it to build a little mini-cabinet and add some legs to the ground and extend my mobile base to support the entire thing.

I almost wish I found all this before I made the top because I might have built a larger top that could sit on a dedicated cabinet (which I suppose I could do even with a smaller top) but I also don’t have that much space so it’s still probably better that I integrate it into the TS.

-- Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement.

3 comments so far

View steliart's profile


1817 posts in 2107 days

#1 posted 02-11-2011 05:19 PM

When I saw this video some time ago, I also thought that it was very cool way to mount the router, but then it came to me that I want my table top to be about 1” thick and without an insert plate my router will hang so low from the top that its bit height will be very limited, unless off-course you want to use extensions or higher bits which I cannot find those here.
Just a few words to think about.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

View ChuckC's profile


821 posts in 2354 days

#2 posted 02-11-2011 06:49 PM

If you make the hole in the top big enough, the router itself will rise through the table. I did just that when I made my lift and table

View HungryTermite's profile


90 posts in 2468 days

#3 posted 02-11-2011 06:59 PM

My intent was to make a 4 or 5 inch hole in the table and then route a recess for a small insert plate so I could have a zero clearance insert. In effect this would let the router raise up through the table assuming I mounted it to the lift correctly. I could either change bits this way or flip up the top if I didn’t feel like raising the lift all the way up.

It’s basically what ChuckC has in his table.

-- Good Judgement Comes From Experience. Experience Comes From Bad Judgement.

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