Ok I’ve been really wanting some sort of router lift for a while now, my Freud FT2200VCE is REALLY slow to adjust under the table, the Router Raizer get mixed reviews and the Unilift seem to be running in the $700 range + long wait time to get one (and I would buy a lathe if I had that much lying around). Seems like most of the DIY router lifts are for fixed base routers or pretty much require you to permanently install your plunge router under the table. As it’s my only router that wasn’t going to work for me.
Finally I found this lift which seemed close enough to give me some ideas to work from:
I had some 1/2 inch ready rod lying around so I decided to use that as my lift screw and started out making the carriage. First I made some blocks from plywood and sandwiched a nut in each block. The blocks were piloted with a 1/8th bit and then drilled out to the depth of the nut with a 3/4 forstner and then a 5/8th forstner the rest of the way. Then chiseled out the corners of the 3/4 hole to accept the nut.
After that the top layer of the sandwich was drilled 5/8ths and screwed on to hold the nut in place. No glue just in case I needed to change something.
The block were then glued/screwed to a piece of scrap 3/4 birch ply of appropriate length, did the first one threaded the rod through both and then glued/screwed down the second so the threads lined up nice and the rod wouldn’t bind.
I had a cutoff piece of 1 1/2 inch laminated birch left from my crosscut sled fence and this got glued and screwed to make the base the router will sit on. Added a little block of ply so the router vents will not be blocked at all, had to add another piece after the pic because it was sitting too far back on the router.
Alright carriage built next I made some latched to hold my insert plate down to the table so the lift didn’t push it up… quick and dirty.
The frame for the carriage was pretty basic birch and birch ply screwed together, I added some braces in the corners later to keep everything strong and square, and drilled a 1/2 inch hole for the ready rod.
Next I made some gears… all credit to Matthias at woodgears.ca for his gear template generator, awesome ideas and great videos.
Here are the gears drilled out and ready for the bandsaw.
And here’s one cut… nice to discover my Jet bandsaw tilts both ways… I had no idea.
Drilled and chiseled a recess in one of the gears to accept a nut and put on some washers and a locknut and mounted it on the frame.
I had to make a brace to accept the ready rod on my table as the frame I built to flatten my saggy table got in the way of everything.
Next I put everything together so I could mount the crank gear in the frame. I put the gear where I thought it should go and tapped a brad through and gave it a spin, everything seemed to work so I drilled out the frame and gear to for a bolt and mounted it up.
Next I made a handle for the drive gear from scrap birch and purpleheart, braces to mount it to the frame under the table, screwed everything down and gave it a spin, works great! I am going to put bearings on the ready rod wherever it passes through wood and also on the drive gear but am waiting until I get to a big city where they won’t break the bank. Also going to remove one of my plunge springs to make it a bit easier to turn. But all in all I am super happy. Here it is under the table.