Router Lift

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Project by Henri Monnier posted 06-08-2013 05:48 PM 24604 views 19 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After many times of adjusting my router from underneath, I finally decided to build a good router lift for my table. The commercial ones available are/were just too rich for my budget, especially since none of my current routers would fit, adding another expense to the cost. No way to get that past SWMBO!

I read thru many articles/plans available, and finally decided on the one published by American Woodworker. It has 0.75” steel slide rods with bronze bushings, and has a very sturdy under table support system. It has a very convenient lift adjustment that a speedwrench will fit nicely. A 1/4 turn will move the router 1/64”, making for easy adjustments (but also making it a lot of ‘spins’ end to end, more on that later).

Figuring that the drillings for the bushings and other support items had to be as accurate as possible, I cut the major support blocks on the CNC machine all at the same time. A shot of the finished ‘cutting’ is below.

After separating the individual blocks, I trimmed the edges where the ‘webs’ attached the block to the waste material. A bit of sanding on the blocks, then the blocks were glued and clamped and left overnight to dry.
Next I ran the blocks thru the planer (as a group) to lightly trim up the sides, did some more sanding, then three coats of sanding sealer. They look good at least…. In retrospect, I probab;y should not have done the run thru the planer, as that could have introduced an alignment issue that came up during the assembly later.

Now came the time to fit all the pieces together, and attach the back to see how smoothly it all fits and functions. After assembling the parts, initially I was unable to get a easy smooth travel over the entire travel area. I found that going back and readjusting the torque on the bushing hold-down screws alleviated the problem. I found that with the screws just touching the bushing worked the best. Some of that issue may have been introduced with the ‘planer run’ done earlier.

The smooth travel and the easy adjustment of this build is really great, there is little to no backlash in the adjustment screw, thanks to the double ‘T’ nuts attached to the bottom of sliding portion. Mt initial thought of the adjustment resolution of this build would be great, and now thinking about 1/8” for every turn——it’s a lot of turns top to bottom. With that in mind I did not trim off the end of the adjustment screw, I’m now thinking of adding a drive motor for those course adjustments (suggestions welcomed). More on that later…..

Now I have to cut the attachment plates for my router, which might be be interesting. I will add the pictures of the plates and the fully completed unit.

As for cost, with all the parts that I did purchase, I have less than $60 invested. I did have most of the nuts/bolts/screws required in the shop. For anyone that may be interested, I will pass along the part numbers and supplier, the .dfx files and toolpaths to anyone that is interested, just PM me. I pulled the plans down from the internet, at

Thanks for looking…...Henri

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

11 comments so far

View oldnovice's profile


6543 posts in 3273 days

#1 posted 06-09-2013 12:26 AM

You obviously cut those parts on a CNC … which one do you have/use?

My son asks me why I want to add a lift to my RT but I find the RT indispensible, even more than my TS. One can always rough something out with a circular or sabre saw and finish machine with a RT.

This one looks sturdy enough’ well built, and I think you are going to make good use of this one.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4167 posts in 2761 days

#2 posted 06-09-2013 12:32 AM

Great lift, have you considered Acme threaded rod 6tpi


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 2251 days

#3 posted 06-09-2013 02:11 AM

Nice lift, I wonder if you could retrofit a digital caliper for height adjustment display?

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View Henri Monnier's profile

Henri Monnier

45 posts in 1771 days

#4 posted 06-09-2013 12:03 PM

Yes the ‘parts were cut on a CNC machine, all home built, 4’ bed. I will post a couple of pictures on the ‘My Workshop’ page in a day or two.
“Jamie Speirs”
Yes I did consider doing that, the cost of the anti-backlash nut sorta ruled it out. However, it would not be difficult to retrofit it in. It certainly is a viable option to reduce that ‘turns’ count.
Yes it will be very easy to add one, I have one in the shop leftover from a ‘failed’ project t that I will use.

My biggest issue now is putting the bed together to house/hold the router. It is a good sized Ryobe, and is far more square than round. I have a prototype together using band clamps that might work.

Thanks for your thoughts and comments…..

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

View helluvawreck's profile


30129 posts in 2771 days

#5 posted 06-09-2013 12:26 PM

Nice work, Henri. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View MrRon's profile


4630 posts in 3148 days

#6 posted 06-09-2013 06:11 PM

hommier, You don’t have to worry about backlash as long as you make all your height adjustments with the router traveling UP, NOT on the DOWN travel.

View Henri Monnier's profile

Henri Monnier

45 posts in 1771 days

#7 posted 06-09-2013 09:36 PM

Thanks, yes, I realize that, but since I’m sure I’ll forget (senior moment or whatever), I went with the side of most protection….From myself….

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

View Kent's profile


150 posts in 1701 days

#8 posted 07-03-2013 04:01 PM

You could add some sort of gear arrangement to multiply the turns. Possibly even different cranks for 32nds, 64ths, etc. Check out Mathias Wendel’s site for some examples and more info. Also, his gear template generator will help a lot if you decide to go that route:

-- If I knew then what I know now, I'd have made a completely different set of mistakes.

View Henri Monnier's profile

Henri Monnier

45 posts in 1771 days

#9 posted 07-03-2013 05:06 PM

KentInOttawa – Yes, I have looked and loaded his gear app. It is excellent, the resulting .dfx images pull into Aspire with no problem. And they ‘cut’ great too.

What I’m looking for now is a reversible motor with a gear reduction that can be used. I think the initial reduction would be too tough on wood gears… All ideas welcomed….

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

View Henri Monnier's profile

Henri Monnier

45 posts in 1771 days

#10 posted 08-19-2013 11:00 AM

Finally got around to mounting the lift into my router cabinet. All I’ll say here is if you decide to use this lift, build a new cabinet at the same time. You’ll find it a less frustrating (less cussin too), and much easier install. I’m working on a re-post follow-on tome here about the install and fitting. Thanks…...

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

View oldnovice's profile


6543 posts in 3273 days

#11 posted 08-19-2013 04:13 PM

hmonnier, have you considered RC car motor? With proper gearing these motors should work.

Another possibility is a stepper motor which would allow very precise height adjustment. Below are two quick links to capabilities/cost of these motors.

Oriental Motor

You can also check on the CNCzone as they use stepper of all kinds and can answer most of your questions too!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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