|Review by Vrtigo1||posted 11-02-2010 10:57 PM||3576 views||0 times favorited||8 comments|
Ordered this from Amazon.com about three months ago. The lift is impressive upon first inspection. The heft and quality of the fit and finish gives you the impression that it’s well built. This was replacing a regular JessEm router plate, so it was brain-dead easy to install – just remove the old plate, install the lift and then level it. This is where I ran into issues with the first lift. There are threaded through holes all the way around the plate, and you thread the supplied leveling screws into these holes. Where they protrude out the back of the plate, they come into contact with the lip of the cutout in the table top and raise the lift. The problem with this is that the screws that came with my first lift were so tight, it felt like I was going to break something if I threaded them in far enough to actually raise the lift. After a lot of lubrication, I finally got it about 90% level, but I ended up breaking the supplied hex key off in one of the screws, and the corner at the back left of the lift was still about 1/32nd to 1/16th below the surface of the table, so workpieces tended to catch there.
I called JessEm and told them about the problem and they said they’d check to see if there were any solutions I could try. We eventually decided that the best option would be to send me a replacement lift. Here comes the worst part of my experience…it took about two months from the time I called JessEm until the replacement lift arrived. I was told multiple times that the replacement would be sent soon, or that it in fact had been shipped, but each time, requests for a tracking number went unanswered. I could understand the delay had the lift was backordered, but as best I can tell, this was just due to nobody at JessEm taking my problem seriously, and I find that unacceptable.
When I finally received the replacement, I found that the leveling problem was 100% solved. Apparently there was a manufacturing defect of some sort with the first one, because the leveling screws are easy to adjust in the second. Overall, I’m happy with the lift now that I have one that works. It’s 100% level (or so close that I can’t tell any different), and it doesn’t move around in the cutout at all. It raises and lowers easily from above the table and is easy to adjust. That’s the primary reason I purchased it, so it meets my needs. My only real gripe with the lift itself is that it could come with a few more insert rings. I often find that the bit I’m using is either too big to fit in the small ring, but the next largest ring is really too big to provide proper support to the workpiece (at least in my opinion). The handle that you use to raise and lower the lift also feels a bit fragile. If I could design it, I’d make the handle about an inch longer so it was easier to crank as well.
Overall, I’d give the lift 4 out of 5 stars. As far as JessEm’s customer service, I’ll just say that I probably won’t be purchasing anything else from them. I can get good lifts from other companies, so if I were doing it again, I’d buy from someone else in the hopes that I’d get a good lift AND good customer service.