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Router lift or bigger router?

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Forum topic by Cosmicsniper posted 10-30-2009 05:21 PM 1027 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1880 days


10-30-2009 05:21 PM

Friends:

Your opinion needed!

I just received my new Bench Dog router table extension for my right tilting Unisaw. I planned to mount my Bosch 1617 on it and am considering a router lift. I have a 25% coupon for Rockler’s Halloween sale and can get the Bench Dog lift at $250 or the Rockler lifts (which I believe are Jessem).

But which router lift would you choose in that scenario? Should I get a woodpecker lift on-line instead? I have a 1000HD miter and am planning an Incra TS-LS system soon.

Alternatively, I wonder if I should just buy a bigger router with an above table adjustment?

I would love to hear all the feedback I can as I value the experience of the LJ community!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com


12 replies so far

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a1Jim

112520 posts in 2299 days


#1 posted 10-30-2009 06:01 PM

I would suggest a router with built in lift like Triton. They cost the same or even less than some lifts.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1880 days


#2 posted 10-30-2009 07:10 PM

Thanks, Jim. I’m not schooled much on the features of the bigger routers – so i’ll investigate it a little more – and you can never have too many routers!

But just in case, opinions on the best lift are still needed as well!

I doubt we’ll reach any kind of consensus, but any experiences would be great.

Thanks!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View bigike's profile

bigike

4033 posts in 2010 days


#3 posted 10-30-2009 07:36 PM

jessem makes nice ones they also incra there are alot of selctions i would try those web sites as for the price its pretty high but u get what u pay for me i have a 3hp hitachi router but still want another one 3hp so i think i might go with a porter cable plunge but thats my choice i want the big router lift that jessem makes i like it cuz the dial to raise/lower it looks pretty sturdy its one of the first ones made i also like the size of the plate for some reason but like u said u can never have to many routers i have three so far and want two more so let us know what u go with?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

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UnionLabel

660 posts in 1922 days


#4 posted 10-30-2009 07:43 PM

Like a1Jim. bigger is better. The more hp the better the performance. I am not a production shop, so I popped for the 3hp MLCS a couple of years ago. A year later I bought their lift. I will never go back to the old way of adjusting a router on a table, plus, I can control the speed better on those 3” diameter bits a whole lot better.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1880 days


#5 posted 10-30-2009 09:16 PM

Okay, so if I went with something like a Milwaukee 5625 with the ability to lift the router top-side, how would bit changes and fine height adjustments work? I see a lot of people still opting for a lift with such routers, so I’d be afraid to miss those features. Those are big honkin’ routers when you have to pull them out of the table to do a bit change.

I’ve never used a lift system, but have gone through the pain of not having one. I just want to be sure that I’m not going miss having one.

???

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1880 days


#6 posted 10-30-2009 09:27 PM

Another thought. How about the RA1165, which is the under-table router base for the 1617? Could I not do fine adjustments with that? While bit changes wouldn’t be above the table, the lack of handles on that base would seem to make it easy to pull out the router for bit changes?

Funny, I’m trying to talk myself out of another router. LOL!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View UnionLabel's profile

UnionLabel

660 posts in 1922 days


#7 posted 10-30-2009 11:20 PM

All good points and yes to both, but I prefer a 3 hp plunge router. A lot also has to do with the plate you are using. Now mine has a set of rings I can remove and size to the bit I am using. They are also handy so you can remove them so you can lift the unit up out of its hole to do a bit change. I don’t use the router lift for bit changing, I just use it for the adjusting portion, so I am not having to hoist it out for every little change.
You still have to pull the router for bit changes. I mean I guess you can crank it up and down all the time, but that was never the purpose for them.
Here, read this from Rockler. It “splains” things a little clearer.
http://www.rockler.com/blog/index.cfm?mode=entry&entry=7F491159-1372-6771-F619D7B631465D0A

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View papadan's profile

papadan

1156 posts in 2090 days


#8 posted 10-30-2009 11:27 PM

I bought a Mast-R-Lift and a PC 7518. Had to build a table for them because I ran out of money. LOL

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1880 days


#9 posted 10-31-2009 12:12 AM

Ah, I guess that explains the Incra “quicklift.”. I guess I kinda assumed that people would just crank that sucker up to do bit changes, but I can see how that would get tiresome PDQ.

A major reason I’m considering a lift is because my old phenolic plate has seen better days. Instead of paying $75 to $100 for a new
aluminum plate, I figured I’d just roll that cost into a lift.

I guess my problem in going with a large router without a lift is that I might not be able to accurately position the router height due to various flexures and/or shifting of the plunge bases. I also like the thought of having a micrometer height adjustment built in for repeatable and/or predictiable adjustments.

Right now, both a big router AND a lift is out of the budget.

Anyway, I love the input so far!!!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1880 days


#10 posted 10-31-2009 12:46 AM

Oh, in case you were wondering, I got the Bench Dog extension table for $247 including shipping via Amazon, sans the plate – and thus I need a plate!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View UnionLabel's profile

UnionLabel

660 posts in 1922 days


#11 posted 10-31-2009 02:26 AM

I have several. All for various setups. I have both phenolics and aluminum. The Aluminum is a bench dog and fits my bench dog Protech. I had a 3/8 phenolic made by a company to accept 1 3/16 collar bushing. The phenolic is drilled specifically for my Bosch 1617DVSPK and fits the Protech also. The other phenolic has multiple patterns to fit various routers. My Prolift was expensive, but I will never have to buy another one.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1880 days


#12 posted 10-31-2009 04:13 AM

Thanks for input, y’all. I’m leaning heavily toward a lift that will provide a good plate to use, right now, with the 1617. I like the idea of the Bench Dog Prolift (with 1617 adapter) because of the 25% off, plus the fact that I can have it tomorrow. That lift will stay with me a long time and will accommodate a bigger router in the future.

If there are lift owners or owners of specific big routers with more info, then i’d love to hear it!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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