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Forum topic by Randy L. posted 01-05-2013 06:07 PM 2149 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Randy L.

19 posts in 1595 days


01-05-2013 06:07 PM

I am looking for a new router table, lift and fence. I have a setup that I made, and it works nice, but is slow to change bits, setup, etc. and I would like to have two setups anyways. I have been looking for quite some time now and am finding that the best deal I am probably going to get is with one of Rockler’s new router tables. They are basically Bench Dog products, with a rockler table under them. I’m looking at the Bench Dog® Cast Iron Router Table, Pro Router Lift, Pro Fence, & Steel Cabinet package. With a 20% coupon I have it should be a better price than any other similar packages I have found.

Does anyone have any experience with this particular setup? Any opinion on the Benchdog lift? Also, if you have an suggestions for a variable speed router motor, I’d be happy to hear them. Comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

-- Randy - Milton, WI


15 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1233 days


#1 posted 01-05-2013 10:47 PM

The benchdog lift is nice, but I don’t like the insert ring system. You have to unscrew the rings to change them. IMHO, the nicest lift out there is the jessem made incra mast r lift II. It uses incra’s magnalock rings, which are adjustable for level to the plate (something none of the other plates or lifts offer) and are held in by rare earth magnets.

For a motor, the milwaukee 5625-20 would be my first choice, the porter cable 7518 a second, and that’s assuming you don’t get one that has a temperamental speed controller.

Lastly, I’d take a long hard look at shapers before dropping that much coin on a router table setup.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View surfin2's profile

surfin2

51278 posts in 1792 days


#2 posted 01-06-2013 03:49 AM

NiteWalker

I think the mast R lift II is the same as the The PRL-V2 except for the thumb ajustment on top…

mast R lift II is compatible with wide variety of fixed base routers without the need for adapters.

-- Rick

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surfin2

51278 posts in 1792 days


#3 posted 01-06-2013 05:07 AM

INCRA PRL-V2 Side Crank Conversion
INCRA Router Lift Comparison

I couldn’t find the jessem made incra mast r lift II that uses incra’s magnalock rings…
INCRA’s NEW Mast-R-Lift II

-- Rick

View Loren's profile

Loren

7563 posts in 2304 days


#4 posted 01-06-2013 06:54 AM

Milwaukee Bodygrip routers and some other
models from other makers have a hole in
the baseplate for adjusting the height through
a hole in an inverted (router table) position.

+1 on the shaper comment.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3766 posts in 2024 days


#5 posted 01-06-2013 07:02 AM

I have the Benchdog TS extension router table and I like it as it gives me the extra wing on my TS, it’s very well made, and meets all my requirements. I have been considering another for the other side of my TS!

As far as router lifts go, IMO, the Jessem is THE best and it fits into the Benchdog cast iron extension!

It has all the features that I feel are important for a router lift.
  1. no special router adapters
  2. quick release insert rings
  3. easy height adjustment

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

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1233 days


#6 posted 01-06-2013 07:29 AM

Rick, on incra's page for the mast r lift II:
“We’re very pleased to introduce the NEW INCRA Mast-R-Lift II Router Lift, still custom built just for us by JessEm in their Ontario, Canada facility.”

I like it better than the prl for accepting multiple routers, and better than the standard jessem mast r lift II because of the rings.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Kickback's profile

Kickback

127 posts in 1291 days


#7 posted 01-06-2013 02:04 PM

I have this lift Incra Master Lift II I purchased it late last year and I decided to go with it because it has the magnetic router plates which are a dream to use. It is a very easy to use and setup lift and built like a brick craphouse. I would love to get that Benchdog Cast Iron table and cabinet setup but it costs a fortune and I just finished building my router table from plans I got off of Plansnow.com which came out very nice after I made a new top out of MDF and Wilsonart now it is flat as glass. The Corian I used initially ended up warping on the plywood sub-base i glued it to and hence was not close to being flat (dished) and that really was a disappointment.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3766 posts in 2024 days


#8 posted 01-07-2013 12:07 AM

Glad to see that Nitewalker and Kickback both agree with my router lift choice … guess I not that dumb after all!

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

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

474 posts in 1243 days


#9 posted 01-07-2013 12:19 AM

I have rockler’s router table and lift. The system has worked fine for me so far. The Rockler table, fence and plate with the lift was the least expensive set up I could find.

View Randy L. 's profile

Randy L.

19 posts in 1595 days


#10 posted 01-07-2013 03:03 AM

Thanks for the replies so far. Woodmaster, which particular table and lift do you have from Rockler?

I would agree that the Incra lift is a better choice, but when I came across the package deal shown on the link below, and can get it shipped to my door for about $1000.00, it’s hard not to give it a serious look. I can’t put together any other package of a table top, lift, fence, and cabinet for that price. The only big advantage with the Incra lift over the Bench Dog lift that I see is the superior ring locking method.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=31819

-- Randy - Milton, WI

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3766 posts in 2024 days


#11 posted 01-07-2013 04:24 AM

I seriously considered the Bench Dog lift but I was concerned about the total weight of that unit versus the Jessem/Incra as it is considerably beefier and needed adapters for different routers.

I also tried the Woodpeckers Precision Router Lift V2 but I really did not like the height adjustment and bit changing capabilities versus the Jessem/Incra or the screw mount rings … too many screws!

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

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1233 days


#12 posted 01-07-2013 07:18 AM

” I can’t put together any other package of a table top, lift, fence, and cabinet for that price.”

Sure you can!
You don’t have to shop a single manufacturer for all the components.
Also, have you though of building your own cabinet base?

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

893 posts in 2269 days


#13 posted 01-07-2013 11:56 AM

When I setup my router table (Good lord! Has it been 6 years ago already!) I narrowed my choices down to the Jessem and Woodpecker router lifts. At that time, my local Rockler store had both in stock and let me open the boxes and compare them.

I went with the Woodpecker lift. It was a better designed, more solid unit. The quicklift feature just can’t be beat for ease in bit changing above the table. I have the older Quicklift 420 and it is still going strong! They no longer make this model but newer PRL-V2 has the Quicklift feature, adjustable brake tension on the lift mechanism (although I never had any trouble with “creep” on my old 420 with no brake) and the thumb wheel adjustment of height eliminates one more tool at the router table. One thing I don’t like about Woodpecker lifts is their switch to plastic ABS router plates – my 420 has the older machined aluminum plates which have stood up very well over the last 6 years – I am not sure the plastic ones would hold up as well.

The Benchdog lift is a good, solid, well-designed unit but the lack of an indicator on the lift mechanism is a problem. The Woodpecker units have a dial marked in thousandths that make incremental adjustments trivial. And six screws to change inserts? You don’t change them that often but the screws make changing inserts problematic.

The Incra unit – well, I just can’t get used to the idea of magnets holding the inserts! I want those suckers locked down while I am routing!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Randy L. 's profile

Randy L.

19 posts in 1595 days


#14 posted 01-08-2013 01:36 AM

Nitewalker – Yes, I was planning on building my own cabinet base, but after considering all of the projects I really want to make, and the limited amount of time I actually get to spend in my shop, the router table cabinet quickly falls to the bottom of that list.

EEngineer – I overlooked the fact that the Benchdog lift doesn’t have a dial indicator. Thanks for pointing that out.

-- Randy - Milton, WI

View surfin2's profile

surfin2

51278 posts in 1792 days


#15 posted 01-08-2013 03:14 AM

EEngineer.
I have the INCRA Solid Aluminum MagnaLOCK & the inserts aren’t going any where…
Those magnets really hold them in there…

-- Rick

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