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Excalibur 40-125 Router Lift

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Forum topic by mklick1 posted 01-06-2014 03:49 PM 8670 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mklick1

3 posts in 1071 days


01-06-2014 03:49 PM

I ordered mine on Nov 14, 2013. It was backordered. I finally received it today. Since ordering the router I had searched for opinions from folks who have had experience with the lift. I found it peculiar there were no threads on the subject.

Well the lift appears to have issues I must say. When one adjust the mechanism (up or down) there is a lot of play from left to right and front to back…the bit doesn’t have a true center.

I adjusted the tension mechanism per their instructions, but that did not resolve the issue. There appears to be a design flaw here. I am returning mine.

I recommend that folks stay clear of this product until it has been on the market for some time and established itself as a quality product.

They need to go back to their QAQC department PRONTO.


14 replies so far

View Gerald's profile

Gerald

51 posts in 1254 days


#1 posted 01-23-2014 06:27 PM

Thanks for the post, mklick. I’ve looked exhaustively into the various “high end” router lifts and table tops and was seriously beginning to lean away from the JessEm/Incra Mast-R-Lift, JessEm Excel II and Bench Dog Pro Lifts in favor of the General Excalibur 40-125 Router Lift and the 40-200C table. You may have saved me a serious disappointment. Have you had any exchange with General’s Customer Service or Tech Support?

-- Gerald, Rural North Central Arkansas

View mklick1's profile

mklick1

3 posts in 1071 days


#2 posted 01-24-2014 12:45 AM

Gerald,

Following is an update

Good news.

Went back and reset everything per mfg directions. I broke out the magnetic base and dial indicator to measure run out (up and down travel both front and back, and left and right). I placed a 1/2 inch shank Whiteside bit in the router collet. With the lift placed in the most elevated position the dial indicator was then placed against the base of the router bit shaft and “zeroed out”. I proceeded to rotate the hand crank to lower the bit. I was not able to measure more than one vertical inch of travel, because I was limited to the length of the router bit shaft.

The results observed were +/- 0.002 inches of run out. In my book that would qualify as exceptional.

Conclusion, I highly recommend this product and can say the mfg did an outstanding job in terms of fit and finish and accuracy. The product is extremely robust, and at this point I cannot imagine going back to a MDF type router table. This set up will certainly endure many years use.

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Gerald

51 posts in 1254 days


#3 posted 01-24-2014 01:31 AM

Thanks for the update. My faith is at least mostly restored. It’ll be interesting to see what General says though.

-- Gerald, Rural North Central Arkansas

View acanthuscarver's profile

acanthuscarver

268 posts in 3180 days


#4 posted 01-24-2014 01:09 PM

We have one of these lifts as part of the 40-200C router table kit in the PopWood shop. Glen Huey reviewed it some time back and was impressed. Now that I’ve been working with it for since September (when I arrived to work in the magazine shop full-time) I’ve come to like it so much I bought one for my shop at home. The lift is well made and accurate.

I spoke with the folks at General when I ordered mine about the lead time on the various parts of the router table kit (including the lift). The demand for the lifts and router table kits has been pretty high given the quality for the price. This has caused some delays but I believe them to be worthwhile because General isn’t compromising on quality to meet demand. An example of this is the cast iron tops for the kits. They have lots of them cast already but they are allowing them to cure for 6 months prior to milling and prepping for delivery to customers. This means you’ll have to wait but ultimately you’ll get a better quality top that will be more stable. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with a company that goes to these lengths to ensure the quality of their products.

-- Chuck Bender, 360 WoodWorking, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

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Gerald

51 posts in 1254 days


#5 posted 01-24-2014 02:42 PM

Thanks, Chuck. It’s good to hear from a regular user of a product. Is Glen Huey’s review available on-line or can you tell me when and in what issue if came out? Guess I must have missed it in my hard copy, but I keep my old copies and can probably find it if necessary.

-- Gerald, Rural North Central Arkansas

View acanthuscarver's profile

acanthuscarver

268 posts in 3180 days


#6 posted 01-24-2014 04:50 PM

Gerald,

Glen’s review appeared in the November 2013 (#207) issue but it is available online as well. the link is

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/tools/excalibur-deluxe-router-table-kit-2

If you, or anyone else for that matter, have specific questions about the router lift or the router table, please feel free to email me at chuck.bender@fwmedia.com

I’ll help if I can or direct you to someone if I can’t.

-- Chuck Bender, 360 WoodWorking, period furniture maker, woodworking instructor

View rrredrobin's profile

rrredrobin

2 posts in 574 days


#7 posted 05-16-2015 03:43 PM

Gerald,

I just purchased an Excalibur lift and I am having the similar issue with runout as I raise and lower the carriage, as well as a considerable squeak. This despite several different lubricants on the threaded shafts. When you say you “went back and reset everything per mfg directions” what exactly did you do? I’d like to try to rectify this myself rather than returning the unit if possible.

Thanks!

View Gerald's profile

Gerald

51 posts in 1254 days


#8 posted 05-16-2015 11:43 PM

rrredrobin – That was mklik1 writing to me about his problem. I’ve not used my lift and table extensively, so far, but the only complaint I have is with the lift caster on the stand. Can’t get that to work correctly despite repeated references to the instructions and adjustment attempts. As far as I’m concerned, either I’m an idiot or the stand’s lifting caster mechanism is pure junk. I’m going to replace it with some solution of my own design (or rip-off and modification of some other solution I find somewhere). Only time will tell about the lift and table, but so far, I am more than satisfied with them.

Maybe miklik1 will see this and be able to address your questions. You might also see what acanthuscarver has to say (Chuck Bender). You can see in his 1-24-2014, that he’s offered to help anyone who has a question or problem.

-- Gerald, Rural North Central Arkansas

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1061 posts in 3081 days


#9 posted 05-17-2015 02:29 PM

As an engineer, I see several problems with trying to keep all 4 threaded rods tracking each other in this design. Not unsolvable but it seems to me to require very tight measurement and setup at the factory. Given the amount of money that companies are willing to invest in the manufacturing process nowadays, it is doomed to failure.

The design on my 8 year old Woodpecker lift is the two-post and one threaded rod design that General denigrates in their description of their router lift. I have never measured the runout in my lift because it has never been a problem. Wandering centering has never been a problem – that would show up in repeated passes to make deep cuts and I have just never seen it.

There are only a few things a router lift has to do well. If yours is behaving the way you say, that sucker should go back!

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

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mklick1

3 posts in 1071 days


#10 posted 05-18-2015 01:11 AM

Hello, and sorry for the delayed response. Coincidently, I was busy using my router table this weekend. Actually the past couple weekends.

I happen to be fabricating crown molding with two different Whiteside bits, cove and ogee.

I am actually installing craftsman style trim throughout the first floor of our home.

I purchased rough sawn 8/4 then jointed, planned to 2.5×1.75 sections, and then profile per the two router bits. I must say I have been very happy with the General Excalibur CI series router table.

I cannot see performing this without a lift, it makes things so much simpler, and repeatable. I have attached pics of the crown molding.

To the authors point, the caster system is odd, it appears to have a really narrow window for adjustment. If your floor is not level, it will show up big time. It doesn’t appear to be a big deal.

View rrredrobin's profile

rrredrobin

2 posts in 574 days


#11 posted 05-18-2015 04:04 PM

Thanks for the responses – I am returning the Excalibur lift and getting the Incra Mastr-Lift II instead. I spoke with Incra today and it appears that it should fit in the General table opening just fine. Good point, EEngineer about the fact that router tables only need to do a few things well, raising the bit without chaining the center point is one of them, to be sure! The two-post/linear bearing design seems much better suited to this task, plus there are no chains, threads, and sprockets to get clogged up with chips and dust.

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1426 days


#12 posted 05-18-2015 06:31 PM

rrredrobin – good luck. Love my lift. Jessem service is great if you have a question and that lift is so smooth!

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View Gerald's profile

Gerald

51 posts in 1254 days


#13 posted 05-18-2015 08:30 PM

Nice looking molding, micklik1.

To the authors point, the caster system is odd, it appears to have a really narrow window for adjustment. If your floor is not level, it will show up big time. It doesn’t appear to be a big deal.

My beef had nothing to do with either the CI table, the fence, the dust box or the lift. I like all of them. The stand and its mobile kit, however, are another question. No one would make the mistake of comparing that stand to a Unisaw or SawStop cabinet, but it is in no way consistent with the engineering and construction I would expect from any $1100 woodworking machine.

I have a pretty good understanding of what makes an uneven floor and that, I can assure you, is not the source of the problem here. Virtually everything in my shop, with the exception of two workbenches, a 50” x 144” out-feed table, a 40+ year old cabinet model 13” surface planer (that just happens to have a bullet proof, chain operated lift mechanism remarkably similar to the Excalibur lift) and a cabinet mounted wood lathe is on wheels of some sort. My biggest problem there is keeping them from moving when in use. I’m thinking a quality pair of locking swivel casters mounted on a rail may be a good expedient solution.

-- Gerald, Rural North Central Arkansas

View JBR's profile

JBR

1 post in 385 days


#14 posted 11-21-2015 05:18 PM

i have run into an issue with the lifter in as much as it will NOT move up or down. I have no idea what to do as i checked as mush as i felt reasonable knowing so little about the lifter. Any suggestions

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