Author Topic: Router lift recommendations  (Read 3706 times)

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Offline cblanton42

  • Posts: 83
Router lift recommendations
« on: February 09, 2018, 10:24 AM »
Hello All,
     I'm getting ready to put a router table together, I don't even have the router motor yet so options are wide open but planning on PC 7518.  I've looked at most of the usual suspects, Jess-em, Woodpecker, Rockler, Incra, etc. and all seem pretty solid and similar in operation and I know I'll probably spend more than $300. 
     Does anyone have a favorite router lift and why?

Thanks in advance!
CB



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Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 363
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 10:48 AM »
I've had the Milwaukee 5625-20 in a Woodperckers PRLV2 since they first introduced them.  (My lift was rebranded for the Woodcraft Pinnacle label, but is identical to the Woodpeckers version).  It has been a solid, beefy and reliable mount and I like the large diameter dual post mount and gear driven mechanism as opposed to chain drives.  The quick, spring assisted bit change capabilities allow for above the table bit changes, yet can quickly be returned to the below table position.  The fine adjust is precise, repeatable and has a lock to prevent creep.  It is a great lift, and well worth the price IMHO.

Woodpecker also produces similar units branded for Incra and Kreg in addition to their own name.

The Milwaukee 5625 has soft start, variable speed and has spun everything I ever installed on it including 3" panel raising bits. (This thing is a monster and I wouldn't even try to use it hand held out of the table, but that is just me). It runs smooth and has never been a problem in over 10 years.  The PC is also a good choice, however, I have zero experience with it.

This combo has proven to be a reliable and consistent workhorse and I wouldn't change a thing if I ever had to do it again.
It may be pricey at a little under $700US, but seems like a bargain if I compare it to a stand alone OF2200.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 05:50 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1950
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 05:04 PM »
I've been using Bench Dog Tools 40-150 ProLift for at least 20 years.  My version has steel inserts and the beast weighs at least 40 lbs. 
I have a PC 7518 with an Eliminator Chuck.  Mine lives in a 30" x 49" table with an Incra wonder fence and a Dust Router vacuum collection.

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1810
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 05:21 PM »
I had a woodpeckers older style lift.   Just sold it.
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Offline PaulH99

  • Posts: 113
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 05:38 PM »
I have a really old JessEm Mast-R-Lift from back when they made them in blue. I have a Porter Cable 3.25 variable speed router permanently mounted. Works with everything that I've ever tried including panel raising bits.
-Paul
CT 26 • DF 500 • ETS 125 • KS 120 • OF 1400 • PS 420 • RO 125 • TS 55 R

Offline Lettusbee

  • Posts: 52
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 06:35 PM »
What's wrong with chain drive router lifts? 

I've been waiting for Sawstop to release their router table products, and I believe they were going to offer router lifts with a chain drive.  Does chain stretch become an issue?

Offline Jeff Zanin

  • Posts: 221
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 07:38 PM »
I have the JessEm Mast-R-Lift with the Milwaukee 5625.  Very easy and accurate to adjust, nice big table, dust port on the fence.  I just ordered but have not yet received the Mite-R-Slide II and on/off switch.

The only downside is the 5625 doesn't come with a 1/4" collet.  Most of my bits are 1/2" anyway but I have a couple 1/4".  I do have an a 1/4" to 1/2" insert but haven't tried it yet. 

Jeff

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 448
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 07:48 PM »
I was under the impression that JessEm makes the lifts for woodpecker , or am I mistaken ?
Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong with a JessEm - Woodpecker -Incra or any of the higher end lifts.
As for router motors, PC- Milwaukee - Bosch are good.
Look at a Triton motor also.
Charlie


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Offline Getmaverick

  • Posts: 123
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 07:55 PM »
I have 5 router table set ups. 1 is a 3 sided table I made and 2 are separate.
I have incra lifts in 2. The 2 separate tables have 7518's and the tri table im using Tritons 3 1/4.
The tritons dont need a lift, it's built in. You just need a top plate.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 08:02 PM by Getmaverick »

Offline bonnertuckbay

  • Posts: 2
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 01:08 AM »
Would anyone recommend the cms-ge or cms-lv? Why or why not? Thanks

Offline Roseland

  • Posts: 568
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 01:48 AM »
I just don't 'get' router lifts; can anyone explain why it's better to have a router and a lift, than a router that doesn't need a lift? 

I use a Triton router in my table, and I can adjust the height through the table.  It has an automatic spindle lock when you lift the router to the "change cutter" position, so you only need one spanner.

Whilst I like Festool, and have two of their routers, they just aren't designed to work in a table.

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline cblanton42

  • Posts: 83
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 06:19 AM »
Would anyone recommend the cms-ge or cms-lv? Why or why not? Thanks

They are too expensive and you can't mount the 2200 in them are my reasons. 

Offline cblanton42

  • Posts: 83
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 06:32 AM »
I use a Triton router in my table, and I can adjust the height through the table.  It has an automatic spindle lock when you lift the router to the "change cutter" position, so you only need one spanner.


I forgot about the Triton having that feature, they're kind of a new brand around here.  I'll take a look at that again.

Thanks,
CB

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3591
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 07:32 AM »
Triton all the way!!!  It's really surprising that American tool manufacturers haven't adopted this feature yet -- maybe because Triton still has such a small market share?  Or maybe there's some collusion with the router lift folks [tongue]?

Putting aside the above the table adjustment features of the Triton, it's also just a beast of a router, and has handled anything I've been able to throw at it for the 4 years I've had it.

I use a Triton router in my table, and I can adjust the height through the table.  It has an automatic spindle lock when you lift the router to the "change cutter" position, so you only need one spanner.


I forgot about the Triton having that feature, they're kind of a new brand around here.  I'll take a look at that again.

Thanks,
CB
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Offline lunchman

  • Posts: 123
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2018, 07:33 AM »
I was under the impression that JessEm makes the lifts for woodpecker , or am I mistaken ?


Jessem manufactures the lifts for Incra.

I recently bought a JessEm setup - Mast-R-Lift II, table, fence, stand. It's mated with my Bosch 1617 router. Have only used it a few times, but it beats the heck out of the portable Bosch router table I was using. Being able to dial in the bit height and the ease of bit changes is excellent.

Rockler is also introducing a new lift under their own brand name, I received mail from them a few weeks ago.

The choice for me was between Woodpeckers and JessEm/Incra. A free shipping promotion from Lee Valley sealed the deal.

-Dom

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1797
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2018, 08:03 AM »
I purchased the Incra Master Lift II (which I believe is Jessem's lift) in combination with an Incra table and positioner. It is extremely accurate, both for depth adjustment (the lift) and horizontal placement (the Incra fence). While the up and down crank adjustment on the lift takes quite a few turns to raise completely to change bits, that's exactly what makes it so accurate. I can make very minute depth adjustments to get the depth just perfect. I believe this lift is compatible with quite a few routers, but you would have to check on whether it handles the router you own or are going to buy.
Randy

Offline promark747

  • Posts: 458
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2018, 09:25 AM »
I use a Triton router in my table, and I can adjust the height through the table.  It has an automatic spindle lock when you lift the router to the "change cutter" position, so you only need one spanner.


I forgot about the Triton having that feature, they're kind of a new brand around here.  I'll take a look at that again.

Thanks,
CB

Personally, I’m not a fan of the spindle lock and one-wrench method. I think the torque introduced when tightening and loosening isn’t good for certain router plate setups where the router isn’t locked into the plate but held with clamps (e.g., Veritas).  I prefer the two-wrench method where the forces offset.

My main table is an Incra (Jessem) with the Magnalock insert rings. I also recommend the Rockler undertable dust container. It’s pricy at about $85 but beautifully made in the US out of precision metal parts.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 4836
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2018, 10:03 AM »
The only downside is the 5625 doesn't come with a 1/4" collet.  Most of my bits are 1/2" anyway but I have a couple 1/4".  I do have an a 1/4" to 1/2" insert but haven't tried it yet. 

The part number for the 1/4" collet is 48-66-1015, it's a separate purchase. [sad]

I'll put another plug in for the Milwaukee 5625, it's a beast.

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 225
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 11:27 AM »
Here's another way to go. Definitely lo-fi :)

My router table is built into the extension of my Hammer K3 slider. The router is a 20 year old Elu 177e (variable speed, soft start, 2 1/4 h.p) ...



Bits are changed above table curtesy of a MuscleChuck. Easy Peasy. And the chuck is raised and lowered with a Router Raizer ...



Definitely low end, but it all works smoothly.

Regards from Perth

Derek
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 11:29 AM by derekcohen »

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 363
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 12:03 PM »
Here's another way to go. Definitely lo-fi :)

My router table is built into the extension of my Hammer K3 slider. The router is a 20 year old Elu 177e (variable speed, soft start, 2 1/4 h.p) ...



Bits are changed above table curtesy of a MuscleChuck. Easy Peasy. And the chuck is raised and lowered with a Router Raizer ...



Definitely low end, but it all works smoothly.

Regards from Perth

Derek




Those Elu routers are great and I often wished that they were available in the US back then.  The Router Raizer and a Rosseuau base plate were my first router "lift" and although it may seem lo-tech, that combination served me without fail for many years. 

Your set up certainly has merit and is an excellent alternative.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 12:05 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline retfr8flyr

  • Posts: 18
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2018, 08:02 PM »
I also have the Incra Master Lift II and their whole system. I use the PC 7518 in mine and it's a great combination. I tried the Triton in my table but it was just too inconvenient, with their safety switch, so I went ahead and got the Incra lift. I really like the metal throat plates that Incra uses, makes bit changes very easy. I wouldn't hesitate to buy the same setup over again.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1077
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2018, 01:16 PM »
IMO the Incra with the CleanSweep magnetic inserts is the best option out there! Add a box under the router and a dust collection point in the fence and its amazing how youll have pretty much zero dust after any type of table routing operation.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 01:20 PM by ben_r_ »
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline TealaG

  • Posts: 90
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2018, 01:44 PM »
I have the Bosch 1617 router and thought I could get away without a lift.   It was such a pain in the butt.  You always had to reach down, unlock the latch, move the router, check, remember to lock the latch (which I rarely remembered to do), deal with drift because the latch wasn't locked etc.   

I got the Incra lift.   Not only is it easier to use because you do everything from the top (including lock/unlock of the lift mechanism), I believe I can make finer adjustments (or at least I can see how much I'm moving since there's a dial that shows how much adjustment I'm making.  Also, I have more range of adjustment than I had with the Bosch mounting.

It could be my imagination, but it's lots faster and easier to get the router to adjust exactly to where I need it.   This means that I have less emotional resistance to using my router table and can get more done.   That alone was worth the price and time to install.   I'm now considering the device that will measure how high/low you're moving the router to avoid multiple measurements.   But that may be a "want to have" vs a "need to have".

Offline Jeff Zanin

  • Posts: 221
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2018, 04:21 AM »
The only downside is the 5625 doesn't come with a 1/4" collet.  Most of my bits are 1/2" anyway but I have a couple 1/4".  I do have an a 1/4" to 1/2" insert but haven't tried it yet. 

The part number for the 1/4" collet is 48-66-1015, it's a separate purchase. [sad]

I'll put another plug in for the Milwaukee 5625, it's a beast.
Ordered and received, thanks for the part number.

Jeff

Offline mwildt

  • Posts: 420
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2018, 08:48 PM »
I do not have a routerlift, but I agree with the trouble of having to adjust my Bosch 1617 due to the clamp mechanism. Not been too much of an issue but it's there.

I installed a Milescraft router dust router suction system in my portable Bench Dog router table. Cheap and it works great. If you don't have dust collection under the table take a look at that one. It was less than $30.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1950
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2018, 07:04 AM »
I'm with mwildt regarding the dust router system.  I bought mine when Keen was selling them and have it connected to my self made table.  It collects at least 90+% of chips from my Incra Wonder fence and positioner.  I use a Festool router table split hose to connect to my vacs.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3475
Re: Router lift recommendations
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2018, 07:37 AM »
I'm with mwildt regarding the dust router system.  I bought mine when Keen was selling them and have it connected to my self made table.  It collects at least 90+% of chips from my Incra Wonder fence and positioner.  I use a Festool router table split hose to connect to my vacs.

Ditto! 

IMO this method of gathering the dust before it envolpes the entire motor (as with a box that surrounds the motor) is better for the motor.