Justify router lift - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Justify router lift

I have a Bosch 1617 and it came with fixed and plunge base. I just got my Bench Dog router table wing in and am deciding how to mount my router to it. I could get the fixed table mount which has the rotary dial as well as the long wrench for above table adjustments...or get a JessEm router lift. My question is...

Is the only advantage to the lift quicker adjustments? This is my first time using a router so whatever height adjustments I may need to make can be done without fancy equipment I assume. Unless the router lift extends the amount of rise I get out of it?
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
I have a Bosch 1617 and it came with fixed and plunge base. I just got my Bench Dog router table wing in and am deciding how to mount my router to it. I could get the fixed table mount which has the rotary dial as well as the long wrench for above table adjustments...or get a JessEm router lift. My question is...

Is the only advantage to the lift quicker adjustments? This is my first time using a router so whatever height adjustments I may need to make can be done without fancy equipment I assume. Unless the router lift extends the amount of rise I get out of it?
Go with the jessem lift. It's so much stronger and very easy to adjust.

It's a major PIA to adjust a router table from underneath. When you are dialing in the cut, it normally takes a couple of adjustments to get there...

That Jessem is built like a tank. It won't flex during the cut, nor will it creep at all.

Routers are heavy enough, and in a table you are working against gravity. It's difficult to make 1/32" or smaller adjustments without a lift.

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Last edited by Al_Amantea; 01-21-2017 at 02:04 AM.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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So it's not just speed but precision of a cut too huh?

Will the jessem mount to my router plate? I see they come with the table insert, but I have a set size in my bench dog table (and the bench dog router plate)
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bosch-Tab...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

this is the table mount I mean if I don't get a lift. Looks like the benchdog plate I have won't be compatible and I need to buy either the router lift FX or the mast-r-lift II. The rout-r-lift doesn't have the 8 1/4" size. $300 is more than I want to spend for this.

I mean what's it REALLY going to do that much better for me?
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 02:49 AM
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This router lift will fit the Bench Dog table below:
https://www.amazon.com/Incra-Master-...4JY8KQX1YV3ZH1

Its the same as the Jessem Mast R Lift 2.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bosch-Tab...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
this is the table mount I mean if I don't get a lift. Looks like the benchdog plate I have won't be compatible and I need to buy either the router lift FX or the mast-r-lift II. The rout-r-lift doesn't have the 8 1/4" size. $300 is more than I want to spend for this.

I mean what's it REALLY going to do that much better for me?
The Benchdog extension wing:
https://www.amazon.com/Bench-Dog-Too...extension+wing

I have this extension wing and the Jessem Mast R lift 2 , a great combination.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-21-2017 at 02:55 AM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 05:56 AM
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The lift will hold the motor more securely and will allow for much easier precision adjustments. That isnt to say that mounting the fixed base wouldnt work, itll work quite well, just that the dedicated lift will work better.

For what its worth, ive actually got my fixed base mounted beneath an extension win on my table saw to use as a lift, and ive never had an issue with it. It holds the router, holds it securely and i can adjust the bit height without too much fuss, so it fits my needs just fine. Admittedly, i dont use my router much, nor do the tasks i use it for require huge amounts of precision or repeatability. Mostly routing profiles and the like. Really breaks down to what you need out of it. Id say try mounting the fixed base first and seeing how it works, you already have it so its not like youre spending money. If it leaves you lacking, go for the lift

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 09:21 AM
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I really want a lift, I've wanted one for a long time, but every time I go to spend $300+ on one I back out as I just don't have any issues adjusting my 1617 in my Benchdog extension wing.

If I had a full bore production shop I would already have a lift, but I don't, and I always seem to find something more useful to spend the money on.
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 10:33 AM
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Most of justifying a lift depends upon two variables. How many times a day do you need to make an adjustment. If this is something you are only going to do a few times a month then it is probably not worth the second variable, the money .

My router has a built-in above the table lift capability. However I have to drill a hole in the plate for access. I have just never taken the time to do so and still use the old manual method. This has proven sufficiently accurate for me.

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post #9 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 12:17 PM
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height adjustments...

There are 4 basic ways to adjust the height of the router bit.

1. The router is mounted in a large extension without a plate, so you have to reach under, release the lock, raise or lower it and measure or run a test scrap.

2. The router is mounted to a separate plate that has various size adaptors for different diameter bits. You can pop the plate up on the table, measure the height and drop it back down and run a test scrap.

3. You router has a built in height adjustment that will accept a wrench from the top side of the table/bottom side of the router when it's upside down. The router stays put while you adjust the height using the wrench.

4. The router is mounted to a lift mounted on a removable plate. The plate stays put while you use the wrench that came with the lift to adjust the height.

This is what I use and it saves time and is vary precise. Some earlier lifts (Jessem) did not have a height locking feature, (I have one) and were prone to changing heights during a run. The newer Jessem/Incras do have a locking cam and stays where you set them.

As far as I know the Benchdog extension comes with a "smaller plate opening" than most and will only accept the small size 8 1/4" plates. The Incra lift comes with a small size plate. I don't know without searching if Jessem still supplies their own like than.

A router lift may be a luxury to some, a necessity to others based on how much you use it........ They are expensive at $300.00 or more for the quality ones.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 01:26 PM
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uhmmm, my "fixed" base Bosch is adjustable up&down without moving the bit in the chuck....

there is an adjusting knob in the 'upright' position, a hole in the plate where an allen key goes thru if mounted upside down in a table.... not sure what more "lifter" is needed - unless you feel it must drop way down for changing the bit/collet....
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-21-2017, 04:51 PM
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IMHO if you use your router a lot it makes sense to get one. If you only use a router occasionally and can afford one without busting your budget than why not?
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-22-2017, 11:17 PM
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Instead of a router lift for 300$ you might consider a triton 3.5 hp router and plate for the same price. Would give you all the router lift capabilities, a large hp router in your table and the Bosch to use by hand.
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-23-2017, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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if the bosch's fixed base has the same vertical travel as the lift, then I don't mind the slightly slower adjustment as I don't route a lot. I'll try it out for a my first project then see how I like it. So it looks like I can just mount the fixed base to the bottom instead of buying the table mounting base. I've also seen people mount the plunge base with an above table height adjuster too.
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-23-2017, 05:11 PM
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I could be wrong but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
if the bosch's fixed base has the same vertical travel as the lift, then I don't mind the slightly slower adjustment as I don't route a lot. I'll try it out for a my first project then see how I like it. So it looks like I can just mount the fixed base to the bottom instead of buying the table mounting base. I've also seen people mount the plunge base with an above table height adjuster too.
I don't think a plunge base router would have an an "above the table" height adjustment. Reason being the plunge base is spring load to return to the top of the base. In this case the top is now at the bottom of the table, the router being upside down.

If you have a plunge base, that's great and it will come in handy for making mortises. Your fixed base is great for most edge profiling where you can adjust the bit height easily since the router is not under the table. The router lift allows easier bit height adjustment AND bit changes IF you leave it mounted to the lift and plate in the table.

As I suggested, the fixed base router when mounted to a plate, can be popped up and rested on the table to adjust the bit height. It's a bit more cumbersome but not a big deal. The issue becomes more troublesome IF the router is directly screwed to the table, no plate, and you have to either reach under the entire table OR the table is on a hinge like some are.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-23-2017, 06:46 PM
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>>if the bosch's fixed base has the same vertical travel as the lift

uhmmm, how long a router bit / how "deep" do you envision using / going?

the Bosch has "notches" on the vertical screw allowing it to be 'grossly' set for various heights, with the lead screw providing fine adjustment.

I'd suggest checking out the adjustments 'up close & personal' at a local store. that may answer a whole lot of questions.
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-23-2017, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
I have a Bosch 1617 and it came with fixed and plunge base. I just got my Bench Dog router table wing in and am deciding how to mount my router to it. I could get the fixed table mount which has the rotary dial as well as the long wrench for above table adjustments...or get a JessEm router lift. My question is...

This is my first time using a router so whatever height adjustments I may need to make can be done without fancy equipment I assume. Unless the router lift extends the amount of rise I get out of it?
My suggestion is to use the router with both the plunge and fixed base and practice with it. Since you are new to routing, everything you do will be a first time.

I have two 1617's with a fixed base mounted under a table and the plunge bases used for hand held operations. I also have a fixed base mounted under the table of the table saw (Grizzly 1023RLW).

The fixed base has a hex key which allows you to adjust the height from above the table. I chose the Kreg insert plates for my table because they came with the hole pre-drilled for the adjustment wrench(s).

BTW, I also have the big Triton mounted under the table. The adjustment handle fits through the Kreg plate and makes adjusting the height easy. However, with both the Bosch and the Triton, you have to reach under the table and release the lock and then lock it again before using it. If that is too much trouble for you, then the lift is only a few hundred dollars down the road.

Good luck. Personally, I don't need a lift.
Mike
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-23-2017, 09:54 PM
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I don't have a router lift. I purchased my router plate at a local woodworking show and I can't even tell you what brand it is. I have a large rectangular plate mounted on my big DeWalt router which stays in my homemade router table. When I change bits, I simply pull the router up through the rectangular hole and use two wrenches to change the bit.
The height adjustment must be adjusted from under the table. This is done with a DeWalt extended knob which was purchased separately as an accessory.
Not nearly as neat as a router lift but I'm not high production.
I've used this table router for several years. I used it today to make some Red Oak molding for a cabinet I'm building.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #18 of 19 Old 01-23-2017, 11:28 PM
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Depending on what type of bit that is in my router, and the desired result, I use a metal straight edge to line up the fence with the cutter. Or, I use the Kreg set up blocks to adjust the height precisely. Or as precisely as my poor eyesight and feel can make it!

And I always make a test cut or two, regardless of well the setup is.

Here are a few example pictures of my router in action.

First pic - My original router table top with secondary auxiliary table to space the cutter. And an auxiliary fence attached to the main fence to space the cutter. The result was raised panels for the doors for our buffet.

Second pic - Dry fit of the raised panel doors. I used the rail and stile bits shown in the last picture.

Third pic - Fence and stops used along with a 1/2 inch cove bit to make the pencil holders for a podium.

Fourth pic - Rail and stile cutter mounted in the Bosch 1617.
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post #19 of 19 Old 01-24-2017, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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These have all been really helpful tips guys. Thanks a lot. I'm going to try it with my fixed base and see how it goes. I plan for my first project to make a barn door. I don't know if I'll need the router for that, but for my dining table I sure will!
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