Lift router insert plates - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-28-2020, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Lift router insert plates

Are they compatible with many routers, or do they require special sizes?


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post #2 of 14 Old 06-28-2020, 01:00 PM
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The most common size router table insert plates are 9-1/4 x 11-3/4 inch with rounded corners. The radius of the rounded corners is usually 3/4 inch. Rockler's router table insert plates are different: 8-1/4 x 11-3/4 inch.

Buy the insert plate before you cut the hole, and remember to leave supports for the leveling screws.

...

Your title, "Lift router insert plates" is confusing, because I am not sure if you mean a "router lift" or a "router with a built-in lift."

...

A "router lift" is designed to clamp around a cylindrical router motor only (no router base). It allows you to control precise router bit height from the top of the router table. An insert plate is built-in. You size the cutout in your router table to match the plate, and use set screws to level it with the router table.

If you are buying a router lift, be sure it is compatible with your router motor. If you can afford a router lift, you may want to buy a good motor to go with it, one that is a good fit for the lift.

...

A "router with a built-in lift" is a router with a special feature that lets you mount the router and fixed base underneath a router table where you insert a crank handle through a drilled hole to the router and its base below. The handle lets you adjust router bit height from above like a true router lift. It won't have the same precision as a true router lift, but may be sufficient for some needs. Several manufacturers make routers with this feature.

Not all routers have built-in lifts, but you can use them in a router table anyway. The drawback is that you must reach underneath the table to make the router bit height adjustment. If you attach the router base to a flat insert plate, then you can lift out the plate+router and make the adjustment on a tabletop first, then put them back in the table, a less awkward approach.

Every router manufacturer seems to have a different screw hole arrangement for their router bases. You can buy a plain insert plate and drill it yourself. Some manufacturers make a variety of flat insert plates, predrilled for different brands of router bases.

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 06-28-2020 at 01:03 PM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-28-2020, 01:56 PM
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I'm also confused .....

A router lift fits in a specific size hole in the table ... 9 X 11, 8 1/2 X 11 etc.


There are inserts that lock into each specific brand of router lift for various diameter bits, like these from Jess Em:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/JessEm-10-P...UAAOSwSnZevma4


I have 3 Jess Em lifts and they are great. Very well made and precise height adjustments, and fit most all brands of router motors.

Jess Em Mast-R-Lift II :
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jess+Em+M...ref=nb_sb_noss

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 #4 of 14 Old 06-28-2020, 02:47 PM
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Bosch 1617 EVA's have a lift in the fixed base, and you can buy a plate from Rocklers that is predrilled to fit the screws of the base. You can get a reman 1617 from CPO for less then a lift base, and they work pretty slick


If you do get the plate from Rockler it is well worth the money to buy the template to recess it in the table

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post #5 of 14 Old 06-28-2020, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the confusion. I was looking into buying a router lift. The seperate device the router motor fits into.

I was not aware they made routers with the built in feature. I will have to look into that.

Currently my router is mounted in an extension I made for my table saw. But its a little lacking in features, like changeable clearance plates or whatever those are called. It works for most of my needs, I just drilled a 1 or so hole in the board, and drilled and countersunk the holes for mounting the router.

I think I will look into an actual commercially made plate, and perhaps an upgraded router to accommodate the built in lift feature. This seems like the most cost effective route.

Ive been wanting a second router anyway, so I will likely buy another with the insert plate. Then keep the other for freehand work.


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post #6 of 14 Old 06-29-2020, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furnacefighter15 View Post
Sorry for the confusion. I was looking into buying a router lift. The seperate device the router motor fits into.

I was not aware they made routers with the built in feature. I will have to look into that.

Currently my router is mounted in an extension I made for my table saw. But its a little lacking in features, like changeable clearance plates or whatever those are called. It works for most of my needs, I just drilled a 1 or so hole in the board, and drilled and countersunk the holes for mounting the router.

I think I will look into an actual commercially made plate, and perhaps an upgraded router to accommodate the built in lift feature. This seems like the most cost effective route.

Ive been wanting a second router anyway, so I will likely buy another with the insert plate. Then keep the other for freehand work.


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Here is a router table I built out of some left over melamine and ash, I stained the ash black with India Ink, it really makes the grain pop



Not counting the router I have less then $100 in it, and it works great
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-29-2020, 03:59 PM
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Built in lifts VS separate lifts

Quote:
Originally Posted by furnacefighter15 View Post
Sorry for the confusion. I was looking into buying a router lift. The seperate device the router motor fits into.

I was not aware they made routers with the built in feature. I will have to look into that.

Currently my router is mounted in an extension I made for my table saw. But its a little lacking in features, like changeable clearance plates or whatever those are called. It works for most of my needs, I just drilled a 1 or so hole in the board, and drilled and countersunk the holes for mounting the router.

I think I will look into an actual commercially made plate, and perhaps an upgraded router to accommodate the built in lift feature. This seems like the most cost effective route.

Ive been wanting a second router anyway, so I will likely buy another with the insert plate. Then keep the other for freehand work.


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The Jess Em lifts are precision made from brass, anodized aluminum and stainless steel and weigh as much as a 3 HP router. How can a can a router with a "built in" lift compare for accuracy and stability?

You can be the judge, and you can weigh the cost factor, but I wouldn't trade my lifts for any router with a built in height adjustment. The router plate inserts that accomodate the various diameter bits are also a great safety feature. Just at how this well this lift is constructed:
https://www.amazon.com/JessEm-Mast-R...kingtalkcon-20

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 #8 of 14 Old 06-29-2020, 05:25 PM
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this is the Bosch - the Allen wrench sticks through the table for the "lift" function. the casing lock is used, just as for adjusting depth in hand held mode. one 360' turn of the Allen wrench = 1.6 mm up/down. it's very precise.
a minor nit is you have to reach under the table to lock/unlock the casing so it can slide up/down.


Lift router insert plates-img_0906.jpg

without the table....
Lift router insert plates-img_0907.jpg
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-29-2020, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The Jess Em lifts are precision made from brass, anodized aluminum and stainless steel and weigh as much as a 3 HP router. How can a can a router with a "built in" lift compare for accuracy and stability?

You can be the judge, and you can weigh the cost factor, but I wouldn't trade my lifts for any router with a built in height adjustment. The router plate inserts that accomodate the various diameter bits are also a great safety feature. Just at how this well this lift is constructed:
https://www.amazon.com/JessEm-Mast-R...kingtalkcon-20

Im sure its better, but money is money. Until I can divert my attention away from personal projects to potential income, I have to be as frugal as I can. If this was where I earned my living, I would just buy the best and not think twice. But, Im a pipefitter, and woodworking for me is a hobby/cost saving instrument for getting well made, customized items such as cabinets for personal use.


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post #10 of 14 Old 06-29-2020, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well I found a bosch 1611 plunge router with a custom cabinet. I think I may be able to modify router depth adjustment to create a through table adjustment.

If not, I got some nice rail and stile bits, a mitre fence as part of the deal, and a good plunge router.

$60.00



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post #11 of 14 Old 06-29-2020, 10:06 PM
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The Porter-Cable 895PK set includes a handle to use the fixed base in a router table, like the Bosch router mentioned above. One difference is that it has two holes - one for adjusting bit height, and the other to operate the lock/unlock clamp from above. Nice.

Height adjustments are very precise. One full turn of the knob is 1/8 inch. The 1/128 inch tick marks are widely spaced. The fixed base doesn't compare to a true router lift in terms of massiveness, but the precision is there.

The problem for me is that I very much prefer the fixed base over the plunge base for edge trimming. It is time consuming for me to attach and remove the fixed base in a router table. I would like to buy a second fixed base to leave in the router table, but that part is not available. You can buy it from a few rare sources, but prices are so high, you might as well buy the same router in the fixed base only version. I may do that someday. It would be a "budget" solution compared with buying a true router lift and motor, but not as good.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-02-2020, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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You guys screw these down?




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post #13 of 14 Old 07-03-2020, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
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You guys screw these down?
Not that I have ever seen.
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-03-2020, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Well I ended up screwing it down, cause the fitment was a bit finicky, and that helped me level it.

And, bonus, I discovered my crappy Performax router had a means for me to make it over the table adjustable. Works for adjusting down, not so much for upward, the gear that rides on the linear gear is 2 piece for push button disengagement. Well that spring that pushes the two halves of the gear together is not the strongest, so when there is load on it when attempting to raise the router, the 2 parts of the gear separate. I could probably remedy that with some shims, but Id have to take the base apart to get the gears out. I may try when I have some time.

Otherwise Im pretty satisfied.


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