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shop-made | Maximize the performance of your router table with this must-have, precision upgrade. a4 Accurate, yet easy-to-use is the name of the game when it comes to the router table. For me, that means adding a router Jit for fast, reliable bit height control. But commercial lifts can be costly and may not work with every table. The solution is the one you see above This full-featured lift provides all the benefits of a commerical version, without the cost. And its straightforward design ‘makes it simple to build. Basic materials and off-the-shelf hard- ware are all you need to upgrade your router table in just one weekend. ShopNotes No. 121 u Exploded View Details OVERALL DIMENSIONS: PID AO W x 13," er Moun | meen so > BNE Tareaney ROD peonbes Pate CONTROL OF BIT Hos it5.cAn 3 caANGeD FROM Aeore THe ABLE caBRIAGE BLOCK Seoustow er Tomouo eoutex Fete Peace RUNNERS SLIDE ‘Sacra ‘vate ube Tener ROUTER UFT +2) 24 Flt Washers A Post} Vx%-Wh +2) L16 Lock Nurs 8 Guide Tacks (2) Yee We + (16x22 CouplingNat ©. Baseplate() SRI 4PY. «(YE 1D.274°OD.- 14 Bronte Bushing D_ Runners (2) YaxMe=5 +H) Ae 21 Lag Screws F Main Block) ART -DaPly. +{8)540 Hat Washers ? F Clamping Stock (I) DAXI-MaPly. «(2)54e"x 94" Carriage Bolts + (4) R124" Fh Woodscrews +18) 161624" Se Screws $12)544 Hobe Knob j iya6-02 Theesded Rod {i} Router Table ser Plate A Precise Adjustments. Each full urn of the it screw adjusts the bit height Ye ‘ShopNotes.com 35, start with the Posts The lift functions with your router clamped in a carriage block. This block then trav- els between two posts that are attached to a baseplate. A lift screw secured at the baseplate adjusts the bit height. T used the posts to position the carriage block on the lft, so TI start you out there. Making the parts isn’t difficult, but Il share a few construction tips to guarantee success. POSTS & GUIDE TRACKS You start making the posts by ipping two blanks to final width and rough length. T used maple for strength and stability. And it's important that the posts are straight and square. So be sure to check for this before moving on. Acentered groove is cut along the inside face of each post to hold a guide track. A dado blade is your best option for this. Once you've cut the groove, the posts can be cut to final length. The outside edges of each post can be cleaned up with 2 roundover bit at the router table. Set screws are used to adjust the fit of the router in the lift ‘These screws fit inside tapped holes drilled through the posts. For more information on how to make these holes, refer to Shop Short Cuts on page 2 Guide Tracks. You can see in Figure 1 that the set screws bear seg ae Ser Seen against the guide tracks that fit inside the centered grooves in the posts. To allow room for adjust= ‘ment, [cut the tracks 14" shorter than the posts, ‘Aiter ripping them to width, sand the edges of each track 50 they fit snugly within the grooves ‘while still allowing for move- ‘ment. The inside foce ofthe track hhasa centered V-groove that holds the runner. Figures 2 & 2a below show you how to cut this groove. To ensure that the router trav- els smoothly along the length of the lift, sand the V-grooves smooth with 320-grit sandpaper. GUIDE TRACK EES puss ser ecuews, so Suibe ieAck is FLUSH wate d TOP VIEW Then apply alight coat of paraffin ‘wax to each groove. Now you can adjust the set screws so that the tracks sit flush with the posts (Figure 1, Top View). This will help later during assembly. BASEPLATE & LIFT SCREW ‘As I mentioned earlier, the posts are atached to 2 baseplate that also secures the lift screw, The baseplate is just a piece of 34° plywood cut to shape. For added stability, l used Baltic birch, You'l notice that the baseplate is not a simple rectangle. Instead, ithas two angled cuts on one edge that meet at the centerline of the bbase’s length. Tais helps to maxi- mize the size of the router the lift can hold, while keeping the lift screw centered between the posts. Tn order to do this, the itt needs to be mounted at an angle ‘ShopNotes No. 121 relative to the router insert plate, |) f!SUS® NOTE: rosra must ‘And the angled cuts on the a BASERATE No Panauuee boseplate allow for clearance ‘when inserting the entire unit into your router table. Figure 3a at right shows the details and hole locations for the baseplate. Most cus can be made at the table saw, though I used a brand saw for the angled cuts The posts are secured to the baseplate using screws. It's important when attaching the [posts to make sure they're square to the baseplate and in line with each other otherwise the lift may rot operate smoothly. Acouple of spacer blocks piaced between the posts help here. Once the posts fare fastened in place, sand the comers of the baseplate to match the roundovers on the posts Lift Serew. The router is raised and lowered by tuming the lift screw. This is easily done with 2 socket wrench from above the lable. But in order for this to work, you'll need to file a4" hex head fon one end of the threaded rod ‘This process is fairly quick and simple to do with a coarse file. ‘The photos below show how. exe You only need to file the head deep enough for your socket to make a solid connection, about 4" or so. When you're done, sears you can insest the bushing in ‘reed the hole in the baseplate and slide the rod through. Trace & File A Trace & File. Trace the outline of a Ye" nut on the end of the threaded rod. Then file straight down 10 create the hex head. Clamp the rod in a vise with wood or leather jaws for a secure hold. ShopNotes.com Berek 0.0 3a ‘stole BUStINS 37 CLAMPING BLOCK yrioure suse ene?) I gta x2 — i a Yee. Se Woe ur Use MAIN BLOCK whole nl BoC adding the Carriage Assembly One of the nice features of this router lift is that it works with almost any router. The router is simply clamped in a traveling carriage assembly. ‘The carriage assembly consists of a: main block and a camping, block. Two runners are glued to the main carriage block and fit in the guide tracks you made earlier. You can see how it all fits together in Figure 4 above CARRIAGE ASSEMBLY The main block and clamping block are both cat from a single blank glued up out of three BOR ae eogrine vorsngnanse rersaans Za wea Tor VIEW i" =a | a ¥ * ; . fh. | lan my ” te * hia 0K. site i oF rey a) layers of 94" Balticbirch plywood ‘This thick blank will ensure 3 good, firm grip on the router ‘once it's mounted in the lift. ‘After rimming the blank fo overall size, you can cut a notch on bath edges of the blank for the runners (see top view above). But before you can go any further, you'll need to make and install these runners. Runners. The two runners start off asalong, extra-wideblank cut from %'-thick hardwood. Next, tilt your saw blade 45° and cut a bevel on one edge of the blank, ‘Then, without moving the rip fence, flip the workpiece end for end and make a second bevel cut. The result is a V-edge, centered on the thickness ofthe blank At this point you can return the blade ta 90°. After ripping the blank to final width, cut the two runners to length. Sand the bev- eled faces smooth, up to 320-grit. ‘Then apply light coat of paraffin wax 50 they'll slide smoothly in the guide bars. Finally, bevel the end of each runner at the band saw and glue the runners into the ‘ShopNotes No. 121 Je nove onmuen ano chasireee to access notches in the carriage blank, as Go LPF SCREW shown in Figures 4a and 4b. ; With the runners glued into the carriage blank, the next order ‘of business isto lay out the loca tion of the hole forthe lit screw. This lecation is pretty important, sits best done by mounting the carriage block between the posts and using the lift screw asa guide. Thread dhe coupling nut onto the ‘end of the lift screw and outline the nut to locate the centerpoint of the hole. Figures 5, 5a, and Sb ‘on the bottom of the opposite page show you how. After drilling the hole for the lift screw, you can cut the main and clamping blocks free from the blank and band saw both pieoes to final shape. Clamp Bolt Holes. Drilling the holes for the clamp bol is atwo- step process at the drill press. T used a I"-dia, Forster bit first to drill @ countetbore, Then 1 drilled the through hole with a She'-dia. twist bit (see Top View in Figure 4 on opposite page). ‘The al press lente and 8 stop block helps with positioning. 5 as The last step is to. add the cou- POSTS PARALLEL. LJ NOTE: rire ling nut to the main block. I filed. ON SO LET SCREW the comer of te nut sighlly to AE Bae Meo allow it to fit into the hole, then secured it in place with epoxy. Fine-Tunin MOUNT THE LIFT g * | ‘With the lift complete, you can ‘The set screws on each post mount your router in the car adjust the ‘it of the run- riage assembly and use ito posi- ners on the guide tracks. tion the lift on the insert plate. I The goal is for the carriage ‘turned the lift upside down over block and router to travel the insert plate to do this. smoothly without binding Start by centering your router or being too loose. in the insert plate opening, then Make small adjustments rotate the plate so that the angled and turn ail three screws ‘cut on the lift’s baseplate is paral-_the same amount on each lel to the edge of the insert plate post. This will help keep (Top View in Figure 6) the guide tracks parallel. ‘Mark the location of the posts After each adjustment fam land the lift screw on the bottom the lift screw to check for side of the insert plate. After you smooth travel. drill the mounting holes for the For best results, alternate posts and the access hole for the posts when making adjust- lift screw, you can attach the lift ments so that the router to the insert plate and start put! stays centered within the i ene tang your new litt use. & insert plate opening. ShopNotes.com, 39