Router Lift versus Above-the-table height adjustment


This came up as part of anothe rone of my post called "Precision Router Lift versus Quick Lift:"
In that thread it was pointed out that buying the big Milwaulkee router or a Trinton would give one the ability to lift the router without having to buy both a router and a lift.
It's my understanding that a router lift is extremely acurate (0.001 inch) and smooth to operate whereas the built in above the table adjustments are accurate to only 1/64'th inch (0.015").
In my case, I already own a Porter-Cable 7519 so I could 1) Continue to adjust from under the table and save the money. 2) Buy a nice router lift like the PRL. 3) Buy a nice Milwaulkee 3.5 HP router with the height adjustment built in for about the same price as the #2 option.
What say y'all?
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I say 1/64th is close enough for wood working. I use a PC 895 which allows me to set the height whichever way is most convenient.. Jim
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Jim wrote:

I say 1/64th is NOT close enough for fine woodworking. What sort of stuff do you build?
Dave
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Yes I agree. 1/64th is a canyon as far as I'm concerned.
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I agree, too. I think I can easy see 1/128'th. rickluce wrote:

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Just today I was working with 0.005 tolerance (slotting). 1/64 off on DOVETAILS is a disaster. Heck, I use feeler gauges to fine tune my dovetails, which involves setting the height to within a few thou. (I've got the 32tpi PRL, has 0.001 marks).
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1/64 is not anywhere near close enough. Try a mortise and tenon joint that is out by 1/64. Won't work. Try a sliding dovetail that is out by 1/64. Won't even come close to working. Most woodworker that have gotten past the deck building stage work to much closer tolerances than this but don't realize it because the fit it by hand, not measurement. In any case, as has been explained before, there is a difference between accuracy potential and graduation on the dial. The routers that have beneath table adjustments built in are controlled with screws, thus are continuously adjustable. If the dial is graduated in 1/64, there is nothing saying that you have to turn it that far. That said, I use a PC 690 (with no lift) and by fence is held down with C clamps. I can get perfect cuts with this set up. It's the operator, not the equipment. Learn to use what you have.

allows
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What kind of woodworking are you doing? Jessem makes a great router lift, but if your doing cabinet work it would probably be overkill. There are people on this group that are happy adjusting their router manually from underneath. Also I know of a lot people that swear by their 7519 router.
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I tried to stay out of this; I really did . . .
I was drooling over the router lifts when I had a plunge router mounted in my table. It was such a pain to adjust the height, or especially to make the long moves necessary to change bits etc.
The lift I coveted most took the motor from a PC 7518. So, I figured, I'd buy the router first and get the lift later. Once I got the PC 7518 fixed base mounted, I never saw much need for a lift anymore. It's so easy to adjust, my priorities instantly shifted to other toys to spend my money on.
Just my two cents worth. Your mileage may vary.
DonkeyHody "We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore." - Mark Twain
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I'm a serious hobbyist, not a professional. I do mostly furniture.
Right now my 7519 is under a table and I find it tedious to adjust. Maybe I just don't know some tricks????
rickluce wrote:

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I don't know of any. I use a rout-r-lift because it was such a pain to make the kind of adjustments you are speaking of. The lift works exceptionally well and it was worth every penny I paid for it. One caveat, like all tools, they do move. I've devised a clamping system that locks that router mechanism in place.
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Again I say #3. You can easily adjust the router to any depth you want. The markings just go to 1/64th. If in doubt and you should be even with a router lift, test cut a piece. Then adjust. Are you going to use a caliper with each test to check for .001 accuracy? IMHO these router lifts are great but their time has past with the coming of the new routers.
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Well, I guess since I have the big Milwaukee mounted in my table, I can speak with a little experience. You can adjust that router closer than 1/64". It simply depends on how much you turn the adjusting wrench. And like another gentleman stated, make a cut and test. Then adjust. See the photos I just posted on the photos sister group.
Terry Sumner
On 3 Dec 2005 16:19:44 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

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