The Benchdogs that I have used can get sawdust in the lifting shaft
threads and start jambing up. I have seen others mention this also.
I haven't used Jessem.
I have a Woodpeckers Sidewinder and I love it.
- super nice to have the crank handle on the side of the router
- Super sweet and smooth operation
- It has a nice concept of a quick lift wrench that allows you to
instantly release the srecwdrive and lift the router all the way up to
Note, I ended up mounting the router higer in the lift than the
instructions indicated. This lets me lift it higher because I have a
bosch that requires two wrenches to unlock the collet. I have always
been able to lower the bits as much as I need but I could always
readjust it lower if I really had to.
I have an older model of Xacta-Lift that I'm more or less content with
(notice I did not say I'm happy with it), but it does have a few issues:
1) The plate isn't perfectly flat, which means that it can't be used for
any precise joinery.
2) Getting a router in and out of the mechanism is a *major* PITA. This
may be true of other brands as well, so check the ease of doing this on
any router lift you intend to buy. My solution (version 1.0) was to buy
a second router base on eBay, so I can leave the base permanently
mounted in the lift, and just remove the motor. Solution (version 2.0)
was to buy a second router. If you already have multiple routers, and
can dedicate one to a router lift full-time, this is probably not a
consideration for you. It isn't an issue for me *now*, but it sure was
when I bought it.
3) Provisions for dust collection are very poor.
4) The fence is adjustable only by loosening its mounting bolts, giving
it a nudge, tightening the bolts, rechecking the distance, lather,
5) The fence is one piece, fixed -- the sides left and right of the bit
cannot be independently adjusted except by inserting shims.
Bottom line: I wish I had done more research before buying a router
lift; if I had, I probably would have bought something else instead --
and if I were in the market for a router lift today, I would *not* buy
this one again.
I haven't had any experience with any of them but the one I've
had my eye on was the one made by Woodpeckers. It appears they
have teamed up with Incra but I'm not sure of the relationship.
I have several of their tools and they are of the highest
quality in a time where quality is difficult if not impossible
to find. If they made everything I needed they would be my one-
You could always build your own...
Long before I would spend $350 on a router lift, I would spend $395 on
one of these:
Which has a great lift, and fence, and can use all your 1/4 and 1/2"
router bits, as well as shaper bits.
If you're short on space, toss out your router table and use the router
for it's intended purpose, a portable shaper...
No I don't own this shaper, mine doesn't take router bits, which is ok
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
The key point is tool tip linear velocity, not rpm. Running a small
router bit in a shaper certainly gets low tip velocity relative to
running the same bit in a router. But, when you ratio in the relative
diameters of the router bit and the equivalent shape on a shaper cutter,
the discrepancy is reduced drastically.
But, the shaper cutter is more expensive owing to the size so the story
always comes back to "there is no free lunch"...
Good point but do they even make the standard shapes like an 1/8"
roundover or small ogee spindle cutters? I suppose they must but I
can't imagine the prices and hassle of doing spindle cutters. I use my
collet shaft in my shaper whenever I can.
On 1/11/2012 10:26 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:
"...the shaper cutter is more expensive owing to the size so the story
always comes back to "there is no free lunch"..."
It is true what you said earlier; I was just amplifying that there is
some more to it than just pure spindle speed.
The shaper and a router are not the same device; if you're using small
diameter router bits, the router is the device in which to use them most
One _can_ modify a shaper to run at higher rpm, but it then is a very
high risk operation if one forgets and loads a large diameter cutter on
it and doesn't change the speed. That's why manufacturers don't...
"MJ" wrote in message
Finally have some "post holiday" money
and been looking at router lifts.
Anybody have some experience with them?
I like the Bench Dog one at the moment. JessEm
I have one of the original Jessem Rout-R-Lifts and its built rock solid.
Believe I got it in '99 and although it shows its age with some scratches,
it's still as accurate as when I installed it. Never had a jam and none of
the parts show any signs of wear.
I see they have changed the design considerably but it looks as rugged as
Well worth your consideration.
Need a router fence? I built the original model of this one
http://www.patwarner.com/routerfence.html that Pat Warner designed. There
was an article in FWW that Pat wrote for building this fence. The latest
revision has some minor changes and he added a safety guard but the rest of
the design is pretty much the same. I used the same hardware and type wood
(walnut / ash / MDF) as he used, and had about $100 in parts. It's a
challenging project to make one and requires some very precise cuts if you
want the .001" accuracy. That fence and Rout-R-Lift have had a fair workout
in the past 12 years and I see no need to replace either.
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