router plates

www.benchdog.com/Products/ProLift/ProLiftMAX.htm
www.jessem.com/mast_r_lift.htm
www.jointech.com/smartliftdigital.htm
www.woodpeck.com/precisionrouterlift.html
I never had a router plate or table before, just a thought in mind... Does or can the plate move or tip during use? I can understand the weight is heavy enough for the gravity to hold the plate down "tight" but tight enough or am I being agitation (LOL). The WookPecker (4th link above) has "two spring loaded ball bearing plungers" on the sides, just for marketing sake?
Would the JessEm Mast-R-Lift Excel (www.jessem.com/mast_r_lift_excel.htm) be same as ones with lift-plate tabletops? Would I better off with lift- plates becuase in future when I make a new router table, I can just simply transfer the plate?
Please comment and thank you.
Chuck
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You ask about plates, and cite references to lifts. The two need not go together.
I have a Woodpecker's plate, with a plunge router in it. The spring loaded ball bearing plungers are on the edges of the plate, and help keep it centered in the recess, side to side.
All of these companies make excellent products. Whether you need that much router table gear is a question I can't answer.
Patriarch
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Snip

Typically, NO, they do not. That said however it depends greatly on how flat the supporting layer of the table that keeps the plate from falling through, is. The plate is not going to fall through the hole but if the surface supporting the plate is not flat the plate could rock. Bench Dog router table tops support the plate with 10 or so screws that level the plate. These screws enable you to adjust for use of different brand or thickness plates. If a couple of the screws are adjusted higher than the other screws the plate could rock.
I can understand the weight

IMHO "Router Lifts" are going to become a thing of the past. Most manufacturers today are making routers with their own lifts built in. Bosch, Milwaukee, Triton, and Porter Cable to name a few build routers that are designed to hang in a router table and can be easily adjusted. Typically thes routers can be bought for the same price or much less than the cost of a router lift. Then all you would need to buy or build is a simple flat plate to mount any of these router to.
BTY Chuck, are you the same Chuck that used to participate here 4 or 5 years ago?
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Totally agree that router lifts look to unnecessary now - you can purchase a top end router with built in lift for the price of these lifts. My thought is to make the router table top out of 2 sheets of 3/4" MDF, build a plate out of 1/4" or 3/8" aluminum plate and countersink the plate into the MDF.
What is the problem of just having a 3 1/2" hole in the router plate for the bit to stick through - even when using much smaller bits? I suppose I could make a reducer out of the stock I cut out.
I would make the plate oversized by at least 4" larger then the hole cut through the 2 sheets of MDF to accomodate the router. Given the weight of a Milwaukee 3.5 HP router and the plate - I don't think this thing would need to be bolted in - assuming I get the plate to fit very snugly into the top sheet of MDF.
Thanks
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If you route short pieces like the ends of short rails, the big hole does not give much support. If you can easily drop in a spacer that would be OK providing you can secure the spacer properly.

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Large hole for use with a small bit. Same reason we use zero clearance inserts on the tablesaw, less clearance is better for router bits also. If you were routing a thin molding you could flex it as it goes over the bit.
Otherwise, you plan of a cutout in thick MDF should work. Downside is for routes that must be removed for bit changing as lifting hte plate out makes it simple.
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Interesting... Could you point where you talking about? I do see "router lifts" with PC motor in as one sale deal (but still two price together). What that means "routers with their own lifts built in"? I am interested.

Yeap, that's me. I still remember you! You taught me a lot about sandpapers and wood finishes. Since I stop involving in this NG, I bought JET bandsaw and JET drill press :D I just haven't had the time to do that much woodworking due college for my BA and I cut my thumb replacing a window.

Chuck
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Take the Triton router for instance. It has has the capability of working like a fixed base or a plunge base router with out changing bases. It is designed to be used right side up or upside down under a router table. You remove the spring that helps counter act the weight when plunging. From there you turn a knob for coarse height adjustments and turn another smaller dial that makes fine tune adjustments. You can also raise the router high enough through the table top to change bits with out removing the router. When the collet is raised through the top of the table for bit changes the collet locks and will not turn.
The Triton is kinda ungly and strange looking but it works great. I have had one fo r about 8 months now. Other top brands share some of the features that the Triton has.
Take a look here http://www.triton.net.au/products/router_2.html

Cool, Chuck, good to hear from you again. Koodo's to you going back to school.
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Oh, you mean PLUNGE ROUTERs? I understand plunge router are like two things in one unit. I was referring to PLATE-LIFT (I do not know what exactly those are called). I was looking at instead of reaching underneath to do whatever, it all can be done from the top. If I wanted to adjust from underneath, I would just buy a fixed plate and attach the PC base and turn the motor to adjust (and save a lot more money by buying the plain vanilla fixed plate).
I just want to start off with a good router table and use it as long I like. I don't like to buy something (like a fixed plate) and then later wishing I had bought the plate-lift.
It was just little startling when you said those plate-lifts are be considering of "old" already. I am not saying like wishing I should have the silding miter saw, I love my fixed miter saw.
Another question... how high (normally) router tables are? I am trying to see if I should make it level with the table saw or the miter sam? I have the miter saw on top of my RAS, so it's little high but I like it as it's been fine all along. Just when I get to make a new shop after I move, then I will make a workbench same height as tablesaw and whatever else around in the shop.
Chuck

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Some of the new router can be adjusted from the top. Tritona nd now PC has one. I h ave no idea how well they work as I've never seen one. I like using my drill to run the router up and down on the lift for bit changes, but I use a speed wrench for the fine adjustments.

Hew meant that the new routes are adjustable from the top, just like using an expensive lift. Again, I don't know if they are as good, as fast, etc., but they are worth looking into.

My router table is 1/4" higher than my workbench. they sit side by side. I want to be sure if I'm passing a long piece of wood over the router that I won't hit the bench. If I had it to the rear of my tablesaw, I'd probably witgn it 1/4" lower to use as an outfeed table also. Choice is yours but they should probably be near in height.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome /





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Actually the Triton is still a below the top adjustable router. I always eye ball the bit height by squating and looking along the table surface plane so for me there is not much adantage to having a top adjustment. Slight fine tune adjustments are quite simple also with the Triton.

Well, some of the new ones are. Seems the top adjustments are a problem for some with dust filling the holes or the fence covering the hole. All I want out of a lift is fine tune accuracy that is easy to get to with out tools.
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That is why I bought the Benchdog. Yes, you do need a tool, but the plate is marked and the easy to read socket is marked. I can put it in and zero it out and then use the gauge to accurately move that 1/64" and not have to crouch, take my glasses off, reach into a cabinet, etc. Works for me.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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I seldom measure the height of the bit, I typically use a gauge of some sort to adjust for the depth of the cut. And, with the Triton you can make repeatable fine tune adjustments with your eyes closed. The fine tune adjustment knob is shaped such that you know by feel what quarter, half, and full turn adjustment are.
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it's a personal preference thing accounting for how tall you are, how big are the pieces of wood you'll be working with are, how badly you need the router table to double as outfeed for the table saw, etc.
why not make it in stages- build the top and mock up a stand at a trial height and use it for a while to see if you like the height?
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You mean like the JessEm Mast-R-Lift Excel?? www.jessem.com/mast_r_lift_excel.htm ??

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Those are lifts, in my vernacular. I'd say this is a "plate": http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pA776&cat=1,43000,51208
I have this one: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
No, they should neither tip nor move. I carefully cut a recess in the MDF top so the plate fit snugly.
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After much thinking... looks like will make my own... I will use JessEm fixed plate ($79) and JessEm fence($149). I don't think I should make my own fence at this time. The baltic plywood is $15 (why most mags suggest baltic ply?). I will look in the abpw for ideas. Total should then be under $100.
Chuck

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Straight, flat, stable
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Baltic Birch plywood is all hard wood, not just the outer layers and there are 9 ply's in 1/2" material.
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