Router table & lift mechanism

I think its time for me to build a new router table. I've seen a variety of plans over the years and a Google search results in lots of info. In this group, Norm's design keeps surfacing and I'm wondering if that's the best design for a general purpose router table.
Second, what about the lift mechanism and insert. There are many priced from $150 or so to $3-400 with digital readouts, etc.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Pick the router table design that interests you the most.
Router lifts, IMHO old school and not a very efficient way to spend your money. For the same money or less you can typically buy a new router with the lift feature built in, then you have an extra router instead of an extra lift.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Drill a hole in a piece of plywood, attach your router on the underside, and rest the plywood on a frame that has crossmembers close to the router to keep the ply from sagging. Clamp another piece of plywood or mdf to this as a fence. The result will be serviceable for 90% (at least) of your router table needs. It will NOT be ideal, but it will give you good results while you inform yourself on what YOU want in a router table. (You are the one that will be using, it right, not anyone on the wreck?)
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Damn... you saw my router table!
Someone gave me one of those POS plastic router tables about 20 years ago.. the only good thing about it was the clamping pieces on the bottom of the table, so that's what holds my router under the hole in a 3/4" particle board table with the same fence you use..
I actually bought the Lee Valley insert set a few months ago and might even use it someday to build a better table..
mac
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

How much are you willing to pay for convenience? Some plunge routers are being made in such a way that they can easily be just bolted to the bottom of a router table and the plunge mechanism, possibly with an inexpensive add on, used in lieu of a lift.
Some years ago I went with a Mast-R-Lift and and 3-1/2 horse Porter Cable--if I was building the same table now I'd have gone with a different router and no separate lift, but I'd have to research the current market to say which router I'd go with.
I wouldn't commit to Norm's table being "the best" but it's certainly a good one, stable, decent facilities for dust collection, with plenty of storage. There's a similar design described in "Woodwork with the router". Don't be afraid to customize either of them to your particular needs though.
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I built Norm's original router table about five years ago. It has served me well. Plenty of storage, which I find a great asset in my dinky little shop.
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On Sun, 04 Nov 2007 08:56:40 -0500, J. Clarke wrote:

Porter-Cable, Freud, and Triton all make 2-1/4 and up plunge routers with above the table lift capabilities. All have gotten good reviews.
I'm sure the 3 makers above are not an all-inclusive list. They're just the ones that came to mind.
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Get a Milwaukee router like this one:
http://tinyurl.com/yo4mca
The "T" handle operates thru a hole in the base plate. I'm really pleased with mine.
Max
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Thanks Max! The Milwaukee router you provided a link to seems like a great one! I added it to my "wish list".
-Bill

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Max
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Pick up the Dec 2007 issue of woodworker's journal. They review nine different lifts. For what it's worth, their "best bet" was the Mast-R- Lift.
Mitch
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com writes:

Here are my thoughts: http://www.delorie.com/wood/projects/router /
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