Quantcast

Low-ish cost Router Plate with lift

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

fullabeer

Member
Joined
23 Feb 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
West Lothian
Hi,

I'm looking to make my own router table, but there doesn't seem to be the same choice of router plates with lifts as there are in the USA....or at least not at a cost a mere hobbyist such as myself can justify.

Anyone got any recommendations that i could take a look at? Looking to fit either my bosch or B&D router into it as I already own them.

Thanks in advance.
 

Bodgers

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
1,861
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks
What's your budget? I don't there are any with a lift you'd call cheap.

Sent from my P027 using Tapatalk
 

beech1948

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2004
Messages
2,096
Reaction score
13
Location
Crowthorne, Berkshire
Interesting problem. I had the same issues with my router table. I first built a DIY lift from Mattias Wandel and was not too sure I liked it as I had to reach under the table to turn the lift handle. It worked well and was OK for accuracy.

My second attempt was from Youtube...Jay Bates designed a version of his own which was better as it had a sideways handle. Needs to be waxed every 3 months though.

My other option was a £600 thing from America. Probable cost of my DIY efforts was £30 each.

Al
 

SammyQ

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2005
Messages
2,243
Reaction score
20
Location
A wee house on a hill
That's ten times the price! :shock: The OP was - I think - looking for summat a little easier on the domestic conscience?
Sam
 

Bodgers

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
1,861
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks
SammyQ":jvdy9iiy said:
That's ten times the price! :shock: The OP was - I think - looking for summat a little easier on the domestic conscience?
Sam
It doesn't exist. No budget mentioned, either

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
 

Eric The Viking

Established Member
Joined
19 Jan 2010
Messages
6,541
Reaction score
21
Location
Bristle, CUBA (the County that Used to Be Avon)
Car jack from a breaker's yard? It's simple and cheap.

When I wanted to move up from the B+Q special 1/2" router I had to something a bit nicer, I bit the bullet and bought a Trend T11. It has a leadscrew to adjust the height, with one end accessible through the baseplate. This in turn means you can attach a box spanner or a socket through the plate and adjust from the top. If you dismantle the height measurement stop (I don't think it needs any tools or a pozi- driver at worst), you can even get the collet to project slightly above the surface, so cutter change whilst spannering from above is also possible.

I really like my T11. It's height adjustment is precise and easy to use. If I was doing it again, I'd put the money into that sort of better-class router, rather than a height adjuster (those tend to be router-specific anyway). Get a thick, metal router plate that is flat and doesn't flex, and you have a precision tool.

I'm just about to buy an Incra plate from Woodworker's Workshop, because it's well made and not flexible. My present aluminium one is 6mm, and pretty good, but it has a little flex, which is annoying for using jointing cutters. The Incra plate is simply a plate though - it has inserts, obviously, but there's no lift.

You might also find these helpful: https://www.wealdentool.com/kb/rons-tips/ They're tips from the late Ron Fox, who was a router virtuoso. There's nothing I could see that answers your question directly, but a lot of condensed goodness!

Have fun, E.
 

MikeJhn

Grunkel
Joined
2 Sep 2014
Messages
3,964
Reaction score
25
Location
Kent mostly and France the rest
SammyQ":1ue4obmh said:
That's ten times the price! :shock: The OP was - I think - looking for summat a little easier on the domestic conscience?
Sam
Ten times what? not having mentioned a budget, I posted what I thought was the best router lift, so the OP can compare with whatever they wish when looking for their own version, too many lifts have only two or at best three support columns this allows the router to tip sideways when under pressure, also the ability to lock the router height adjustment stops the annoying drift up or down that can be encountered with large bits.

The best router extension collet is the Muscle chuck : https://woodworkersworkshop.co.uk/produ ... pindapple-type-2

Its only when you have used decent lifts and collet extensions that you realise how easy it can be with the right equipment, the benefit of having all the adjustments above the table and not having to access under the table into what should be an enclosed dust box to adjust and lock the router can not be over emphasised .
 

GrahamF

Established Member
Joined
11 May 2015
Messages
629
Reaction score
1
Location
Abergele and Portugal
I had the same problem of home made lift but wanting something better and the lift prices were more than I wanted to spend. Ended up with an Incra plate and a Triton router which has the built in lift. Not ideal but good enough for my hobby use but must get around to removing the switch lock to make changing cutters easier.
 

fullabeer

Member
Joined
23 Feb 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Location
West Lothian
Sorry, the budget for building the lot including plate and the wood, fences, and t-Track was around £300....assuming I can just use one of my existing routers.
 

MikeJhn

Grunkel
Joined
2 Sep 2014
Messages
3,964
Reaction score
25
Location
Kent mostly and France the rest
Careful when choosing a router lift, lots of them, like the Rutlands one above only fit a router with a removable body, usually referred to as a fixed base router, but most are available with a plunging base as well.
 

SammyQ

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2005
Messages
2,243
Reaction score
20
Location
A wee house on a hill
Stirring the pot once again (Gawd, "hello Jacob") I'd make the point that a 'compression' type of lift, like Plunge Bars or Eric's excellent Trend, where the force required to move the router is exerted between base plate and router, is preferable to the 'external thrust' that you get from a car jack and which risks pushing the router and plate clean out of the table.
For £300-ish I personally would be tempted by a Trend (possibly second-hand) and one of the newer alloy plates that got a good writeup on here recently. Multi-post ones are better engineering and keep the router aligned to it's plate better as Mike said, and the more posts the better, but that comes at a higher price than your budget? And, do you have a router man enough to live up to it?

Good luck in making your choice, and don't forget Facebook Marketplace as well as Gumtree and p'raps even Preloved - you can catch bargains that don't make it to mainstream Ebay ads.
Sam

EDIT PS: you could also revert to basics and use a commercially available under-table one like I have on my DW625e and Elu/Perles/Trend clone. They DO work, just not as slickly, and they free up cash for better cutters! S.
 

shed9

Established Member
Joined
3 Nov 2013
Messages
1,253
Reaction score
23
Location
In a forest in Wales
Personally I would bite the bullet and save your pennies for a proper router plate and lift mechanism.

I use a UJK lift and router in a cast table saw extension and a separate Incra table with incra plate / Triton setup. The dedicated lift mechanism is the way to go as even the Incra plate / Triton setup is a compromise. The Triton setup needs fiddling to lock down the lift before a cut and whilst I know this is not always necessary, gravity is not a safety mechanism in this case.

There are multiple options out there from the Triton, router Raizer mods, car jack, those ebay scissor lifts, etc but if you want to be cutting wood without the hassle, go the dedicated route.

The UJK model is well made but if I was replacing it I would probably get a Jessem if paying that kind of money. The Jessem is certainly cheaper and has better pedigree.
 

MikeJhn

Grunkel
Joined
2 Sep 2014
Messages
3,964
Reaction score
25
Location
Kent mostly and France the rest
As much as I like Jessem product, their lift is only screw adjusted on one side the remaining posts are slides only, from an engineering point of view it would be like trying to lift a weight from one side, the UJK lift on the other hand is screw adjusted from the four corners of the support plate, these are wide apart and make much more mechanical sense.
 

SammyQ

Established Member
Joined
12 Apr 2005
Messages
2,243
Reaction score
20
Location
A wee house on a hill
I totally agree with what Mike just posted. Look under any '260' planer-thicknesser from Metabo/Elektra Beckum/Kity and you will see the four corner posts linked by a chain, as per good router lifts. The single screw lifts - as in integral to the router - work because the router slides up and down on smooth, shiny posts or legs; but...you get one that is even slightly dirty (or gummy from pine) and you can have a frustrating time. I keep mine spotless and teflon-spray lubricated, so I don't have an issue, but that's on amateur hours, not a production workshop or batching components.

Sam
 

MikeJhn

Grunkel
Joined
2 Sep 2014
Messages
3,964
Reaction score
25
Location
Kent mostly and France the rest
On the advice of someone I respect, he suggested using STP motor additive, now this sounds silly as its a thick gloopy substance, but I use it on my UJK router lift and have never had any problems in over six years, seems the thick gloopy mess keeps the dirt/shavings away from the mechanism.
 

Eric The Viking

Established Member
Joined
19 Jan 2010
Messages
6,541
Reaction score
21
Location
Bristle, CUBA (the County that Used to Be Avon)
Sammy and Mike are both right about having multiple height-adjustment posts, but...

... the Elu/T10/T11 has the height adjustment relatively close to the centreline. This seems to help a lot.

My cheaper routers do have exactly the problem they describe (the motor head skews because one side of the plunge columns is clamped and the other side isn't). The small Bosch ones, which clamp the column on one side are worst (officially - they can be easily modded to do both sides). But they are a very old design and you have to hope things are better with newer ones.

I was worried about this with the Trend when I first started using it for joinery mouldings (mitre lock cutting, and (soon) rail & scribe cutting too). So I spent a few quid on silver steel bar (eBay, IIRC), and I have some 9" lengths of 1/2" and 1/4" straight rods that fit in the collets, as if they are the shanks of cutters. They make alignment checks easy (have I knocked something out of whack?). I use them only occasionally, but they work well for testing and were cheap.

I can't detect any issues with the Trend at any point of the plunge, even when the collet is squashed right up to the top. Squiffy-ness seems to always be the plate or the table (presently cheap Melamine-skinned MDF, which moves horribly with the seasonal dampness in the workshop).

It matters, because off-axis moulding will lead to sloppy joints, although it matters far less with decorative work, rebating, etc.

If you do lift the router by pushing on the axis with a car jack there should be no force to induce it to squint, but even then you have to be careful because some designs have columns of different diameters (on one of my routers one column is big and hollow and used for dust extraction). One of the big advantages of the Trend (or any good quality lift) is the ability to dial-in precise height adjustments. I can imagine that it would be awkward with most car-jack designs, as the turns needed in the leadscrew will alter with height.

Obviously the way to stop the plate lifting is to hold it rigid. My current aluminium plate has steel grub screws in the corners, which are grabbed by rare earth magnets when it's in the table. This is as designed, and seems to be pretty strong. I'm in two minds about the same approach for the new plate (Incra), but it is very convenient in practice.
 
Top