The ol’ router table that is?
Ever lusted over a router lift, being able to precisely dial in a router bit height, make a pass, and need a 0.1mm adjustment to make it perfect? That is what a router lift can give you.
Sure they are not cheap, but then the router table is one of the main workshop tools, and if you are prepared to put some bling into some of the other tools (tablesaw, bandsaw etc), then perhaps consider giving the router table some love.
I am coming from the other side of the decision, having had a router lift and the Incra fence for a number of years. I’ve always enjoyed the accuracy, and it comes as second nature these days. Guess it has improved my woodworking, but that isn’t actually why I have it. (Probably should be!!) I just like being able to use good gear when I am pottering around.
We did think the day of the router lift in Australia was numbered, when the Woodpeckers Router Lift ceased manufacture. The Router Lift was specifically designed for plunge routers, which are just not popular in the USA for some reason.
However, that is not the only form of the router lift that is out there, and the American version, the Precision Router Lift Version 2 (or shortened to PRL V2) is now available here.
This has some cool features that my router lift doesn’t have. Such as a spring loaded plunge handle to quickly set the height close to what is desired, without winding and winding. The other, and this is even more interesting, is it has a built-in large diameter knurled wheel to dial in the precise height (it is bright red in the photo, so hard to miss!)
This lift cannot fit a plunge router, but then having a plunge router under a lift is a bit of a waste anyway. I haven’t taken my plunge router out of the table for years. Probably so full of sawdust now, it may not be able to plunge properly anyway.
So what do you use instead?
Well the PRL V2 from Professional Woodworkers Supplies comes with an 1800W 1/2″ (and 1/4″) fixed base router. So that takes care of that problem!
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are looking for a kick-ass router table, having a router lift with such accurate adjustment, it will certainly have appeal to some. Given my Triton is struggling (age catching up with it), this is a rather tempting option, and solves one of the final issues with my current setup – how to do through-table bit changes, without having to adjust both the router lift, and the Triton router. Something I’ve put up with for the overall benefit of the lift. Guess I really like the look of that red dial!