Fitting a Router Lift

When I first came across the Woodpeckers Router Lift, I had 2 thoughts – a really visually appealing piece of engineering, and not something that would be particularly useful for owners of a Triton Router (given its built-in geared height adjustment, and particularly the microadjuster).

Times, and opinions change.

What really bought my attention back to the router lift was a router course I went on a year and a half ago, run by Richard Vaughan. He uses Triton routers, and yet was also bestowing the virtues of the router lift, and using them with the Triton.  Not being one to disregard such an expert (and informed) opinion I relooked at the whole concept, and reassessed why I had drawn my earlier conclusions.

I became more aware of a few issues I had with the router, and particularly as they were beginning to age – slack in the height threads (they are nylon, not steel in the Triton router), and some tendency for them to stick slightly when microadjusting.  Some of this can certainly be rectified by a good dismantling and clean, but there is something to the concept of not being dependent on the in-built threads to remain functional (not even touching on the whole Triton spares issues).

So when the opportunity came along to follow Richard’s lead, and add a full-blown router lift to my (self-coined) “Ultimate” router table, I’ve taken it (and the engineering is still very appealing!)

The Woodpeckers UniLift from Professional Woodworkers Supplies consists of a solid anodised aluminium top, various inserts for different sized router bits, which unlike to old Triton router table, are actually flush with the rest of the surface.  It comes with 3, and you can get a set of all 8 sizes if you have a need.  They were originally aluminium as well, but there were too many incidents where the rings were dropped on hard surfaces which caused them to distort and become unusable.  The plastic ones work as well, are as flush with the surface, and can be dropped!

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UniLift Mechanism (with router carrier removed)

Below the top plate is where the real mechanism exists – 4 sprockets with a connecting chain, so when the height lever is used, everything turns at equal rates, smoothly raising and lowering the router. There are 4 support rods, and two threaded rods for height adjustment. Around the edge there are grub screws to fine-tune the fit and flushness of the plate to your router table top.

To fit the router, you first remove the router carrier and attach it directly to the base of the router.

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Router Carrier Base

There are a number of holes to fit a wide variety of routers. I chose an orientation for the router to allow the best access to the controls.

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Reattaching the carrier

Next, you drop the carrier into the bottom of the base, then wind the mechanism down so the screws can be reinserted to fix everything together.

That’s all that is needed to have the router lift operational.  There is a brake on one sprocket which is activated with a hex key (supplied), and another sprocket which can be rotated to take up slack in the chain.

Next article will cover fitting the Wixey digital height gauge with remote readout to the UniLift

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