March 23, 2013

How to make a router lift for a plunge router

Home made router lift for plunge router, rummageinthegarage
When we buy our first router and we use it for the first time, we discover all the possibilities it has and we realize it is a tool that will take our shop to the next level. After searching  for more information in Internet and YouTube we know that the next we need is a router table. That will really increase the possibilities of our shop. But when we see the prices we realize that a router table will cost even more than the router itself and some of us can´t afford it. I doesn´t matter at all!, we just need a simple table, a piece of board and four screws to make a home made router table. But now it happens that it is very difficult to regulate the height of the router bits. And a router lift is usually very expensive, too, and I am not sure they can be attached to a plunge router easily.
Wires connected to the router, rummageinthegarageSearching in Internet we find lots of different router lifts, from the simplest ones that probably work perfectly, to the more complex ones with detailed plans (this usually for a fee, but affordable). I was looking for something I could operate without getting below the table, easy to make with just some inexpensive tool. Something I could make without very accurate cuts. In the video you can see I just use a jig saw and a drill press, but if you don´t have a drill press you can use a drill, too. Just try to keep your drill bit perpendicular when you drill the holes. The truth is the idea is not all mine, I found this video in YouTube and I made some changes.

Screwed rod and pulley. Router lift system, rummageinthegarage
To make this home made router lift I used some scraps of wood I had in my shop, a couple of 75cm brake wire jackets, a 2,5 meters brake wire, two cable anchor bolts, two drawer bearing guides, a piece of screwed rod, nuts and screws I had in my shop. Yes, it was really cheap. I hope it will work fine. The only problem I have is that the springs in my router are very hard (may be it is a manufacturing defect). I am sure it would work better with my other router. To make it work nice and smooth it is important that the wires are perfectly parallel to the router columns. If they are not parallel, there is a force component that pushes the columns against the guiding rings inside the router.
Now I only have to attach it to a table and check  how it works.





For the moment I had to reinforce the structure because the springs cause a lot of tension in the wire, but the piece of board I use will help me to attach the router lift to the table.

Even so I think the springs are getting harder. Maybe I will dismantle the router to see what happens with them. But now I want to finish my router table.
After I sprayed some molybdenum lubricant it works better. At first I thought it was going to break because of the tension, but know it moves up and down without problem. I think there was some manufacturing defect or some rust in the springs.

03/02/2003

Click for details: Router lift
I published the project in Lumberjocks and it was in the top 3 (it was in the first position, too) on  February 1. Thank you everybody who watched it and raised it to the top 3!!.