First off, I’m going to be using the word ‘aluminum’ a fair bit in this post. This is now a plastic part, whereas on the old Excel is was incorporated into the aluminum of the lift assembly. With a quarter turn of the spring-assisted lift wrench, the router motor is free to move to any vertical position. The table with the fence along with the stand and then you can add onto it there router mounting system. After years of going through Every lift you can think of I am resigned to the fact that KISS is best.
The old Excel had a complex lift raising mechanism involving a crank handle, transmission box, and several drive belts, which made the lift less-than smooth, and quite ‘mechanical’ feeling. I’ll be attaching the new tabletop back onto my factory stand, and will be re-using my Jessem fence and the Porter Cable 7518 router from the old set up. Never owned one of the TRITON model routers but they intrigue me as being able to be adjusted for height without a separate router lift. In addition to securing the motor, the size of the mounting boss controls the torque of modern router motor to insure accurate, wave-free cutting. The Festool 1400 is the best plunge router I have ever had the privelage of using.
I estimate that with the cost of the router, LS Super System, router lift and table top – all of which were purchased for this project, and the cost of materials for building the cabinet, is around $1,400. The machining is top-notch; precisely executing the innovative engineering that has made Woodpeckers products favorites of woodworkers everywhere. The third drawer holds router bit sets as well as miscellaneous items that can be used with the router station.
I’ve had my eye on the Bosch benchtop router table, but after reading the comments, I realized that I have the perfect base for a dedicated router table. Unfortunately there were some hold ups at Jessem’s end in the production of the lift mechanisms – actually the problems were with a supplier who anodizes their parts, who had got the color wrong on a batch of components. I would also look at the Excalibur 40-200C table with their 40-125 lift for higher end table and lift. I’ve actually routed the table slots but I still have to machine the parts – hopefully tomorrow.
Then you can press and turn it a quarter turn in either direction and the router mechanism is free to rise or fall per your control of this handle. 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. The PRL lift mechanism is very stable, super accurate and easy operating thanks to a pair of 1/16” or 1/32-pitch threaded, chain-driven lift screws.
Having read all the positive press about Woodpeckers I expected it to be in the same category but i am terribly disappointed. Yesterday I was fine tuning a rail and stile set up. (One bit in each router table) I was amazed how easy it was to get the bits aligned correctly. One lesson that Jessem is taking forward involves a recognition that the bulk of past quality control issues centered upon the assembly of their products, not the manufacturing of the parts. I’ve only had the lift for a couple of weeks, so I’m interested in seeing how it will hold up over time. Generally you will only have to access this compartment to adjust the speed of the router.
Instructional video that shows uses of Woodpeckers PRL-V2 and Side Winder 420 Router Lifts how to install and uninstall Motor pads into the carriage of their router lift. It is hard to find a router in Europe that fits these router lifts because European type routers are plunge routers where you cannot separate the motor from the base. This heavy-duty router lift is designed for the most demanding routing operations.
One turn moves the lift 2 mm, one graduation mark 0.05 mm. To replace the inch adjustment unit if you wish to read in mm and not in inches. For the price, I think Id go with the PRL that TinCan linked to. April seems like a long wait, not sure if its true/why, but Woodpecker lifts are always called quality. While I treasure my Hitachi CB100FA bandsaw, I have never done a formal sort of tool review on it here on T.C.W. The machine, while still in production in Japan, has not been available in North America for at least 10 years, so it seems a bit pointless to review a machine few could lay their hands on.
The US don’t use plunge routers as much, so the fixed router lifts are still common, and available but not the one that will fit a plunge router. The main reason I picked the V2 is because the lift wrench will lift the router for above the table bit changes and the thumbwheel allows for fine adjustments. I can really see how having the Woodpeckers Mitre Clamp set mounted to a jig would give a very good result. I had forgotten that I had a Bosch 1617 in my PRL-V2 lift before I got the Milwaukee 3-1/2 hp. router (a great router). This lift cannot fit a plunge router, but then having a plunge router under a lift is a bit of a waste anyway.
For Router Tables, Router Lifts, Router Bits, Precision Squares, Fine Woodworking Tools, Bessey Clamps, Kreg Tools and all Incra Products. The router I use in the table is a Flex which was the European badge for Porter Cable and so being an American design, fits the Woodpecker a treat. I’m stuck between MDF and phenolic for the top and whether or not the Rockler FX lift is any good. I have been looking for a lift for a couple of years and none had ever fit my list of requirements.
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. Unpacking the table top first, I placed it upside-down on a pair of sawhorses so I would have ready access for placing the various lift mounting screws. There are few things worse than a router lift which allows for height creep under operation. Dunno how many different lift mfg are involved..The Kreg lift just looks a Woodpecker lift painted blue. The Jessem Mast-R-LIft Excel II was my first tool review as such, though more are planned!
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 wanted a second router table setup and after giving up on the hopes of seeing a CMS anytime soon (except at the Festool class) I did some research and bought a Incra LS17, Incra/Woodpeckers PRL v2 with a Milwaukee 5625-20 and a Woodpeckers 27×43 offset table which i recieved this week.
Other competitors entered the marketplace, some of whom infringed upon Jessem’s patents for the router lift, and thus the company now had to devote time and resources to legal matters. My one and only complaint about the quick lift is that I do not have the option of an under the table adjustment. Woodpeckers 1281 Precision Woodworking Square manufactured by Woodpeckers Tools sold at Highland Woodworking, authorized Woodpeckers Dealer. And I was delighted that I don’t have to take my router out of the table every time I have to change bits, and height adjustment are a breeze now.
The Router Lift was specifically designed for plunge routers, which are just not popular in the USA for some reason. I don’t have four corner clamps the same, so ended up using both the corner adapter on the Quick Grips for to corners, and the Woodpeckers Mitre Clamp Set for the other two. You should keep ease of use as a top consideration, seeing as this is the primary reason for buying a lift in the first place. If anyone (in Oz) has a Woodpecker Unilift (the one that can mount a plunge router) that they are interested in selling, I have a club in Melbourne who would be very interested in talking with you.
The minor problems I’ve had with Woodpeckers products have been remediated easily by a simple phone call. They are accurate (I don’t know to what degree, but Woodpeckers don’t work to coarse tolerances!), and a lot cheaper than the equivalent square. My router will be dedicated to the table as i have a 1010 (just love this one) and 1400 to use as handhelds. In my opinion, the best feature in a router lift is, having the ability to adjust the bit height from above the table.
With a newly designed spring-assist lift wrench, you can go from routing height to bit changing height in 2 seconds even when lifting the heaviest of routers. The old Master Lift Excel had a carriage to hold the router which contained three principal parts to clamp the router body in place – in the new version of the lift, the same component is of one piece, carved from a block of aluminum billet. I chose the Woodpecker unit because it was compatible with my PC insert bushings I already had. Top quality JessEm router lifts and those by Woodpeckers give you the router table lift features you need.