Router Lifts: the basics - Part 2
I'm sure when you first got your router table (and I KNOW you have one or you wouldn't be reading this article, right?) you probably considered investing in a router lift. If you chose not to get one at that time you most likely have thought about it a lot more since then. Probably every time you have had to adjust the height of your cut for instance! I'm here to tell you what you probably have already discovered - there are few so important missing or desired features on a table-mounted router than those supplied by a simple router lift mechanism.
A router lift ... the KEY to bring out the most from your wood router and router table!!!
It's possible that you may just be starting off in the wonderful world of wood routers and are not sure just what exactly a router lift is - in case that is true let's start with the basics.
There are controls on your router that allow you to set the depth of the bit's profile. You must set this depth precisely if you want to make the cut you desire into the stock.
The table's job is really to hold the router underneath it to allow for smooth transition of the working stock across the bit. Normally, the table incorporates an access plate to allow changes of bits on the router.
You cannot easily access the controls on the router when the it is placed under a table. In addition, the router tends to become covered with sawdust as it runs under the table. This inhibits your vision, thus making adjustments more difficult even if easy access to the router controls is available. Also, in many cases, compromises in the ideal router table surface area have to be made to allow access to the router in working environments. Ideally, a table is large enough to handle any stock, but many tables are reduced in size as a compromise due to this need to access and set the router height on a regular basis.
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