Introduction: Simple Router Lift
This is a simple and easy to make router lift for a small bench top router table. It's only meant to lift and lower the router easily, and does not have any fine adjustment or locking function in its present form. You just lift the router to where you want it, and then use the router's own depth lock, which is hopefully easily accessible under the table.
I've found it works really well, and because of the leverage effect of the long handle, lifting and lowering is very fast, while still providing good control.
Step 1: How It Works
Basically the lift consists of a lever which pivots on a shaft and lifts the router from beneath when you push down the handle, as shown in the first picture.
To spread the force from below as evenly as possible and prevent jamming, the router is being lifted by a horizontal shaft the full width of the router. This shaft rotates to accommodate it's back and forth movement due to the arc through which it moves when going up or down.
The second picture shows the mechanism from the top. The handle and its counterpart on the other side are fixed permanently to the fulcrum shaft, while the ends of the shaft rotates in sockets in the upright supports on both sides. The shaft which fits below the router's bottom is mounted so that it can rotate freely.
The third picture shows the lift positioned ready to lift the router, and the second from last picture shows the router in the lifted position, where it is easy to just engage it's own depth lock at the required position. A ruler on the top of the table can help with this (last picture).
Step 2: Building the Router Lift
The picture shows the finished mechanism on it's own. Note that I had to offset part of the handle to avoid fouling one of my router table's legs. Hopefully this won't be necessary with other router tables.
The materials I used were 19 mm hardwood dowels for the two shafts, and pieces of 35 mm by 15 mm hardwood for the handle, uprights, etc. The base is made from 6 mm hardboard.
The exact measurements for the lift will of course depend on the size of your router and table. I used a few pieces of wood to roughly determine the size of the lift, and went on from there.
For the record, the sizes I used for my Ryobi CR1000VT router and Ryobi RT610 router table were: Total length of handle 450 mm, distance between shafts 100 mm, hight of fulcrum shaft 80 mm, and width of shaft beneath the router 80 mm.
The handle and its counterpart member on the other side were fixed to the fulcrum shaft with glue and screws. The fulcrum shaft rotates in two sockets in the uprights made with a 19 mm spade drill bit.
The shaft beneath the router bottom is fixed between its wooden supports with two screws, just loose enough that it can rotate.
The one upright is permanently fixed to the base with glue and screws, while the other upright is fixed only with screws to facilitate disassembly. I've found that it is unnecessary to fix the base to anything. When engaged, the power of the router's springs keep it in place. It is also easy to just slide it away when it's necessary to detach the router from the router table. The base should of course be big enough that the lift doesn't topple over.
Remember that the lift will probably only work if the router table is fixed to the bench top, otherwise it will simply lift the table and router up off the bench. I fixed my router table on a big piece of pine shelving to overcome that problem.
The sockets for the fulcrum shaft and the ends of the router shaft can be lubricated with candle wax or dry soap.
I hope this design will be of use to one or more DIY'ers.
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