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Thread: Considering a router lift

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,144
    I have the Woodpecker PRL-V2 and like it. One thing to consider, Woodpecker provides a life time warrantee.
    Ken

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    529
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kuhlman View Post
    Got the Woodpecker PRL-V2 with the quick lift. Found it very frustrating to use. It has a very limited adjustment range - about 3/4”.
    When you saw 3/4", are you talking about the fine adjustment? Otherwise the range on the fast up/down is about 3" to 4".

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    DRO? What does that stand for?

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    Robert Hazelwood: Incra Mast-R-Lift II is a rebranded Jessem Mast-R-Lift II?

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles P. Wright View Post
    The woodpeckers has a special "wrench" that you stick down into the table, and can do coarse adjustments to lift it all the way up/down for bit changes. Then there is a wheel on top of the table for fine positioning.

    Ideally, I would like to have a large hand crank on the side, as in a table saw, and it looks like woodpeckers made one in the past but discontinued it.
    Oh, maybe that's what I remember. Oh well. It seems from the replies that there is no coarse adjustment in the current product lineup.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kuhlman View Post
    I had the original Woodpecker PRL chain drive model. Super heavy duty but kept having problems with it getting hard to operate as gummed up with dust and chips. Kept cleaning it but got worse. They repaired it and I sold it.

    Got the Woodpecker PRL-V2 with the quick lift. Found it very frustrating to use. It has a very limited adjustment range - about 3/4Ē. You really canít see where you are in that range and I kept bumping in to the limits and having to get out the quick lift wrench and start adjusting all over. Also the gear box didnít last very long at all. Just a bunch of tiny plastic gears inside. Woodpeckers replaced the gear box and repaired it for free but I quickly sold it.

    Have the Incra JessEm now. Wow it is so smooth to operate. Easily a better product. Yes I lost the quick lift function but it is so much more enjoyable to use. No frustrations at all.

    The "Incra Jessem"? Should I be wondering what that means? I'm trying to choose a brand and model, and aren't those two different companies?

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    MT
    Posts
    304
    DRO = digital readout
    Regards,

    Kris

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Jones 5443 View Post
    Robert Hazelwood: Incra Mast-R-Lift II is a rebranded Jessem Mast-R-Lift II?

    I found it on Incra's site:

    "Weíre very pleased to introduce the new INCRA Mast-R-Lift II, still custom built just for us by JessEm in their Ontario, Canada facility."

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    OK! As usual, this august community has come through promptly with well informed insights. Although I didn't quite follow everything on first read, after combining a bit of research it all now makes sense. In less than a day I'm able to feel good about a decision: I'm going to go with Jessem's Mast-R-Lift II.

    – I like the aluminum plate idea after using the slightly crowned phenolic from Rousseau (hence no Rout-R-Lift).
    – While I think Incra's inserts are a bit sexier, I think I can make do with the three from Jessem. I don't mind a little extra gap around the bit. In fact, I collect dust from below the bit as well as from the fence.
    – Maybe the red inserts will keep me awake.

    As I said, I'll need to build a new table extension that fits the plate and is flatter than my 20-year-old Formica and MDF one, so it should take me a little while to get to it. By the time I'm finished I'll have a greatly upgraded tool.

    Many thanks to you fine folks. You're the best! I spend most of my time over with the Neanderthals, but I'll see you again some time down the road.
    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Jones 5443; 12-05-2019 at 1:27 AM.

  10. #25
    I have had the Jessem for over 10 years. No issues other than one time MDF dust got in the threads and the mechanism was hard to crank up and down

  11. #26
    I have a home made router lift in my router table that is based upon plans from an old American Woodworker article. The lift bolts to the back of the cabinet and the top of the table is hinged to make bit changes really easy. I like the arrangement. You make a cradle for the router so which you use is really flexible. I have an old Ryobi R500 plunge router motor on mine. The router moves on machined steel rods on oilite bearings. It is smooth and precise. Parts are considerably less than a commercial lift.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Manistique, Michigan
    Posts
    1,211
    Just another option. I bought a Triton 3-1/4 hp router which allows you to use the plunge feature as a router lift when installed in a router table. It has a handle that you put through the insert plate to raise
    and lower. You use the lock on the plunge base once you get your height adjusted. When.you raise the router to change the bit it locks the spindle so you only need one wrench to loosen and tighten so you have one hand free to hold the bit from bottoming out in the collet.

    I had to replace the insert plate with a Kreg which I bought pre drilled for this router IIRC. It has various changeable inserts for the bits.

    The motor cooling fan blows air towards the bit so when you turn on dust collection, air flow part the motor actually increases. I have had it for about 4 years and it works great. I have made 10 sets of raised panel doors with it.

    I replaced a Freud router. I didnít know how bad that router was until it died and I replaced it with this one.
    Last edited by Rich Aldrich; 12-06-2019 at 3:01 AM.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Posts
    7
    I too have a Rousseau plate in my router table currently. I got the bug for a lift recently and went with the Kreg, mostly because the feature/price ratio was the most attractive to me. You certainly canít go wrong with the Jessem. Unfortunately the Rousseau plate as youíve seen is about 1/2Ē larger in the long dimension, and also differs in the short dimension, vs any of the router lifts. So consequently, to install my new lift Iíll have to make a new top for my table as well.
    Last edited by Marc Fenneuff; 12-06-2019 at 7:56 AM.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    Today I saw a Porter Cable 75182 router mounted in an Incra Mast-R-Lift II in my Rockler store. I noticed they had removed the variable speed slider knob and wondered why. Then I measured the knob on a free machine and the darn thing doesnít clear the steel shafts! I ordered the Jessem (Rockler doesnít carry Jessemís brand because the Incra version makes a plate to fit Rocklerís table), but I assume the Incra version uses the same shaft dimensions and clearances. Has anyone run into this? I donít want to remove the speed slider if I move up to the 75182. Itís probably not going to be a problem, because Iíll likely stay with my variable speed PC 690.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    137
    Hey, by the way, I saw a Rockler ďPro LiftĒ model in the store. I didnít even know that existed. Itís been out about a year and a half, I guess. It looks more robust than their entry model, but side by side with the Incra it looked slightly wimpier. For example, the shafts are simply screwed to the base instead of whatever hydraulic pressing process Jessel and Incra use. Another minus for me is that you need an adapter collar to fit a 690.

    What caught my eye, though, was that it has a sealed 4:1 gear enabling 4x speed raising and lowering. Thatís what I was asking about in my initial post. Seems like a simple addition. I wonder why others donít do it. One more mechanical system to fail, maybe?

    Anyway, Rockler is clearly aiming at the Jessem/Incra Mast-R-Lift with its form factor and matching Jessemís $370 price.

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