I have built a few router lifts now but this one is by far my favourite. It wasn’t that I needed another router lift, my last one actually works quite well but when I came across a 90° drill attachment it was enough to entice me to do another router lift build. I always liked the idea of the router height adjustment being adjustable from the front of the table oppose to the top. The drill attachment Will easily accomplish this.
The hardest part of designing any router lift is the linear motion. You want a tight tolerance and a smooth motion which can be hard to achieve. I went with an easy route here and bought aluminum mitre slot extrusions and polyethylene runners from Lee valley tools. My original design of the lift was to make sure the linear motion was tight enough I wouldn’t need any kind of lock but it just wasn’t feezable with this design.
I bought the 90 degree drill attachment(90DA) at prince auto (kind of like a harbour fright). This one in particular is of pretty good quality. It has bearings making the motion smooth and tight. I first bought a much cheaper one but it was way to rough and sloppy. This one did cost me about 25 bucks but I think it was worth the extra money. I couldn’t find the exact one online but I think this might work. please note I haven’t actually seen this one in person so I cant guarantee it will work or its quality but if I was buying online this is the one i’d pick.
I also bought a extension to get the adjustment outside the table. It cost 9 bucks. I already had a screw driver that swivels which will act as the handle to adjust the height.
Syba SY-ACC65042 18-Piece 2-in-1 Design Ratchet and Screw Driver Tool Kit
DEWALT DW1589 12-Inch Extension for DEWALT Spade Drill Bits
Finally I purchased the track and polyethylene. It came from from lee valley and cost 20 bucks for 2 feet. I used scrap wood for the construction and I also used some miscellaneous hardware. That makes the total cost at about 50 bucks.
found similar product on amazon:
Shop Fox D2725 36-Inch T-Slot Track
UHMW Strip 3/4″ X 3/8″ X 48″ By Peachtree Woodworking – PW1121
To get started I cut to pieces of the track and drill 6 counter sink holes along its length. The over all length is 8″. I screwed the tracks to two pieces of plywood measuring 8″ long and 5″ wide.
The movable block it made from 3/4 plywood and measures 6″ long, this would give me a total of 3″ of travel. I fastened the polyethylene strip to the plywood by using screws and epoxy.
I then could sandwich the movable block in the track and take an accurate measurement. I wanted this to be snug so I’ll cut the block large and keep inching up on it till I get a really good fit.
Next I clamp the back peice in place and add screws along its length.
I designed the router clamp in sketch up and saved it as a .svg so I could use easil to cut the clamps out on the x carve. I used HDPE for the material mainly because I had it laying around but plywood or hardwood would also work here. Just use some Threaded inserts instead of threaded holes.
Next I taped a couple of holes to accept threaded rod. This will allow me to clamp both halves of the clamp around the router. I used epoxy here to keep the rods from turning out. You would want to use threaded inserts here if you using wood for the clamps
To mount the clamps to the movable block, I taped a few holes so I could use counter sunk bolts. You would want to use threaded inserts here if you using wood for the clamps.
Next I used two pieces of maple measuring 2″ wide to give the lift a mounting spot to mount to the table as well giving a spot to attach my 90DA.
Here you can see the cross member between the two pieces of maple. I well be able to screw through it into the router table.
I made the mount for the drill attachment really simple. First I drilled a hole the same size as the diameter of my 90DA. Then I could cut a relieve cut so I can use a screw to clamp the attachment tight.
Here you can see how I tighten the screw to clamp the attachment tight.
Next I needed to to modify a 1/2″ threaded rod so it could easily attach to the 90DA. To accomplish this I decide to drill a hole dead Center in the threaded rod to tightly fit a 2″ screw driver bit.
I then could glue the bit into the threaded rod. I made it a really tight fit so I had to pound it in with a hammer. It is really important to get the bit dead Center in the threaded rod. Using a lathe would be ideal but if you take your time on the drill press, you can get a pretty centred hole.
I needed a taped hole precisely located on the router clamp for the lead screw to thread into. I figured the best way to accurately mark the location was to use another bit gound to point and placed in the 90DA. I then could press the clamp against the point which will give me the hole location.
Next I taped the hole, if using wood, use a threaded insert.
Here I permanently fastened the sides to the lift.
I pre drill the mounting holes and gave it a test run.
All done!! I’m so happy with the results on this one. It has a super smooth motion and seems to be really sturdy. Because I didn’t won’t to risk anything being to lose I decide to go back and add a slot to the back plate for a lock. I used a lag bolt going right through the moveable block and slot.