September 26, 2022

Woody Woodworking

and its tools

Router Table Upgrades

4 min read

Rockler Pro Router Lift, and Router Table Fence | Improving My Router Table

I recently, made some improvements to my router table from top to bottom.

Rockler Pro Lift Router Lift
The Rockler Pro Lift was made for router motors with a 4.2” diameter body.
I was attracted to the rapid height bit adjustment with a 4 to1 gearbox ratio. The snap-lock insert ring releases with the push of a button and has a 1-1/2” opening; additional inserts and zero clearance inserts are also available.

There lift has is an anti-backlash mechanism to keep the router from creeping downward, which I had to adjust once in 2 years. A simple quarter turn was all that was needed to make this adjustment. A column locking knob provides further insurance when running large milling jobs.

Installing the Rockler Pro Lift Router Lift Plate
I created a template to first cut the rabbit for the router table insert to sit on and then I added spacer strips to the template to cut out the hole for the router plate / router.

Using a Template with Guide Strips

Making the template itself is pretty straightforward. I ripped four pieces of scrap ¾” plywood, long enough to span across my table saw table. I placed the router plate over my traced lines.

To stay accurate, I ripped scrap plywood “spacer strips” to 2-1/2” and placed them against the router plate. (2-1/2” is the distance from the tip of the router dado bit to the outside of my plunge router’s base)

I kept referring to my trace lines and also used the table saw fence, locked down, as a reference and anchor point.

I constructed my template around this plate and 2-1/2” spacer scraps. I then screwed the 4 parts together with smaller strips of ¾” plywood.

Once I was sure everything lined up and made sense, I clamped the strips down on the table saw table, double check everything, and checked for square.

Rout the Recess for the Router Table Plate

To rout the recess for the router plate, I set my router bit depth to the thickness of the router insert plate.

I then removed the scrap 2-1/2” spacers and place the router inside the template for a dry fit. Then I routed out the plate recess to the depth of your insert plate.

Cutting Out the Center “Cut-Out”

I decided to use a ¼” straight router bit to cut out the center of the cut-out. I cut ½” spacer strips to add to all four sides of my template. Adding these spacer strips moves the router cut 1/2” out from the previous cut.

That’s how I installed this router lift. I actually did a separate video awhile back on this that you can find by searching the Youtube channel for Rockler Pro Lift.

Router Table Fence | Rockler Pro Fence

I opted to use Rockler’s Pro Fence. I liked the sliding fence option, dust port, adjustability and the add on feather boards.

But when I first installed it, I didn’t have t-tracks so I just routed two 4” slots in the table and secured the fence with two bolts and wingnuts.

This year I decided to improve the fence by adding t-tracks to the table. I used a ¾ dado bit and routed two 18-inch dados in the table, lined up with the Pro Fence attachment slots.

The fence now easily secures to the t-track with t-bolts and I don’t have to reach under the table and use both hands to adjust the fence.

Router Table Dust Collection

For dust collection, in the early days, I connected the 2-1/2” Pro Fence dust port to my Jet dust collector and had pretty good sawdust collection on top of the table, but a mess on the floor.

To improve this I added a Rockler Dust Right table dust box. The dust box has a 4” and also connects to the 2-1/2” upper fence port to capture dust above and below the table. The door has magnetic catch allows easy access to router, an adjustable vent allows suction control, and a cord retainer to keep suction.

Final Thoughts

A table mounted router provides you with a high degree of control, accuracy, and safety and let’s not forget the ability to collect saw dust.

These improvements to my shop are an investment in my health, accuracy and shop functionality.

That’s it for this video – check out our 3-video workshop series on setting up and organizing a small shop.

Don’t forget to follow is on IG @ConcordCarpenter and @ToolBoxBuzz

#rockler #prolift #profence

Woodworking News Source: A Concord Carpenter / ToolBoxBuzz

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