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IWF Alert: Router table systems shine at the show

comments (2) August 25th, 2010 in blogs

AsaC AsaC, Contributor
thumbs up 23 users recommend

Woodpeckers new router lift lets you place the fine-adjustment crank wherever you want it.
The secret is a flexible crank shaft that runs to the lift.
Large movements are made with a different crank, inserted through the top plate, which means you wont have to wind the fine adjustment crank forever to get the collet high enough to make a bit change.
With plenty of storage, a built-in caster system, and a tight dust chamber around the router, the new Bench Dog router table cabinet looks like a winner at $400.
With Rocklers clever dust ports attached to the back, a single hose can collect dust from above and below for almost dust-free work.
For roughly another $600 you can add Bench Dogs excellent cast-iron table (with fence and insert plate) for very solid, convenient router table that looks like it means business. 
Woodpeckers new router lift lets you place the fine-adjustment crank wherever you want it. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Woodpecker's new router lift lets you place the fine-adjustment crank wherever you want it.

Photo: Asa Christiana

Since router tables entered the woodworking market a few decades ago, their convenience has crept closer and closer to full-sized woodworking machines, specifically the shaper. Of course the router's advantage over the shaper has always been in the tooling, with router bits available in many more sizes and shapes than shaper cutters, and at a fraction of the price.

But early router-and-table combos fell far short of the shaper's convenient adjustments, solid fence, and integrated dust collection.

 Two new router table options at IWF do away with those compromises. The new Woodpecker PRL Sidewinder Router Lift is a heavy-duty mechanism with a couple of unique features. From above the table, where the usual height-adjustment crank goes in, the Woodpecker's crank makes large movements only, pulling the router quickly to the top of its travel for fast bit changes, and then back down again. Fine adjustments are made with a crank placed at the side of the cabinet or stand, just under the table edge, much like a shaper. Like other lifts the Woodpecker works with any fixed-base router motor (sold separately). It will sell at Sears, Woodcraft, and elsewhere for roughly $360.

The Woodpecker lift works in any router table, including shopmade versions, and the side crank can be attached where needed. To avoid the time and hassle of building a router table, fence, etc., you'll be able to buy Woodpecker's entire table system, including the new lift, for $830.

 Bench Dog's new steel router table cabinet is a great companion to the cast-iron router tabletop they debuted last year (the ProMax RT). Tool geeks will remember Bench Dog's past cabinet, which was made of melamine and had tons of storage. This one, for the same $400 price, seems even better, with a tighter dust-collection chamber under the router, which can be connected to the port in the fence for virtually dust-free routing.

A good caster system is standard, and the cabinet is fitted to accept standard slides for shopmade storage drawers, pull-out bit shelves, etc. Look for the new Bench Dog router cabinet in October.

Read about other great tool finds at IWF 2010


posted in: blogs, workshop, tool

Comments (2)

Boerderij_Kabouter Boerderij_Kabouter writes: What I don't understand... why not just buy a shaper? For $800 plus router and accessories, you could easily get a very nice 3hp shaper with a 1/2 collet for holding router bits???
Posted: 12:43 pm on September 15th

hotmax hotmax writes: I already have PRL v2. Can i attach this crank system to my super-dupper PRLv2?
Posted: 4:08 pm on August 26th

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