There are two major advantages to a router table
lift, both having to do with the fact that you can manipulate the
router from above the table; you don't need to fiddle under the
table or remove the router from the table. The advantages are that
you can both switch router bits and adjust router bit height, from
above the table. Both can be done easily and quickly, which means
you can work more efficiently, and be more productive in the shop. The Kreg Router Lift (PRS3000) can be
installed on any router table, and works seamlessly with the
Kreg Precision Router Table System (PRS1040).
You need to know that the PRS3000 is specifically designed to work with the Kreg Precision Router Table (PRS1040), as it uses the insert plate levelers that come with the PRS1040. However, if you want to install the PRS3000 on any other router table, or a shop built table - not a problem. You just need to purchase a set of Kreg Precision Router Table Insert Plate Levelers (PRS3040, $19.95). These levelers are easy to install on virtually any router table, and they enable you to quickly align the insert plate dead flat with the router table top. And, they can be installed on a table top that is up to 1-1/2" thick.
|Plate levelers hold the lift plate firmly in place and align it flush with the table top||Twist lock reducing rings are quick and easy to install or remove with spanner wrench|
The PRS3000 consists of two parts - a top insert plate, and an under
carriage. The top plate, made of 3/8" thick aluminum, is guaranteed to
be flat to within .005". The plate will fit into any standard
3/8" x 9-1/4" x 11-3/4" cut-out. it has a 3-5/8" center hole and
comes with three high impact ABS plastic reducing rings: 1",
2-5/8", and a 1-3/16" step ring for PC template guide bushings.
These twist lock rings are great - very quick to insert and remove
with the supplied spanner wrench. When installed they lock firmly in
place. They are also perfectly flush with the top of the plate.
Also on the top plate are the usual holes for the starter pin, along with a hole to insert the lift wrench (to make coarse bit height adjustments); a scale, which you use in conjunction with the micro adjust thumb wheel to make precise bit height adjustments; a brake, which enables you to lock the lift in place if you are experiencing vibration when using large router bits that take heavy cuts; and a window through with the micro adjust thumb wheel extends.
|1/2" lift rod in foreground 1" guide post in rear||Adapter pads are used to install some routers|
The carriage under the plate, to which you attach a router, is
machined from aircraft grade aluminum. It moves the top plate up and
down via a 1/2" acme threaded lift rod, and is supported by two 1"
diameter stainless steel guide posts. The carriage is sized to hold
a Porter Cable PC-7518 router. The router slips into the carriage
and is screwed in place. If you follow the provided instructions,
rather than forging ahead on your own, you can install the router in
less than five minutes.
While a good router, not everyone uses the PC-7518. Adapter pads for the Milwaukee 5625, Porter Cable 690/890, Bosch 1617/1618, Craftsman 17542/17540/28190, and DeWALT 618 are available separately from Kreg. These adapted pads are attached to the inside of the carriage. I installed a Milwaukee 5625 in the carriage in under five minutes. Once installed the router isn't going anywhere.
|The router slides easily into the carriage||Set screws hold the router firmly in place|
As with the standard phenolic insert plate that comes with the Kreg PRS1040 router table, the PRS3000 is bolted to the table top (by means of the insert levelers). This is a very nice arrangement that really locks the table lift firmly in place, further helping to reduce vibration. Sure, it adds a bit of extra time to the process of removing the router if you need to use it freehand, but hey, suck it up. It's a small price to pay for precise, chatter free cuts.
|Spring-assist lift wrench for quick adjustments||Micro adjust thumb wheel for precise adjustments|
For quick adjustments you use the spring-assist lift wrench. Insert
the wrench into the hole on the top of the table lift (orienting the
handle parallel to the mitre slot with the handle end pointing
left), and then press down. As you rotate the handle (either
direction) it releases the locking mechanism so you can lower or
raise the router to the approximate desired location. Then, for
precise adjustments you use the micro adjust thumb wheel.
The adjustable reference scale can be zeroed at any bit position. It'll take a few tries to get the knack of depressing and turning the spring-assist lift wrench to raise or lower the router in one fluid motion. The thumb wheel works beautifully. One full revolution of the wheel moves the router.0625" (1/16"). There are 32 ticks on the scale; moving the wheel 1/32 of a turn (one 'tick') allows you to make a height adjustments of .002". You'd have to be obsessive to want more accuracy than that.
|Reference scale can be zeroed at any bit position||Above table bit change|
What's not to like about the Kreg Router Lift (PRS3000); well, nothing really. While assembling it you can really see the quality components and high level machining that's gone into the product. The PRS3000 is exceptionally well constructed, installs easily, makes for quick bit installation, and provides incredible router bit height adjustment precision. Install this lift on a shop built router table, any commercially available table, or on the Kreg Precision Router Table (PRS1040) and your ready to rout.Reviewed April 2010
|Available From:||Tool and equipment suppliers nation wide|
|Best For:||Anyone looking for a professional grade precision router table lift|