JessEm Rout-R-Lift Prestige is rated 5 out of 5 in this months issue of The Woodworker magazine.
Holding a router in a purpose-built table provides a quick way of creating mouldings and rebates, even slot-together door frames using multi-cutter profile sets. The JessEm Rout-R-Lift Prestige helps to make this easier.
The JessEm router lift provides a quick and easy way of turning your router into a table-top moulding machine. Compact and solidly built, three posts hold and guide the router up and down. These are perfectly aligned to provide parallel travel, while the long guides ensure that there’s no twist at all. If alignment has moved in transit, it can be set back to ‘factory condition’ with the turn of three small screws.
Lift action is super-smooth and precise, even when changing direction. The finely-finished screw has an anti-backlash nut, which means there’s no need to turn against the direction in which you wish to move, to take up slack and ensure that you end up with a setting as close as possible to where you want to be. A 2mm lift per complete rotation means you can count turns to get the cutter more or less in the right place and the clearly marked scale around the adjustment screw gives 0.05mm increments to help guide you for most of the rest of the way. A separate gauge will always be required to ensure that the tip of the router cutter is exactly the desired height from the table top. The adjacent lock screw has an arrow printed around it to indicate the direction it needs to turn and uses the same handle as the height adjustment to prevent any movement. The handle may seem unnecessarily long, but in use you need to be clear of the guards, fences and material on the table top.
Turning a router upside down to make it easier to use for mouldings and certain other processes is seemingly simple, but involves a lot of preparation. Even when set up properly, with extraction, guards and stop switches in the right places, this is a process that must be taken seriously. The Jess-Em lift would certainly be one to consider for anyone progressing to this stage of machine operation, if you have a router to spare – if not, Wood Workers Workshop have dedicated systems, too.
There are other, cheaper ways to achieve something similar, but in my opinion, if you’re serious about table-routing, it really is worth spending the money to do it properly from the outset. The ease of use, smooth operation and secure holding of the Rout-R-Lift are worth the initial outlay and, when built into a solid table, will provide years of reliable service.
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