Woodcraft Supply is offering the Woodpeckers Sidewinder 420 Router Lift, which combines instant elevation change with remotely operated, micro-adjustments to reduce the time it takes to change a router bit, while providing a tool-free method of height adjustment. The elevation change is more than 4-1/2", the size of the aircraft aluminum plate is 9-1/4" x 11-3/4" and there are three ring openings of 1", 1-3/16" and 2-5/8" as well a the bit opening of 3-9/16".
"The benefit is if you want to change a bit, all you have to do is take a quick wrench, push it in, disengage the nut that is in the carriage, bring it all the way up to the top, change the nut, put the new bit in, tighten it, then take it down to approximately where you want it to be and then release that which re-engages the nut and then you can move it incrementally up to set the bit height," says Peter Collins, senior product manager for Woodcraft Supply.
"For every full turn of the crank, you actually move the bit height 1/16", so obviously a half turn is 1/32", a quarter turn is 1/64", an eighth turn is 1/128". There is an indexable scale on the top of the plate that is held in place by an O-ring, so it can be re-zeroed at any given point that is within .0002"."
The new model is essentially the same as the second-version lift that Woodcraft has been carrying for a while, which is the same as a conventional lift in the fact that it has a lead screw that moves a carriage up and down to position the router. However, what makes this unique is the height adjustment mechanism that was a thumbwheel has been changed to a braided cable and moved to the side. The user now has access to raise and lower the carriage via a hand crank, which can be mounted to the side or front of the router table.
The router lift includes engraved scales to simplify fence positioning with eight threaded set screws for leveling, a spring-assisted lift wrench and threaded starting pin.
"There also a clamping mechanism underneath the lift - I don't know any other lift that has this - so instead of using a system that presses to the outside of the plate to hold it into place or instead of using screws from up above, this actually clamps to the underside of the table," adds Collins.
The Sidewinder 420 Router Lift, which accepts larger router motors such as the Porter-Cable 7518, sells for about $360. Woodcraft also offers the Sidewinder 350 for smaller routers with 3-1/2" diameter motors for $260.
Contact: Woodcraft Supply. Tel: 800-225-1153. www.woodcraft.com
This article originally appeared in the March 2011 issue.