Digitizing a Router Lift
If you own a router table and a router lift, we're guessing the trajectory went something like this: you started the collection with a basic, serviceable router and a few router bits. Then, possibly, you graduated to a better router and expanded your bit collection.
Later, you took the plunge and bought a router table and added still more router bits. And finally, you topped it all off with a swanky new router lift. What more could you possibly want? How about a digital readout that lets you dial in the router bit height with almost flawless accuracy?
A Remote Digital Readout makes crucial height adjustments luxuriously easy and unbeatably precise. The digital readout is designed to fit the average router lift, but can be adapted to shapers, saws and other tools where close-tolerance height adjustments are a key to success.
As you'll read in the more-than-adequate instructions, installation is a fairly simple procedure, even if it does involve drilling a couple of small holes in your lift. The tool consists of a scale, a height sensor, and of course, a digital readout. In a router lift application, the scale attaches with a single screw to the underside of the plate, the sensor to the router carriage and the readout to anything you want, provided it's within three feet of the other components.
After this brief and painless install, you're up and running. Just zero the readout at any initial position desired and make height adjustments from there with a margin of error of a miniscule 1/1000''. The benefits over the usual dial system of height measurement will soon become apparent. For one thing, you'll never have to count lift mechanism revolutions again.
When the need arises for a rabbet or groove at a specific, pre-determined height, just lay a straightedge across the opening in the lift plate, draw the tip of the bit up to it, press the "zero" button, crank the bit up the appropriate height and enjoy the readout's unfailing accuracy. You'll also completely sidestep problems with lash in the lift's height adjustment mechanism. Since the Wixey readout measures the actual position of the router carriage in relation to the stationary parts of the lift - as opposed to translating revolutions of the height adjustment screw into measurements - slop in the mechanical system is irrelevant.
Even the best mechanical apparatus has some small amount of play. And even if you attach the readout to a top-shelf lift, like the Rockler ProLift Router Lift, you'll be able to make ultra-fine adjustments by the numbers, with greater accuracy than the usual reliance on "feel" will ever provide.