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How to use your router to install your router lift for your other router

I bought a JessEm Rout-R-Lift II router lift for my shop. It needs to be recessed into a workbench, but it doesn’t come with a template for cutting an appropriately sized hole. You can buy an MDF template for $27, or you can do as a I did, and make your CNC router carve the hole for you.

I created a project for Easel, the CNC design software used by Inventables’ X-Carve CNC router, that will carve the opening for you. It leaves a ledge for the leveling screws and tabs for the mounting bolts. Here’s what the resulting carve looks like mounted in the wing of my table saw:

I drilled the holes for the mounting bolts afterwards and added threaded inserts.

The router lift fits perfectly in the opening. On my test carve (using a 1/8″ straight cut bit), it was snug on all sides, but I switched to a 1/4″ bit to speed up the final cut, and it left about a millimeter of play in both directions. The snugging bolts take care of that though, so I’m very happy with the fit.

That said, absolutely do a test cut before trying this on any material that you care about.

Inventables Easel Project: JessEm Rout-R-Lift II Template