The DowelMax RTL router table lift is a device meant to be installed between a router table stand or base cabinet, and router table top. They say that it can fit any standard router table 32″ x 24″ in size, of any brand.
Why install something like this? It enables quicker and easier bit changes, and also height adjustments.
There’s a piano hinge at the back, and gas springs that support the router table assembly when raised.
DowelMax mentions other potential uses. Their router table lift gives users easier and unobstructed access to:
- Height adjustment
- Collet nut
- Motor spindle lock
- Height adjustment lock
- Motor speed adjustment
- Power disconnect
They also say that their RTL offers improved router function access and reduced set-up time versus crank-type lifts.
It seems like a neat design that can solve some common frustrations for users who don’t have or want a router lift.
Price: $159 (plus shipping)
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Buy Now(via DowelMax) – as of the time of this posting, coupon code “RTL FREE Shipping” gives you free shipping
This seems like a neat router table accessory. It’s not something I could use with my current setup, but I am impressed with the design.
Although they don’t mention what the base material is made from, it looks to be black phenolic. Or maybe anodized aluminum? It doesn’t look to be MDF. I’m waiting on confirmation from DowelMax. Update: It’s CNC-machined MDF.
The DowelMax RTL might not be a good fit with certain router table accessories, such as certain lifts or dust boxes.
HUH I guess I’m confused on the naming – I’ve always thought a router table lift was a jig that held the router with adjustment screws so you could adjust it up and down from the top of the table.
Not a fancy hinged lid – which by the way is what I’d call this – a hinged lid
Technically, a router lift attaches to a router table to allow height adjustment of a router motor.
The RTL is literally a router table lift, that raises the router table top. I guess “hinged router table top lift” is more accurate?
If you look at popular router lifts for router tables, they’re specifically described as router lifts, and not router table lifts.
Kreg Router Lift
Woodpeckers Router Lift
JessEm Router Lift
Router lifts are for height adjustment, this RTL router table lift is more for improved access.
Thank you – hence my confusion – I think they should market it as a router table hinge mount. lift implies more of a straight upward motion
My guess due to cost is that it’s not phenolic and certainly not aluminum. That size phenolic is expensive as a raw material and that size aluminum would be even more expensive.
While I don’t need one because of my router table setup, items such as these could also be sold only as the hardware parts for people who have the ability to make the two main boars easily themselves. A jigsaw or an in shop CNC (I have an X-carve) will make that. Precision isn’t even needed for such a product.
Just looked on Amazon and it says CNC machined MDF
Thanks! I didn’t see that before, or on their info page.
Darn. I was hoping it’d be phenolic or aluminum, but you’re right – that’d probably be too expensive. MDF isn’t ideal (I hate the stuff), but at least it’s dimensionally stable.
I made myself a router table with this arrangement when I still lived in California- so about 20 years ago. Admittedly I only had a stick to hold it up, so not as fancy.
My current table with a ‘proper’ lift is much easier to use.
I’d have thought this puts the router in a really annoying position for height adjustment, imagine trying to set the bit at say 1/2″ while working from behind/underneath. It’s also a bit of a stretch to say it makes height adjustment quicker, it basically has no height adjustment, so you are left with whatever mechanism the router has. I’d even challenge easier bit change, that really depends on how far the body/bit extends through the table when it comes time to change it.
I’ve built several tables/lifts over the years, fastest to use, including for bit changes, is Jay Bates design (https://jayscustomcreations.com/product/quick-release-lever-router-lift/). My current installation, a little slower but excellent height adjustment is John Heisz design (https://ibuildit.ca/plans/precision-router-lift/). I really think router tables/lifts are an area where a modest investment in time and materials can deliver superior results to purchased accessories.
A router lift mechanism adjusted from above is the only logical way to fine tune height adjustment. Furthermore, nothing could be easier for bit changes than T handle hex wrench.
This set up kicks ass and earns money.
If the MDF is treated right – it would be solid and last a long time. but it has to be fully coated with something relatively hard. IE like an enamel paint or melanine/kydex/etc.