A router is a very versatile tool in the shop and flipping it over and mounting to a table makes it even more (not to mention increased safety). Since each saw is different (and it’s doubtful you also have the same 1997 model of Jet that I do) I’ll focus more on theory, technique, and inspiration of doing your own rather than instructional procedures.
Installing a router lift really makes bit changes easier as well as allowing you to have full range of your table saw’s fence without need to completely remove the router. I built John Heisz’s router lift from his plans available for purchase ($10) from his website.
The table was built using 3/4″ plywood with 1/2″ plywood on top. The router is mounted underneath using carriage bolts so it can be removed later if needed.
To find the proper place to cut out for the bit, I put a 1/4″ drill bit into the router (didn’t turn it on) and slowly raised it until I made an indention into the plywood. I then drilled out access holes and used a jigsaw to complete the cut.
On the main table surface, I wanted removable inserts so I could have near zero-clearance if needed or use a blank one if I should need to fill the hole for other projects. After marking the main surface from below using the cutout made earlier, I used a jig similar to what Jay Bates used to route a perfect square with a pattern bit and my handheld router.
After cutting some blanks to perfectly fit the hole from the remaining scrap 1/2″ plywood, I gave them a coat of finish and proceeded to mark them all in the same way with the drill bit. I tossed in a round-over bit to give it a test…success!
The fence had some bolts that I had to negotiate, a chisel made quick work of this.
I decided to use the table saw’s fence to hold the router’s fence. I sandwiched multiple pieces of plywood together to form a saddle and to create a void for the shop vac hose. The inner and middle pieces of plywood are not solid all the way down, they both have about 1 1/2″ gap in the middle to create a dust port.
I finished it off by rigging up a simple switch and creating a shelf underneath to store some table saw jigs.
I’ve not yet decided whether to enclose the lift or not. The vac port catches the majority of the dust but if I should choose not to use the fence (or be unable to if using something like a pattern bit), a fair amount of dust ends up on the shelf below. If I should come across a smaller (free) shop vac that I could dedicate to just the router lift, chances are that I’ll enclose it.