Author Topic: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro  (Read 1719 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline martin felder

  • Posts: 122
https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/powerlift_pro_2.html



I did a search and could not find this discussed.  For years I have had a router table with the hand crank router lift.  As many of you know there are a number of very similar options available - JessEm, Kreg, Rockler, etc.

I always thought it would be nice to have a router lift that raised and lowered the bit electronically, and so I was searching to see if anything new has come along. 

I came across the MLCS option.  I could not find out too much about it.  Has anyone used one?  If all router lifts were the same price, is there any reason one would not want this and instead prefer the hand crank option?

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Don T

  • Posts: 2069
  • Phoenix, Az
There is also the ready2rout lift and fence that work together. So you might want to take a look at that also.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Offline Lbob131

  • Posts: 552
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 03:28 PM »
I think  this  scratches  the  surface  of  what a  Felder  Format -4 profil 92m e-motion  would  be  providing.
Its  rare   to see  such  technology  deployed  in  router tables.

I  wonder  how  easy  the foot  switch  gives  micro  adjustment?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2401
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 03:45 PM »
I know MLCS has had this lift for a number of years. I've never heard anything bad about it but I have not had my ear to the ground regarding this lift.

I did have a mild interest in getting one back when I got my WP router table and lift 10 years ago for the extension in my Unisaw, but I thought it was too new to take a chance on. I think it was less than a year old back then. That could have been a previous version too.

One plus is it makes plunge cuts in the table easy. No more dropping the work down on the bit. Hold the work still and raise the bit into the work, then move the work across the bit. Stop where you need to and withdraw the bit. Makes blind slots and such pretty easy it would seem.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9766
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 03:58 PM »
I know MLCS has had this lift for a number of years. I've never heard anything bad about it but I have not had my ear to the ground regarding this lift.

I did have a mild interest in getting one back when I got my WP router table and lift 10 years ago for the extension in my Unisaw, but I thought it was too new to take a chance on. I think it was less than a year old back then. That could have been a previous version too.

One plus is it makes plunge cuts in the table easy. No more dropping the work down on the bit. Hold the work still and raise the bit into the work, then move the work across the bit. Stop where you need to and withdraw the bit. Makes blind slots and such pretty easy it would seem.


Hadn't thought of that!  That alone makes it worth getting in my opinion.  Might be time for a new router table set up.

Seth

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2715
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 05:00 PM »
https://www.lumberjocks.com/reviews/8674 - Review by three year user

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2401
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2021, 09:36 PM »
I see Grizzly also has a motorized lift that looks almost identical to the MLCS lift. But the interface is not as nice and no foot pedal (even as an option) available that I could find.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 03:45 AM by Bob D. »
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1222
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 01:28 AM »
One, two, steppers away from a CNC...

Very cool toy.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2401
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2021, 08:29 AM »
I was back on the MLCS site this morning looking at this lift again. I noticed that the 10" tablet they offer is running Android 4.4 which has not been supported for a very long time.

Android 4.4 was introduced in 2013 and dropped off the support list in 2016. Eighteen months is the normal life for an Android version from what I could find online. The current version of Android is 12.0 which was released earlier this month on Oct 4, 2021.

It may not matter if you use the tablet nothing other than an interface with the lift which is how I would use it. If I got this I would not connect it to my home network as I don't see any advantage to doing that with the current app. It's not like a CNC where you could upload some code to the controller to be run later.

I'm only mentioning this in case anyone was thinking of using the tablet in any capacity other than an interface with the lift. A version of Android long out of date (by at least 7 years) and no longer supported will have security vulnerabilities and it's best to keep it off the WWW.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline simnick

  • Posts: 20
Re: Digitally Controlled Router lift with Bluetooth MLCS PowerLift Pro
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2021, 02:10 AM »
I have the MLCS lift for a few months, used for 3 projects. Still not certain if I love it, but it does allow some great stuff.
Their tablet is an old piece of junk, and I shouldn't have bought it, but I normally use iOS, so I went with the quick option. I would have been better off buying a more up to date android device. Apparently even Fire tabs can side load the app. Bluetooth connection after sleep often fail and I have to reboot.
It seems very repeatable, which is very handy in itself.
Being able to safely and easily do stopped grooves is great. I put piece in starting position, turn on router with bit under table, then raise to a pre-set depth for first path, move board. The reset board, or retract and reset board, and bring to full depth, doing 2nd pass. Prior to this I would rarely do the recommend multiple passes, as it was so annoying to get back to the right position.
I don't love the top plate. I really wish it were better machined. It is slightly rough anodized surface, when I would like a slicker material. Still not perfectly level in my table either, but might just need more tweaking. I really wish it were the incra mag lock plate, instead of the plastic ones, and their plastic plates are slightly different then woodpeckers, so you only have 4 options. Except I found an awesome parameterized SCAD file, and via trial and error can now make whatever size insert I want: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:91351
I expect in time I should be able to make notes about each bit and what height achieves what effect, particularly for interlocking joinery bits. Really easy to zero out the bit, so you can reset even after changing bits.
Now I wish the fence were the same sort of adjustable. So rather than use my router fence (in my tablesaw), I'm going to build an add-on fence to my tablesaw fence, so I can use my wixley digital fence readout to repeat the fence settings. Ala: https://vsctools.com/shop/router-fence-plans/