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MLCS "U-Turn" Router Lift

A recent Woodsmith Review stated: "The U-Turn is an impressive router lift.
The construction is rock-solid..." See the complete review.
MLCS U-Turn Router Lift
  • U-Turn Router Lift

  • Reviews

The 18-1/2" Height Adjustment Handle lets you keep your work on the table and adjust the router from the side

This professional quality router lift is precisely machined from aluminum and steel. Built to handle the big 4.2" diameter, 3-1/4 HP routers with ease (MLCS Router Motor #9564 and Porter Cable #7518). This lift allows very smooth and easy adjustments. With over three inches of travel, router bit changes can be made from above the table. Sealed ball bearings, brass fittings, heavy duty guide posts and a lead screw mean this router lift is built to last.

  • The "U-Turn" Lift comes pre-mounted to a heavy duty 9-1/32" x 12-3/32" x 3/8" aluminum router plate that is designed to fit the MLCS Router Table Top, Extension Table Tops and Phenolic Table Top.
  • The "U-Turn" 2 Lift is mounted to a 11‑3/4" x 9 -1/4" x 3/8" insert plate which is designed to fit other (non-MLCS) router tables.
  • The router insert plate opening allows for bits up to 3-1/2" in diameter, and includes a locking insert ring with a 2" opening.
  • The 18-1/2" height adjustment handle arm extends from the center of your router table so that the handle will clear the edge of any 36" wide or smaller table.
  • The #9565 Pro Router Table Stand is designed to be used with this lift. If you are not using the MLCS Stand, you will have to drill a hole in your stand to accommodate the handle.
  • Our accessory Locking Insert Ring Kit has openings of 1/4", 1/2", 1-3/8" and 2-1/2". 2 Router Reducers are also available (below). Kits and extra Insert Wrenches are sold separately.
    U-Turn Lift Extended
    The U-Turn Lift includes:
  • 3 allen wrenches
  • 1 insert ring with 2" opening
  • 1 insert wrench
  • 1 starter pin
  • Plate leveling screws
  • "U-Turn" Router Lift

    With a (12‑3/32" x 9"‑1/32" x 1/4") insert plate
    for MLCS table tops

    #9563.................SALE $299.95

    "U-Turn2" Router Lift

    With a (11‑3/4" x 9"‑1/4" x 3/8") insert plate
    for non-MLCS table tops

    #9562.................SALE $299.95


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    Average Customer Rating: (2 reviews)
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    U-Turn Lift (4/5), Feb 8, 2014

    By Thomas Bowman (Nokesville Vi US)

    Installed the lift and have some suggestions to make
    1. The lift handle needs redesigned. When the bit height is set, the lift handle may end up in a top (vertical ) position which is above the surface of the router table. Which means you must move the handle (which ruins you set bit height) until it does not interfer with your workpiece sliding on the table surface.
    2. The exploded view of the parts ( page 8 of the Operating Instructions) numbers parts through number 46 and alphabet letters A through K. The nomenclature listing on page 7 only lists parts through number 36 and alphabet through G. So there are many parts not identified.

    Unlike the Power Lift (which MLCS sold previously but has discontinued selling that item) the U-Turn Lift centers the router bit adequately in the plastic inserts provided.

    U-Turn Router lift (2/5), Dec 3, 2013

    By Tom Grider (Garland Te US)

    I bought this because I had gotten the MLCS 3 1/4 horsepower router motor and realized I didn't have anything to mount it in. At nearly $300 I was hesitant but hoped it would be as good as it looks in the pictures. I was disappointed. The crank gear mechanism is clunky in that it is not very finely geared and has to be used carefully so as not to have the gears jump. Also if the crank is in a horizontal position when the router motor is in use it tends to creep down slowly altering the router bit height. My lift got to where I could not crank the router motor up after the first few uses. I cleaned it thoroughly, lubricated it, and aligned the lift nuts on the screw shaft, noticing a locking screw for the upper nut. The locking screw is necessary to keep the nut in position but can't be tightened too much or it makes the cranking hard. I constantly have to keep track of this locking screw because it tend to vibrate loose allowing the nut on the screw shaft to move. Additionally, the leveling screws on the mounting plate stand very proud after adjusting the plate to my table. All-in-all, I cannot recommend this product from my experience. I think it is over-priced for what you get.

    ------MLCS RESPONSE----------

    We have already sold hundreds of this item with positive feedback from customers. In addition, the latest shipments of this item have a number of enhancements added to the design to address the few issues we have heard about, such as the vibration of the locking screw and the gear mechanism. We are always happy to address any issues that arise and, if contacted, we will be happy to work with a customer to address any issues they are having, up to and including replacing any problematic items. Based on a review of our records, we do not see that this customer even contacted us so we could attempt to remedy this situation.


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    • Locking Insert Ring Kit and Wrench

    • Reviews
    Easy in, easy out!

    The 4 piece locking insert ring kit has openings of 1/4", 1/2", 1-3/8" (designed to fit standard template guide bushings), and 2-1/2". Easy-in and Easy-out, using the specially designed wrench, insert rings will spin and lock into place. No screws are needed. This set is designed to use with the U-Turn router lift and does not fit the standard MLCS router plates.

    Locking Insert Ring 4 Piece Kit
    #9566 ................................$19.95
    Insert Wrench
    #9567 ................................$9.95

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    Locking Insert Ring KitInsert Wrench

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    • 3-1/4 HP Variable Speed Router Motor

    • Reviews
    SAVE $50!  A BIG 4.2" diameter motor!

    The MLCS heavy duty 15 Amp router motor is made to handle the largest router bits on the market. Cutting with a 3-1/2" diameter raised panel bit will be no problem. The variable speed range on this heavy duty router is 10,000 to 22,000RPM, so no external speed control is needed and it will handle all of your routing operations. Included with the motor are 1/4" and 1/2" collets plus 2 collet wrenches.

    3-1/4 HP Variable Speed Motor
    #9564 ................................$219.95

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    MLCS 3-1/4 HP Variable Speed Router Motor

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    Average Customer Rating: (3 reviews)
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    Great motor and price (5/5), Apr 9, 2015

    By Alan Hetzel (Stevens Point Wi US)

    I received this as a gift for Christmas and am very happy with the purchase. The first motor came through with a broken ground plug so I called and they shipped me a new motor and I returned the broken one. NO HASSLES and no cost to me. They now have a lifetime customer. The motor is powerful and as far as quiet, there is no router that is quiet. The decibels put out and the noise received by the ear are only limited by the quality of the noise suppression equipment you use. (Really good ear plugs) I like the warranty and the price was better than any other motor of this size and HP. The service from this company was second to none and I will be making lots of cabinets in the near future and MLCS will get my business.

    Powerful (5/5), Dec 18, 2014

    By Ron Ellison (St. Paul Te US)

    This router motor is both powerful and quiet. It handles the big 3 1/2" bits with ease. The variable speed is easy to use and it fit in my Incra heavy duty router lift without any adjustment or accessory. And, it is $100 cheaper than the Porter Cable. I couldn't be happier

    3 1/4 HP Router Motor (4/5), Dec 3, 2013

    By Tom Grider (Garland Te US)

    This is a powerful router motor and I like that very much. It is larger than any of my lifts would accommodate and heavier than any of my other router motors. I had to get a lift to mount it in but after using it I like the power and speed control. Although, the speed control seemed a little touchy a few times when I used it. If you need a powerful router motor at a pretty reasonable price then this just might fill the bill.

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    • Pro Router Table Stand

    • Reviews
    Designed to work with the U-Turn Lift

    This 35" high x 26" wide x 22" deep stand will work great with almost any router table top but is specially designed to work with MLCS U-Turn router lift, manufactured with a pre-drilled series of holes for the lift handle and lift handle support bushing guide. This stand is made of steel with non-slip adjustable feet. The stand mounts to the table top by simply using screws through the pre-drilled mounting holes on the stand. Note that the steel stand is included, but table top and router are purchased separately.

    Pro Router Table Stand
    #9565 ................................$114.95

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    MLCS Pro Router Table Stand

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    • Router Reducers

    • Reviews
    Designed to hold smaller router motors

    Reducer #9568 is designed to hold router motors of 3-1/2" in diameter.(Porter cable 690/890, Bosch 1617/1618, and DeWalt 610 are some commonly used routers).

    Router Reducer for motors 3-1/2" dia.
    #9568 ................................$27.95

    Reducer #9569 is designed to hold router motors of 3-1/4" in diameter. (Makita 1101 is a commonly used router this size).

    Router Reducer for motors 3-1/4" dia.
    #9569 ................................$29.95

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