Lift-assist help for tilt-top router tables
My router table top attaches to its cabinet with a hinge, which makes it very convenient when I want to change or adjust the height of a bit. Unfortunately, the top is heavy and occasionally slams down. Not only are these sudden falls hard on the router, fingers that happen to be in the way don't fare very well either. To prevent these sudden freefalls, I installed a pneumatic storm-door closer to act as a lift-assist device. Install the closer by first attaching its brackets and pulling out the rod to its maximum distance. (Use the rod's "hold-open" clip to keep it extended.) Position the closer brackets far enough forward so they can bear the weight of the top and high enough that the top can open to the desired distance. Screw the brackets to the cabinet and top, and set the pressure-adjustment screw on the back of the piston housing so the top closes at the desired speed. With the closer in place, you can use the "hold-open" clip to keep the top up while you adjust the router. Most hardware stores carry door closers as replacement parts, or you may be able to salvage one when you or a neighbor replaces a storm door.
—Yaniv Matza, Tamarac, Fla.