Bit by bit, high-end router tables are beginning to look more like classic shapers, the heavy-duty workhorse machines used in professional shops. Bench Dog has taken the latest step along that path with the introduction of a substantial cast-iron top. Other than the obvious virtue of being almost indestructible (Bench Dog calls it “bomb-proof”), a cast-iron top will stay as flat as the top of your tablesaw, which is critical for precision routing. You can also purchase this top separately and bolt it to your tablesw, replacing the right-side support table. This top is part of a modular set of router table combinations from Bench Dog which allow you to mix and match from three types of tops (cast iron, solid phenolic, and MDF) and three types of bases (Baltic Birch or melamine closed stands, and a Baltic Birch open stand). You can also add drawers, doors, an external power switch, and locking casters as accessories.
Bench Dog Tools, www.benchdog.com, (800) 786-8902, ProMAX Complete, Model 40-087, $869; ProMAX top only, with fence, Model 40-031, $399.