I’m starting to think about buying or building a router table. I’ve got a shaper, but would like something that will turn higher RPM for using smaller diameter bits. I will likely build the base myself, but what I’m trying to decide is whether to buy or build the top. My main concern about building a top is whether I can get it as flat as a commercially available top. Are the commercial tops just “standard” MDF or is there something “special” about them (i.e. machined flat by manufacturers, selected for flattness, etc.)? I’m aware that there are tops of other materials out there, but for some reason the MDF tops that I’ve found seem to be a bit bigger than tops of other materials and this aspect is important to me. The flatness of the top is important to me as well because I want to be able to make as tight and accurate joinery as possible.
I suppose the overall questions here are: If I build the top myself am I likely to get a top that is as flat as a commercially available top when we consider that I would likely laminate 2 pieces of MDF together for thickness/rigidity and then laminate a synthetic surface (formica?) to that for ease of moving stock across the table? Are there too many variables in this type of construction to end up with a superbely flat table?
Your input is appreciated.