Introduction: Table Top Gaming Table Top

Picture of Table Top Gaming Table Top

I built a 37 1/2' x 37 1/2' gaming table top, this is to be used for Miniature Games, Board Games, and anything that might require having to move it out of the way to use the table for meals.

One piece of furniture that I would love to get / make is a gaming table that can double as a dinning room table or coffee table. So in the mean time I built a Table Top Gaming Table Top, this a portable table top that games can be set up on and carefully moved out of the way and set a side. I figured that I could do this using the tools that I have and make it look rather nice if I took my time. I think it turned out alright, and I can't wait to use it to play some Games!

Step 1: So You Want to Build a Table Top Gaming Table Top

Picture of So You Want to Build a Table Top Gaming Table Top

What was used for this project was:

Tools:

Miter Box w/ Saw
Cordless Drill
Screw Driver Attachment
3/8 Wood Paddle Bit
3/32 Drill Bit
Carpenters Square
2X 3inch Clamps
Tape Measure
Pencil
Hammer

Materials:

2X 1"x2"x8' Poppler
1X 1"x2"x8' Pine
1X 1"x4"x6' Pine
1X 1/4"x4"x8' Sheet (I had it cut at the Hardware Store 2X 37'x37' pieces plus the end cuts)
Box of wood Screws
Box of oak 3/8 plugs
Sand paper 100, 150. 220 Grit
Wood Glue
Wood Stain in Sealer
Tack Cloth
M77 Spray adhesive
Felt 38'x60' (should have enough to make two)

Step 2: M77 Spray Adhesive (the Good Stuff)

Picture of M77 Spray Adhesive (the Good Stuff)

The first big part of the project was adhering the felt to the 1/4" sheet, I did this first so that I could then take my measurements from that to make the framing. The big thing was first rolling the felt and then spraying in little sections at a time. I first sprayed one edge and placed the rolled felt down pulled it tight and then smoothed it out with my hand. I waited about 30 seconds after I sprayed the adhesive for it to get tacky, that seemed to work best.

Step 3: Gluing Down the Corners of the Felt

Picture of Gluing Down the Corners of the Felt

When gluing down the corners of the felt I cut the end to square it off, and then folded one side over, then the other side over the first. This left a tail on the corner ends. I later went back after the glue had dried and cut the end off flush.

The trick was to again spray the glue down and wait till it started to get tacky. Once tacky it held the felt in place when rolling the felt over the edges keep it pulled tight this will help to keep it smooth.

Step 4: Measure Twice Cut Once.

Picture of Measure Twice Cut Once.

At this point the glue on the felt is drying, and the ends will be cut flush soon.

Measured the Board with the pieces of on each end to get a close proximity of the length. 39 1/2 " That measurement was consistent throughout the piece.

1. Double Check Measurements
2. Cut four pieces 40"

I cut them long for the next step.

Step 5: Cut the Pieces to the Correct Size

Picture of Cut the Pieces to the Correct Size

Once I had the four pieces cut:

1. Clapped all the pieces together (making one end flush)
2. Measuring 39 1/2"
3. Using the Carpenters Square to make a line
4. Placing in the Miter box to cut all the pieces together

Step 6: Cut Out the Notches for the Ends

Picture of Cut Out the Notches for the Ends

When cutting the notches out for the ends of the frame.

1. measure the area that would be cut out, it ended up being a 3/4 inch section
2. marked the area that needed to be removed with an X (I did this on all the pieces before I made any cuts)
3. use the miter box to make the first cut on the horizontal (I also kept all the pieces before clamped together)
4. Then cut the vertical sections out

After both ends are cut out it is time to sand them a little.

Step 7: Build the Frame

Picture of Build the Frame

To Build the Frame:

1. us the carpenters square to get a 90 degree angle on the corner
2. clamp the pieces in place
3. with a sharpie mark on the drill bit the depth to be drilled
4. drill holes
5. repeat for each corner and support pieces

Step 8: Glue in Plugs

Picture of Glue in Plugs

For the end plugs:

1. put a drop of wood glue in each hole
2. us a quetip to spread the glue around the hole
3. place plug in hole and tap into place with a hammer
4. with a wet paper towel wipe off any glue that may come out of the hole after the plug has been tapped into place
5. continue 1-4 till all holes are plugged
6. once glue drys (I waited 2 days) sand smooth

I used the Oak plugs to give it a contrasting look to the finished look. If you don't want to us wood plugs, you could easily just counter sink the screws or us wood filler to cover up the holes.

Step 9: Dry Fit, Then Attach Board to Frame

Picture of Dry Fit, Then Attach Board to Frame

Dry fit the board to the frame:

1. place the board in the frame
2. so long as it fits then you can finish the frame however you feel fit
3. once you have finished the frame place the board back in it and screw it to the frame


I stained the frame with a stain and seal product.

Step 10: Enjoy!!!

Picture of Enjoy!!!

I have used the board a couple of times now, mostly for Games of X-wing. But it will see more use for board games in the future.

I think with the next one I build I'll use black felt instead of grey.

Comments

dawdy_2010 (author)2015-04-09

I made a little change off the original design and added a hinge for easier storage and transport. It turned out great! Awesome instructable :D

jac61 (author)2014-12-24

this looks great. quick question: how did you attach the felt game board to the frame ... especially since the board is only 1/4+ thick?

C Unrath (author)jac612015-01-05

Here is a photo of the back of the board which show how I framed the back of it. I am going to have to add this image to the Instructable, I totally got caught up in the project and missed that information.

Thanks

dforeback (author)2014-12-21

I usually use my 4' square art table to game on when I am table top gaming with my friends, but will definitely see if my GF will allow me to put one of these on her table...LOL

noel0leon (author)2014-12-11

That is perfect for Catan! Well made table sir. Do you think it would be good to have a cover so you can safely keep unfinished games

Also, I think the grey looks better than black.

C Unrath (author)noel0leon2014-12-13

I have now played a couple of miniature games on board and the grey has an "Urban" look to it that I like!

loki.lanterman (author)2014-12-13

Nice project. My family has been using a similar game / puzzle board for years. A couple of things you might consider for the Mk 2 version are silicone feet, and using automotive headliner (found at most fabric stores) instead of felt for the surface. The silicone feet keep it from sliding around or scratching the nice dining room table. Automotive headliner normally cheaper than felt and a bit more durable. It also typically has a bit of foam backing so it has a squishy feel (a plus for poker tables, maybe not so much for miniatures gameplay).

C Unrath (author)loki.lanterman2014-12-13

Hmm. Something to think about, I'll have to check it out for sure... Thanks

Tangski (author)2014-12-11

Very nice project. I liked the dowel ends. However, I would make a change with the metal clamps and use the ones for wood instead as they don't mark or 'dimple' the wood surface. To get a good grip with the ones you used, put a thin piece of wood between the clamp and the surface and that will prevent making or dimpling the good wood you are working with. Some don't know that you can mark up the surface with the metal working C clamps:) Also, get a very 'dense' felt material (does not mean heavy, just denser fiber) for the surface as that will last a lot longer, like the kind they also use for pool tables, and it does not have to be expensive. An upholstering trick for corners: fold up the material first on the point, not the sides, then fold one side up, then the next . It makes a nice finished end and a nice triangle edge. Nothing to trim if you allow just enough material to fold over the edges (about an inch), material is naturally folded under, and it looks great!

Nice project and useful for schools and nature centres too! They will LOVE YOU!

C Unrath (author)Tangski2014-12-11

I am hoping that Santa with bring me a new set of clamps!

Tangski (author)C Unrath2014-12-11

Good stuff!! Hey a guy needs new bling toys to use too!! Lol
Cheers and have a great Christmas!

fasteddy999 (author)2014-12-11

Nice build I think I will make a cover for my dining table for poker games.

C Unrath (author)fasteddy9992014-12-11

That will will be cool

mikeasaurus (author)2014-12-06

That looks great! I could have used a gaming table like this in my old college house, we played endless tabletop games on a crummy fold-up table.

I actually like the grey felt. maybe you can make a reversible cover with grey on one side and black on the other? Might open up new possibilities for your gaming surface.

C Unrath (author)mikeasaurus2014-12-06

I was thinking about that, Maybe for the Mark 3...

Fieldownage (author)C Unrath2014-12-11

Here's an even better idea: look up a suitable picture from European Southern Observatory's vast image bank (they've got tons of stuff of really impressive quality, http://www.eso.org/public/images/), and get one printed on a good quality paper (or cardboard, etc.) and use that for the 'black' side? I was thinking about doing something similar, and I think this 'Ible will finally get me to actually make one ;)

C Unrath (author)Fieldownage2014-12-11

Awesome I'll be totally checking that out!

Jobar007 (author)mikeasaurus2014-12-10

I was thinking black and green (stars and grass). It would go well with the X-Wing and Crimson Sky (just to name a couple of dog fighting games).

teufelaffe (author)2014-12-11

Nice to see a fellow Rivet Wars backer. :)

C Unrath (author)teufelaffe2014-12-11

glad to see I am not the only person playing Rivet Wars...

mikecz (author)2014-12-11

This looks nice for some types of games & card playing. Somewhere the guy whose house we usually RPG at found a 3 foot by 6 foot whiteboard designed for scheduling. This thing has 1" squares etched into the surface (NEVER wears out or wipes off). The GM can easily draw floor plans for the scenario, he and the players set up our miniatures, and we're off to having some more bad guys "adventured on" (as we call it!) This board just lays on his dining room table on game nights. We mostly have been playing the Pathfinder variant of D&D recently but played older D&D, Star Wars, D20 Modern, VTM, etc, on this board. If you can get a deal on one I HIGHLY recommend you snag one of these for any gaming that involves miniatures.

C Unrath (author)mikecz2014-12-11

Cool idea, I'll have to keep my eye open for a White board at a thrift shop.

grapenut (author)2014-12-11

Suggestion: Put some kind of picture or artwork on the reverse side and display/hang it on the wall when not in use...

C Unrath (author)grapenut2014-12-11

Not a bad idea, right now it is stashed on the wall under my drafting table.

CEVMarauder (author)2014-12-11

I think you'll find that black quickly begins to look lousy and is impossible to keep clean--anything that isn't black will stand out in stark contrast. Dust, paint flecks, paper bits, etc will all be glaringly visible. The mottled gray was a good call.

Unless, of course, you're looking for an excuse to not invite "That Guy" with the questionable hygiene and noticeable dandruff to gaming night. Then black would be a great color.

C Unrath (author)CEVMarauder2014-12-11

Ha Ha, I think every gaming group has a "that guy" in it

Jobar007 (author)2014-12-10

Why 37" square? Seems a bit like an odd measurement to decide on.

C Unrath (author)Jobar0072014-12-10

I did 37" square because a typical X-Wing game is played on a 36" x 36"

Jobar007 (author)C Unrath2014-12-11

Thanks!

christy.ray.148 (author)2014-12-09

Awesome sause! My husband and I are tabletop gamers and needed something we could set up quickly on a Saturday night without pulling computers off tables. We are so trying this out.

C Unrath (author)christy.ray.1482014-12-09

Cool, hope it works out for you guys! post a picture of yours when you get it finished I would love to see it. For me Wood Filler was my saving grace on the corners...

thedustycelt (author)2014-12-08

I really like your simple corner joints, good job.

C Unrath (author)thedustycelt2014-12-08

Thanks, I figured that they would look nice, and they ended up turning out looking pretty good. I would love to get a router and make a Dove Tail ends on the corners

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