This is a project I have had in my mind for years. I saw a large touch screen version of Fruit Ninja at an arcade recently and thought it was something I definitely needed to make. I came across some instructable articles also and I decided to finally give it a shot. My kids also use ABC Mouse online a lot, which is easily used with a touchscreen. So I figured I would make a large table in my living room for family usage. I was torn between using a 32" screen and a 40". I finally settled on the 40" when I found an inexpensive refurbished tv on Groupon. I then found a touchscreen overlay online and figured this would be an affordable project. I already had a computer to use with the system but probably could have gotten away with a stick pc for basic operations. However, more intense games would definitely need a faster processor.

When I started planning out the table, my 6 year old said that the table needed to lift up. So I figured I had to ad that feature, which I think made my table unique and different from the other tables here on instructables. So here are my steps for making my table.

Item List:

Samsung 40" UN40H5103AFXZP (Refurbished) from www.Groupon.com

40" 20 point touchscreen overlay from www.aliexpress.com

20x35 Clear Acrylic Sheet, .090" Thick www.amazon.com

Dell Optiplex 7040 I7-6700T 2.8ghz 256GB SSD 8GB RAM (Refurbished) www.amazon.com

TP-Link AC600 Wifi adapterwww.amazon.com

USB-UIRT (USB IR Transmitter)

OREI 1x2 HDMI Splitterwww.amazon.com

60 inch-pound Lid-Stay Torsion Hinge www.amazon.com

Lid Stay 105 Degree Open With Soft Close www.amazon.com

5.5" x 0.75" Select pine

3.5" x 0.75" Select pine

Step 1: Table Top Constuction

I started by making the top first. I cut the 5.5" wide pieces to the size of the monitor and taped it together to get a good sense of the size and cut.
I made 45 degree cuts on the ends and assembled it like a picture frame. I am not an experienced wood worker and in hindsight I think it might have been more sturdy if I would have made straight cuts. I am not too sure, but if I were to make another table in the future I might try the other way.

I routed a little more than .5" off of the inner lip of the top so that the tv and touchscreen overlay would sit closer to the top of the table. It also gives a nice pocket for the screen to sit in when the table is elevated.

Next, I made the tv support using 1.5" pieces of wood, L brackets, screws and wing nuts. This way I am able to remove the tv as needed for repairs or upgrades.

Step 2: Table Base Construction

The base was made using the 5.5" boards for the main support and the 3.5" boards for the legs. I used a jig to make angled holes for the screws which I think worked well for base support. After making the base, I added the legs and left 1" of space from the top of the base to fit the top when it sits on it.

Step 3: Wood Stain

For the coating, I used Varathane Stain + Poly light walnut. This shade matched my entertainment in the livingroom and I was pretty happy with it. It definitely needed multiple coats. The second coat seemed to make a lot of difference. I let the stain dry overnight before I began assembly.

Step 4: Assembly

I attached the top to the base using the 60 pound torsion hinges. These did a pretty good job holding up the top and making it stay upright. Unfortunately I have little kids who love to push on this, especially the screen, and so the top would naturally come down. So I added the soft close lid stays which helped. For future builds, I would probably look into hydraulic lifts or some sort of motorized lift. For now I use a stick to keep it in place against the pressure of 3 overly excited boys hitting the screen.

I used L brackets to add support to the corners of the top since it takes the bulk of the stress when it is being lifted.

When I installed the tv, I placed a thin piece of acrylic in between the touchscreen overlay and the tv screen using double stick tape. This protects the tv screen and also protects against spills. It cleans off easily with wipes and paper towels.

Step 5: Configuration

For the PC, I originally used an old Toshiba I5 laptop I had. The system initially worked great, but the laptop had overheating issues so I swapped it out with a refurbished Dell Optiplex I7.

I am running Windows 10 Pro on a i7 2.8ghz processor with 8GB RAM. I loaded Bluestacks on the PC and was able to run most of my android apps on it as well.

I attached the tv remote with Velcro on the side leg. The pc is always running and pushing power on the remote when it is attached to the leg triggers the ir receiver on the tv. I also attached a USB-UIRT and loaded my TV, Stereo and XBox remote control functions into the Eventghost software. On my Windows home screen, I created buttons to turn on my entertainment unit and house lights (using zwave switches and a Micasa Verde hub.)

Here is a link to how I made the Zwave and IR buttons on the Start screen.


Step 6: Upgrades

My wires got a little crazy as I kept adding different components to allow my table to do more. I am looking into replacing and shortening some of the wires, now that I know how much to get.

Once I swapped out the PC I used the HDMI and the DVI out and ran one to the table tv and the other to my main livingroom tv. I loaded the KODI movie database software and can send videos on my tablet table to the big screen as well. This was a great addition as it allowed my kids to easily select their favorite programs and play them on the big tv or my projector (which is coming soon).

Step 7: Final Costs

So someone asked me in the questions below, how much this project costs. So I figured I would post the answer here as well.

I made several different upgrades and changes during the process. So here are two prices. A full break down of my actual costs and a rebuild cost (if I were to make it again knowing what I learned the first time.)

Actual costs
Overlay $250 (for 20 point touch, could save $ by using a 10 point touch)

40" tv $235 (refurbished Samsung, I was considering a 32")

Computer $0 (I already had one)

Wifi adapter $25 (pc didn't have one installed)

USB speakers $10 (Amazon speakers, could save $ by using tv speakers)

Wood $110 (2 trips back to home depot for redesign)

Wood stain $40 (bought 2 cans, wasn't happy with the first color I bought)

Power strip $10 Cables $0 (Already had cables lying around)

Keyboard $0 (already had one)

Torsion hinges x2 $40 (next time would probably add a 3rd hinge)

Soft close hinge $40 (not sure how much these helped)

Total project $760

Project if built from scratch (Rebuild)

Overlay $120 (10 point)

40" tv $235 (refurbished Samsung)

Computer $120 (PC stick works, I tried it on a smaller test system)

Wifi adapter $0 (comes with PC stick)

Speakers $0 (The tv speakers sound pretty good using HDMI)

Wood $50 (Better planning on design)

Wood stain $20 (Apparently you can buy samples at Home Depot)

Power strip $10 Cables $6 (HDMI)

Keyboard $30 (Logitech Wireless, could always buy a cheaper one, but these are my favorite)

Torsion hinges x3 $60

Total project $651

So as you can see my costs weren't that far off. My original goal was to spend around $5-600, but due to a couple of unforeseen changes it went up a little. Still, anything under $800 for a build like this is a reasonable price since something like this costs around $2000 on the commercial market. I am tempted to build a smaller 32" version that doesn't lift up. My guess is it would cost me around $550. Most expensive part being the tv.

<p>Hi ihicks16,</p><p>Really nice project!!<br>As I understand, the touch screen is at the top in your setup, and then comes the acrylic sheet and then the TV. <br>I haven't worked with touch panels yet, so I don't know how durable they are.<br>Is it possible to use the table as a regular coffee table? I mean putting some glasses and bowls on it occasionally, surviving some spill accidents, etc.<br>Would the panel be able to detect touch signals if the acrylic sheet is on top of it and not under it?</p>
<p>Thanks for your question. The way the touch overlay works is that it uses IR LEDs that create an invisible IR grid. When the light pattern is broken, it interprets it as a touch point. The light plane that the overlay creates has to be crossed in order for it to work, so therefore the acrylic can only go underneath it. Certain companies on <a href="http://www.aliexpress.com" rel="nofollow"> www.aliexpress.com </a>make a water resistant overlay. When you attach the overlay to the acrylic, if you create a water tight seal between the two you could essentially make it water proof and therefore protect the tv from spills. However since the overlay reacts to anything that breaks its light plane, then I wouldn't recommend setting drinks on it as it would activate what ever corresponding points it triggers on your computer. </p><p>My table has survived minor spills and food, but I try to keep the kids food and drinks away from the table. If you wanted to use this design to accommodate food, I would recommend having a removable acrylic sheet on top of it. It would of course need to be removed when you want to use the touch screen. </p><p>Another option is to create a table with a rear projection system and a camera system to track your touch points. Check out this great instructables link for the design. </p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-a-Multi-Touch-surface/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-a-Mu...</a></p><p>It is more complicated than my design, but can more easily be used as a regular table. </p><p>I hope this helps, and thanks for taking the time to review my page. </p>
<p>Thank you for your thorough answer! I will checkout the other instructable too. </p>
<p>What was the total cost?</p>
<p>That is a tricky question as I made several different upgrades and changes during the process. So I will give you two prices. A full break down of my actual costs and a rebuild cost (if I were to make it again knowing what I learned the first time.)</p><p><strong>Actual costs </strong></p><p>Overlay $250 (for 20 point touch, could save $ by using a 10 point touch)</p><p>40&quot; tv $235 (refurbished Samsung, I was considering a 32&quot;)</p><p>Computer $0 (I already had one)</p><p>Wifi adapter $25 (pc didn't have one installed)</p><p>USB speakers $10 (Amazon speakers, could save $ by using tv speakers)</p><p>Wood $110 (2 trips back to home depot for redesign)</p><p>Wood stain $40 (bought 2 cans, wasn't happy with the first color I bought)</p><p>Power strip $10</p><p>Cables $0 (Already had cables lying around)</p><p>Keyboard $0 (already had one)</p><p>Torsion hinges x2 $40 (next time would probably add a 3rd hinge) </p><p>Soft close hinge $40 (not sure how much these helped)</p><p><strong>Total project $760</strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>Project if built from scratch (Rebuild)</strong></p><p>Overlay $120 (10 point)</p><p>40&quot; tv $235 (refurbished Samsung) </p><p>Computer $120 (PC stick works, I tried it on a smaller test system)</p><p>Wifi adapter $0 (comes with PC stick)</p><p>Speakers $0 (The tv speakers sound pretty good using HDMI)</p><p>Wood $50 (Better planning on design)</p><p>Wood stain $20 (Apparently you can buy samples at Home Depot)</p><p>Power strip $10</p><p>Cables $6 (HDMI)</p><p>Keyboard $30 (Logitech Wireless, could always buy a cheaper one, but these are my favorite)</p><p>Torsion hinges x3 $60</p><p><strong>Total project $651</strong></p><p>So as you can see my costs weren't that far off. My original goal was to spend around $5-600, but due to a couple of unforeseen changes it went up a little. Still, anything under $800 for a build like this is a reasonable price since something like this costs around $2000 on the commercial market. I am tempted to build a smaller 32&quot; version that doesn't lift up. My guess is it would cost me around $550. Most expensive part being the tv. </p>
<p>Would an old Ibook G4 work?</p>
<p>I would say probably not. While the touch screen overlay does not use much processing power, the old Ibooks weren't setup for touch screen use so you may have a hard time getting the drivers for the overlay to work. Newer systems come with pre-installed generic drivers and are better designed for touch support. There are cheap computers out there that use 3x more processing power than the old G4s. I recommend looking for one of those. </p><p>But with that said, if you get committed to this type of project, I would budget for a newer system, but older the overlay first and try it on the G4. If it works, then you just saved some money, and if not, at least you budgeted for it. Good luck. </p>
Would an Apple TV work?
Yes it would.. I made it using apple TV..
Excellent. Well please share your experience on here. I am sure Victoriagirl1203 and many others would love to hear about it.
As far as making the table an apple tv, it may not be able to utilize this touch screens drivers. The manufacturer states it works with windows and android. There may be a way to control an apple tv using windows. However I don't own an Apple Tv so I wouldn't know. Sorry.
<p>Hi,</p><p>how did you create buttons on Windows home screen to turn on entertainment unit and house lights?</p><p>What is that aquarium? What software does this? </p>
For buttons take a cheese cube, divide it in the four parts and attach it with the wires..<br>
<p>Interesting approach!</p>
<p>Here is the instructable I made about the buttons. </p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-EXE-Buttons-in-Windows" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-EXE-B...</a></p>
<p>Thanks a lot.</p>
<p>To make the buttons I made an EXE file that simply opened then closed. </p><p><a href="https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-make-exe-files-using-notepad" rel="nofollow">https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-make-exe...</a></p><p>Using the program Eventghost it can monitor programs and events on a computer and when a specific program is run it can trigger a specific event. </p><p><a href="http://www.eventghost.com" rel="nofollow">www.eventghost.com</a></p><p>To put the program on the start screen I just pinned the exe file to the start menu. You can make Icons for files using a program called Resource Hacker. </p><p><a href="http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/" rel="nofollow">http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/</a></p><p>I will probably make an instructable about these butttons very soon. I will post the link here when I do. </p><p>As for the aquarium, that is the old Windows 7 touch pack </p><p><a href="http://download.cnet.com/Microsoft-Touch-Pack-for-Windows-7/3000-20432_4-75181931.html" rel="nofollow">http://download.cnet.com/Microsoft-Touch-Pack-for-...</a></p>
It was very nice... you are my lord, king, heaven, god, sir, etc for me.....
<p>Well thank you very much? :)</p>
<p>woov. harika</p>
<p>Thank you or Teşekk&uuml;r ederim. (Confession: I used a Turkish translator.) :) </p>
Hi there, I'm not an experienced wood worker much either but I figured I'd offer my two cents with the joints.<br><br>If you'd like something stronger than simple butt joints you could half lap joints, they give you the butt joint look but more surface area for glue, which would make it stronger. You could also go with a mitered half lap joint which would give you the half lap joints strength with the look of a standard miter joint. If you just google them you should get some images to give you the gist of what they look like and how they work. ;) nice job
<p>Thank you for the info. I just checked those out and that does seem like a more sturdy option. I would definitely consider that on my next woodworking project. </p><p>Thanks for taking the time to view my page. </p>
<p>Nice job, enjoy this cool device.</p>
<p>Thank you. My kids love this, but fight over it all the time. I might need to make another. :) </p>
<p>This looks amazing. It would be great to set this up with Chrome Cast to act as a TV controller.</p>
Yes that is a good idea and would probably work well. I use it as a tv controller using a USB IR Transmitter installef under the table pointing at my entertainment center. It also controls devices over wifi. Thanks for taking the time to view my project.

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