I decided to recycle an old snooker table I got when I was a kid. It was sitting in my Dad's garage up against the wall for years and was going to get thrown out. I wanted to create a fun table for my kids to play with and I liked the idea that it was created from something that I had played with when I was a kid.
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Step 1: Starting Point
I started with an old snooker table. It was approximately 8' X 4' in size. The frame underneath and folding legs were in good condition but it was too big for the area I had available.
Step 2: Step 2: Prep
I removed all to pockets and the cushions. I removed any staples or nails that could damage my saw. I cleaned the felt with a brush and lint removal roller. I then removed to felt and turned the table over. I used the frame as a guide and cut the table to the length and width suitable. I wasn't too exact, I just made sure the train track would fit once connected.
Step 3: Step 3: Re-felting the Table.
I used the same felt that was on the table originally. It was still in ok condition and again, I liked that it was the same table I had when I was a kid. I made sure it was centered and using a staple gun, I started to fix the felt to the table on one side. I then stretched it across the table and stapled it again on the other. I alternated each side every two staples to make sure it was nice and flat without any creases.
Step 4: Step 4: Layout.
I then got all the track we had along with the new sets I bought for this project. The original track was from IKEA. The new sections which consisted of an airport tower, the dockland crane, the train station, the car park and the plastic rock bridge section I got from LIDL. I had planned to make most of it like the car park, but they are well made and I couldn't have made them for even close to the price I paid for them. I laid the track out to fit in as much as I could. I worked out where to have the dock-land so the lads could move the containers from the boat to the train. I made sure there was enough space for the airport runway and I wanted to create an off-road section too.
Step 5: Step 5: Painting
I bought acrylic paint so I could paint the felt. It took about three coats of paint to cover the green felt properly. I got the paint from a local Art and Hobby shop, www.getcreative.ie. I figured blue, green, red, black and white would cover all my needs and I could mix them to get whichever results I wanted. I painted the runway and the roads and the "sea". Once they were dry, I painted the road markings on them.
Step 6: Step 6: Fixing the Track
I used a nail gun with small pins to fix the track to the table. I did this as I want to be able to fold the table up and leave it against the wall if we need the space. I only put one pin in each section in case the boys decide they want to change the layout.
Step 7: Step 7: the Off-road Section
I got modeling clay from Get Creative.ie. I had nails that are a '7' shape and put them 1/2 into the table. I then placed the clay where I wanted it. I did this so that it was anchored to the table more than just stuck to the felt. I got one of the toy jeeps and made a track through the clay. I made an area for a small river. It took a few days to dry, I then painted it green and blue where required. I made brown paint and painted the track marks for their jeeps.
Step 8: Step 8: the Big Reveal!
Then the best bit, I got to show it to my kids. I have three boys, a 4 yr old, a three year old and 5 month old. They were delighted with it and have played endlessly with it.