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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Do It Yourself

Subject: Dirt cheap gaming table overlay that is still effective? rss

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Michael Bacon
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Farmington
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I want to make something like this as cheaply as possible:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1523155/gaming-overlay-alte...

The goal is to be able to move the surface from one table to another (or to the floor) in order to move the game out of the way in order to eat dinner.

I was thinking of using these materials instead. What suggestions for improvement do you have?:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Columbia-Forest-Products-1-4-in-x...

The surface would be either this very cheap yoga mat: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B011E01V34/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_...

or this shelf liner:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B001SO2KI2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_...

Also, is 4 feet x 2 feet big enough? We'd want to play Claustrophobia, Agricola, and Fields of Arle.


What spray adhesive would you recommend? Or would you recommend stapling instead, perhaps?
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Mike Esko
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White Haven
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maybe just buy a large cork board. you could always remove the backing and felt it.

don't use staples on top, it will scratch the backs of cards. tack the fabric around the back like you would do with upholstry..

You may not even need to do fabric though.. you could probably just use the cork board.



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Darren
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If you use a jersey covered neoprene you won't need to spray or staple it as it will just stay put via gravity. It is also much easier to clean since you can pull it out and wash it and/or vacuum it. You could also pull the neoprene out of the topper and use it directly on the table if you ever had the inkling to do so. It's way more versatile than building something directly into the table topper that can never be pulled out. It may cost a little bit more (maybe not considering you have to buy glue, underlay, and fabric) but the long term time savings on keeping it clean and its versatility is worth it. You also live in the states so you can get it fairly cheap compared to the rest of the world.
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David Allen
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La Canada Flintridge
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I just finished spending way too much time retrofitting an IKEA table as a game table, but I have been thinking about something like this as a quick alternative for setting up and taking down games.

My initial thought is start with the flat surface of your choice (plywood, OSB, tagboard, MDF--more on this later) cut to the following dimensions: [3.25" + 36" + 3.25"] x [3.25" + 48" + 3.25"]. This will mean buying 1 48" x 96" sheet of whatever you choose and having them cut it down at Lowe's or Home Depot (preferably not) or whatever. The reason I have shown the numbers this way is to give you a 3'x4' play surface with room for a baseboard moulding frame all the way around. Baseboard can range from 2" high (or wide, in this application) to 4" or 5". Find a style you think you'd be comfortable with and factor its height into the total dimensions of your board.

Then buy enough floor (baseboard) moulding to go all the way around the perimeter of the game board as a leaning ledge, dice barrier, etc. You can spend as much or as little money and time as you want on this, from cheap pre-primed MDF to fancy oak or cherry that you will need to sand and stain yourself.

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Search/N-5yc1vZara1/Ntk-Extended/... (but get it somewhere else)

Make sure the flat edge of the baseboard is facing the interior. Cut mitered corners with a cheap miter box or borrow someone's chop saw if you don't have one. Glue and/or nail it down.

Drop your neoprene sheet (or yoga mat) into the middle, put some felt pads on the underside of the whole thing so you don't scratch up whatever you're putting it on, and done.

The issue with anything like this is the compromise between weight, size, and stability. A nice big piece of 3/4" birch plywood will be smooth and stable but heavy as hell and expensive to boot. Tagboard or MDF will be cheaper and possibly lighter but also wobbly, at least at these sizes. It's possible that using something like extruded aluminum C-shaped rails as an edge might help with warping and stability but I don't know.

The bigger and heavier the thing is, the better it's going to be for your game experience, most likely. But that also dramatically ramps up the pain in the ass factor. It all depends on money and space available, I guess.

I have tools and time but not much money or space, so if I do this I will probably buy a sheet of OSB, at least 1/2" thick, some unpainted pine baseboard moulding, and wait for neoprene to go on sale sometime.
 
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Michael Bacon
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Darren: I'm seeing prices of $65 and up for that much neoprene, which does seem fairly expensive. All good points though. You may be right.
 
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Michael Bacon
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mdeck86 wrote:
maybe just buy a large cork board. you could always remove the backing and felt it.

don't use staples on top, it will scratch the backs of cards. tack the fabric around the back like you would do with upholstry..

You may not even need to do fabric though.. you could probably just use the cork board.





Very clever. They seem a bit expensive compared to my plan though. I'll look around and see if I can find one of this size less expensively: https://smile.amazon.com/Quartet-Bulletin-Corkboard-Finish-3...
 
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Michael Bacon
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Habilis wrote:


Then buy enough floor (baseboard) moulding to go all the way around the perimeter of the game board as a leaning ledge, dice barrier, etc.

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Search/N-5yc1vZara1/Ntk-Extended/... (but get it somewhere else)

I have tools and time but not much money or space, so if I do this I will probably buy a sheet of OSB, at least 1/2" thick, some unpainted pine baseboard moulding, and wait for neoprene to go on sale sometime.


Thanks for the detailed response! I have some questions.

What do you mean by leaning ledge? I see why that would be cool to prevent dice from escaping. I'll probably just use a dice tray for that though.

Why do you prefer OSB to http://www.homedepot.com/p/Columbia-Forest-Products-1-4-in-x... ?

Why should I avoid buying at Lowe's?
 
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David Allen
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valzi wrote:


What do you mean by leaning ledge? I see why that would be cool to prevent dice from escaping. I'll probably just use a dice tray for that though.


The ledge around the play surface is useful for leaning on, or if you want to use tools to cut in dice trays or card-holding grooves or drinkholders, etc. Essentially the lo-fi version of one of those fancy GeekChic game tables.

valzi wrote:


I don't have any experience with that product. I think the only thing I would say is that after about 18", I would imagine it would be a bit wobbly. Not a major concern if it is resting flat on a table. But the same caveat applies to any material less than 1/2" thick.
valzi wrote:

Why should I avoid buying at Lowe's?


It's actually Home Depot with which I have a problem. We are not supposed to get political in these posts so I will merely state that the CEO of Home Depot made some political statements and endorsements that I vehemently disagree with.
 
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