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Subject: Build a Gaming Table for $150! rss

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Bum Kim
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So here is my old table that I made which is a double-sided table topper so I can take it down and put it away easily when not in use:




It worked fine but since implementing a TV for D&D maps, I have gotten tired of placing and removing the TV on the table. Click HERE for using a TV for D&D.

So I decided to upgrade to a new table. Since I didn't take my table down that often, I decided to make it a permanent fixture. Also, I wanted to make it on the cheap -- possibly for under $200. Mine ended up being $250 when all was said and done but you can definitely make it for $100 less than that if you drop a couple of options. (See the shop list to see how to lower the budget.)

I saw a lot of examples of DIY gaming tables but a lack of any plans so I decided to record everything to make available to other gamers. I'll have links after the photos. I thought about following other designs with having a flip-down writing area but I realized we would never really flip them up so I decided to just have a wider border area to begin with. Finally, since my old table was big enough as a 4x4, I kept the same dimensions for the center.





The great thing is that I can keep one leaf in for all my DM stuff:





Also, there are outlets on all four sides:


Link for plans:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bwy2Jq8PcrmbQkdHVTczZm4wZD...

Link for shop list:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwy2Jq8PcrmbQkVIWWh5OVBSWlU...

Also, I made a How-To video but this is only necessary for those that have little to no building knowledge.

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Mark Gage
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This could be the first post to collect a billion thumbs up.
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Steve R Bullock
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Looks better than my sheet of plywood on two work benches...

But just barely.

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Jerrod Warr
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We have a new Geek Chic in the making; very nice!
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Darren
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Nice job! I just added you to the Table List: Game Table Design Series: Completed BGG Game Tables

One comment is about your electrical. Not using boxes to surround your plugs could be a fire hazard let alone the shock hazard. If any of your wires become loose (for whatever reason), they can spark/heat up due to the higher resistance when power is drawn from them. This can cause some smoldering as the plastic heats up and melts. If it is surrounded by a metal box, this is about all that will happen as the metal will contain the fire/heat and not burn but you will smell it and can act on it before any further damage happens. A metal box also gives you a safe place to ground all your wires without having to double wire a single screw. Right now, if you get any smoldering, the plastic insulation/electrical tape will melt/catch fire, and then the next nearest thing - your wooden table - will ignite. This could potentially bring the whole house down if you are not around when it happens and I'm not sure if insurance would cover it in this case due to the improper wiring. I think you should really look into tweaking your table to use metal boxes for holding the electrical components just for your safety.

When using electrical boxes, the wire should also be held to the box by some sort of clamp. This prevents loose wires by someone yanking on the external 14-2 wire which will potentially pull the wires out of the back of the plug. Your blue box is suspect of this right now I think. I haven't used a box like that before but I expected to see some sort of mechanism to hold the wire to the box which I did not see in your video. Right now someone could reach underneath the table, grab the 14-2 wire and pull which could yank/loosen the wires in the back of the plug creating a fire hazard.

Sorry about the criticism but it's for your own safety!

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Tom McThorn
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The bottle opener is the best feature of the table!
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Bum Kim
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Kaiyoot wrote:
Nice job! I just added you to the Table List: Game Table Design Series: Completed BGG Game Tables

One comment is about your electrical. Not using boxes to surround your plugs could be a fire hazard let alone the shock hazard. If any of your wires become loose (for whatever reason), they can spark/heat up due to the higher resistance when power is drawn from them. This can cause some smoldering as the plastic heats up and melts. If it is surrounded by a metal box, this is about all that will happen as the metal will contain the fire/heat and not burn but you will smell it and can act on it before any further damage happens. A metal box also gives you a safe place to ground all your wires without having to double wire a single screw. Right now, if you get any smoldering, the plastic insulation/electrical tape will melt/catch fire, and then the next nearest thing - your wooden table - will ignite. This could potentially bring the whole house down if you are not around when it happens and I'm not sure if insurance would cover it in this case due to the improper wiring. I think you should really look into tweaking your table to use metal boxes for holding the electrical components just for your safety.

When using electrical boxes, the wire should also be held to the box by some sort of clamp. This prevents loose wires by someone yanking on the external 14-2 wire which will potentially pull the wires out of the back of the plug. Your blue box is suspect of this right now I think. I haven't used a box like that before but I expected to see some sort of mechanism to hold the wire to the box which I did not see in your video. Right now someone could reach underneath the table, grab the 14-2 wire and pull which could yank/loosen the wires in the back of the plug creating a fire hazard.

Sorry about the criticism but it's for your own safety!



Yes, Darren is right. I should have used boxes around the receptacles, especially since they are dirt cheap. Code is to have staples within 12" of the box to prevent wires from being pulled out.
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Christopher Meyer
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Awesome job! I have been wanting to build a game table and your plans will be a big help!

Thank you for sharing.
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John Bradshaw
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Damn! I must stop subscribing to DIY threads. This sort of awesomeness merely serves to confirm my own inadequacy. Brilliant job!

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Ryan N

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Great table, I would live to do something similar! Maybe in our next house. . .

In 20/20 hindsight, are there any changes or dimensional tweaks you would make to this design with respect to things like height, leg room, cup holder locations, etc?
 
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Jeff Mosbaugh
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What is that glossy center area? A tablet or dry erase board? Or a tv mounted and hooked up to a laptop? I can't tell from the plans...

 
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Bum Kim
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BubbatheBarbarian wrote:
Great table, I would live to do something similar! Maybe in our next house. . .

In 20/20 hindsight, are there any changes or dimensional tweaks you would make to this design with respect to things like height, leg room, cup holder locations, etc?

Like I mentioned in the video at 37:45, I would make a 45 degree cut-off on each end of the 2x4 support beams so that knees aren't banging into them. Other than that, I wouldn't make any dimensional changes. The 5.5" wide edges are plenty for people to write on their sheets or we use clipboards for our character sheets so they rest on there fine. Cupholders work well on the corners, out of the way.

Even if you don't have the TV insert, I would still keep the same dimensions with the exception of adding another 2x4 crossbeam for a little extra support in the middle.

Kilteddispatcher wrote:
What is that glossy center area? A tablet or dry erase board? Or a tv mounted and hooked up to a laptop? I can't tell from the plans...

Yes, it is a TV. Of course, you have to make the cutout sized to your TV. As long as it is centered, the plans can easily be adjusted accordingly. Go to 31:30 and 50:30 in the video to see better shots of the TV.
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Rob GamePlayer
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That is brilliant mate ...

Now ... got Idea ... need wood ... or is that sheep ??

Going to need a bigger shed first

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Jeremy Mease
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$150*















*if you have $1200 in tools
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Eric O.
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ReluctantFr0g wrote:
$150*















*if you have $1200 in tools

Yes true but this is how most woodworkers think including me. If you don't have the tools this is out of reach and a non-starter anyway.
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Bryan Thunkd
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ReluctantFr0g wrote:
$150*

*if you have $1200 in tools
I skimmed the video and didn't watch the whole thing (yet). I'm curious what tools were used. I'm not huge into woodworking, but I've picked up some tools over time and I inherited a few. I'm wondering how close to being able to do this project I'd be.

If someone could make a list of the tools used, that would be awesome.
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J C Lawrence
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Google: Woodshop
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Josh
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This looks amazing, and I have neither the tools nor the talent to build it
But if I were to build such a thing, I think I would choose outlets that already have USB ports in them.
Any reason why not to?
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Meaker VI
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Thunkd wrote:
ReluctantFr0g wrote:
$150*

*if you have $1200 in tools
I skimmed the video and didn't watch the whole thing (yet). I'm curious what tools were used. I'm not huge into woodworking, but I've picked up some tools over time and I inherited a few. I'm wondering how close to being able to do this project I'd be.

If someone could make a list of the tools used, that would be awesome.

clearclaw wrote:
Google: Woodshop


That's not exactly fair or true. You could do a superb job doing this exact table with a handsaw, files, plane, and scraper; maybe with a few drivers/bits for the extra parts. I can probably figure out a list of those that could be had for less than $100 if you started with nothing.

If you wanted to use power tools to do it more quickly, you'd need some kind of saw (circular, table, miter, cross-cut - this doesn't appear to require any ripping so whichever you have or can get your hands on), some kind of fastening tool (hammer, chisel & pegs, drill, nail gun), and some kind of smoothing tool (sander, planer, scraper). And if you're looking at doing it yourself as a reasonable option, you probably should already have some of those tools. Woodgears has a great article on what you should consider buying as a beginner to woodworking.

Failing even that, there exist open workshops all over the country, if not the world. Look for Fablabs, makersheds, community workshops, school workshops, community college woodworking classes, and even ask neighbors near you. Some of those charge for using their facilities, but several places I've lived I've had a neighbor with a fully equipped wood shop across the street. I didn't ask (because I had a well-enough equipped shop), but I'm sure they'd either help me or allow me to do the work myself once I demonstrated competence - most of the time woodworkers love doing projects and just need a good reason to do them.

The TLDR version is that you should be able to build a table like this without buying an entire shop. If you're spending more than $150 for the needed tooling, you're using the project as an excuse to buy more/bigger tools - tools you'll be able to use for other projects in the future(Absolutely nothing wrong with that, by the way ).
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George Louie
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Thunkd wrote:
ReluctantFr0g wrote:
$150*

*if you have $1200 in tools
I skimmed the video and didn't watch the whole thing (yet). I'm curious what tools were used. I'm not huge into woodworking, but I've picked up some tools over time and I inherited a few. I'm wondering how close to being able to do this project I'd be.

If someone could make a list of the tools used, that would be awesome.


He listed the tools used in his Game Table Shop List.

 
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George Louie
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jozxyqk wrote:
This looks amazing, and I have neither the tools nor the talent to build it
But if I were to build such a thing, I think I would choose outlets that already have USB ports in them.
Any reason why not to?


Great idea, but I think USB outlets would add alot of cost to the project and blow his budget. standard outlets cost $1.99 each.. add a USB outlet and the cheapest I've seen is like $17.00 each, and as high as $30.00 each..

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David Fair
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glouie wrote:
jozxyqk wrote:
This looks amazing, and I have neither the tools nor the talent to build it
But if I were to build such a thing, I think I would choose outlets that already have USB ports in them.
Any reason why not to?


Great idea, but I think USB outlets would add alot of cost to the project and blow his budget. standard outlets cost $1.99 each.. add a USB outlet and the cheapest I've seen is like $17.00 each, and as high as $30.00 each..



$13, shipped on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/NineLeaf-Electric-Adapter-Charger-tabl..., but your point still stands. They do get cheaper very quickly, like most tech. 6 months ago, they were $25 and up, now, half that. In 6 more months, who knows?
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Jason Sullivan
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
glouie wrote:
jozxyqk wrote:
This looks amazing, and I have neither the tools nor the talent to build it
But if I were to build such a thing, I think I would choose outlets that already have USB ports in them.
Any reason why not to?


Great idea, but I think USB outlets would add alot of cost to the project and blow his budget. standard outlets cost $1.99 each.. add a USB outlet and the cheapest I've seen is like $17.00 each, and as high as $30.00 each..



$13, shipped on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/NineLeaf-Electric-Adapter-Charger-tabl..., but your point still stands. They do get cheaper very quickly, like most tech. 6 months ago, they were $25 and up, now, half that. In 6 more months, who knows?


Also, they're very easy to retrofit in at a later date if you can't justify the expense today. It shouldn't take more than five minutes per outlet (and that's being generous).
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George Louie
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I love this design, it looks great, but its a bit too "massive" for my room.. I'd have to build it in place, otherwise it woudl never fit through the doors.

I might try to modify the design into a rectangular table, vice a square..

 
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Dreux Barbier
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That table is great!!
I'm going to steal your idea for using the floor mats for my table instead of felt! I have a ton of those already anyway

I have to ask - in that 2nd photo - what is that white thing holding all of your cards! I REALLY need some of those!
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