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Subject: A Gaming/Dining Table the Wife Approves Of. rss

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Justin Robinson
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I always wanted to have a dedicated gaming table, but lacked the space in my man cave to keep one without having to empty everything else out of it. As it stood, we also did not have a very big dining room table (it only sat 4). So I got to designing using [geekurl=http://www.sketchup.com/]SketchUp[/geekurl] to make a dining room table that converts to a gaming table, showed the design to my wife and got her approval to make it.

Not having much in the way of woodworking tools, I got the help of my uncle, his woodworking expertise, and of course his garage with the necessary woodworking machinery and got to work. Below is the final result.







Below are some pictures of the work in progress.

Here is all the wood before starting:


Building the first leg:


Putting together one of the pieces of the dining table top:


Pieces of the table frame after drilling for pocket screws:


After putting the frame together:


The frame with the rail attached to the top:


Taking a look at the table put together so far. We built a leaf as well which you can see put together with the other pieces. This makes the dining top 8ft long:


Making the supports that will hold up the game table play surface:


Underside of the dining top showing the blocks we added to prevent the top from sliding around:


The play surface separate before we stain:


Let the staining begin:


Putting everything together:


And Voila:


Feel free to ask any questions.

[UPDATE]
I've finished making cup holders for the table that are removable.

Here is a side shot of the cupholder I made. It's made out of some cheap wood from home depot with a piece of 3/4" wood glued to it. The purpose of the 3/4" piece is to cause the cupholder to extend below the table apron.


Here is a better view of the design with a cupholder inserted. You can see a dowel sticking out, this is to help line up the cupholder when installing as well as prevent the cupholder from turning/spinning when installed.


Here is an image of one of the supports under my table with a hole for the dowel to be inserted into and another hole with a threaded wood insert for the cupholder to be screwed into.


Here are the cupholders stained, finished and installed. I used some eye bolts as they are very cheap and easy to turn by hand.


And finally the table with the cupholders installed. I made 6 in total. They take about 10 seconds to install and take out.
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Darren
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Looks great!
1. What type of fabric did you use for the play surface?
2. With the leaf installed, do the ends the table edge stay fairly stable or do they tip down easily? Maybe you have a locking mechanism in the middle to keep it from tipping down when someone leans on the ends?
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Jimmy Hensel
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Great looking table.

I'm interested in your answers to Darren's questions.
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Justin Robinson
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Kaiyoot wrote:
Looks great!
1. What type of fabric did you use for the play surface?
2. With the leaf installed, do the ends the table edge stay fairly stable or do they tip down easily? Maybe you have a locking mechanism in the middle to keep it from tipping down when someone leans on the ends?


1. The fabric is suede and attached to 1/4 inch birch plywood, if I remember correctly, which I got from Home Depot. I used the same fabric for an old poker table that needed to be reupholstered. I picked it up at JoAnn's and I've seen it at more than one. For the length of this table I needed 3 yards so it would have been $40 for the fabric, but it was on sale so I got it for $20.

One of the keys behind me designing the table the way I did is that I can remove the bottom supports and reupholster the game surface when (not if) it gets dirty. When I do get around to needing to reupholster I may apply some padding and speedcloth.

2. The ends do stay fairly stable with the leaf installed as they only hang off an additional 6 inches each, but I would probably advise people not to push down on the ends as they get up. The pieces to get lined up with pins that you see in most tables that expand and I do have locks on the outside to also keep them from pulling apart.



I don't really see myself using the leaf very often as you can fit 8 around the table without the leaf. I just wanted it as an option should we have a larger group of people.
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Justin Robinson
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I should mention that I am also working on plans for easy to install removable cup holders that attach to the supports on the bottom. My idea involved having machine screw plugs (I'm sure they have an official name for them) that are installed on the bottom supports and then you can just screw in your cup holder by hand when you want to use one while gaming. If anyone has any ideas please feel free to share.
 
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Darren
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Denyou wrote:
1. The fabric is suede and attached to 1/4 inch birch plywood, if I remember correctly, which I got from Home Depot. I used the same fabric for an old poker table that needed to be reupholstered. I picked it up at JoAnn's and I've seen it at more than one. For the length of this table I needed 3 yards so it would have been $40 for the fabric, but it was on sale so I got it for $20.
I have experience with micro fiber suede, speed cloth, and neoprene with a nylon jersey. Originally in my table design it was going to be micro fiber suede. Then I changed my plans to neoprene after playing with some sleeved cards on a friends micro fiber suede table. Cards by themselves worked great but the sleeved cards hooked constantly on the material which annoyed me. The same sleeved cards work great on speed cloth but I loved the built in cushioning neoprene has and the cards did not sag on the nylon jersey. The neoprene will be on my table when I finish it.
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Darren
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Denyou wrote:
I should mention that I am also working on plans for easy to install removable cup holders that attach to the supports on the bottom. My idea involved having machine screw plugs (I'm sure they have an official name for them) that are installed on the bottom supports and then you can just screw in your cup holder by hand when you want to use one while gaming. If anyone has any ideas please feel free to share.
Are you describing a T-Nut? Look it up on Google. Depending on the type of t-nut you get (press in or screw in), you run the issue of potentially pulling them out of the bottom with the weight of the cup holder.

You might be better off adding a sliding cup holder like what ntcans did on his table:
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Justin Robinson
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Kaiyoot wrote:
Are you describing a T-Nut? Look it up on Google. Depending on the type of t-nut you get (press in or screw in), you run the issue of potentially pulling them out of the bottom with the weight of the cup holder.


Thanks for this, now I have a name I can Google.


Kaiyoot wrote:
You might be better off adding a sliding cup holder like what ntcans did on his table


I played around with the idea of making sliding cup holders when I designed the table but went away from it for two reasons.

1. Part of the conditions of me building it required that it did not look like a game table when in dining room table mode. So easy to see slots were a no go.

2. The above left me with needing to mount the sliding cup holders on the bottom of the table, just out of sight. However, I am very tall and the height of my table apron from the floor was designed so my legs would fit without fear of banging my knees. Adding a permanent 3/4" of wood or hardware hanging from the bottom for the cupholders would be uncomfortable for me.
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Kyle
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You and your uncle did a nice job. I like seeing the clamps and a proper laminated table top.
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euronoob

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Denyou wrote:
I should mention that I am also working on plans for easy to install removable cup holders that attach to the supports on the bottom. My idea involved having machine screw plugs (I'm sure they have an official name for them) that are installed on the bottom supports and then you can just screw in your cup holder by hand when you want to use one while gaming. If anyone has any ideas please feel free to share.


how about a cupholder that would clip on over the rail? like this, but that would fully sit across your wide rails instead of fitting into a slot:



not sure if that's what you're going for or not. Just seems like it would fit the "easily removable" angle. And made out of wood instead of acrylic, obviously, unless you've got access to that kind of material-building. Line with felt or such to avoid damaging the rail finish.
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euronoob

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another option that I've looked at before is this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/1zfrsi/geek_chi...

Your table isn't really built for this, though, with no slot along the sides. (Just considering the options here other than a bottom-attachment system.)
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brian campbell
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Looks great!

How long did the whole process take?
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fortheloveofdice
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It looks great!

I hope to eventually get a gaming table - slash - dining room table. We're going with an "it'll do" table for now (still solid wood).

One big concern with the gaming table idea is that it isn't extendible. So if we make it long we need to keep having space for it long term, and if we make it shorter we can't expand it for a large group of guests.

But hey, one day it'll happen.

Enjoy your work!
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Justin Robinson
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EastCoastBrian wrote:
Looks great!

How long did the whole process take?


I would say somewhere between 50 and 70 hours.
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Jimmy Hensel
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Denyou wrote:
I should mention that I am also working on plans for easy to install removable cup holders that attach to the supports on the bottom. My idea involved having machine screw plugs (I'm sure they have an official name for them) that are installed on the bottom supports and then you can just screw in your cup holder by hand when you want to use one while gaming. If anyone has any ideas please feel free to share.


Rather than T-nuts, you may be speaking of threaded inserts. T-nuts work best (strongest) if they are inserted on the opposite side of the board from where the screw will be inserted. The little barbs on the T-nuts are to keep the T-nut from rotating when torque is applied to the screw. The barbs do have some pull out resistance, but as Darren mentioned it might not be wise to count on that.

Threaded inserts have machine screw threads on the inside and wood screw threads on the outside. They can be installed from the same side as you plan to insert the machine screw. They can be installed with a large slotted head screw driver into a pilot hole where you want the insert. It looks like your table is made of oak. If that's the case, once you install a threaded insert it is very unlikely that you will be able to remove it.

I have used threaded inserts, and the smaller ones can break at the slots for the screw driver as you try to install them especially in hard wood because they have thin walls. If the table is hard wood, I'd drill the pilot hole larger than the root diameter of the threads, but maybe a bit smaller than the pitch diameter. Also, you can lubricate the wood threads with a bit of bar soap.
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Justin Robinson
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I looked at a workbench that I have that uses some threaded wood inserts in oak and I gave a hard pull, more than any drink would weigh, and they held strong so I may go with them instead of the Tee Nuts depending which I decide is more convenient.

Part of the goal with the cupholders is that I can screw them in by hand using something like this:



I've found some with screws already in them, but they are usually too short. Then I see some like in the picture shown above that are female so I can add a screw rod of the length of my choosing, but how to I keep the knob from unscrewing from the rod? Is it as simple as just using super glue?

Thanks for all the ideas and help everyone.

 
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Darren
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Do a google search on "Threaded Rod Screw On Clamping Grip Knobs". That is what I believe you want.
 
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Jimmy Hensel
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I did a search on "grip knob screw" and got images of what I think you want.
 
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Darren
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pawnpusher wrote:
I did a search on "grip knob screw" and got images of what I think you want.
That sounds a lot better than "Threaded Rod Screw On Clamping Grip Knobs".
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John Martin
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Do you maybe mean a barrel nut/dowel nut?
 
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Aaron Hall
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One quick question I have for you-

It looks like the table was made from pine but the stain looks really good. What stain/color did you wind up using?
 
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Jake Staines
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dragon7507 wrote:

It looks like the table was made from pine but the stain looks really good. What stain/color did you wind up using?


It doesn't look like pine to me - I'd have guessed plain-sawn red oak from the pictures. The cup holders look like they're probably pine or some similar softwood, though.

(That said, we don't really get red oak over here so I'm mostly guessing from the colour that it's not white oak, and that can be off in photos.)

The variegated stain pattern is probably because oak varieties have very prominent open grain rings, and these soak up more of the stain than the denser wood between them. Note that the stain is much more even on the cup holders.
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Aaron Hall
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Bichatse wrote:

It doesn't look like pine to me - I'd have guessed plain-sawn red oak from the pictures. The cup holders look like they're probably pine or some similar softwood, though.


Now that I look closer, I think I see the tinge of Red from Red Oak. That and the more I look at the grain pattern, it doesn't look like it would be a Pine pattern.

Ultimately, can you let me know what it is made of Justin?

(BTW, looks amazing)
 
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Denyou wrote:
I looked at a workbench that I have that uses some threaded wood inserts in oak and I gave a hard pull, more than any drink would weigh, and they held strong so I may go with them instead of the Tee Nuts depending which I decide is more convenient.

Part of the goal with the cupholders is that I can screw them in by hand using something like this:



I've found some with screws already in them, but they are usually too short. Then I see some like in the picture shown above that are female so I can add a screw rod of the length of my choosing, but how to I keep the knob from unscrewing from the rod? Is it as simple as just using super glue?

Thanks for all the ideas and help everyone.



red loc-tite the rod in and you will never have to worry about it unless somehow someone tries to unscrew the knob after taking a propane torch to it.
 
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Justin Robinson
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dragon7507 wrote:
Bichatse wrote:

It doesn't look like pine to me - I'd have guessed plain-sawn red oak from the pictures. The cup holders look like they're probably pine or some similar softwood, though.


Now that I look closer, I think I see the tinge of Red from Red Oak. That and the more I look at the grain pattern, it doesn't look like it would be a Pine pattern.

Ultimately, can you let me know what it is made of Justin?

(BTW, looks amazing)


The wood is Red Oak and I believe the stain was Espresso (got it at Home Depot).

The cup holders are made of some common board softwood which I also got at Home Depot, which may be pine. It does not take the stain near as nicely, but I wanted something softer so if someone ever puts a large amount of pressure on it the softwood would break before damaging the table in any way.
 
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