$20.00
$15.00
$5.00
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Do It Yourself

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

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
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?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Esko
United States
White Haven
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren
Canada
Calgary
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
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.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Allen
United States
La Canada Flintridge
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
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.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
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...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
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?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Allen
United States
La Canada Flintridge
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I did it! I used MDF and a yoga mat. It turned out great except it's a bit too heavy, which makes it difficult to move without tilting it a little, causing things to shift if anything is slick (like sleeved cards or tiles piled too high.) Next time, I might go with less than 1/2" (which would definitely be a bit floppy, so I suppose that won't really work well either) or something less heavy than MDF.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren
Canada
Calgary
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Pictures?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I'll try to get to that in the next day or two. Thanks for asking. If you reply to this, I'll keep the notification on my subscriptions page as a reminder!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren
Canada
Calgary
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Sounds good regarding the images.

Instead of MDF (which is heavy but very stable - will not wrap unless you get it wet) you could use a good plywood (good one side to save money). It will not be as stable (as in maybe warping) as MDF but it will be lighter in weight and receives stables/screws better than MDF (in my experience).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
You might want to try to lay over the table a properly measured piece of Plexi-glass. You can get one cheap at a local hardware store.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
GeoffreyB wrote:
You might want to try to lay over the table a properly measured piece of Plexi-glass. You can get one cheap at a local hardware store.


Why?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Bacon
United States
Farmington
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb






1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Bolland
United States
Apple Valley
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Press PLAY
badge
Loooooooooooooooon!
mbmbmbmbmb
GeoffreyB wrote:
You might want to try to lay over the table a properly measured piece of Plexi-glass. You can get one cheap at a local hardware store.


Plexiglass is not cheap. It is also very difficult to cut if that is necessary.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren
Canada
Calgary
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
valzi wrote:
I did it! I used MDF and a yoga mat. It turned out great except it's a bit too heavy, which makes it difficult to move without tilting it a little, causing things to shift if anything is slick (like sleeved cards or tiles piled too high.) Next time, I might go with less than 1/2" (which would definitely be a bit floppy, so I suppose that won't really work well either) or something less heavy than MDF.
Now that I can see your images, is your problem with bumping the topper making it rotate/slide on the table underneath causing stacks of cards (on the topper) to topple if they are sleeved? If so you might be able to mitigate this by putting some rubber strips/tape underneath it to grip the table. That way it will be more secure. The extra weight of the MDF will help hold it in place as well. You can get sticky one sided rubber strips/tape at any hardware store. They will also help protect your table underneath from being scratched by the MDF.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Ballard
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Looks like you want to set up the game and move it mid game to use the table. If thats the case your cards are going to slide no matter what you do. One fix for that would be little foamcore boxes that would hold the decks on the table. Foamcore comes in largish sheets for $1 at dollar stores and some grocerys.

If you are a visual person, I was thinking this but homemade.
http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brennan Sheremeto
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmb
you are going to want at least 1/2" plywood but 3/4" would be better. On the table the thickness doesnt matter obviously but as soon as you lift it (presumably one person at each end) it is going to bow and twist. On the plus side, this is easy to test how much bowing you can live with just by picking the material up at the store.

2' wide is really tight for most games. a TTR board is just shy of that for example. you are better off going 3' and an extra wide yoga mat

https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Direct-Extra-Wide-Mat/dp/B003JMH...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darren
Canada
Calgary
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
If you want lightness and stability, you might want to consider making a thin torsion box out of two 1/8" hardwood sheets and a 1/4" thin skeleton/ribs. You will end up with a 1/2" to 3/4" thick sheet that is very light and strong. These can be tricky to build if you are not that familiar with wood working and requires a perfectly flat surface to build them on as they will take the shape of what they are built on. If your table top is warped, your torsion box will have the same warp.

Check out this thread as it has a table cover for covering his vault that is a torsion box:
Why not! here's my geek table
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.