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Subject: Table Flip - Coffee Table rss

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Sean Kahlich
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I love finding terrible tables at garage sales and flipping them into great game tables. This time I went with a 38" square coffee table:

This was the photo from the original post


A close-up revealed it was worse than I thought



Step 1 was to use my circular saw to cut off the beat up, rounded edges of the table. I clamped a 2x4 down to use as a guide to keep the lines straight




Step 2 was to use my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes into the surface of the table.



The reason for the pocket holes was for step 3. I attached 1x3's to form a vault using 1.25" screws in the pocket holes. (Not pictured: I used a miter saw to cut 45 degree corners so the 1x3's would fit snugly with each other.)


However, not all of the corners were a perfect fit, so I had to use a small amount of wood filler and sand them down



Step 4 was making the play surface base. I used a polystyrene foam insulation sheet from Lowe's (they come in 4'x8' sheets) and cut it down with a square, a straight edge, a pen, and a box cutter.


Making this fit correctly takes some finesse and I had to shave off several slivers of foam to get it to fit just right. But that's why I use this material: it's durable and super easy to work with to form to your space



Step 5 was to spray paint the whole thing gray (or grey if you're from across the pond)



Finally I overlaid the polystyrene foam with burgundy velveteen using a spray adhesive from a hobby store. I trimmed the corners of the fabric so it would sit flush in the vault.


Before | After



WHAT I STILL NEED HELP WITH:
I'd like to make a removable table top because (*gasp*) my wife said she'd actually be ok using this table in other rooms of the house! So if y'all have any tips/suggestions on how to do that, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks!
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James Clarke
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A very nice project, thank you for sharing.

So the only thing left to do is lengthen the legs by about 2 foot?
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Attention! Chat lunatique!
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uncle_sean wrote:
I'd like to make a removable table top because (*gasp*) my wife said she'd actually be ok using this table in other rooms of the house! So if y'all have any tips/suggestions on how to do that, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks!


Easiest thing to do is to cruise the Craigslist Free section, especially near the end of each month (moving time). You can find a table on there, no problem, remove the top, and rework it to fit the vault. That's what I did for my Frankentable and it worked a treat.
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PJ Cunningham
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I prefer your method of "flipping the table" to others I've seen.
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JPotter - Bits77
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I enjoy designing / manufacturing game components and upgrades. Got a project? PM!
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uncle_sean wrote:
WHAT I STILL NEED HELP WITH:
I'd like to make a removable table top because (*gasp*) my wife said she'd actually be ok using this table in other rooms of the house! So if y'all have any tips/suggestions on how to do that, I'd love to hear from you! Thanks!


Awesome job rehabbing and repurposing the table!

You want a glass or wood top? Or glass with a wood frame?

Easiest way to make a top for it ... find another copy of the same table, and cut the legs off ...

_____________

OK, more seriously ... just make a "lid" for it. 1 piece would probably be unwieldly .. 2 pieces, maybe even 3. Either use a sheet of 5/8"-ply (a grade with an "appearance" finish on at least one side), or make a surface out of planks. Use 1x's to make a simple frame on the bottom side, slightly bigger than the game table top, round the outside corners, maybe rout some edge detail, then paint it the same grey, or black. Pretty cheap, not to complex.
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Sean Kahlich
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aesthetocyst wrote:
Either use a sheet of 5/8"-ply (a grade with an "appearance" finish on at least one side), or make a surface out of planks.


I was looking at pallet wood, but those planks would have nail holes on both ends. 40" MINIMUM for the l/w just to overhang the vault. What would you look for? I don't think I want to go the plywood route.
 
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Sean Kahlich
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ironregime wrote:
I prefer your method of "flipping the table" to others I've seen.


What in particular do you mean? And thanks!
 
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Darren
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uncle_sean wrote:
aesthetocyst wrote:
Either use a sheet of 5/8"-ply (a grade with an "appearance" finish on at least one side), or make a surface out of planks.


I was looking at pallet wood, but those planks would have nail holes on both ends. 40" MINIMUM for the l/w just to overhang the vault. What would you look for? I don't think I want to go the plywood route.
There are a few things you need to think about when covering a vault:
1) Veener Core Plywood - Due to its layered construction where each layer grain direction is positioned 90 degrees to the layers around it, it is much less likely to warp over time. You also need less "planks" to cover a vault since they can be very wide.

2) MDF Core Plywood - This is a MDF core (glued sawdust) with a thin layer of veener wood on the outside faces so it looks like real wood. It is heavier than Veneer Core Plywood. It is very stable and will not warp. Don't get it wet or it will swell. Most furniture is made with this stuff now. You also need less "planks" to cover a vault since they can be very wide.

3) Solid Wood - Unless the wood has been properly dried and prepped prior to being cut to fit the vault, it will warp. If done properly and sealed after fitting, warping will be reduced but there is still a chance depending on what environment it will be placed in. Solid wood will also require multiple planks due to being limited in width unless you want to buy really wide boards which will cost a lot. Or you can make your own "wider" boards by jointing them together but that takes time and good equipment to do a good job.

The cheapest way to do this is most likely veneer core plywood or mdf core plywood. If you use plywood, I would cap each edge with wood if you do this (for looks to hide the layers).
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PJ Cunningham
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uncle_sean wrote:
ironregime wrote:
I prefer your method of "flipping the table" to others I've seen.


What in particular do you mean? And thanks!


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Sean Kahlich
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Kaiyoot wrote:

The cheapest way to do this is most likely veneer core plywood or mdf core plywood. If you use plywood, I would cap each edge with wood if you do this (for looks to hide the layers).


Would you build the frame underneath so that it sits flush inside the vault OR would you build out the edge wood to overhang the vault walls?
 
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Darren
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uncle_sean wrote:
Kaiyoot wrote:

The cheapest way to do this is most likely veneer core plywood or mdf core plywood. If you use plywood, I would cap each edge with wood if you do this (for looks to hide the layers).


Would you build the frame underneath so that it sits flush inside the vault OR would you build out the edge wood to overhang the vault walls?
I would build the top so that it over hangs the vault edges. Cut some plywood that is ~1" wider than the width and cap it with 1/4" wood so you don't see the plywood layers. This will give you a small 3/4" lip around the table for looks as well as something to grab when removing the lid. Use a router to put a simple 1/4" round bead on the edges. Underneath, you can glue 4x 1/4" thick boards that fit just inside the vault edges so that the top will not slide off when bumped.
 
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