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Subject: Who has built a game table-top? Looking for help rss

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Andy Edwards
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I'm in the early planning stages of making a simple table top for gaming - one that would go over my existing kitchen table, or be usable somewhere else (maybe on top of the bed in the guest room?).

I'm thinking of making it in two pieces (for ease of storage and weight limits), each 3' x 4', for a 4' x 6' finished product. I think I can do that, but what especially concerns me is connecting the two while in use.

Any general suggestions are much desired, and any ideas to my particular concern are, of course, even more so. Any thoughts?
 
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Lee Kennedy
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I've seen some designs that use sliding bolt locks to join pieces of the table together:

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Andy Edwards
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Thanks! Yeah, I had considered that, or something like it - my concern is, if set up on the bed, would that hold the two together well enough? I guess sitting/leaning on the mattress would have to be minimized, but that shouldn't be too big of a problem.
 
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Boards & Bits
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You could just use hinges to make the top fold-able.

Tom
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Brian
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I have no experience with them, but I would use something like this:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=777

Put one at each end past where the table top overhands the base table.

Concerns would be me to make sure that you don't rest them table top down on the table with the latch hitting the table and scratching it. Make sure that it isn't easy to slide the tabletops causing the latches to gouge the side of the table. (I'd consider either putting down a rubber drawer liner to protect the table, or putting a thin rail on the table top to maintain alignment.)

Good luck.
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Des Lee
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Have a look at my recent thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/954805/weekend-project-g...

I did pretty much what you're planning - 2 pieces 1200 x 1000mm, making an overall size of 1200 x 2000 (roughly 4' x 6.5')

The halves are pretty heavy so they don't tend to move much when they're on the table. The arm rests, they lift up slightly if a person leans on them on the ends, I might connect the two halves of the arm rest with hinges to address this, not sure yet. Not really a huge deal.
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Andy Edwards
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Thanks for the link! After I posted this, I found the how-to video you linked to on your thread. Yours looks outstanding, by the way, just the kind of thing I had in mind. Two questions:

1. How much does it weigh (you said it's a bit heavy)?

2. The 2-piece construction isn't an issue? You don't mechanically connect them in any way?

Thanks again - great looking table!
 
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Des Lee
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I haven't weighed them (but I will this weekend when I get home, currently interstate for work) however I reckon they are somewhere between 10-15kg each. I can manhandle each half reasonable easily, but would really struggle with carrying both at once. The weight tends to keep them pretty stable - however if you gave it a solid bump from the side they will slide a little. Perhaps I will get a non-stick mat of some sort to go between the table and the top, will see how it goes.

The 2 piece construction was pretty easy. I got the store to cut the MDF for me into two 1200 x 1000 sections (the original piece was 1200 x 2400) that I took home. the cuts were accurate enough that I didn't have to do much sanding to get them close enough in size (as I was covering them with material and then putting a border over the top I figured I didn't need them to be exactly identical in size, but it was pretty close). The 2 pieces made it very easy to stick down the batting/felt, and is much easier for storage/transport. At this stage I don't connect them at all when on the table.
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Brian
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If it's 19mm thick (3/4"), and has a density of 750 kg/m^3, it should be about:
1.2 * 1 * .019 * 750 = 17 kg (37 lbs)

Even they were only 10 kg each for a total of 20 kg (44 lbs), its size would make it hard to move.
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Des Lee
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lankyb wrote:
If it's 19mm thick (3/4"), and has a density of 750 kg/m^3, it should be about:
1.2 * 1 * .019 * 750 = 17 kg (37 lbs)

Even they were only 10 kg each for a total of 20 kg (44 lbs), its size would make it hard to move.


Yep, the size and shape makes it awkward to move. Mine is made from 12mm MDF so isn't quite 17kg, but it's plenty heavy enough!
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modern life
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Depending on the thickness and type of wood you're planning to use you could try cam locks/dowels (like these: http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/280908341876?var=lv<yp=AllF...). It's the kind of thing you'd see in furniture from IKEA.

I've recently made a table out of four pieces of mdf with a pine frame underneath (to prevent sagging) and detachable legs. The table pieces are held together using cam locks/dowels in the frame. Having two end pieces and two middle sections allows me to have tables of various sizes - 90x90cm the smallest, then 90x135cm and finally 90x180cm as the largest.
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Andy Edwards
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Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I'll try to get some pics posted, when the project is completed.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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modernlife wrote:
Depending on the thickness and type of wood you're planning to use you could try cam locks/dowels (like these: http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/280908341876?var=lv<yp=AllF...). It's the kind of thing you'd see in furniture from IKEA.

I've recently made a table out of four pieces of mdf with a pine frame underneath (to prevent sagging) and detachable legs. The table pieces are held together using cam locks/dowels in the frame. Having two end pieces and two middle sections allows me to have tables of various sizes - 90x90cm the smallest, then 90x135cm and finally 90x180cm as the largest.


Great idea about the cam locks and dowels. I was going to just suggest wood dowels, but locking the two parts together with the cam lock would be ideal.

I'd also suggest using something like chair glides (the kind you stick under chair legs so that they glide on floors). They generally come in two types... one has felt bottoms that work well on hard floors, and the other is hard rubber that work well on carpets. I've seen very large square felt pieces, so putting those on the under-side of your table top should help get it on the table. But maybe the hard rubber glides will work better on the bed (and probably still glide on the table)
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Matt Miller
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You can lock them together with the locks from a double hung window, just twist and it's locked.

Another idea my dad did for a table for extra seating at holiday dinners was to use a hollow door and attach 3" pvc pipe legs with flanges that screwed to the door bottom. The legs just pop out for storage and the tabletop is fairly light. I think he might have even attached a screen door pull handle to the bottom of one side to make transport easier.
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Andy Edwards
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My lovely fiancee' provided the materials for my project as a birthday present, and with my two kids' assistance, we have the basic boards put together. We followed the steps pretty well exactly from the video linked to above and I'm pretty happy with the result! A couple of pics below.







Connecting the two panels is a pending addition, as is a railing of some kind to contain errant dice. The project, start to finish, for the 3 of us, took barely over an hour. Not difficult at all. Thanks again for everyone's suggestions!
 
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Chris Flux
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re connecting two halves of a loose table top, I've done similar before and added a pair of wooden bannerns underneath secured with pin hinges for easy removal.

Makes it both stiffer and secure, if you know what your going to put it on top of you can place them to match the supporting structure.

Here's a UK link for pin hinges but I'm sure you'll find them at any theatrical suppliers where you are too

[urlhttp://www.flints.co.uk/acatalog/Standard_Pin_Hinges.html][/url]

Tally Ho!
 
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