Thursday, August 8, 2013

The new game table - awesome sauce!

  Yep, this is awesome filled with awesome sauce, with awesome sprinkles on the top.

  Ok, maybe that's over the top, a bit.  Or alot.

  You see, I am a wargamer by nature, I mean the cardboard counters on paper map type gamer.(Boardgames... ala GMT Games, Compass games etc.)  My friend, Mark, and I have a regular Wednesday game going on at both our houses.  2 weeks we play at his place, the next two week at mine.  Part of the problem is that we play big, long games, and it chews up real estate in the hobby/game room.

  Well, not long ago, Mark got a spankin new game table from Geek Chic, but that was a little too much green for my tastes.  Grand old table, I must say, but I am a minimalist at heart and my goals were quite a bit different;

  • I wanted to build it
  • I wanted to steal the idea of the inset table with a topper to save/protect the game in progress
  • Under $750
  • Had to be 4' x 6' so it would fit my Realm of Battle and other terrain tiles!
  So, the wife and I, with lots of wood tools and a little skill set to designing a game table.   

  When all was said and done, it came in for well under $500 and we actually had fun making it.

  What follows is the picture and text reference of how it went.  Hope you like.


   In the beginning, there was red oak, and it was good.  These are the sides of the table base.  The table will be built like any piece of furniture with a base that is gusseted and the tabletop will lay on and be angle-clamped to.  This makes it super easy to take apart and move whenever I need to.

   The table top, or half of it anyhow.  Laminated aspen boards for the surface.  Nice and flat and takes stain well.  Two sections like this (2ft x 6ft) will be biscuit joined together to make the surface.  This is after the first coat of stain.

   The assistant...  or the queen of measure once cut twice.  (LOL, I say that but I'm the one who had to go buy new sides because *I* measured wrong and then forgot about the 1/2 inch extension...
   One of the three "toppers" that will eventually form the cover of the table and work surface (or extra game surface).
   It's coming together.  The base is good and the tabletop is stained.  The sides are glued/screwed and it's time to sand away to get ready for staining.

   The little extensions you see (1/2 inch) proved to be vital to getting the plexiglass and/or game tiles in and out of the table.  Without that extension (And you may note that they are staggered leaving 8 inch gaps, to stick a pencil up through) you could not remove the terrain tiles from the table!  Also note the large jug of nuts.  This is hungry work!

   Here you can see the gussets and how the legs bolt on/off for easy moving.  When this is all bolted together it is rock steady, probably why they have used this as standard furniture building for years!

 1st coat of stain on the sides.  I should have stopped there... lol

   Last coat,  I learned in all of this that I suck at using this stain (Minwax polyshades, stain and poly coating in one).  I should have stained it, then poly-coated it.  But I thought this would be easier :(

   Here is the way the tops fit on.  The tops are three 2ft x 4ft sections of laminated aspen boards also.  They sit on these shelf hangars that are already installed in the sides.

   A close-up of the brass grommet and shelf hangar.
 Shelf hangar removed to allow for gaming and reaching in without snagging them.  The fit is "gutentight" so these shelf hangars seem to be holding up the tops very well.
   The whole shebang.
   Ok, moved in to the game/hobby room in the sections.  Base, legs and table.  Super easy for 1 man carry.
   And voila! Here she is, installed.  booooo yeah!

 Here it is with the Realm of Battle boards inside.  Fit is close to perfect and nobody is bumping those boards!

   Another view of same.

And here it is with the table tops installed.  Hmmm, that one board is a bit off.  Pisses me off, it warped a bit after the staining.  If it doesn't settle down in  a week or two, it will be pressured into conformity!