Building A Poker Table Advice (1 Viewer)

TheBigShow

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Hi All,

I'm looking at building a poker table and I've done a fair bit of research online and watching videos etc. I guess my question is how hard is it really? I look at videos and think "yea I can do that" but I'm wondering if I'm massively downplaying the difficulty.

Any non handy people built a table before and what was your experience?

Cheers
 
I've built one and I don't consider myself handy. The difference is it will take people like us a bit longer to get it right. If you have the right tools, the difficulty isn't too bad. If you don't, I highly recommend you buy or borrow them.
  • Determine what type of table you want (round or oval, permanent or folding legs)
  • Buy quality materials. Don't cheap out. You'll get lots of suggestions here.
  • It also helps to have a second set of hands, especially when making the rail. Also saw horses to keep the table steady when cutting.
 
Yea, I figured some saw horses would be super useful. And I have the tools, might just need a better jig. Just more worried I'm watching stuff and it's going to be wayyyy harder than they make it look lol.

Anyway, thanks!
 
I've built 3 tables. I am fairly handy but you get that way by doing things like building poker tables. So, I'd say definitely do it, assuming you are not expecting a high-end, perfect piece of furniture. Building a solid, quality table that will look good and function great is not too difficult.

I agree with @buzzmonkey, buy quality materials. Don't cheap out on thin plywood, get 3/4"(or very close) so it will be solid. Get closed cell foam for the playing field and for sure I'd recommend suited speed cloth. A solid piece of rail foam is nice if you can afford it, but I've also used multiple pieces of foam. The semi-stretchy faux leather from Michael's or Jo-Ann Fabric works great imo.

You may make a mistake or two but that's how you learn. Good luck. Make sure you post the final results!

Here's my last table. I really want to build an oval sometime soon.
20221016_203731.jpg
 
I've built 3 tables. I am fairly handy but you get that way by doing things like building poker tables. So, I'd say definitely do it, assuming you are not expecting a high-end, perfect piece of furniture. Building a solid, quality table that will look good and function great is not too difficult.

I agree with @buzzmonkey, buy quality materials. Don't cheap out on thin plywood, get 3/4"(or very close) so it will be solid. Get closed cell foam for the playing field and for sure I'd recommend suited speed cloth. A solid piece of rail foam is nice if you can afford it, but I've also used multiple pieces of foam. The semi-stretchy faux leather from Michael's or Jo-Ann Fabric works great imo.

You may make a mistake or two but that's how you learn. Good luck. Make sure you post the final results!

Here's my last table. I really want to build an oval sometime soon.
View attachment 1312107
What WillyTLT said.
If you are keeping to a basic design like in his pic and mine below, good results are achievable. Elevated rails, racetracks, LED strips up the complexity somewhat. Best tackled with table build experience or a background in building projects. Made mine with zero skills/experience 18 years old and still in good shape.
IMG_20240114_161753991.jpg
 
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I built mine mostly on my own, but at some points you need some helping hands. I had not done a lot of woodworking before and it was easier than expected. I did spent a lot of time on the planning though and did not have to improvise much later.
20240415_092058.jpg
 
I'm personally not a big fan of the suited speed cloth, but it does make the cards glide nicely. If you want that next level, look into something really nice like a custom cloth from someone like @T_Chan. But if that's not in the budget, SSC isn't a bad choice. It's easier to work with a full size piece of 1" rail foam and you'll get avoid lumps or seams more easily. Marine vinyl is easier to work with on the rail than leather by far.
 
Hi @TheBigShow, as of January 2024 I started producing and selling poker tables for sale in Europe (arenawoodworks.nl). In doing so I got a few pointers:

1. Plywood or underlayment, but the good stuff. Not with a bend or rough veneer.

2. Type II wood glue and torx screws.

3. A good staple gun with a staple remover.

4. Speed cloth with 5mm polyether foam.

5. One inch foam around the rail. From inside to the outside.

6. Use a hair dryer to soften the leather while stretching and stapling. This reduces wrinkles. Watch out not to overheat it, so go slow.

7. Youtube or come back with more questions ;)
 

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What WillyTLT said.
If you are keeping to a basic design like in his pic and mine below, good results are achievable. Elevated rails, racetracks, LED strips up the complexity somewhat. Best tackled with table build experience or a background in building projects. Made mine with zero skills/experience 18 years old and still in good shape.
View attachment 1312119

I also built mine 18 years ago! Still pretty much flawless. I've recovered the playing surface once about 3 years ago.

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I also built mine 18 years ago! Still pretty much flawless. I've recovered the playing surface once about 3 years ago.

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View attachment 1312231
Ha, makes sense. Ours look pretty similar, maybe the same build design for the time. I recovered 3 times but never with the good stuff. Didn't have the cash to do that until recently. Next time...

Sorry for hijack @TheBigShow.
Am sure many of us look forward to seeing what you build, no matter what type or design.
 
The most challenging part of building a table is the patience to do it correctly, make sure you have and know which tools and materials you need.

Using a non-standard shape will also be challenging. While I love my table and believe its the best possible shape for a poker game, it wasn't the easiest to build it.

1713193907775.png
 
Can I ask broadly to the builders (and expecting no real accuracy), is it really worth it $ wise to build versus buy? I understand the excitement of customization and being proud of the build, but from a purely money standpoint, is there any saved value to building versus buying say a Barrington or something?
 
Can I ask broadly to the builders (and expecting no real accuracy), is it really worth it $ wise to build versus buy? I understand the excitement of customization and being proud of the build, but from a purely money standpoint, is there any saved value to building versus buying say a Barrington or something?
For me at the time I built, I'd say for the cost of materials I couldn't get the same quality or durability of my self build. That was 18 years ago when one couldn't easily buy a table (where I live). But it may be different now.

I'm hoping others answer. I'm looking to build two matching but more advanced tables for a new house with dedicated poker room. I'm also curious if I'd be saving $.
 
For me at the time I built, I'd say for the cost of materials I couldn't get the same quality or durability of my self build. That was 18 years ago when one couldn't easily buy a table (where I live). But it may be different now.

Same. 18 years ago there wasn't much to choose from "off-the-shelf". My table cost about $250 to build in 2006, about $390 in today's dollars.
 
I'd say it depends how much your time is worth to you. Start a spreadsheet and tally up the cost of materials, then shop around for the price of full made tables of similar quality.
 
Yea I wasn't planning anything too fancy. I think I would aim for the raised rail for the most fancy I would go but that would require an extra piece of 3/4 and lumber is pretty expensive here. Build your own poker table has some really good plans on there and some solid youtube videos as well as some other random videos that add good tips. The only tool I think I would really be missing is a router but I can probably pick one up.

I've actually browsed this forum for a long time and recently decided to make an account and start posting. I've actually seen the gaming suede from the member on the forums T_Chan, and it looks really good.

Has anyone ever used one of the kits from build a poker table? They look pretty solid but I'm just wondering how the quality of the materials would be versus buying separately.
 
Building your own will be very rewarding. The tools required will be a router, a jig to do the curves of the oval, an electric stapler is a nice addition because you will use 1000 or so before it's all said and done. A jigsaw, and or a circular saw, a drill. A hair dryer(heat gun) to help stretch the vinyl while stapling.
A nice faux leather vinyl for the rail marine stretchy is the best. I used 1.5" HD foam for the rail, because I used cup holder rings in the rail, so I wanted the rail a bit fuller.
Patience is the key...no rushing.
I used solid base as I have a dedicated poker room.

Good Luck
 

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Building your own will be very rewarding. The tools required will be a router, a jig to do the curves of the oval, an electric stapler is a nice addition because you will use 1000 or so before it's all said and done. A jigsaw, and or a circular saw, a drill. A hair dryer(heat gun) to help stretch the vinyl while stapling.
A nice faux leather vinyl for the rail marine stretchy is the best. I used 1.5" HD foam for the rail, because I used cup holder rings in the rail, so I wanted the rail a bit fuller.
Patience is the key...no rushing.
I used solid base as I have a dedicated poker room.

Good Luck
View attachment 1312537
Ah I really like this. This is more or less what I'm planning minus the LEDs.

I'm struggling if I want an 8 or a 10 person. I see you went for the 8 and it seems like it would be a lot more space. Any of you regularly use it for 10? Does it feel cramped at all?
 
Ah I really like this. This is more or less what I'm planning minus the LEDs.

I'm struggling if I want an 8 or a 10 person. I see you went for the 8 and it seems like it would be a lot more space. Any of you regularly use it for 10? Does it feel cramped at all?
I built for 10. I can uncomfortably fit 11 but try to avoid that. This will be a personal preference decision. For me I don't understand 8 tables, unless space is a consideration. Some people seem to hate playing a full 10 seater game so make an 8 table.
 
I’ve built one. The carpentry I didn’t find hard. It’s upholstering the rail that’s a real sweat.
 
I built for 10. I can uncomfortably fit 11 but try to avoid that. This will be a personal preference decision. For me I don't understand 8 tables, unless space is a consideration. Some people seem to hate playing a full 10 seater game so make an 8 table.

Hand raised here for hating 10 players at a table, 9 is bad enough and 11 I just can't imagine.

I built my table to be 8max and space was a consideration - but personal space rather than the space the table and chairs themselves take up. At my home game I don't want to be banging elbows with anyone. Most of my games are now some form of mixed cash so 6/7 is an ideal number anyway to be able to play the full gamut of games. I tend not to actively recruit the 8 spot if I have 7 but will play the full 8 if it ends up that way.

I went with CNCed wood, faux suede raised rail with leds and and a Chanman cloth. The process of building my own table was an adventure I'd recommend.
 
Just wanted to share my build. Only need to add a leather top to the spalted maple n black walnut inlay table / chip holders I just finished for my son.

Building one out of solid wood is a rewarding feeling. I’m fortunate to have the power tools necessary.
 

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Ah I really like this. This is more or less what I'm planning minus the LEDs.

I'm struggling if I want an 8 or a 10 person. I see you went for the 8 and it seems like it would be a lot more space. Any of you regularly use it for 10? Does it feel cramped at all?
My table is 85 x42, so 8 is perfect, and everyone is not that far from the action. My buddy has a 10 seat 96x48 table that IMO, is much too big. Sitting on the ends, everything seems so far away...lots of elbow room however.
My table sits 8 comfortably. I'd never sit anymore than that.
 
Like I said above. 8 vs 10 tablet... personal preference. And often based on whether the builder likes full or short handed games.
 

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