Bullenrunde table build

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I'm in the process of building my first "real" poker table.
I did a table topper in the year 2006 but it was crude and designed to fit on my parents kitchen table.
After getting my own place a year later, it was just placed on whatever table was available and yeah, the fit wasn't perfect.
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After using this thing for 14 years and having lots of time to plan, I started building a new table topper.
This time I decided to go for an oval because we only have a narrow space in our flat and a round or octagon table would just not fit.
Also I think it looks cool.

Here's the table and the spot it's gonna be placed on:
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After watching hours of table builds on YouTube and getting inspiration and great info here on PCF, I decided on 82x42 inches or as we in europe call it 210x106cm. I'm gonna stick to the metric system for the rest of the measurements for my own convenience.

Things that were clear from the start:
No racetrack - just very noisy and impractical

No cupholders in the rail/playing surface - aesthetics and I don't want beverages on the table.

I did ponder a raised rail for a long time because I like the aesthetics but decided against it because I wanted to keep the project as beginner friendly as possible since this is my first real woodworking project and many of the tools needed, I'd be using for the first time in my life.

So I knew what I wanted my table topper to look like and what tools I'd be needing.

Here's the sketch I used to explain what I have in mind for the rail upholstery to my dad and brother in law:
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A problem I had to overcome was to get the actual materials.
Yourautotrim.com or any of the sources I found in the guide threads were not an option because of very high shipping and import costs to the EU.

In the end, I bought the rail foam from a german online foam seller and the vinyl for the rail from a company that produces motorcycle seat materials.
My playing surface foam is gonna be a 5mm xxl yoga mat under a suited speedcloth (for now).

In terms of wood I chose two 16mm what we in germany call "Tischlerplatte" or translated "carpenters board". Not sure if it's what you call plywood in the US. They are very sturdy, don't warp and keep their form for a long long time.
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Here you can see my working space. Since my wife claims to be allergic to sawdust and dirt in general if it's in our apartment, my father offered his painting room.
It's not big but it's better than doing it outside my flat on the sidewalk while my wife glowers from the window and thinks what I'm doing is a complete waste of time and money.

We got to work with my newly purchased router and here are some pictures:
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All cuts done:
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Time to glue the rail:
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Lots of sanding still to go to smooth the edges of the rail:
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This was my plan to rail to fasten the rail to the board/playing surface: The idea is to be able to remove and reattach the rail easily to switch out the cloth when necessary.
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The first trouble I encountered in my project was the following:
I drilled the holes freehand and I drilled the rail first and the base board second because I needed two different thicknesses. This led to holes that didn't match up perfectly and that were not at an exact 90° angle.
So it was near impossible to get the screws in. I made it work but it was a bitch to screw in and the counterparts to the screws that were supposed to sit tight kept moving. There was a very real possibility that those would just pop out into the rail foam when I'd be removing/screwing in the screws after upholstery.
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So this would not do at all.
I removed them all and filled the holes back up with wood pins and some wood glue/repair paste.
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I ordered a different kind of system which we call "Einschlagmuttern":
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These should work better.

Work continues on wednesday when they are scheduled to arrive.

Also I already predrilled all the new holes and this time I used my newly aquired drill guide to get the 90° angle right:
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Update to follow in a few days.

Sorry for the cliffhanger. ;)
 
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Eriks

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Looking forward to see the finished table! Nice to have so many women playing! We had a friend’s wife join us once, and it’s been a long time since my wife pretended to like playing poker
 
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Yeah it's all police officers and over the years we had a pretty consistent 50% quota of women. After it became clear a few days in advance that it was just me and another dude on that particular night, we went ahead and called it ladies night. I even ordered a pink deck of cards that arrived just in time.
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Good times. All pre covid ofc. :(
 
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I'm gonna use a suited speedcloth in midnight blue for now, but I'm already on the waiting list of @timinater to have a nice custom cloth designed.
So the speedcloth will probably be replaced in about 2-3 months if everything goes acoording to plan.
speed-cloth-suited-midnight-blau.jpg
 
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So what happened next?

My parents had to go to quarantine after a covid case in their vicinity and then went on holidays for two weeks. And now I'm sick with a common cold and don't want to infect my parents. A string of unfortunate circumstances. I sooo wanna finish that table... Maybe on Monday.
 
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Here we go again!
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I spent a lot of time planning on how to fasten the rail to the playing surface because as a table topper, there couldn't be anything sticking out from under the tabletopper to ruin my wifes kitchen table.
So countersinking everything was the name of the game.
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All woodworking done and ready for the textiles.
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left to right: 2,5 cm HD Foam (hardest they had) for the rail, 0,5 cm yoga mat for under the playing surface, midnight blue suited speedcloth, motorcycle seat artificial leather - black.
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You can see the "Einschlagmuttern" in the upper hole. I love it when a plan comes together.
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The yoga mat trimmed and glued to the base board. You cannot feel the structure through the speedcloth.
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Upholstering the speedcloth was a piece of cake compared to the rail...
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Test-fit - Yes, everything is where it should be.
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The HD foam about to be glued to the rail.
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The wood was glue- thirsty and required a second coat before beeing sticky enough to hold the foam.
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Final steps...
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Cutting the foam didn't go as clean as I hoped. We bent it upwards to the shape it would have when upholstered and cut it right there with an electric knife. No way to get clean cuts this way, next time I'll measure how much I'll need on each side and cut it lying down. Should be easier to keep it straight.
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Almost ran out of staples. Out of the 1000 I had, there were only about 40 left. Phew.
It was a bitch to get done and without my dad helping me, I would've really struggled to keep everything smooth. The wrinkels on the underside is something I can live with since you cannot see them when the tabletopper is set up.
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Moment of truth: will everything still come together after strapping several layers of foam and speedcloth between the rail and base plate?
The answer is yes. Yes indeed.
 
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And all done. I had to leave as soon as we finished, because it was past my son's bedtime. So I only have the one picture.
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More to come over the next weeks though. ;)

I gotta say, I'm a little proud of myself. As my first woodworking project, it came together nicely and I was able to overcome the problems that I was facing along the way. It may be basic and simple, but I used only high quality materials and I hope this table topper lasts me a long time.
 
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The story continues!
The table topper is still at my parents, since I didn't have the time to lend a car or truck from a friend to pick it up.
I'm pretty sure it's not gonna fit in my Peugeot 108...
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Last time when I visited my parents I took some chips with me to take a few pictures.
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Looking good!

But what is this???
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After attaching the rail, my decision, to not glue the speedcloth to the base came back to bite me in the ass.
I have minor wrinkles forming because the rail is compressing the speedcloth inwards.
So I ordered more staples and I will redo the speedcloth upholstery. I'll glue it down this time and I'm gonna apply more force when stapling it down to avoid those pesky wrinkles.

I'll probably get to it on Saturday and I'll keep you posted.
 
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The freshly ordered staples arrived in time for my weekly visit at my parents where the table topper still resides.

It was time to get rid of those wrinkles in my speedcloth.

First, I removed all staples except for one side to expose the yoga mat underneath and cover it in spray on glue. I didn't at the first time around because I thought it was unnecessary and could potentially lead to an uneven surface and gunk buildup under the speedcloth. Boy was I wrong.
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The glue did exactly what it's supposed to do and just locked the speedcloth in place. I used a round wooden pole to smooth out any potential wrinkles and stapled everything back on.
No wrinkles, no movement of the speedcloth, just pure awesomeness.

While I was at it, I removed some staples from the rail and put some more tension on some parts of the vinyl to smooth out some areas that did not look as round as the rest.
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All left to do was reassemble the rail to the playing surface and my table topper was finally done.
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Brookston

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Great choice of router! Makita is one of the last tool makers not bought by a global conglomerate who sticks the old name on shitty plastic garbage.

If I were starting again I'd go all Makita.
 
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Great choice of router! Makita is one of the last tool makers not bought by a global conglomerate who sticks the old name on shitty plastic garbage.

If I were starting again I'd go all Makita.
It was a fantastic tool to work with. If I could afford it, I'd go with way more products of them as well. :)
 
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Im already writing back and forth with the design maestro @timinater and we're inching closer to a finished custom cloth design. Should be pretty epic when it's done.

That being said I also like the simplicity of the speedcloth and this will do nicely for now.
 
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