Crazy Topper Build with Built-in 55" TV

Trihonda

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I was discussing this in the Official D&D Thread, but this really rates it's own thread. I'm planning to create a topper that will sit atop my Fat Tire table. Inset into this topper I plan to flush mount a 55" TV. The idea is to use this topper for displaying game maps (battle encounters, dungeons, etc...). Here's an example of a table placed into a table top...


Here's an example of a TV battle map one might use in a game



Well... it looks like this will become a reality.. I just brought home a new 55” LED TV. It’s only 2.3” thick (which is SUPER THIN). 28” x48” are the total outer dimensions... Let's document the build here!


I am planning a Baltic birch topper (likely stained blackish), with a 28x48 hole in the center. My goal is to then route out a recess lip slightly bigger 1/4” deep, to accept a piece of 1/4” thick acrylic to cover the tv screen...

Here's a rough diagram of the side view.. obv not entirely to scale, but the height dimensions are accurate. I think I’ll add two table (desk) grommets, one on each end. One can be used to supply cabling between the TV and laptop, and the other will hide a PC fan to exhale hot air, which will get sucked in from the other end. Should I decide to rearrange the orientation, I’d only need switch fan to the other side. Anyway, that’s the plan thus far. It’s a super new and light TV, and I’m hoping that 3/4” distance between the TV and the Chan cloth (with forced air ventilation) will be enough to prevent any issues. Paging @T_Chan

B5195FC5-F9D7-4447-BEA2-2A2C52118BBA.jpeg


Here’s the footprint of the TV screen at the table. Keep in mind that the topper will overhang the rail vinyl by 1” on all sides. This will leave the sides 10” of table space between the edge of the table and the screen. Seems tight to me, but on par with other gaming tv tables.

6F10884F-A2BC-49E1-A776-96740B258E02.jpeg


It's my game plan to rout out a channel under the topper to run a power cord, wrapped around the outside poker rail, and down to a power strip already located in the legs. I'll likely mount another power strip under the table to provide juice to the TV, Fan, and possibly an Apple TV…

Projected costs:
TV $400
Acrylic $100
Birch Ply $50
Asst Power Strips/Cords $25
PC Vent Fan $25
Apple TV (optional) $100
Total = $600-700

Any thoughts, criticisms, suggestions, ridicule, etc... ???
 

bsdunbar1

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Very interested to follow you building this.
As far as this still being a thing - I just had someone contact me last week wanting a custom gaming table made exactly like what @Trihonda is doing (minus the poker table underneath)
 

binisha

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I think I'm intrigued by this enough to say let me know if your planning on needing a spare set of hands. That 90 min drive may be worth it to see this come together.
 

Darson

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Cool build - I’ll definitely be following along.

One piece of advice is to try and make sure there is no pressure on the screen, even from the sides. I have a 55” tv and I mounted it in our cabinet but it’s resting on the base and there is a little bright spot in the middle. It’s not very noticeable unless that part of the screen is black but it’s clearly due to the slight pressure there.

Good luck!
 

Trihonda

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I didn’t realize D&D was still a thing. Does that count as ridicule? Might just be a thought.
Ya, it's crazy... the amount of people playing has skyrocketed to record numbers this last year or two.. Lots of reasons I suppose, Game of Thrones, LOTR, and other fantasy shows driving interest, and D&D also recently created the most user friendly and simple version of the game ever, and created simple drop-in style league play which makes finding a game at your local game store super easy.. As an example, the Madison area has 4-5 game stores. They all host open gaming (mostly D&D) once a week (or more), and they are bursting at the seams. The last one I attended had 80+ players, over 12 tables, and they only had expected 50... It's growing fast. It's no longer geeks and 30 year-olds who live in their parents basement. The people who were at my table last week were a fighter jet pilot, a doctor, a lawyer, and some IT folks (ok, they werer geeky), lol...

Anyway, further discussion specifically about D&D might be better suited in the OFFICIAL D&D THREAD
 
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Trihonda

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Very interested to follow you building this.
As far as this still being a thing - I just had someone contact me last week wanting a custom gaming table made exactly like what @Trihonda is doing (minus the poker table underneath)
My only concerns are not having a skirt around the outside of the topper... I think a skirt would make the topper look much cleaner.... but, I think the weight of the ply and TV will hold them firmly in place. There will only be an overhang of 1" on all sides, and I don't think that's enough space/real estate for a skirt. I also think I can get away without it. I could always add some "bumpers" mounted to the bottom of the topper, designed to fit just inside the rail to prevent it from sliding side to side. That's also something I could always add later if need be?

The other concerns are with cordage (which I think I outlined above) and with space/heat.

One piece of advice is to try and make sure there is no pressure on the screen, even from the sides. I have a 55” tv and I mounted it in our cabinet but it’s resting on the base and there is a little bright spot in the middle. It’s not very noticeable unless that part of the screen is black but it’s clearly due to the slight pressure there.
I plan to mount it from behind using the existing wall mount screw holes, through some metal brackets I'll run across the width of the back of the TV. I will mount it 1/4" below the table top surface, giving a teenie bit of gap so it's not forced into the space. I then plan to lay an Acrylic piece over the top for protection. The screen and acrylic will be in contact.
 
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allforcharity

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I didn’t realize D&D was still a thing. Does that count as ridicule? Might just be a thought.
The latest version of D&D (5th edition) has outsold all previous editions. There are more D&D players now than there ever have been. And that's saying something!
 

BGinGA

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Make sure to include some type of protection for your gaming felt (covering cloth or preferably vinyl/plastic).

Last thing you want is some type of permanent discoloration or stretching/wrinkles in your Fat Tire playing surface caused by heat, air flow, leakage, condensation, sparks, etc. (or something you won't have even considered until it's too late).

Better safe than sorry, and the extra expense and hassle to do so is minimal.
 

Trihonda

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Make sure to include some type of protection for your gaming felt (covering cloth or preferably vinyl/plastic).

Last thing you want is some type of permanent discoloration or stretching/wrinkles in your Fat Tire playing surface caused by heat, air flow, leakage, condensation, sparks, etc. (or something you won't have even considered until it's too late).

Better safe than sorry, and the extra expense and hassle to do so is minimal.
I think I’ll require an entire sheet of acrylic, so any left overs could be strategically placed under the TV... was already thinking along these lines...

and to answer the bracket/airflow concern, the brackets will run width wise, and should not obstruct airflow. I’ll also have two grommets (one in - one out)...
 

Trihonda

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This looks amazing... but instead of Acrylic for a cover... you should go all the way and put in a touchscreen: (http://tabler.tv/multitouchscreen.html)
;) :tup:
not sure I want a touch screen? I intend to utilize miniatures on top of the surface. Moving them around would jack up the display I think.

Anyway here’s two options I have for the TV recess. Both involve the TV being recessed 1/4” with acrylic on top.

Option 1
Do I go with a method that gives the TV screen a pocket to fit into? This would hold the tv more firmly into place, and not merely rely on the rear mounts holding it from moving in both directions (in and out). This would also allow a standard piece of plexi be utilized more efficiently (less than 48” wide). And it would cover up the 1/4” wide black screen trim. But it would sit directly in the tv screen then. 1/4” plexi is tough and very rigid so I think it’ll still protect the screen somewhat.
2038F18A-CF17-4A81-8538-C1DAFCFB508E.jpeg


Option two,
Go with the original plan, which allows the plexi to rest on a lip of plywood, offering slightly more screen protection. But it requires using twice the plexi, being over 48” wide. It also will show the black tv trim ring.
D2B03682-3DAA-4024-9C8A-B60D42C89A8E.jpeg
 

Darson

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Better not to use two pieces of plexi. Even though 1/4" is rigid, over such a large area it may still dip in the middle. I would see if you can get any insight from the supplier before committing to 1/4" especially as it's likely people will lean on it and you will have figures etc on top although they're likely to be pretty light. Worst case, you may have to go up in thickness.
 

Trihonda

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Better not to use two pieces of plexi. Even though 1/4" is rigid, over such a large area it may still dip in the middle. I would see if you can get any insight from the supplier before committing to 1/4" especially as it's likely people will lean on it and you will have figures etc on top although they're likely to be pretty light. Worst case, you may have to go up in thickness.
I’ve checked with several suppliers and 1/4” is the thickest they carry, without going into industrial ballistic barrier quality plexi glass.
The other issue with more thickness is that it creates distortion between the minis on top and the grid lines displayed on the screen. Often times they will be viewed at an angle, so it’s hard to tell which square they’re in if there’s a lot of plexi in the way.
 

Trihonda

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Here’s more of my plan. Obv I will need to move some of the cords around to fit...

the other thing to note is my TV only weighs 18lbs. It’s super thin and light. the brackets won’t need to be super beefy to support the weight. But ill have to be careful about what I set on top of it. Making me lean more towards my original recess design. With the lip for the plexi to rest on.

17091314-DD52-4D9B-991F-73AAB0823571.jpeg
 
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karsus

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not sure I want a touch screen? I intend to utilize miniatures on top of the surface. Moving them around would jack up the display I think.
The idea is that with a touch screen, when they move the miniatures it could update the dungeon app (I think there is a way to do it with RollD20)
 

karsus

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I like the latest design. You might want two fans though... One intake and one outtake. as heat would be one of my larger concerns with this project
 
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T_Chan

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HAnyway, that’s the plan thus far. It’s a super new and light TV, and I’m hoping that 3/4” distance between the TV and the Chan cloth (with forced air ventilation) will be enough to prevent any issues. Paging @T_Chan
The fabric doesn't like too much heat. I can't say for sure if the heat from a TV screen will adversely affect the felt and/or foam.
 

Trihonda

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The fabric doesn't like too much heat. I can't say for sure if the heat from a TV screen will adversely affect the felt and/or foam.
good to know. I’m planning on needing a full 4x8 sheet of plexi, and whatever I don’t use for the screen protector, I plan to lay underneath onto the custom felt. I feel the vent fans should dissipate the overall temps, and the acrylic heat shield should protect the felt and foam from more direct exposure.

the 1/4 acrylic heat shield only leaves 1/2“ of clearance between the back of the TV... though, that’s at its thickest. Most of the TV is much thinner...

any other nuggets of wisdom, Tony?
 

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I wonder if tempered glass would be better over the screen. I think it would sag less than plexi, and it's less prone to scratches. You could also scribble on it easily with a marker and wipe it off.
 

Trihonda

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I wonder if tempered glass would be better over the screen. I think it would sag less than plexi, and it's less prone to scratches. You could also scribble on it easily with a marker and wipe it off.
I think you'd be correct about the scratches part... Not sure about the sagging aspect, as I've seen a lot of glass tops that sag... That 1/4" plexi is pretty stiff... You can also dry erase easily on plexi acrylic, and don't have to worry about shattering (impacts). But it's worth considering.
 

Trihonda

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BGinGA

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Anyone have fan recommendations? Looking for 3" or 80mm. Something with an AC plug. The 12v units appear much quieter, but I'm plugging this into an outlet.

Here's one I found on Amazon, but I have no idea about these types of fans...?

https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-Cooling-Ventilation-Projects/dp/B009OXTWZI/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

And something like this to cover the holes... Obv would be pulled up when fan is operational

View attachment 353303
I have two similar-design exhaust/cooling fans installed in a cabinet that houses a cable box, wireless router, telephone converter, and UPS. The fans plug into USB ports, don't make much noise at all, and keep the four electronics devices plenty cool. I think 110v units would be huge overkill for your set-up, especially if you already have the table wired for USB.
 
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