Help Make this Table Great (Again?) (1 Viewer)

Burke

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I'd like to refurbish this table for my Dad's birthday (leap year). So this table is pretty trashed, but after seeing @atomiktoaster's refurbished Craisgslist table (post #18 in the Table Pron thread) I was super encouraged that I may be able to salvage this!

I must admit I know nothing....starting with the materials to obtain. Would you mind walking me step-by-step through this? This table quite obviously needs a new rail in addition to the playing surface. I would like to either remove the cupholders all together or make functional ones. The current "cupholders" do nothing as they are maybe 1/2 inch deep. I would like to retain the foldability of the table and I am not looking to make any changes to the legs.

Thanks guys!

Table 1.JPG Table 2.JPG Table 3.JPG Table 4.JPG Table 5.JPG
 

Burke

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Hi @brains613! Good questions. No real time crunch - I'd prefer to get it done by April if I had to put a due-date on it. Budget is tricky...I would say $200.
 

brains613

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That IS tricky. I'll have to give it some thought. But a yard of SSC is around $16, you need three. Rail material can be cheaper, anywhere from 5-15 a yard, and you need three. You'll also need foam. You might be able to get it under budget for materials, it's the BUILD part that I'm having trouble visualizing,

If you're serious, I have some samples of rail vinyls and SCC at home. You can swing by and grab them on one game night if you like.
 

atomiktoaster

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That IS tricky. I'll have to give it some thought. But a yard of SSC is around $16, you need three. Rail material can be cheaper, anywhere from 5-15 a yard, and you need three. You'll also need foam. You might be able to get it under budget for materials, it's the BUILD part that I'm having trouble visualizing,

If you're serious, I have some samples of rail vinyls and SCC at home. You can swing by and grab them on one game night if you like.

I used the Brybelly Two Tone cloth and have nothing bad to say about it, but it's not a ton cheaper: https://www.amazon.com/section-two-...1488223407&sr=8-5&keywords=suited+speed+cloth

yourautotrim.com is probably the best source for vinyl and foam. You'll need surface foam as well, typically headliner or volara. If you need to preserve the fold in the table, there's not much point in doing a one piece rail foam or vinyl cut. I got away with a 54" square of rail foam for my folding topper by nesting the pieces before I cut them out (https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/folding-topper-with-rail.14256/). The vinyl pieces need much more area for stretching and stapling (2-2.5 yards). I'd strongly consider slide under cupholders if you are ok with them.

How bad is the bow at the hinge? Mine was coming apart, so I added glue in all the open gaps, replaced the hinge screws circled in blue with longer ones that went into the MDF and put a screw into each of the locations with the red arrows.

Reinforcement.png


Step by step, this is how I might tackle it:

1. Remove the rail pieces (they look like machine screws into t-nuts, which is great).
2. Reinforce the hinge blocks to correct the bow, or just to prevent future damage (screws and maybe glue)
3. Strip and scrape the old green playing surface and foam (big PITA, in my experience)
4. Strip the vinyl off the 6 existing rail segments and number them and the table under them in case the holes aren't interchangable.
5. Use a bearing trim bit in a router to duplicate the rail pieces (which are 1/4" flimsy ply on my table) out of 3/8" ply or MDF. Push out the existing t-nuts if possible, use the existing holes as guides for the new pieces, and reuse the old nuts. use a roundover bit to ease the edges of the rail pieces (not at the joints). You could also lay out two new u-shaped rail pieces, rather than the existing six piece design.
6. Glue the foam to the table and trim it to shape (0.5" to 1" overlap under the rail, I'd guess).
7. Staple the SSC to the table, folding the cut edge under in the seam but leaving it where the rail covers things. It can go 1" past the foam, but avoid the screw holes for the rail.
8. Glue the foam to the new rail pieces with t-nuts.
9. Stretch and staple the vinyl over the rail pieces
10. Shuffle up and deal

The rail is rather tool heavy, unfortunately. The existing pieces are so light that I'd worry about reusing them for stretched vinyl (where you really want to pull as hard as you possibly can on it). What steps on that list are sounding the worst to you?
 
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atomiktoaster

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Burke

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Thanks for all the advice! Step 5 on that list sounds like it may be the worst at this time, but I will update as I go. I don't have the table at my house so responses with pictures won't be immediate. I'm cool with slide-under cupholders.

I will get started on Steps 1-4 and will get my hands on some samples.
 

atomiktoaster

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Thanks for all the advice! Step 5 on that list sounds like it may be the worst at this time, but I will update as I go. I don't have the table at my house so responses with pictures won't be immediate. I'm cool with slide-under cupholders.

I will get started on Steps 1-4 and will get my hands on some samples.

Looking more closely at Russ's table, I think he just reinforced the existing rail pieces. That looks like a smart option. You just have to strip the old vinyl and foam, rough cut two plywood U shapes to fit over the old, thin rail pieces, and while they are still screwed in place, glue your new plywood U to the three old pieces. Now you have one big solid rail piece to work with and the t-nuts are already installed in the correct locations. Unscrew the rail, trim your rough new plywood to the same dimensions as the three old pieces with a router and trim bit, round over the edges and install the new foam and vinyl. You might need a little more vinyl length than usual, since you have to wrap under the ends where the rail splits for the hinge.
 

RussB42

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This wasn't very hard to do. I did add 3/4" plywood to raise the railing.My wife and did everything
 

MatB

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I'd like to refurbish this table for my Dad's birthday (leap year). So this table is pretty trashed, but after seeing @atomiktoaster's refurbished Craisgslist table (post #18 in the Table Pron thread) I was super encouraged that I may be able to salvage this!

I must admit I know nothing....starting with the materials to obtain. Would you mind walking me step-by-step through this? This table quite obviously needs a new rail in addition to the playing surface. I would like to either remove the cupholders all together or make functional ones. The current "cupholders" do nothing as they are maybe 1/2 inch deep. I would like to retain the foldability of the table and I am not looking to make any changes to the legs.

Thanks guys!

View attachment 84733 View attachment 84734 View attachment 84735 View attachment 84736 View attachment 84737

Well, i love the idea of recycling, but sometimes its just better to start fresh.

That looks like particle board for the main surface which doesn't have the best screw holding power. Which probably means not a "long term" table. which would be a shame if you put any significant time into it.

If your budget is $200 and you have some basic skills and some basic tools, or have a buddy you could borrow some tools from. I think your best bet might be to start fresh and build a new table. I don't think a table from scratch is going to cost much more than that,

Just my 2 cents. And as always, go with what your comfortable with,

Good luck !
 

atomiktoaster

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Well, i love the idea of recycling, but sometimes its just better to start fresh.

That looks like particle board for the main surface which doesn't have the best screw holding power. Which probably means not a "long term" table. which would be a shame if you put any significant time into it.

If your budget is $200 and you have some basic skills and some basic tools, or have a buddy you could borrow some tools from. I think your best bet might be to start fresh and build a new table. I don't think a table from scratch is going to cost much more than that,

Just my 2 cents. And as always, go with what your comfortable with,

Good luck !

It's not an ideal material, but you should really rely on glue to hold the hinge area together. The screws are secondary, mostly acting as clamping. A solid ply table with folding legs will hold up better, and pedestal base DIY tables are probably ideal, but sometimes you need the smaller size of a folder. That's complicated for a first time builder. Even @T_Chan has refurbed these tables, so the idea that they aren't worth the time and money to update is a little harsh, IMO.
 

Trihonda

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Well, i love the idea of recycling, but sometimes its just better to start fresh.

That looks like particle board for the main surface which doesn't have the best screw holding power. Which probably means not a "long term" table. which would be a shame if you put any significant time into it.

If your budget is $200 and you have some basic skills and some basic tools, or have a buddy you could borrow some tools from. I think your best bet might be to start fresh and build a new table. I don't think a table from scratch is going to cost much more than that,

Just my 2 cents. And as always, go with what your comfortable with,

Good luck !

This was going to be my advice exactly. The "pit boss" is a traditionally shoddy cheap table. To steal a phrase from Sara Palin (sorry), but you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. A table to be proud of will have good bones. I fear spending a lot of time and money re-doing this table will just be slapping a bandaid on a table that will eventually have it's bones give out. As stated, the base, legs, and rail are all less than ideal. Also, with cheap construction, it'll be more of a challenge trying to retrofit new materials onto the things like the rail. So much easier just to start from scratch, then all your materials will fit together better, easier. Best of luck in this endeavor! We expect pics of the journey.
 

MatB

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It's not an ideal material, but you should really rely on glue to hold the hinge area together. The screws are secondary, mostly acting as clamping. A solid ply table with folding legs will hold up better, and pedestal base DIY tables are probably ideal, but sometimes you need the smaller size of a folder. That's complicated for a first time builder. Even @T_Chan has refurbed these tables, so the idea that they aren't worth the time and money to update is a little harsh, IMO.


I would say its a little harsh if this was the table his dad played on for years and there was a sentimental value ti it. But that doesn't seem to be the case.
My reply was what I would do and what i'm comfortable with, but I would be interested to see what the advice of someone who's refurbed one of these is. And compared to building from scratch.
 

atomiktoaster

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@MatB and @Trihonda, the biggest issue with a 1" MDF base is that ply would be lighter. It's going to be good enough for an occasional game. For someone who can store a table where only the legs fold, building a new one is a better investment, but mostly due to design rather than materials. The folding hinge will always weaken the table, and kill the stiffness when you lean on it and be less smooth moving chips and cards around. But, if it's hinged table or no table, some lipstick on a pitboss has worked fine for people. I might change my mind if anyone who as actually worked with one (me, Russ and T_Chan, at least) voiced the same concerns.

I will say that @Burke should consider a railed folding topper build for an existing kitchen table. Mine is probably nicer to play on than my pitboss, due to having a solid stiff base.

Also, sorry @MatB, I posted by accident before I typed the comment. Had to edit it in.
 
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MatB

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@atomiktoaster

LOL... i realize now . YOU have refurbished one . see what happens when i speed read a thread.:whistle: :whistling:


EDIT: or did you add that after? am i going crazy?
 

Trihonda

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I've refurbished a couple tables of this caliber, and regret it. I think that when you go to reupholster the rail, the glued rail sections will likely break or be unusable. So you will wind up fabricating a new rail. And when you go to remove the old felt, you will find The old chewed up padding is likely glue down. And it is likely on cheap particleboard that tends to warp. Again, it's not impossible to refurbish these tables, but it would be easier in my opinion to start with fresh lumber. And I think that you will wind up with a better product in the end. Just my two cents.
 

atomiktoaster

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I've refurbished a couple tables of this caliber, and regret it. I think that when you go to reupholster the rail, the glued rail sections will likely break or be unusable. So you will wind up fabricating a new rail. And when you go to remove the old felt, you will find The old chewed up padding is likely glue down. And it is likely on cheap particleboard that tends to warp. Again, it's not impossible to refurbish these tables, but it would be easier in my opinion to start with fresh lumber. And I think that you will wind up with a better product in the end. Just my two cents.

I'd agree that you have to fabricate new rail pieces, since the wood from the old rail section is too thin. The rail section on my table weren't glued down, thankfully, just screwed with t-nuts. Glue would really be a mess to deal with.

The old padding needs to be scrapped, which really sucks, but the MDF top from my table was dead flat. There really does seem to be a lot of variation in the cheap tables.
 

Trihonda

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The two Chinese tables that I refurbished, had the rail sections glued down, so that when you tried to remove them they broke and shattered and splintered. Then you had to sand down the glue. Scraping the foam off of the play surface was a pain in the butt in my opinion, and I would've much rather just started with a new piece of better quality lumber. I think making the cuts on a new sheet of plywood, would take less time And energy then scraping glued foam from a piece of sub standard particleboard.

Since you are making cuts to create a new rail anyways, you might as well just make a new sub play surface base. It will be much easier to make the rail cuts match the place surface if you were doing it from scratch, rather than trying to fit a new rail dimensions onto an existing piece. It's just easier to do it all together from scratch.

Upholstery, and applying new place surface foam and speed cloth will be much easier and look better on a new piece of plywood that is cut to match the rail.
 

T_Chan

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To me there's a couple of factors to consider. The appealing part of refurbishing is that the table is already put together so you have many of the parts already done. You "just" have to repair and replace. Easier said than done with these types of folding tables, they're usually not built very well and can fall apart when taking them apart and/or when you're putting them back together.

Budget: You will save money by refurbishing the table. You can re-use as many parts of the table as possible which in the end saves some bucks.

Time: You will probably spend more time refurbishing the table than building a whole new one. Tearing out, dismantling, removing upholstery all take more time than putting it together from new.

Quality: You will likely get a better table if you build a new one. These folding tables typically have pretty poor construction and will probably sag over time if it's not sagging already. You can try to brace it or just live with the sag. The table that I did many moons ago actually had a hollow core, it was 2 skins of 1/16" veneer sandwiched together with some wood shims in between to make it look like a sheet of wood. It was very hard to work with because screws had nothing to hold onto in many areas. That being said, the table will be perfectly playable if you refurbish. Hey, it's better than using a wooden table.

The question is, would you rather spend more time and same some money or vice versa? If you don't feel confident cutting whole pieces of plywood into ovals, hauling around the material, etc... You may be better suited to refurb. Lots of factors I think that doesn't make this a Yes or No decision.

Ultimately the decision is yours to make whether it's worth it or not.
 

atomiktoaster

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Quality: You will likely get a better table if you build a new one. These folding tables typically have pretty poor construction and will probably sag over time if it's not sagging already. You can try to brace it or just live with the sag. The table that I did many moons ago actually had a hollow core, it was 2 skins of 1/16" veneer sandwiched together with some wood shims in between to make it look like a sheet of wood. It was very hard to work with because screws had nothing to hold onto in many areas. That being said, the table will be perfectly playable if you refurbish. Hey, it's better than using a wooden table.

Hollow core? Man, there is a ton of variation in how these tables are constructed. Evidently I lucked out with thick MDF and metal to metal fasteners on the rail pieces. It still sags a bit, but I'm not sure a hinge setup I made myself would be any better.
 

Burke

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Hey guys, thanks for all the advice and opinions! Just getting the chance to respond to all of these....

I will be refurbishing the table. I understand that I will be sacrificing some aspects of quality for sure.

I would say its a little harsh if this was the table his dad played on for years and there was a sentimental value ti it. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

This table was in the back of my dad's shop for years and was used by him and his employees. When he sold his business he moved it to a storage shed/home where it continued to get weekly(ish) use by my buddies until a few years ago. I don't think he is very sentimental about it though....I'll ask.

To me there's a couple of factors to consider. The appealing part of refurbishing is that the table is already put together so you have many of the parts already done. You "just" have to repair and replace. Easier said than done with these types of folding tables, they're usually not built very well and can fall apart when taking them apart and/or when you're putting them back together.

Budget: You will save money by refurbishing the table. You can re-use as many parts of the table as possible which in the end saves some bucks.

Time: You will probably spend more time refurbishing the table than building a whole new one. Tearing out, dismantling, removing upholstery all take more time than putting it together from new.

Quality: You will likely get a better table if you build a new one. These folding tables typically have pretty poor construction and will probably sag over time if it's not sagging already. You can try to brace it or just live with the sag. The question is, would you rather spend more time and same some money or vice versa? If you don't feel confident cutting whole pieces of plywood into ovals, hauling around the material, etc... You may be better suited to refurb. Lots of factors I think that doesn't make this a Yes or No decision.

Ultimately the decision is yours to make whether it's worth it or not.

@MatB and @Trihonda, the biggest issue with a 1" MDF base is that ply would be lighter. It's going to be good enough for an occasional game. For someone who can store a table where only the legs fold, building a new one is a better investment, but mostly due to design rather than materials. The folding hinge will always weaken the table, and kill the stiffness when you lean on it and be less smooth moving chips and cards around. But, if it's hinged table or no table, some lipstick on a pitboss has worked fine for people.

I will say that @Burke should consider a railed folding topper build for an existing kitchen table. Mine is probably nicer to play on than my pitboss, due to having a solid stiff base.

- Low budget
- Plenty of time
- Reduced quality with eventual sag is bad, but this table needs to be able to be stored in a corner of the garage when not in use so needs to fold. Frequency of use will likely be 4-5 times per year.
- I would say I'm NOT confident in cutting pieces of plywood into ovals.
- Table topper would be a good idea, but they only have one table in their house and its a glass circular table tucked into a corner.

I will update this thread with progress and pictures tomorrow.
 

Trihonda

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- I would say I'm NOT confident in cutting pieces of plywood into ovals.
.

THIS might be an issue... your rail will likely need to be redone (as in these rails are typically so cheap they snap and break upon removal)... this means you're going to have to refabricate the rail, which necessitates cutting into ovals.
 

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Yeah, even though my folding table ended up being on the high end of the quality range (t-nuts and no glue make the the rails simple to remove and replace undamaged) I still would fabricate new plywood rail bases. They're too thin to stretch the vinyl over. You need to have one person sit on the upside down rail, compressing the foam while you pull like hell. The other person staples. The existing pieces would definitely snap.

If you are lucky, you can just glue reinforcement to the existing pieces with t nuts in place, like Russ did. That way you don't need to lay out the curves or hole locations yourself. You'd still need a router, flush trim and roundover bits, but no circle jig or edge guide.

You're not confident, but do you want to learn? Tools could double the budget, but you might be able to borrow them, along with a knowledgeable owner, if you have the right buddy. It depends if this is a one time interest or not.

THIS might be an issue... your rail will likely need to be redone (as in these rails are typically so cheap they snap and break upon removal)... this means you're going to have to refabricate the rail, which necessitates cutting into ovals.
 

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Just take your time, be careful pulling it apart, try to enjoy the process.
 

Burke

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Alright....so I managed to pull everything apart up to now. It was very easy to remove the rail....just t-nuts and no glue similar to the table that @atomiktoaster worked with. The green playing surface was easy to remove as well. There was a slight layer of foam between the playing surface and the MDF, but there was minimal glue (took maybe 15-20 minutes to remove).

De-upholstering the 6 rail pieces was much more tedious. Not sure exactly how long but would estimate 3-4 hours. Removing the staples probably took the longest amount of time, but removing the foam glued to the rail was definitely a PITA (as everyone said it would be.) The rail pieces are super flimsy, but all intact. I took some pictures along the way....

Table 6.JPG Table 7.JPG Railtop 1.JPG Rail underside.JPG Rail thickness.JPG

You're not confident, but do you want to learn? Tools could double the budget, but you might be able to borrow them, along with a knowledgeable owner, if you have the right buddy. It depends if this is a one time interest or not.

Yeah of course! I plan on going to the hardware store with the six rail pieces and asking how much it would cost for them to cut a 1/2 inch of plywood to match each of the 6 rail sections. If I deem the cost is too high then I will certainly get with someone who has some tools and ability. Just because I'm not confident doesn't mean I'm not up for trying! There is no doubt that the rail needs to be reinforced.
 

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Yeah of course! I plan on going to the hardware store with the six rail pieces and asking how much it would cost for them to cut a 1/2 inch of plywood to match each of the 6 rail sections. If I deem the cost is too high then I will certainly get with someone who has some tools and ability. Just because I'm not confident doesn't mean I'm not up for trying! There is no doubt that the rail needs to be reinforced.

I think you'll do better stretching the vinyl on two pieces rather than six. No reason to copy a bad design.
 

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I think you'll do better stretching the vinyl on two pieces rather than six. No reason to copy a bad design.

Ya, this! I'd actually make the rail complete, then just chop it in half in the middle (before applying vinyl.
 

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Was able to do a lot in the past 24 hours to finish the table....I've included pics of the 2 rail pieces after a rough cut/glue before sanding, pics of the table with just SSC and lining up the middle pieces, and some pics of the final products. Not outstanding, but I'm happy with it. More importantly my dad was super pumped! (@MatB he did say it had a bit of sentimental value when I asked today.) Thanks for the samples, advice, and discussion guys (@brains613, @atomiktoaster, @Trihonda, @T_Chan).

Rails rough cut w: glue.JPG SSC_no rails.JPG Lining of the SSC.JPG Table long ways.JPG Table longitudinal.JPG

Happy to be able to shuffle up and deal!

Table_Palais chips.JPG
 

MatB

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Was able to do a lot in the past 24 hours to finish the table....I've included pics of the 2 rail pieces after a rough cut/glue before sanding, pics of the table with just SSC and lining up the middle pieces, and some pics of the final products. Not outstanding, but I'm happy with it. More importantly my dad was super pumped! (@MatB he did say it had a bit of sentimental value when I asked today.) Thanks for the samples, advice, and discussion guys (@brains613,@atomiktoaster, @Trihonda, @T_Chan).

View attachment 89873 View attachment 89877 View attachment 89872 View attachment 89874 View attachment 89875

Happy to be able to shuffle up and deal!

View attachment 89876


Nice one!! looks like it came out great. Nice job on the rail.
 
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