Help me create the best "slide out" cupholders!

Jake14mw

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I have been thinking for years about the best cupholder solution for me. Everyone has their own opinions. For me personally, I don’t like food, drinks, phones, etc on the table. Even having cupholders in the rail is not my cup of tea. I think drink carts are a good solution, and I do have a few, but if you have tight space, they get in the way. On the first two tables I built, I installed dual swing out cupholders between seats. I think this is a very good solution, but the only problem with them is that they are in a fixed location. Depending on where you are sitting, it will either be on your left or your right.

So now I’m trying to improve the slide-in/swingout cupholder implementation. The main goal is to allow each player to choose a cupholder not permanently attached to the table and allow them to place it where they want it. This would also allow me to supply a mix of jumbo and standard cupholders. I would also like to support small snack trays in the same way.

@JMC9389 provided some inspiration by showing these cupholders in a game table he has. I think this is a great system. I’m not a woodworker though, so I’m not sure if I could do that.


The other slight complication is that I am trying to do this on a round table. I will post some pictures and diagrams. I am thinking another method could be similar, but where you slide the cupholder in and it would lock in place somehow. Any ideas on how this can work? This is a diagram of the table.
table rail full.png


This is the same diagram with a potential solution.
rail with cupholder.png



Any other ideas for how to implement cupholders that can be movable? Maybe someone already has a good method for this.
 

Jake14mw

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Here are the swingout cupholders on my second table.
IMG_20200611_225943331_HDR.jpg


Here is what the underside of my 58" round looks like.
IMG_20200615_085315699~2.jpg
 

tabletalker7

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Does your table have power going to it for anything (lighted raised rail or charging stations come to mind)? If it does I don't see why electromagnets couldn't handle a metal cup holder.
 

Jake14mw

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Does your table have power going to it for anything (lighted raised rail or charging stations come to mind)? If it does I don't see why electromagnets couldn't handle a metal cup holder.
Yes, it does have power for LED lights and USB ports. How would that work? Sounds expensive, but I don't know anything about electromagnets.
 

tabletalker7

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Electromagnets are simple. Use DC power for them (AC probably works just as well but I never tried it so I don't know) so gutting a USB port is an option. Just add an extra one for this.
1. Add a strip of metal you want to be magnetic to the outside of the rail. It would look pretty good having that strip of metal instead of the strip of "decorative nails" just under the rail leather.
2. Take wire. Coil it and run the coiled wire behind the metal strip.
3. Hook up the coiled wire to power and ground for current flow. The more power you run through it, the stronger the magnet it makes.

By doing something like this you literally let people "stick" a cup holder at any section of the table rail they want.
 

Jake14mw

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I was thinking that another option would be to use the Stainless Steel slide under holders and another layer of wood that would hold it tightly?
 

Jake14mw

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I know I am more concerned with cupholders than most, but nobody has any suggestions? Maybe the ones that @JMC9389 has would not be that hard to build?
 

Colquhoun

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Or large Velcro patches. Put the soft side on the underside of the table for player comfort should they touch it, and the hook side on the removable cup holders. If strength is a concern, the 3M dual lock fasteners are similar to Velcro, but crazy strong
 

Jake14mw

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Or large Velcro patches. Put the soft side on the underside of the table for player comfort should they touch it, and the hook side on the removable cup holders. If strength is a concern, the 3M dual lock fasteners are similar to Velcro, but crazy strong
Thanks for the suggestion. I can't imagine that regular velcro would feel strong enough to confidently hold. Maybe I could try some of that dual lock fastener.
 

Jake14mw

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@Thomacetti brought up using neodymium magnets in the cupholder and a metal strip under the table in another thread. Hoping to discuss that further here.
 

Thomacetti

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Yes, those would work.

Tony did bring up a valid point about electronic devices & cards.
Since we have a no phone @table policy...for me that works out.
 

Jake14mw

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I'll order those then. Now, since the table I am doing this on is 58" round, I will need to see if I can find curved flat metal to use on the table bottom. I'm guessing that I won't be able to find that, I will have to just use a series of straight pieces.

Regarding electronic devices, the magnets would be in the cupholders. There would be a piece of metal and 1 1/2 inches of plywood, foam, and cloth between it and any phones, I don't think that would be any risk. Anyone correct me if they think I'm wrong. Thanks.
 

T_Chan

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I would actually be more worried about people with the cell phones in their pockets or purses on their lap. If someone snugs up to the table, or crosses their legs it might put their phone or wallet pretty close to the magnets. Though if people are made aware that the magnets are down there, they may be more careful.

I don't like to sit on my wallet, so I transfer it to a front pocket when I sit down and I like to sit close to the table as well.

I really like the idea of magnets, I think it's a real elegant solution. It's just one of my concerns.
 

Jake14mw

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I would actually be more worried about people with the cell phones in their pockets or purses on their lap. If someone snugs up to the table, or crosses their legs it might put their phone or wallet pretty close to the magnets. Though if people are made aware that the magnets are down there, they may be more careful.

I don't like to sit on my wallet, so I transfer it to a front pocket when I sit down and I like to sit close to the table as well.

I really like the idea of magnets, I think it's a real elegant solution. It's just one of my concerns.
It may be a legit concern. I just sat against my table, and a front pocket could get pretty close to the bottom of the cupholder. I am thinking that there at least a half inch of wood between the magnet and the bottom edge of the wood, so it won't be an issue, but I could be dead wrong. I will test it out when I get them.
 

Jake14mw

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I think I am just talking to myself here (not unusual), but the magnets I ordered are not big enough to hold a cupholder by themselves. Planned on using 3 per cupholder, but just not strong enough. I think 1 inch magnets would be better. Still trying to figure things out though.
 

TheDuke

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What's the concern with magnets and cell phones?

There's a market of cell phone holders for car vents, etc. that use magnets. If magnets damaged cell phones I don't these would exist. I've used one for years with multiple phones and have never had any issues.

I could see concern with wallets and credit cards. But these days credit cards and debit cards are chipped. I don't know when the last time I swiped a card to use the magnetic strip.
 
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Jake14mw

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@T_Chan , what is the minimum amount of wood you leave on each side of the cupholder? The "standard" size cupholders that I have require a 2 3/4" hole. It seems that standard 4" oak stock that is actually 3 1/2" wide might be too narrow? Thanks.
 

Jake14mw

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I have a question. I am attaching a strip of thin sheet metal, about 1 1/2 inches wide to the underside of the plywood rail that the magnets will attach to. So, glueing sheet metal to plywood with a poly finish. Any tips on glue to use? Gorilla glue?
rail with cupholder2.png
 

Thomacetti

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I think I am just talking to myself here (not unusual), but the magnets I ordered are not big enough to hold a cupholder by themselves. Planned on using 3 per cupholder, but just not strong enough. I think 1 inch magnets would be better. Still trying to figure things out though.

Sorry, I missed this update...was busy buying chips :)
Could you please make a picture... i'm surprised 3 of these not holding a cupholder.
I have same size on my tool board and 2 can hold my biggest hammer with no issues

I would use epoxy to glue them in
 

Jake14mw

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Sorry, I missed this update...was busy buying chips :)
Could you please make a picture... i'm surprised 3 of these not holding a cupholder.
I have same size on my tool board and 2 can hold my biggest hammer with no issues

I would use epoxy to glue them in
Thanks for the response. I won't have access to the table for about a week to take a picture. In the design I just posted above, it would be adequate, but not by themselves. I just ordered 1inch wide magnets to work with.
 

Taghkanic

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Thinking our loud here.... What if the cupholders were attached/inserted via a pair of dowels rather than a slot?

Then you could drill pairs of holes of that diameter at various intervals around the table.

Would probably want to use oak or a similarly strong wood.

Whichever solution you settle upon, I would be mindful that any bracket/block added to the underside of the table will reduce leg space (thigh space, to be exact). I’m not a giant — just a little over 6' — but a pet peeve is when the top of my bent leg jostles the underside of a table.
 
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