Help with First Table Build

GarryT123

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I'm planning on building my first table, getting supplies this weekend. I've built a roulette table top, and repurposed a foosball table into a craps table (definitely not the prettiest designs and probably belong in the fugly thread) but they gave me a bit of experience and I learned a lot from building them. Next I wanted to build a real poker table like the amazing ones that I've seen on the forum. I want one with a slight raised rail, (1.5" perhaps?) I had a few questions about the build specifically: How many sheets of lumber am I gonna need? What's the best sizing? and what kind of foam do I need for the rail?

ps - I want to get a custom felt and need a lot of help with design for that cause I am god awful at it
 

aaronj

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Hey Garry,
I'll take a crack at your questions.
1. Lumber - 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood - 48' x 96' is usually sold standard. There are lots of YouTube build video's that show various configurations
edit - link to the first on to come up on youtube -

2. Sizing - if you leave the plywood as is, it would probably be a 10 person table. Not sure how big your game is but you could cut or have the plywood cut down if you wanted a smaller playing surface for 6 or 8.

3. Volara is the go to foam for rails. closed cell and readily available. Edit - for the playing surface - thanks to @kmccormick100 for the correction

4. Custom felt/speed cloth @T_Chan is your source

Hope this helps get you on your way.

Aaron
 
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kmccormick100

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Hey Garry,
I'll take a crack at your questions.
1. Lumber - 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood - 42' x 84' is usually sold standard. There are lots of YouTube build video's that show various configurations
edit - link to the first on to come up on youtube -

2. Sizing - if you leave the plywood as is, it would probably be a 10 person table, that's pretty standard. Not sure how big your game is but you could cut or have the plywood cut down if you wanted a smaller playing surface for 6 or 8.

3. Volara is the go to foam for rails. Open cell and readily available.

4. Custom felt/speed cloth @T_Chan is your source

Hope this helps get you on your way.

Aaron
I'm gonna FYP
1. For a 1.5" raised rail you're going to probably want 3 sheets of 3/4" plywood. 2 sheets will get you a nice standard rail as probably 70-80% of builders do.
2. I wouldn't ever recommend leaving the plywood 48" x 96", that's an unnecessarily wide table. Standard 10 player tables are usually in the 94-96" x 42-44" range, 84" x 42" is a great size for 8 handed (or 9-10 packed tight in a pinch)
3. Volara is a great closed cell (waterproof) 1/4" foam for the playing surface, but is more expensive and firmer than standard 1/4" "sew foam" that I used on my table because I prefer a softer surface.
You want the 1" Hi density foam for the rails.
4. T Chan's custom cloth is fantastic, but also almost doubles the build price and is out of a lot of first time builders' budgets. I recommend quality suited speedcloth from YourAutoTrim, or an overprint table layout on gaming cloth which a lot of people find from Ebay or Spinettis in the $50-100 range.
5. Whisper Vinyl is probably the most user friendly, 4 way stretch vinyl used for railings, highly recommend it.

YourAutoTrim.com is your friend, you should be able to find everything you need there.

Good luck!
288540
 

aaronj

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I'm gonna FYP
1. For a 1.5" raised rail you're going to probably want 3 sheets of 3/4" plywood. 2 sheets will get you a nice standard rail as probably 70-80% of builders do.
2. I wouldn't ever recommend leaving the plywood 48" x 96", that's an unnecessarily wide table. Standard 10 player tables are usually in the 94-96" x 42-44" range, 84" x 42" is a great size for 8 handed (or 9-10 packed tight in a pinch)
3. Volara is a great closed cell (waterproof) 1/4" foam for the playing surface, but is more expensive and firmer than standard 1/4" "sew foam" that I used on my table because I prefer a softer surface.
You want the 1" Hi density foam for the rails.
4. T Chan's custom cloth is fantastic, but also almost doubles the build price and is out of a lot of first time builders' budgets. I recommend quality suited speedcloth from YourAutoTrim, or an overprint table layout on gaming cloth which a lot of people find from Ebay or Spinettis in the $50-100 range.
5. Whisper Vinyl is probably the most user friendly, 4 way stretch vinyl used for railings, highly recommend it.

YourAutoTrim.com is your friend, you should be able to find everything you need there.

Good luck!


Thanks for the corrections - wouldn't want to steer anyone wrong - @GarryT123 ^^^^ this is the one you want.
 

WedgeRock

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For those that don't like the firmness of Volara, I put a single layer of headliner over the Volara. I think it gives you the perfect balance. The Volara stays firm and prevents chip contact with the hard surface below, but the headliner softens the surface and prevents a chip tossed into the pot from putting an eye out.

JMHO.

But if you're only going with one layer, Volara for sure.
 

GarryT123

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I'm okay with the price of custom cloth, since that's really why I'm making the table. Do y'all know of anyone who could help with the designing?
 

Old State

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For those that don't like the firmness of Volara, I put a single layer of headliner over the Volara. I think it gives you the perfect balance. The Volara stays firm and prevents chip contact with the hard surface below, but the headliner softens the surface and prevents a chip tossed into the pot from putting an eye out.

JMHO.

But if you're only going with one layer, Volara for sure.
I built my table before one could easily source this stuff and used headliner for the playing surface. Surprisingly I much prefer the feel of it to anything else. Most foams used are too dense for my taste.

If you are on a budget you could also find a heavy fabric on sale from Joanne’s. I’m actually not in a budget per se but have “refelted” my table several times with cool looking fabrics I’ve found randomly stopping into a fabric store. Usually black. I keep thinking I will go to a custom felt or purpose designed cloth but never do.

Ive stopped worrying about waterproofness as I’ve only had 2–3 minor spills in the 16 years I’ve had it.
 

Darson

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I used 2 sheets and my raised rail is only 3/4" but it's good enough and everyone likes it. Also, I used carpet underlay for my playing surface foam - it seems to work really well and I've had no observations of any issues.
 

smashr

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I used 2 sheets and my raised rail is only 3/4" but it's good enough and everyone likes it. Also, I used carpet underlay for my playing surface foam - it seems to work really well and I've had no observations of any issues.
Some of it depends on if you want a racetrack or not. No racetrack is easier to get away with 2-sheets. Also worth noting that if portability is a factor, 2-sheets will be much lighter.
 

Darson

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Some of it depends on if you want a racetrack or not. No racetrack is easier to get away with 2-sheets. Also worth noting that if portability is a factor, 2-sheets will be much lighter.
Here's a link to my build thread. Personally, although I do move my table, I would not call it light! Need at least two people to move it!
 

GarryT123

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What rail coverings do y'all like best? I've always only thought about the classic black vinyl, but now I'm thinking about maybe something different like carbon fiber?
 

GarryT123

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I used 2 sheets and my raised rail is only 3/4" but it's good enough and everyone likes it. Also, I used carpet underlay for my playing surface foam - it seems to work really well and I've had no observations of any issues.
Did you just use a sheet of plywood to raise your rail?
 

smashr

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What rail coverings do y'all like best? I've always only thought about the classic black vinyl, but now I'm thinking about maybe something different like carbon fiber?
Carbon fiber style vinyl looks alright, but is such a pain to work with. You'll have to pull three times as hard to try and get it to lay flat...
 

GarryT123

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Well, it's been a while since I got on here, haven't started yet been too busy with work and trying to get all the materials gathered.

For the rail foam, is it better to get a bigger sheet so as to cut as few pieces as possible, or could you hack a rail out of a shorter sheet without much difference to the feel? (basically asking how much foam I'm gonna need for the rail.) Also looking at yourautotrim.com, what's the difference between the "premium 65lbs foam" and the "standard 45lbs" foam?
 
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celticnoel

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Hey, for the rail your gonna wanna buy a full sheet it just makes for a much more professional job. Your gonna want to add at least 3" overlap to each side of your table dimensions. Good luck
 

celticnoel

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Oh and as for the foam itself I can't speak for yat but you'd be best getting the firmer stuff imo.
 
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72o

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Yeah get the firmest foam (65lb stuff) from YAT and definitely use one long sheet of foam. Any cuts in the rail foam will be brought out once you wrap it with the vinyl and the smoother the rail, the better obviously. Just lay the foam down and place the rail upside down on it. You'want to leave about a 3" overhang on the outside edge of the rail and about 1" overhang on the inside (in order to wrap the foam/vinyl around the rail assembly).

Knollwoods rail section.jpg


Knollwoods rail.jpg
 

GarryT123

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Finally getting some work done on the table. Decided to nix the raised rail idea, it was just complicating things and since this is my first table I wanted everything to be as simple and easy as possible. Here's some teaser pron for y'all (excuse the poor photography, my camera's screwed up). got everything cut out, put playing surface foam on, and rail is halfway upholstered. Gonna finish the rail today, and then I just have to wait for my @T_Chan cloth to come in. Special shoutout to Tony for the design help, and @Darson for the under carpet idea. Worked like a charm. Thank you all for the help!
309553
309554
 

Trihonda

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Missed this thread... the advice I’d have given would be to make sure you use a router for the circle cuts...
 

Trihonda

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Yeah that probably would have worked better. I used a jigsaw and did a lot of sanding
The pieces shown in the previous pic.. are those pre or post sanding? Seriously, I’d draw a perfect arc (on the curves) and straight edge line on the sides, then sand until the cuts match the lines drawn) and are better. Those look rough. If I were building a table, I’d fix those edges, or start over (just me, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist).

Finishing (upholstery) and matching up the pieces (screwing them all together) will be infinitely easier with smooth (matching) cuts.
 
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