homemade cheapo table topper mat (work in progress) (1 Viewer)

Samuel

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Hi All, another 'sharing my experience so maybe you'd want to do it differently or not at all' thread, haha.

I have a decent folding poker table but often I'd just like to set things up on and use the dining room table. I've been using beach towels and more recently, a Mexican blanket but wanted to take a step up from that.

I bought a table mat - https://www.discountpokershop.com/roll-poker-table-top-green-p-603.html it fit Ok and was rock solid/steady but it was a tad small (table is a little over 40" wide and the mat was 35" wide) and only 2-2.1mm thick and hard (so I wasn't happy about the increased difficulty in picking up cards from the surface). Was able to return it (thanks for the heads up Offalo) for a full refund.

Then I looked into thicker softer rubber mats - gaming mats were kind of pricey and AFAIK the PCF mats aren't currently available. I decided to give cheapy yoga mats + cheapy speed cloth from Amazon + 3M 77 adhesive spray a shot. https://offerup.com/item/detail/1322714834 (these are 27" wide) https://offerup.com/item/detail/1299308923 (these are 32" wide) https://www.amazon.com/YH-Poker-108X60Inch-Section-Two-Tone/dp/B0791FX7X1 My intentions are to make roll up poker mats for the dining room table and for a couple of standard 6' plastic folding tables (that's still pending).

Still need to work on these two (showing one of the two)
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Here's the one just finished yesterday:

Table and yoga mats. Many cheap yoga mats are 24" wide, it was a little harder to find cheap 27" wide like these below or 32" wide like the black mats above. I have a 6'x4' mat (not pictured) as well but for my first go around, wanted to use the cheapies as guinea pigs.

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After a bunch of trimming (and simultaneously rewatching The Dark Knight Rises), I got the basic shape down (the mats came up a little short).

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Because I was planning on wrapping a border of speed cloth underneath and didn't feel too confident with my abilities to do that cleanly around curves, I decided to remove the curves. (and I probably should buy a straight edge at some point).

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The cloth. The speed cloth from Amazon comes folded up in a small package. I read that people had complaints about creases and wrinkles so I put it in the dryer for a few timed cycles of med-high heat and that seemed to work ok.

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Taking it outside. I ended up spraying twice and relaying the cloth because I apparently didn't spray enough the first time and the cloth peeled away pretty easily, even after drying. You can't see it but I had duct taped a couple of hardwood dowels (36"x1.25") on each end of cloth hanging down to help keep it stretched out.

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Trimming

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Flipping and more trimming. See that vertical gap in between the mats? I didn't pay enough attention to it. I should have taped the mats together on the bottom side before applying the cloth. (Of course using a one piece mat instead of two separate pieces would be even better).

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Gluing and folding tabs over

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Bringing back inside. There's that crease from the gap and a few haphazard wrinkles... :/ Overall, I give myself a B, I think it's useable and not bad for someone who never finished college... haha

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Next one or two should turn out much better (hopefully!).

A couple of additional things. The plan is to store this rolled up, maybe in a lacrosse gear bag (not too easy to find a narrower/smaller diameter 40"+ duffle bag). I tried rolling it up and it didn't like being rolled up very much - as you can imagine, the speed cloth has a different modulus of elasticity than the rubber mats underneath and I heard some of the adhesive peeling away from the mats as I rolled it. It didn't come apart completely but I may go back later and either apply more spray adhesive or better yet, use some clear silicone RTV instead, just for the tabs underneath.

Another option was to cut the mats matching the curvature of the table, apply the cloth, and then trim the cloth to match the curvature as well with nothing wrapping around underneath. I might give that a shot if/when I make another one with the 6'x4' mat but I'm not sure how the bare edging of the cloth and mat will wear or last. Again, better and easier to do this with a one piece mat than two retro Miami Vice looking mats.
 
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TheOffalo

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Love these posts and all the experimentation. You'll probably spend as much on test runs as on a single good topper :unsure: but the sense of satisfaction if/when you come up with something you're proud of is priceless. :rolleyes::ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

(The benefits come later when you need to make more and you have the past experience to draw from.)
 

upNdown

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I love the innovation and experimentation.
Personally, I'd consider instead of cutting the speedcloth to size and gluing it, just laying out the foam, draping the cloth over it like a table cloth, then maybe finding some way to clamp it to the table at the corners.
 

K ALL IN 9

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Does it have to be a roll up and portable to bring somewhere else? If not why not get a sheet of plywood and cover with your materials and maybe glue the yoga mat (or some other anti skid material) on the underside to protect the table while it’s on. Then it could be stored in the closet when not in use
 

Samuel

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Personally, I'd consider instead of cutting the speedcloth to size and gluing it, just laying out the foam, draping the cloth over it like a table cloth, then maybe finding some way to clamp it to the table at the corners.

I like that idea too, would have saved me a little $ and hassle! I have some extra spring clamps lying around somewhere, gonna have to find them and take a look under the table to see what I could clamp the cloth to.

Does it have to be a roll up and portable to bring somewhere else? If not why not get a sheet of plywood and cover with your materials and maybe glue the yoga mat (or some other anti skid material) on the underside to protect the table while it’s on. Then it could be stored in the closet when not in use

It doesn't have to be but I like having the option of bringing it somewhere else (especially the other two I'm going to be making for the two plastic folding tables). Your one solid piece table cover idea is good too! The only problem is that I have too much stuff right now and not enough storage space. I've been wanting to get a set of padded stackable chairs just for poker but don't have room for them either. :(

 

timinater

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I didn't realize there was a topper here. Just staring at that beauty Easton aluminum twig. LEGENDARY hockey stick.
 

Pinesol13

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Love the ingenuity! I did something similar to make a topper for an old dining room table. I found that trying to get the speedcloth to stick to the foam/matt with spray adhesive just wasn't working for me (maybe I was using the wrong type of spray adhesive?). So I ended up just hot gluing the cloth the foam on the bottom where it was folded over, and it worked just fine.

How much did the yoga matts cost you? I used a sheet of gym rubber, 1/4" thick. A 96" x 54" piece is only $25

https://www.thefoamfactory.com/closedcellfoam/gymnasticrubber.html
 

Samuel

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I didn't realize there was a topper here. Just staring at that beauty Easton aluminum twig. LEGENDARY hockey stick.

YOU Sir, have great taste! :)

Love the ingenuity! I did something similar to make a topper for an old dining room table. I found that trying to get the speedcloth to stick to the foam/matt with spray adhesive just wasn't working for me (maybe I was using the wrong type of spray adhesive?). So I ended up just hot gluing the cloth the foam on the bottom where it was folded over, and it worked just fine.

How much did the yoga matts cost you? I used a sheet of gym rubber, 1/4" thick. A 96" x 54" piece is only $25

https://www.thefoamfactory.com/closedcellfoam/gymnasticrubber.html

Nice alternative method!! With the 3M 77 spray, I had to redo it - the first time, I didn't put on a thick enough coat. The second time, I put on a much heavier spray/layer. Still have to see how well it holds up after a few unrolls/rolls (do you roll yours up for storage?). My wife saw what I was doing and offered to lend me her hot glue gun - I think I may give your method a shot for the ends of the 2 folding table mats I'm making next (and maybe dabs of RTV along the long sides).

I had purchased 3 sets of mats, a like new one piece black 6'x4' for $30, a pair of new black 6'x32" for $25, and the Miami Vice pair (which also came with 2 inflatable plyometric balls) for $15. I wish I had known about your source, looks like a great deal!
 

postmanpete

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Im glad to see other folks working on their smaller tables! I’m in the very same spot right now. Including eyeballing yoga mats and congratulating myself on my ingenuity to think of yoga mats for the padding.

I am lucky we’re talking about a group buy on a little Nuts mat for small tables. I’ve got a coffee table we play on for short fun like 24x48. And I’ve got another kitchen table that’s about 30x50.

Thanks for taking the time to post you work! I too enjoyed you hockey stick straight edge. Makin do with what ya got:)
 

Taghkanic

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I bought a closed cell foam roll from a local business, which was more than wide and long enough to cover large table. Cost about $20 with lots to spare.

Trimmed it to fit the tabletop exactly, then affixed it with 3M spray adhesive from Home Depot.

For the edges, I trimmed my fabric with about 5” excess on each side and let it fall over the table edges like a tablecloth.

To reduce slipping on the back, I found a remnant of textured faux leather at Joann Frabric for like $15. Cut this again to the tabletop size and affixed it with the 3M spray.

No seams. No wrapping. A good balance of firmness and give. And a perfect fit. And it has held up 5+ years.
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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has anyone ever tried this: https://customgamemats.com/
Are they still in business? Everything says "not available." My first impression - 3.5mm is not very thick. The PCF mats are 6mm. I LOVE mine and not sure I'd be happy with 3.5mm. The custom ones some other guys are ordering from Tina (Alibaba company that makes cards mold chips) are 5mm. And are quite a bit less than $200 in quantity, but I don't know what the cost would be for a one-off.
 

mcguiles

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i just found it today, i’m not sure. i have a live edge unique shaped table that i’ve always wanted to make a custom size top for, no real options it seems for something like that..
 
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