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

Samuel

3 of a Kind
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
514
Reaction score
709
Location
Los Angeles County
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)
20211220_120937 c.jpg


20211220_121520 c.jpg


20211220_121152 c.jpg


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.

20211220_111750 c.jpg


20211220_111835 c.jpg


20211220_121241 c.jpg


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).

20211220_114920 c.jpg


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).

20211220_120746 c.jpg


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.

20211220_123645 c.jpg


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.

20211220_135011 c.jpg


Trimming

20211220_141209 c.jpg


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).

20211220_141902 c.jpg


Gluing and folding tabs over

20211220_143306 c.jpg


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

20211220_143954 c.jpg


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.
 
Last edited:

TheOffalo

Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Messages
1,837
Reaction score
2,766
Location
Los Angeles, CA
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

Royal Flush
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
14,925
Reaction score
20,679
Location
boston
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

Flush
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
1,071
Reaction score
2,458
Location
Wild Blue Yonder
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

3 of a Kind
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
514
Reaction score
709
Location
Los Angeles County
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

Flush
Site Vendor
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
1,484
Reaction score
3,497
Location
SESKATCHWAN
I didn't realize there was a topper here. Just staring at that beauty Easton aluminum twig. LEGENDARY hockey stick.
 

Pinesol13

Flush
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
1,169
Reaction score
2,654
Location
Upstate, NY
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

3 of a Kind
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
514
Reaction score
709
Location
Los Angeles County
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

High Hand
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
50
Reaction score
53
Location
OP KS
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

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
4,725
Reaction score
5,077
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
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

4 of a Kind
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
5,235
Reaction score
6,881
Location
Humble, TX
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

Two Pair
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
466
Reaction score
381
Location
Denver, CO
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..
 

keruya

Sitting Out
Joined
Apr 23, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
3
Location
Philippines
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)
View attachment 833280

View attachment 833281

View attachment 833282

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.

View attachment 833268

View attachment 833272

View attachment 833271

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).

View attachment 833310

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).

View attachment 833275

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.

View attachment 833277

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.

View attachment 833284

Trimming

View attachment 833285

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).

View attachment 833286

Gluing and folding tabs over

View attachment 833287

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

View attachment 833288

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.

How did your other table toppers go? I'm planning on making one using the same process as yours. Bought the same yoga mat locally :D
 

Samuel

3 of a Kind
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
514
Reaction score
709
Location
Los Angeles County
How did your other table toppers go? I'm planning on making one using the same process as yours. Bought the same yoga mat locally :D

So I ended up making the 3 mentioned above so far - all the same, suited speed cloth from Amazon, yoga/exercise mat, 3M adhesive spray (77 IIRC), and some Shoe Goo/RTV silicone (added that later along some of the edges).

The combination of the speed cloth and yoga mat work pretty darn good together during play.

That being said, sticking the cloth to the mat didn't turn out that great for my purposes (i.e. rolling it up for storage and transportation) since the cloth and rubber don't "flex" the same and it ended up wrinkling and staying wrinkled (in some areas, the cloth would pull away from the mat ('unadhering') and in other areas, it would stay stuck). I think if I had used some kind of spandex type material, it might have been ok (or if I could have kept it flat and open - no rolling up - it would have been ok too).

I tried Shoe Gooing some of the edges but that didn't really help. In the end, I separated the cloths and mats for each topper and am using them that way (as upNdown originally suggested). I'll lay the mat down on the table, cover it with the speed cloth, smooth it out, and then clip the cloth and mat together in a few spots around the perimeter with the smallest binder clips I could find at work (something like these - https://www.amazon.com/Officemate-Micro-Binder-Clips-31030/dp/B003U4U3YQ ). That seems to work pretty well in a mickey mouse operation kind of way, haha.

Since the cloth has enough extra material to wrap around the edge of the mat, the clips only contact the cloth on both sides, sandwiching the rubber mat in between and so far the left over adhesive/goo hasn't been much of a problem at all. The only issues or concerns I can see with this current set up is that a binder clip (naked metal) could scratch/dent/damage a surface underneath it and/or it could be uncomfortable/annoying if they are placed where someone ends up resting a hand/wrist/arm on one. For storage, I'll remove all the clips except for a couple on one end and it rolls up just fine (with the surfaces of the cloth and mat being free/loose enough to slide against each other while rolling).

If I had to do it all over (or for my next one):
no adhesives
only 1 mat per topper (instead of the 2 mats (pink and green) on that one topper)

20220607_191820.jpg


you can see one binder clip in the foreground and one is hidden by the bottle... mickey mouse!
 

keruya

Sitting Out
Joined
Apr 23, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
3
Location
Philippines
So basically yoga mat + speed cloth + 3m super 77 doesn't really work if you roll them up for storage cause of "adhering issues". What about trying a stronger adhesive like the 3m hi strength 90? Not sure if the adhesive used in "shoe gooing" is stronger though.

I'll test it out on my end once the materials are delivered. I'm planning to double coat the foam and the cloth just to really secure it in place. Not sure if it will work though as you' have pointed out. Most likely its the materials being used that really won't adhere with each other.

I'm also planning to cut it exactly as the shape of the mat without rolling it up under. Not sure if it would work better. I'll update you once I have experimented
 

Samuel

3 of a Kind
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
514
Reaction score
709
Location
Los Angeles County
A thicker/stronger adhesive layer might help some but I'm not sure if it would completely solve the problem.

I was rolling my toppers up with the speed cloth on the "outside" of the spiral (to help keep the ends down after unrolling). I was also trying to roll it up relatively tightly to fit in their respective (narrow) carry bags. Since the speed cloth doesn't stretch and the rubber mat deforms as you roll it up, the tighter you try to roll it up that way, the worse the problem gets.

I suppose you could roll it up with the speed cloth on the "inside" of the spiral (I didn't try it), but I think you'll still have some "mismatching" going on between the cloth and mat, especially as you get near the end.

At work, we use training mats made by Dollamur. To accommodate the differences in materials (e.g. vinyl and IIRC polyethylene foam), they use this design to allow their flexi roll mats to roll up (in this picture, the mat surface is on the "inside" of the spiral):

DM0001-web1_ref8hj.jpg


Cutting a mat into (X)" wide strips and "gluing" them to the cloth would be appreciably more work but if you could maintain correct alignment/spacing, I think it would actually turn out pretty good... I think...
 

keruya

Sitting Out
Joined
Apr 23, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
3
Location
Philippines
I received the mat and the quality is excellent. I think its possible to be sewn as its more rubbery than being foamy. The only problem is how to sew it and I can't seem to find someone locally who can do it either. And I wanted this type of stitched used in mouse pads too.
 

Attachments

  • eee.jpg
    eee.jpg
    71.9 KB · Views: 13
Top Bottom