Le Gold STTT - Finished and installed!

LeGold

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"Wtf, dude! Racetrack? No raised rail? SSC? And what's with the orangey brassy golden cup holders?!"

Ok, now that we've gotten the obvious questions out of the way, here's some background and photos of Le Gold Luxury Hotel & Resort's first (and last) custom single-table-tournament-table :) Given that my mancav...hotel's casino area has a relatively small area available for games, I had to go with something smaller than a standard 10-person oval table. With that limitation in mind, and adding the fact that I'm located in Norway, basically narrowed the options down to DIY. Also, I like building things, and I'd never done something like this before. Luckily, I have a friend who lives nearby (read: 1h15m by car), who has (almost) all the necessary tools, and who is not afraid of using them! Without him, this wouldn't have been possible. Bonus: I've learned a lot during this process! To all of you experienced builders there - apologies upfront for what you're about to see in the next few posts :)

Anyhow... while browsing the tubes and internets, I saw quite a few designs that I liked, but one that I really liked is a classic octagonal no-rail one. As I don't plan on playing SO much (yet), aesthetics was a bigger factor than functionality or comfort. Early on I decided I wanted a dark reddish-brown wood. Given that this is Le Gold, and gold tends to work fine with dark brown, I had ordered golden cup holders.... which turned out to be not quite what I would call a golden color. So, still not sure whether I'll stick with these or whether I'll cave in and get silver replacements inastead. We'll see, need the table first.

In the meantime, I managed to get hold of a (free) used octagonal green-felt table. I thought why not, it's a start, I'll for sure be able to use it one way or the other! Looked like a very solid piece of wood with (surprisingly!) solid and stable legs. So, when I started planning the real table, I thought I'd just build on top of it.

Day one

Since one of the requirements was that it should be relatively easy to transport, and me not having a pickup truck (#europe), the first thing was to cut it in half and put back together.

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Ok, we've managed to back to where we started. Let's turn it and see. Looks good. Time for a break. After coming back from the break, I... noticed something. I thought "nah, can't be". Turned out to be "can too!":

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Bloody table was totally warped! Whether it was like that from the beginning (never occurred to me to check), or due to long exposure in the hot Norwegian Sun (nobody is used to 30+ minutes of sunshine here, not even tables!), we don't know. What we knew was that was clearly unusable. Back to square one. But we have no table to build on any more, so we're done for the day.

Not so fast! My friend then says: "Hm... I do have a table that is not being used." I was all ears. "Your wife won't mind?" I asked. "Nah."
Next thing, the table is ready to be put under the knife!

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Bonus points:
  • it has the perfect size
  • it is VERY solid
  • it can fit both the legs inside (well, almost!)
  • it is already divided in two!
So, after a few rounds of crotch warming and some adjustments to the legs, here was the result:

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What then followed was a well deserved end to day one:

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Stay tuned!
 

surfik

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Doing great job.... But where are your cards? Can't wait?
 

LeGold

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Doing great job.... But where are your cards? Can't wait?
Still waiting for the jokers! Artists, you know... but should be ready soon, I hope.
 

LeGold

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Day two

So, after basically ending up back where we had started, it was time to finally starting doing something. Day two of the build went into planning the final size and making the octagon itself. We weren't able to find the kind of wood we were hoping for, so it ended up being a tad softer. But ok, as long as I don't drop the pieces too much and the players behave, all will be good.

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Since we don't have a cookie machine, we used standard round plugs. And since we don't have a plug tool either, we made a super sturdy and precise plug-hole-jig:

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Needless to say, the result of this last step was less than impressive, might as well have aimed manually. The plugs did get in at a right angle though, but were a bit offset... but nothing that an excentric grinder wouldn't be able to fix! Next, it was time to put the octagon in place (first glue, than screws from below).

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Not much progress there, it would seem. And it would seem correctly, it was a laid back day with a lot of waiting for the rain to stop, planning, drawing, waiting for the rain to stop again, discussing mathematical puzzles, etc. Nevertheless, I left for my drive home content with the result and another day of learning. I also learned that there are some mathematically obsessed prison warden weirdos out there.
 

LeGold

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Day three

On the road again! So, with the first visual clue on what this will end up looking like in place, it was time to get it ready for the second one - drink holders. Early on, I decided I wanted to have them in the corners, to make things look as symmetrical as possible. My friend has a nice tool that I hadn't seen before, allowing for cutting holes in very precisely defined diameters. Me likey! Also, the holes will have to be partially cut through the original table as well, but nothing a small jig can't solve. (Did I mention the doo-doo with the plugs?)

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Looks nice, but a bit... thin. The next step was to give the table a bit of dimension, weight. To make it nicer, I wanted to have grooves on the outside. Finally got to use the router!

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With everything in place and glued and screwed together, as well as all the borders routered and smoothened, time to let it rest and get some food. No food pr0n, I'm afraid.

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(insert break here)

The glue is now set and it is time for final sanding/grinding before we start giving this little baby some tan!

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Still looks a bit pale, but it has to set before we add another coat. We tried a bit on the test piece in the middle and it looks promising! Stay tuned for the fourth and final episode!
 

LeGold

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Day four

Back in the car. Arrived at the crime scene, only to see this!

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Turns out my friend had a little fun with the table, without me(!), did the final coat of stain and varnish. Oh well, took approx. 1 second for me to forgive him. Anyhow - love the color!

Next step, insert with speed cloth. Since the octagon obviously isn't perfect, we decided to make a template using some 6mm Depron, which ended up staying there to lift the felt to the desired height - flush with the racetrack.

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After a lot of sanding and grinding, the wooden part of the insert was done and ready to be covered with a layer of foam. Norway might be a beautiful country to live in, but when you need some specialized stuff you might get stuck. I tried different things (the abovementioned Depron, among others), and the only one that was both easily obtainable and had the perfect hardness (& softness) was an 8mm sleeping mat. Not a pretty sight (the seams are visible), but the speed felt is so rigid that noone will never notice.

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Next was to put the first speed cloth (yes, there will be two! because why not). This being for Le Gold, it had to be golden. And, I must say, it looks quite elegant.

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Ah yes, the beautiful orangey brassy golden cup holders... I know. As mentioned earlier, I was hoping they would be more gold-ish, but it's the only ones I have at the moment, and I'll give them a shot.

Next, second speed cloth. The choice was between blue and green. As the blue turned out being way too bright for my taste, I went for the green one. Happy with that one too!

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Beautiful cup holders, aye?! So, time to pack it into the car and install in the pub. (spoiler alert: turned out to be too hard & heavy for one person to take it apart and/or put together alone)

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That's it. I finally have a table! Oh, and one final bonus: wifey loves it!
 

JZPdub

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That is a solid looking table - nice job!. Really like the cupholders in the corner - now you just have to decide if everyone's drink goes to the right or the left...
 

Ben8257

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Love the custom table, a bit scared of chips rolling off the edge, typically why most go with some type of rail, also for dealing cards sometimes one gets away and is exposed when there's nothing to stop it.

I think it could still be worked in to have a padded rail if you find it to be necessary later! It looks amazing and ready for years of use!! Congratulations brother!!
 

LeGold

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Cheers!

Yeah, I'm aware of the possible chipfalls of this solution. It was a trade-off (size matters as well, the room is not that huge), and we'll see how it works. Indeed, I can always add it later if necessary!
 

Jake14mw

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Next was to put the first speed cloth (yes, there will be two! because why not). This being for Le Gold, it had to be golden. And, I must say, it looks quite elegant.
Well, the table looks great, very nice job! I agree that the golden speed cloth looks elegant, so of course I have to ask - Why two speed cloths? You said "because why not". So, I ask... Why?
 

LeGold

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I wasn't sure about the color of the speed cloth upfront, so I got 3 of them. Then, since I had to buy a whole plate and only needed half for the table, I could make another one as well and switch them depending on the mood/occasion.
 

LeGold

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So... half a year later, I finally found a nice leg that would replace the ugly folding legs. Figured out I wouldn't move the table much so...

Only problem...
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...it's white. But nothing that a few hours of sanding can't fix. Oh, side note: if you ever do something like that, make sure you do it outside AND to close all the doors and windows while you do it.

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Just in case I ever do decide to move it around, I used bolts instead of screws. I had just the perfect size in hands.

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Next step - stain & varnish. After searching the whole Norway for the same stain I used on the top (turns out Covid does have a certain impact on availability of products based on alcohol!), I was ready for those final steps too.

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And, the final product in its natural habitat!

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It was only appropriate to try it at once, with a fresh new addition to the selection.

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