My home-made poker table (top)

BigOlPapaBear

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I've been thinking about getting a proper table for years, and stumbling across the pokerlistings guide I bit the bullet and started making plans.

It's really just a table topper, designed to sit on top of our dining table. This made the build easier in some ways, but I managed to make it much harder in others...
IMG_9386.jpg

I wanted the topper to closely follow the underlying table's dimensions, which means that the curved ends are not semicircles. Instead I measured the radius of the dining table every five degrees, and then tried to translate this on to the wood to cut out the rails. This was not a good idea. With hindsight I should have kept the ends semi-circular as per the instructions, and accepted that it would curve away from the table a bit. Not only did this bit of misguided ingenuity make it impossible to accurately mark up and cut the wood (resulting in a lot of corrective work required when bringing the pieces together), it also means that the vinyl covering was asked to do more than it could cope with at the apices of the table and split - I had to put patches under the splits but since they're under the outward curve of the rail they're barely noticeable. The inside of the rails have a bit of a 'scalloped' appearance as well, but pulling the vinyl any tighter results in more splitting.

I forgot to take any pictures during the woodwork stage, but frankly it wasn't very pretty. Thankfully an inch of foam and a vinyl wrap hide all sorts of mistakes!

Another deviation from the instructions is that the table surface is only 9mm ply (the rails are stacked 18mm). I did this to save money and weight, and also with the plan that this would allow the bottom of the rail to form a collar that would sit around the table top and stop the topper sliding around. This didn't exactly work out; by the time the table surface foam, speed cloth and wrapped around vinyl had taken up space there wasn't enough overhang left to make a difference, but the topper's so heavy anyway that it isn't showing any tendency to slide around during play.
IMG_9385.jpg

At the moment the rail and table surface aren't fastened together so that they can be separated to move them, but this is something I might reconsider in the future.

Overall I'm happy with how it turned out - it's definitely an upgrade on my trusty old neoprene chiptalk.net table topper. Things I'd do better next time:
- Make the ends semi-circular
- Glue the speedcloth to the underlying foam (might still do this in the future)
- Not try and do the build outdoors in winter when it's so damn cold that the glue won't work!

Materials used and where I sourced them from in the UK:
18m & 9mm plywood
1/4" and 1" high-firm foam sheet
Upholstery vinyl
Suited speedcloth
IMG_9381.jpg
 

DZPoker

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Looks great and thanks for taking the time to write this up! I always love when people are willing to point out their own struggles to help prevent others from having the same ‘great idea’ in the future! (Because I’m one of those guys who tends to have a LOT of ‘great ideas’!)
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Yep. Was supposed to be a hyperlink to it in the OP but it got lost somewhere.

https://www.pokerlistings.com/how-to-build-your-own-poker-table-for-under-300-guide-images-and-plans
What size staples did you use, and were they adequate? I went to the original link, and he didn't say either. Since I have an air compressor, I'm going to buy a pneumatic staple gun before I tackle this project. Harbor Freight has a decent one for $25, which seems to be money well spent.
 

BigOlPapaBear

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8mm staples worked well for me, using a Stanley staple gun off of amazon. Not sure you'd need more than that; they're in no danger of pulling out.
 

Colquhoun

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What size staples did you use, and were they adequate? I went to the original link, and he didn't say either. Since I have an air compressor, I'm going to buy a pneumatic staple gun before I tackle this project. Harbor Freight has a decent one for $25, which seems to be money well spent.
Heads up on their pneumatic tools. I bought the staple gun a few years ago and it had a small hiss after hooking up the air hose. It worked for 2 or 3 staples and refused to fire any more. Returned and had air leak issues in the next one too.
Keep your receipts!
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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8mm staples worked well for me, using a Stanley staple gun off of amazon. Not sure you'd need more than that; they're in no danger of pulling out.
Hmmm... Min size staple for the gun I'm looking at is 5/8ths, or about 16mm. Is that going to be too big?
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Heads up on their pneumatic tools. I bought the staple gun a few years ago and it had a small hiss after hooking up the air hose. It worked for 2 or 3 staples and refused to fire any more. Returned and had air leak issues in the next one too.
Keep your receipts!
Interesting. I've always had good luck with their Central Pneumatic tools. But definitely will hang on the the receipt.
 
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