Need help with Raised Lighted Rail design

Jake14mw

Two Pair
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
387
Reaction score
246
Location
Connecticut
Hi guys,

I am making a 58" Round table, no racetrack, LED lighted rail. To make things easier and cheaper for the LED lights, the diffuser is made from clear plastic wall corner guard material. (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Trimaco...tic-Corner-Guard-Residential-11834A/202061361). I am attaching a picture drawn to scale of what the rail build will look like. My issue is, since the plywood for the raised rail is 3/4" and the diffuser is 5/8", the diffuser will press down too far into the 3/8" padding. This is indicated in the picture by the light blue curved line. I guess two solutions for this could be 1) Add another 1/4" ply to the rail, or 2) run the padding all the way to the table edge. I was not planning on doing this because I thought it would be too "wobbly" with 3/8" padding. What do you guys think of this? How thick do you think the compressed padding under the rail would be? 1/8"? Any othe other suggestions would be appreciated. I hope the picture is clear.
table rail.png
 

Al Azouri

Pair
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
180
Reaction score
179
Location
New Jersey
Hi guys,

I am making a 58" Round table, no racetrack, LED lighted rail. To make things easier and cheaper for the LED lights, the diffuser is made from clear plastic wall corner guard material. (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Trimaco...tic-Corner-Guard-Residential-11834A/202061361). I am attaching a picture drawn to scale of what the rail build will look like. My issue is, since the plywood for the raised rail is 3/4" and the diffuser is 5/8", the diffuser will press down too far into the 3/8" padding. This is indicated in the picture by the light blue curved line. I guess two solutions for this could be 1) Add another 1/4" ply to the rail, or 2) run the padding all the way to the table edge. I was not planning on doing this because I thought it would be too "wobbly" with 3/8" padding. What do you guys think of this? How thick do you think the compressed padding under the rail would be? 1/8"? Any othe other suggestions would be appreciated. I hope the picture is clear.View attachment 348109
Just run your padding and felt all the way to the edge of the table. The rail can rest on top of the pad and compress down just enough for the diffuser to meet the felt.
 

Darson

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
2,752
Reaction score
5,638
Location
Richmond, TX
You have a number of options:
- Cut the diffuser which may be difficult to get the finish nice unless you have fine tooth saws , polish etc.
- Raise the rail which may be easy using a 1/4” plywood sheet
- Use less thick padding, normally we use 1/4” padding
 

Jake14mw

Two Pair
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
387
Reaction score
246
Location
Connecticut
Just run your padding and felt all the way to the edge of the table. The rail can rest on top of the pad and compress down just enough for the diffuser to meet the felt.
This would be the easiest thing to do, but will that make the rail less solid feeling stability wise? If it was 1/4" volara or headliner, that's a no brainer, but with the 3/8" carpet foam I would just worry about it feeling wobbly. There is only 2" of the 5" rail connecting to the table top.

As far as the use of the carpet foam, as I have tested it out, I really like the feel of it. Volara is good, but a little to firm for my taste, and headliner is a little too soft and thin. Thanks for any further suggestions!
 

Al Azouri

Pair
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
180
Reaction score
179
Location
New Jersey
Sound like you found the Goldie Locks of padding. How are you securing the rail to the table? Six to eight bolts with Tee nuts should do the trick.
 

Jake14mw

Two Pair
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
387
Reaction score
246
Location
Connecticut
Sound like you found the Goldie Locks of padding. How are you securing the rail to the table? Six to eight bolts with Tee nuts should do the trick.
I always just screw the table to the rail. I just recently added lights to my larger table, and I think there are around 20 screws around the table. I always see people talking about T nuts for this. What is the advantage to using those? Thanks.
 

Darson

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
2,752
Reaction score
5,638
Location
Richmond, TX
I always just screw the table to the rail. I just recently added lights to my larger table, and I think there are around 20 screws around the table. I always see people talking about T nuts for this. What is the advantage to using those? Thanks.
T-nuts allow easy removal for cleaning, felt replacement and repair. It also allows you to remove the rail and store it separately reducing the carrying weight but giving two pieces.

I also screwed mine together - a lot of this depends on how often you're moving the table around. If it's rarely then screws work just fine.
 

Al Azouri

Pair
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
180
Reaction score
179
Location
New Jersey
T-nuts allow easy removal for cleaning, felt replacement and repair. It also allows you to remove the rail and store it separately reducing the carrying weight but giving two pieces.

I also screwed mine together - a lot of this depends on how often you're moving the table around. If it's rarely then screws work just fine.
And in your case bolts and Tee nuts will allow you to exert more compression force on the padding. Screws by themselves are likely to just strip the wood as you tighten down - unless you use a high quality smooth shank screw. Plus I wouldn't underestimate the value of easy removal as @Darson stated.
 

Jake14mw

Two Pair
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
387
Reaction score
246
Location
Connecticut
I have started the build of this table. I decided to put the padding all the way out to the edge of the table. Looking for any last thoughts/advice/opinions on this whole setup before it's too late! Thanks.
 

Empty Light

Sitting Out
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
53
Location
New England
If your rail assembly is 3/4", and your clear corner trim is 5/8", then the clear corner trim will float 1/8" off the felt. But if you go with 1/2" for the rail assembly, then the clear corner trim will bury into the carpet padding by 1/8", which frankly sounds perfect to me. Cards and chips won't slide under accidentally, but it will seal off the LED compartment.

If you're worried about the rail feeling squishy because it's sitting directly on the carpet padding, you can consider providing some piers down to bedrock (so to speak): You could punch holes in the carpet padding under the rail, and then simply glue 3/8" thick spacers directly to the table top. Then as you tighten the bolts, the rail will come to sit on top of those 3/8" high spacers. Those spacers will be acting as piers - solid, rigid supports between the rail and the table material. If you poke around The Home Depot, you could probably find some cheap hex nuts that are 3/8" thick (or slightly less) - they would make perfect solid supports so the rail isn't supported directly by the squishy carpet padding.

Just some thoughts - I hope it all goes well!
 

Jake14mw

Two Pair
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
387
Reaction score
246
Location
Connecticut
Thanks for the suggestions. The spacers idea is a good one.

I tried to make the illustration above to scale almost exactly. So the diffuser would not float above because of the padding. One thing I did not account for is that the vinyl and staples will be on the wood before the diffuser is mounted there. So this would cause the diffuser to press down even further. I think the spacer idea will solve any issues I have though.
 

Jake14mw

Two Pair
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
387
Reaction score
246
Location
Connecticut
Circling back here as I am at the point in my build where the rail is done. I did run the carpet padding all the way to the edge of the table. What I have found is that the rail will not compress the carpet padding nearly as much as I thought. Looks like it will compress by maybe an 1/8" if that. Just laying the rail on top of the table, the edge guard slides under snugly. Looks like it's going to work out perfectly.
 

Darson

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
2,752
Reaction score
5,638
Location
Richmond, TX
I also ran carpet padding all the way to the edge. When you screw the rail to the top, it'll compress it significantly. If you don't want it compressed then put a scrap spacer in between when you screw it down to maintain a consistent gap all the way along.

1580138247314.png
 
Top Bottom