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Discussion Starter #1
Haven't used my tools in years... :( My buddy is expanding his poker room and has asked me to build him a pair of new tables. Since it's a buddy I won't make as much as I should but then again I don't consider myself gifted in the art of woodworking so...

Below is the last table I built. Actually made a profit on that one...







Pay attention to that last shot. The playing surface had a blue Suited Speedcloth for a racetrack along with a Nylon Velvet (IIRC) main surface. Obviously, routing the two sections apart leaves a 1/8" gap between them. I used the "fix" of pegboard curved around the Nylon Velvet section to fill that gap. Didn't care for it. Bending that pegboard was a pain in the ass and it cracked more than once.

You can see the results weren't perfect but it looked good for 99% of the people that would ever see it.

I'm looking for alternatives to fill that gap. Thoughts?

My first thought (provided there is no other suitable, gap filling, flexible solution) is to over cut BOTH surfaces so when I wrap the cloth around it I get a little filling action from both pieces of foam. I'm not sure if that's going to fill the full gap, though, 'cause, as you know, that shit gets stretched pretty tight. I'm worried it may compress too much a leave a visible gap.

As I'm sitting here typing it just dawned on me that I could use TWO sheets of volara and really overcut ONE surface so the volara wraps completely into the 3/4" height of the plywood. Much like the foam wraps around the outside edge of the rail. That would increase the cost of the table by maybe $35 but likely well worth it. Especially for my anal-retentive ass.

Since the foam is 1/4" it would have to compress a lot to get both pieces to fit properly. Not sure if it would be too difficult/impossible to get both pieces together or if it will look like shit if it is jammed in there so tightly.

Please throw me your thoughts...

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, John.

So, I had an epiphany while I lie awake thinking about tomorrow's adventure...

Buy a 1/4" spiral upcut to separate the two pieces instead of the 1/8" I normally use. Over cut the volara on one surface completely and wrap it which would "theoretically" fill the entire 1/4" void. Then overcut the second piece just slightly which would really make the joint tight.

Or, buy a 3/8" upcut and overcut BOTH pieces. That'd be 1/2" of volara mashed together making the seal.

I'm pretty sure I've got some foam and felt left from the last one. I'll have to see if I can make a dummy and see what fits and how the two foam edges would look together.
 

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I built a table with a similar design before. SSC for the racetrack and SSC for the centre. I used a 1/4" router bit which left the same size gap. I used 1/8" hardboard, which I think is the same as your pegboard solution. I had similar problems of the occasional cracking, but I was able to bend it slowly around the curves to reduce the amount of cracking. I used hardboard strips on the outside of the centre piece and the inside of the racetrack piece.

The two pieces of 1/8" filled the gap nicely, but after wrapping it with the SSC it was too tight so I had to sand down the hardboard a bit.

There's a material called PVC lattice which is more flexible than hardboard, except I haven't used it before and I think it only comes in 1/4" thick. I've also heard of people cutting down plastic/pvc gutters into strips as well.

Here's the results of the table
 

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That's a unique and very sweet looking table, Chan! That must've been tough folding the hardboard around such a tight radius. Mine wasn't nearly that tight.

I just realized I don't have 1/8" bits :( Been five years since I've built a table... The bits are 1/4" so I'll have to chop a hole in something and see how it looks.
 

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Mike - I've used plastic composite molding (got mine at home depot in the molding/millwork department) to wrap my playing area insert for racetrack tables, it's exactly 1/4" x 3/4":





I'll throw my 2¢ in on the cloth racetrack setup. To get the playing surface transition really smooth, you have to use the "level racetrack" trick on both pieces. If you don't, you'll get that v-gap:

V-gap cross section:


This gets you this:


To correct the gap, you use the solid interface on both sides:


IMHO, by the time you factor in buying 2 cloths, the time it takes to set up and make the very precise racetrack cut, padding/upholstering each piece separately and then getting them to fit *just* right, you're better off just getting a custom cloth with the betting line and dual-color racetrack/playing area. Its more capital cost up front but much less headache and the end product looks so much better. FWIW, I actually charge more for the cloth racetrack than a custom cloth when I provide quotes...
 

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I agree with Irish, it's better to just get a custom cloth. You don't have to worry about that transition between the two cloths.

The way I built my table is the way Irish described using 2 pieces of hardboard butt up against the two pieces and flush with the top of the foam. This way you also only need 1 piece of foam.

And Mike, you want to use a 1/4" bit for your router. If you use 2 pieces of 1/8" hardboard, it will fill the 1/4" gap. That's why I mentioned that the PVC stuff I think only comes in 1/4" thick which is too thick if you use it on both pieces like Irish's last picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I pitched the idea of a cloth but my buddy didn't wanna spend the $300+ to get it done.

What he's going off of is my table, not the pics above, which I built before I knew about the gap-filling techniques. It has the V gap and while it doesn't look perfect to those that know it looks fine to someone that doesn't. So, he's seen it and is fine with it.

Bought the ply tonight. Gonna make the cuts tomorrow and take some of the scrap and make a few samples and see what I can do with using the foam to fill the gap. I'd prefer that if it works 'cause I don't care for that hard transition between the two sections. I might get lucky...
 

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Hey, since we are talking about custom cloth, what does "gaming suede" look and feel like? I was looking at custompokercloths.com and that's one of two options, the other being suited speed cloth which feels like shit. Does that suede look and feel anything like the Nylon Velvet I love?
The gaming suede has a much shorter nap that the nylon velvet, its soft but not quite as lush. FWIW the SSC they use for custom dye cloths is much softer than the normal SSC you'd get somewhere like YAT.
 

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Gaming suede feels more like the nylon velvet you're used to. It is *not* the rough, abrasive suited cloth.
 

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Palm gaming was selling cloths for much less. People seemed to be happy with the product if I remember correctly.
I have a cloth from joe and it came out great. Not sure if he's still doing them but if you already have graphics and aren't on a tight schedule he's a very cost effective option. You just have to realize he's a wholeseller/reseller, youre not going to get 1 on 1 customer service with them, it's not what they do.

Try to get samples if possible.
 
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