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i started the 60" octagon this weekend. i was unable to find the 3/4" 5' sheets but did find 1/2" 5' sheets of baltic birch. i put three sheets together and glued and screwed them together for effectively the same. i am modifying peter's great table and will do a quilted maple veneer racetrack with insets for chips instead of the chip "bays" that peter did. should allow for easier movement of chips and a different look. will use brass cup holders and also a padded rail in an "l" shape to top the racetrack and the side of the table top. then i am putting a skirting of zebra wood veneer to top off the look. the rail will be black and my son picked his school color of purple for the speed cloth center. base with claw feet will finish the table and i hope to have it done in the next couple weeks and will post pix when able. thanks for all your great threads guys and i hope my first table is a testament to your guidance.

this is the initial layout

first set of cuts

checking the 60" size top in the poker room at the shop building with tiny son aj(6'4"...265 #'s and 16 y/o)

another of the poker room and tiny!

skirting backer initial layout(bottom of table)

skirt of zebra wood veneer just made and laying on skirting backer

quilted maple in veneer vacuum press.

quilted maple fresh out of veneer press

another view of freshly made quilted maple veneer. this will be the racetrack.

the "l" shaped rail that will lay over the racetrack and completely cover the side.

first is the zebra wood veneer after sizing and cutting to fit.

then a closeup of the skirt. i like the contrasts of color in this veneer.

then a pix of the dry fit for the quilted maple racetrack veneer.

then a closeup of the veneer. note the inner edge banding and top quilted maple veneer. will compliment the colors in the zebra wood.

lastly, the oak insert to tie the pedestal base and clawfeet made out of oak together.

it appears in the last pix that the octagon is off. it is just an illusion. all is square!

i looked at peter's great example of an octagon and saw how he clamped the sections together as he glued them. but since i don't have a cutout chip tray areas to put clamps into i was at a loss. i ended up putting two deck screws in the outer edge to clamp to and then cut my biscuits and glued the joint. the clamping pressure at the two screws brought the joint together tightly and should work. i have included a link to the crude drawing i made if you wish to look. this may help someone else out when building an octagon. i had enough clamps to do three joints(unlike peter who seems to own the lion's share of clamps in the world) so i only have five to go and then i can cut, fit and glue the "l" shaped rail together with the same setup for glueing. i will take pix this weekend to show you guys exactly what i did.

step one is placement of the screws to clamp to

step two is clamping across the joint using the screws

step three is clamping the wood to the base for keeping it level

i hope this helps those who are making an octagon without the cutouts for chips and cupholders to clamp to.

i thought i'd include a side view of the rail i was asking about upholstering

and then the eight pieces rough cut and ready for final sizing to the table top/sides

the first pix is of the glue up of the rail(unpadded so far)

second pix is what it looks like glued up

the third is an across the table view of the racetrack and unpadded rail

and finally an iso view of the skirting/rail(still not padded)/racetrack and the oak insert for the brass cupholder.

first is the octagon rail

and a closeup of the same rail showing the inside edge. now you can see the "l" shape of the rail

and the rail with the foam applied

and the pedestal i am going to use for the table. it is all starting to finally come together.

the pedestal is a 7" variety.

here are some more pix of the quilted maple racetrack as i am getting the oak parts ready to attach.

biscuit and glue the parts

had to make a small piece to get parallel to the outside of the rail to clamp

and finally...what i meant by a chip bay. this is a variation on what peter did and you don't have to lift your chips over the rail. just drag them in!

the pinkish colored material is just a plastic i had laying around that i do glue ups over or varnish or stain. i don't like making my assembly table a multicolored mess.

i am really starting to like the table.

i was doing the stretch wit the vinyl when one inner corner managed to tear. so i have to order more vinyl and take out all 500+ staples...crap!

here is the beginning of the stretching of the vinyl

pix of the dry fit of the rail(had to see what it looked like even with the torn part)

here is the torn part

here is the racetrack newly finished with 6 layers of varnish

so now i will drill the cupholders and place them after i put the volare foam and speed cloth on while i wait for the new vinyl to come. i sure wish they made a 60" wide piece. the new vinyl courtesy of yat...great service by the way!

instead of tacking down the sides along the long axis i decided to try a different approach. i tacked down one edge of the octagon on the 54" side and then cut out an oval in the center and stretched the 54" to about 68" to go to the other side of the octagon. then i was able to easily stetch the long axis perpendicular to the short axis and do those two sides. i then stetched the angled sides going opposite until it was done. then the inside part of the rail was a real trip. it took my son and i better than 2 1/2 hours to do the upholstery(that was after 90 minutes of removing the torn vinyl and all the dang staples!) pix are show below. it came out fairly good with only a few wrinkles at the bottom where is it not visible.

first pix the start of the stretch

second pix...a different view of the stretch

then a view of the completed padded rail

and finally a side view of the rail showing the top and side portion the dredded "l" shape that is a bitch to pad and cover.

now to drill the cupholders holes, then mount the volare foam and speedcloth, final fit the rail and whalla...will be ready for a game!

first is the racetrack after drilling the oak inserts for the brass cupholders

then the rail is removed and the table top is drilled slightly oversized for the cupholders

then a dry fit of the cupholders through the racetrack and table top. i did have to size the holes in the rail up with the round sanding wheel.

then the layout of the foam before gluing it down.

then the speed cloth is glued and then stapled along the edges. i did leave a bit of foam and speedcloth inside the cutouts for the the cupholders to make them nice and tight when the cupholder is in place.

then replacing the racetrack over the newly upholstered top

then finally the padded rail in place and the finished table.

some of the pix are askew and make the table look out of square. i assure you it is not. the fit is tight, the finish is good and i am happily done with my first table!

this is a variation of a number of the octagons of the great builders who have posted before me. i made a quilted maple veneer for the racetrack and a veneered zebra wood skirt. the cupholders sit in a piece of oak that ties the oak pedestal to the table top. the rail is black whisper vinyl and the center is purple speedcloth. i hope you all enjoy looking at it. i am going to break it in this week with the usual suspects at our twice a month poker club. this is also the first true poker table we will play at. so i think i will probably get some orders. thanks for reading my ramblings and for all the good ideas i gleened from this site!


a smattering of pix of the table. enjoy!

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