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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm well into my second poker table build. I don't think there is anything earth shattering or distinct about this build - I'm just building a no frills round with cup holders in the rail. No racetrack, as that's my preference. Nothing flashy like lights or anything like that either.

My craftsmanship level is not on par with someone like Irish or the other table vets. But I'm striving to improve from my first table and create something I'm proud to play on.

So hopefully, a nice, decent, basic card table.

Here we go...

I went search through some local lumber places and found some 5'x5' baltic birch in 3/4" thickness for $59 a sheet. I picked up three sheets and got them home to my deck, which is where I have to do all my work as I don't have a garage or other workspace.



First I used a tape measure to check for square by measuring from corner to corner on the sheets and all seemed close enough. I used a chalk line at the corners to snap an x, then found the middle of each side and got a line put to the center. Using a compass and a borrowed router that fit the mounting holes on the compass (my Bosch did not fit the already drilled holes) I used a spiral upcut bit and cut out a slightly large than 54” circle on all three sheets. I had to go a fraction over 54” since the Lewin compass extension had a small window where the pin would jam up against the other part of the jig. It was either 54.25” or 53.5”. Nothing in the middle. Looking back I think I’d have preferred the smaller but it’s not that big of a deal either way. I did the cuts in three passes around each sheet. My pal said to put something heavy on the compass to help it keep stable from vibration, so I used a jug of milk.



Once the outside circle cuts were done I selected one of the sheets to be the top rail, one to be the lower part of the rail, and the third sheet was to become the bottom. Design is as far as I know a normal three sheet table without a racetrack.



After all three outside circle cuts were done, I started cutting the holes for the smalker standard size cupholders. I decided to go with a 5” rail, so I marked for the center of the circles to be 2.5” from the edge. I used a Jasper circle jig and a plunge router for the cup holder holes. I cut the circle holes for the rail sheets but did not drill the holes into the bottom sheet as I was hoping the cup holders wouldn’t go that far down.



Test fit:



Next step – use some scraps from the outside cuts to use for cutting cupholder rings. I followed Irish’s tutorial very closely from this thread. Cup Holders in Rail (with rings) - The Perfect Man Cave Irish’s tutorial is great – give it a read. So to make them I took two of the scraps, and screwed them together.



Then I took a few tries to make sure I got the right size cuts to fit the cupholders.



Then I set it up to cut them in bulk, measured it out, drilled a hole for the jig to fit into, then screwed the top sheet into the bottom for each ring and made the outside circle cuts first into the top sheet. Using a plunge router, I made three quick passes each slightly deeper to cut through the top sheet of wood. Then I reset the jig for the inside cut and made three more passes for each ring with the plunge router to cut it free.



Next up, I wanted to put a ¼” thick piece of wood between the two rail pieces so the final piece would fit properly against the playing surface sheet with foam. So I bought a 4’x8’ piece of 1/4” pine plywood and put it over the bottom rail circle. Using a router with a flush trim bit I went around the circle and cut the thin plywood to size. Of course, the 4’ width is not enough to cover a 54” round, so I had to put the leftover 1/4” plywood on the remaining part and put a couple screws in it to hold it.



Then using the flush trim bit again I cut this to size to finish the ¼” spacer outside cuts.



I removed the ¼” plywood from the rail pieces and made the inside circle cuts. First, I cut the top rail out. Then the bottom lip piece. Of course, with only 1/8 of the final pass to go, the PoS borrowed Ryobi died. I went to Homes Despot and bought a replacement. I couldn't stand buying another junkbox so I bought him the lower end porter cable. Unbelievable how much nicer this thing cuts, it was insane. Night and day. I had to drill into his Lewin compass for new holes to match the baseplate, but somehow I think he'll be ok with it.





Once the bottom lip was done, I reattached the smaller part of the ¼” plywood and used the flush trim bit to cut the inside part out.



Then I reattached the larger part of the thin plywood with some small screws…



And again used the flush trim bit to complete the fit.



At that point I used a roundover bit to slightly break the edges on the top and bottom parts of the rail pieces. After that, I was ready for some assembly.

First, the cup holder rings were put on with some glue…



And attached with some brads to hold them down.



Then I glued all the rail pieces together, put a countersunk screw in slightly to the left of each cup holder to hold the rail pieces together, and then drilled for T-Nuts for both the rail and the playing surface.



Next up… foam and vinyl for the rail.
 

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Re: Rich's 54" Round Table

For knocking your work as to not compare with the vets or pros, shit man, you're doing a damn fine job not only in detail, materials, and craftsmanship, but in documentation it as you go.

Don't fuck up the rail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Rich's 54" Round Table

I don't have anything saved up from my prior build threads and BBQ threads?

Shit I posted something about a build your own automatic gun using a coke bottle and an air compressor and no one replied. I might build that thing myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Rich's 54" Round Table

In the last pic, for the t-nut drilling those c-clamps are holding some scrap to the bottom to stop blowouts from the bit.

Also, I took a palm sander an ran it along the edges to clean them up.
 

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Re: Rich's 54" Round Table

For knocking your work as to not compare with the vets or pros, shit man, you're doing a damn fine job not only in detail, materials, and craftsmanship, but in documentation it as you go.

Don't fuck up the rail.
x2 dude, nicely done so far and nice run down on your steps. You don't see these bigger round tables too often, I'm looking forward to seeing it come together.

FWIW with regards to the 1/4" ply that you're using as a spacer to make up the foam height difference - it doesn't need to be a full size sheet/ring. That layer gets sandwiched between your main rail piece and the rail lip, so you can cut up a bunch of spacer blocks and glue them in place. Saves some cutting on your router bits, and you don't need nearly as much material. I bought a full 4x8 1/4"th sheet 3 or 4 years ago and I'm still cutting it up and using it for spacers. :D





In the last pic, for the t-nut drilling those c-clamps are holding some scrap to the bottom to stop blowouts from the bit.
It's the little things like this that really take the craftsmanship of a table from "DIY" to the next level. Nice tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Rich's 54" Round Table

Good point on the smaller pieces for the spacer. If I had to do it again, I might have gone that route. Doing it this way with the flush trim bit made it quick and painless.

Unfortunately on the blowout part, I think the clamp was a bit too far from where one of those holes went through, and the wood gave a bit and I still got a bit of a blowout. I'll see what I can do to clean it up, or maybe I'll use bigger washers on the nuts to hide it.
 

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Re: Rich's 54" Round Table

I'll see what I can do to clean it up, or maybe I'll use bigger washers on the nuts to hide it.
They're obviously more expensive than a standard hex bolt, but I use these all the time now:

1/4 in. x 1-9/16 in. Narrow Shank Hex Drive Connecting Bolt Brass Plated (4 Pieces)-81254 at The Home Depot

I get them from Fastenal though not HD. They have a wide head to hide any tear outs and there's no need for a washer, plus they have a nice low profile.
 

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Re: Rich's 54" Round Table

They're obviously more expensive than a standard hex bolt, but I use these all the time now:

1/4 in. x 1-9/16 in. Narrow Shank Hex Drive Connecting Bolt Brass Plated (4 Pieces)-81254 at The Home Depot

I get them from Fastenal though not HD. They have a wide head to hide any tear outs and there's no need for a washer, plus they have a nice low profile.
I like those too where I need something with a larger flange on them.
Check McMaster Carr as well for decent pricing. They're made in zinc as well for a little less spendy version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool, thanks I'll have to check the thread pitch on my t-nuts before I buy the bolts. The same guy who lent me the compass and ryobi said, "hey do you need some t-nuts? and I said sure and just used what he gave me.

Paint question -

I used this lacquer in a spray can on the pedestal: 11 oz. Aerosol Paint-1905830 at The Home Depot

I'm going to edge band the bottom sheet and use this same stuff on it.

When using lacquer, do I need to use, or should I use, some sort of clear coat to protect it? And if so, what is best - and easiest - to use?
 

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Cool, thanks I'll have to check the thread pitch on my t-nuts before I buy the bolts. The same guy who lent me the compass and ryobi said, "hey do you need some t-nuts? and I said sure and just used what he gave me.

Paint question -

I used this lacquer in a spray can on the pedestal: 11 oz. Aerosol Paint-1905830 at The Home Depot

I'm going to edge band the bottom sheet and use this same stuff on it.

When using lacquer, do I need to use, or should I use, some sort of clear coat to protect it? And if so, what is best - and easiest - to use?
I did a test sample with that lacquer in testing out colors for a racetrack table I'm doing - you don't want to put a clear coat over it. It has a really shiny finish to it, I didn't get good bond between the lacquer and a poly top coat, it gave me lots of bubbles. YMMV.

Considering the edge of the table isn't a working surface like a table top, methinks you should be fine with just the lacquer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the help with the lacquer Irish.

I had some extra time this morning at home, so I unpacked the foam that I got from YAT forever ago. It's only 54" wide, square. I'm not sure I can wrap this around even doing the seamless vinyl trick with it. It just doesn't seem to have that kind of give to stretch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Some new work on the table:

I test fit the cup holders once the rail was put together and some of them were too tight, or wouldn’t fit because of a bit of leftover wood from the router job I did.


Might be a bit hard to see, but here’s an example of some wood left over from the router job I did.


Using a router with the flush trim bit and a sanding bit that I think really is made for a dremel tool I put on my drill, I cleaned up the holes so the cup holders fit better… I’m thinking they may need more work done because with the vinyl in there they’re going to still be too snug.


I added the volara to the playing surface sheet.


Used an electric knife to cut the foam


Voila on the volara


I had bought a pedestal used on craigslist a while back. I used the existing base mount piece from the pedestal to mount the table. Here I have lined it up by finding its center and using that to center it on the table bottom. I put four holes through it for T-nuts.


I lined up where the pedestal bolts were going to come through the base sheet and using a forstner bit I made holes to allow for the bolts to come up.


Then I added edgebanding to the bottom sheet with an iron.


I painted the bottom sheet of the table and the base mounting piece black lacquer using this stuff:


I had asked some questions about redoing a pedestal before in a prior thread. Used Pedestal - Steps to re-finish? - The Perfect Man Cave

Summary -
Here’s the pedestal I bought on Craigslist before I did anything to it -


Pedestal after sanding and a coat of lacquer on a leg


All legs painted


First coat on Ped


Finished pedestal after I re-assembled it last night


Here’s everything put together last night when I did a test fit.


I think a couple of the cup holders are still too snug once the rail and the playing surface part are put together, so I need to do some more work on that before putting the felt on. I have to cut the bolts I bought down a bit because they’re coming up where the foam will be. Also, I have about 150 or so decorative nails to add, which I will probably do tonight.

The new rail foam has been ordered, by the time it shows up I hope the rail is the only thing left to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Ok made some more progress over the past couple days.

First, following some tips to pre-drill a small amount for the decorative nails, I put a measuring tape, like the kind a tailor would use, and taped it every so often around the edge of the table and made sure it stayed at the midpoint of the thickness of the wood. I pre-drilled holes every 1.5 inches.


When that was done, I made sure the paint was ok, and did a few quick touchups, then I put the nails in.


At that point, I was ready to cover the playing surface.


Here's the finished playing surface with the fabric trimmed


Only the rail left now... foam is supposed to arrive this week.
 
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