A High Quality Gaming Table

Post long term projects you have devised for your Tau or other hobby projects.
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Strobe
Shas
Posts: 42

Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#11 » Jul 26 2010 06:26

Null wrote:NOW THAT'S A PROJECT! :biggrin:
Oops Edit: Quick question, what lumber are you using (quartersawn/flatsawn), and how is the table going to be fastened together?


Sorry Null, only just noticed your edit.

The timber is Radiata* Pine and is already dressed. I don't really have the facilities to finish rough sawn. My carpentry is rudimentary and as you are in Canada there may be some terms that are different. We call finished timber like I bought DAR for Dressed All Round. I have used 19*90, 42*90 and 70*70 beams.

Fastening will be done with timber screws and wood glue. Mostly butted ends with mitred ends for the outside (mostly to be decorative). The structure is somewhat self supporting so it might hold together without fastening but it is by no means engineered to do so.

-Strobe

*According to Wikipedia, this is also called Monterey Pine or Insignis Pine in the UK and US/Canada regions.

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Null
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#12 » Jul 26 2010 07:27

Bah' .... no worries man, I can see your busy :) .

Strobe wrote:Fastening will be done with timber screws and wood glue.
Might I suggest a 'Polyurethane Glue'. Sometimes 40k games (and for tht matter RPG's) can become somewhat *physical* :P , Polyurethane glue hold up much better that normal wood glue.

Strobe wrote:Called Monterey Pine or Insignis Pine in the UK and US/Canada regions.

Nice, not too hard to work with. I only asked about the lumber grading because it would be shame to spend all this time working on the table and have the wood warp and bend on you (quartersawn is vastly superior to plainsawn/flatsawn lumber).

- null

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#13 » Jul 27 2010 02:06

Null wrote:Might I suggest a 'Polyurethane Glue'. Sometimes 40k games (and for tht matter RPG's) can become somewhat *physical* :P , Polyurethane glue hold up much better that normal wood glue.

Well, I haven't bought the glue yet so I'll keep an eye out when I go shopping :)
Thanks for the tip!

Null wrote:Nice, not too hard to work with. I only asked about the lumber grading because it would be shame to spend all this time working on the table and have the wood warp and bend on you (quartersawn is vastly superior to plainsawn/flatsawn lumber).

I'm lucky in this regard that the place I bought the timber from has a fairly well sealed warehouse and the timber has been sitting there for a while. It should be fairly stable.

I was going to go with Tasmanian Oak for the outside of the table. Then I worked out how much it would cost. Then I remembered how careful my gaming buddies are. Then I decided to stay a little cheaper. The pine is very cheap.

-Strobe

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#14 » Jul 27 2010 02:24

Much more on time today. My (internet) router seems to have calmed down.

At the end of Tuesday when I look at the pile of timber I almost can't tell the difference. I know I did lots of work. This is what most of today was:

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This is a close shot of the fine sawing, rasping and then filing to shape all the detailed parts so it will all assemble well.

This takes a surprising amount of time. Good thing I allocated two days. I actually completed more today that I was hoping for. I'm sure I'll eat up all the time later doing something that takes way longer than I thought it would.

Here is the shot from my first break:

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More piles of completed timber. It look really similar to the piles of timber on Monday but there are differences.

For example:

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Here is a close up shot of the tops of the table legs. For those who don't know putting fasteners into the top of table legs is a big no no. Think about what sort of stress the wood goes under when you drag the table around (and you know you will). If you screw straight in the top you will get split wood and a ruined game. The details you see here is about having the frame sit on the legs cut out bit whilst still being able to put screws into the side of the timber. There are two piles as you need a set of mirrored legs. You can't just rotate. When you get the design you'll see.

Also today a number of mitre cuts were done to the boards that will become the edge of the table. These need to look nice and, thankfully, they do! I was very impressed at how well it went. Did I mention I got a new saw? That might have helped :). You can see the edge of some in the second shot.

So, to finish up today there were some long rips (cut down a board with the grain) to do. Ripping is a pain without a table saw. Oh well, at least it is started:

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After the first rip I decided that was enough for today. I had already allocated all of tomorrow to doing this anyway. I'll finish the other three boards in the morning.

Looking forward to the dry fit tomorrow. Then lots of fastening, routing some edges and finishing. Maybe get a game in next weekend…

-Strobe

PS: Sorry about the last shot being a bit out of focus. There are limits to my phone camera. I'll bother to set up a tripod and take good shots when I have something more interesting to show.

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Carrot
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#15 » Jul 27 2010 07:38

I very much look forward to seeing this completed; it looks like a very robust gaming table.

Out of curiosity, how high will the raised sides be? If you routed a step into them, and put some sort of grid or pegs (the better option?) at the same height as the step, you could have terrain go below it's surroundings (e.g. river beds, craters, etc.) without simply carving every elevation out of a tall block of foam.

Edit: limiting motion with diagonal braces along the bottom of the table should help significantly with warping, especially of the table surface.
Mobility is a priceless tactical advantage.

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#16 » Jul 27 2010 07:49

Carrot wrote:Out of curiosity, how high will the raised sides be? If you routed a step into them, and put some sort of grid or pegs (the better option?) at the same height as the step, you could have terrain go below it's surroundings (e.g. river beds, craters, etc.) without simply carving every elevation out of a tall block of foam.


The sides are raised about 30mm. This is to stop dice rolling off the edge. Dice rolling off is quite significant when you aren't rolling the six sided variety. The more round dice (I'm thinking D20s here) seem to roll for ever.

When you see how the table is supported under the surface (which it is) you'll understand that it isn't really an option to have terrain "below" the surface. Nothing it stopping me having the regular foam carved type but I will lose the benefit of the raised sides for that.

Just remember, when you build your table you can have it just the way you want it. I honestly play more RPGs than wargames (D&D is every other week, wargames unfortunabely more infrequent) so it is more important that the table is suited for RPG gaming.

When I put the plans together I intend to have an optional parts section where I lay down many of the ideas I have had and either not included or substituted with other design and why. I hope this encourages others to make their table custom to their needs.

-Strobe

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#17 » Jul 28 2010 05:07

Wednesday: Successful

It all started off with finishing up the rip cuts on the last three beams. All sawing is now complete - time for a quick look at the end:

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This is one table (it is a two parter) sitting together. Not at all fastened, just a check to see how it is going.

After working out everything for the first table putting it together was fairly quick. I say fairly as there was lots of clamping, drilling pilot holes, countersinking and then finally screwing the beams together.

Here you can see some clamp action:

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I got a set of four framing clamps (the device pictured above is a single clamp) and they have proved very useful. Highly recommended.

The second table took about the same amount of time as the first. It was all set out well so has gone together smoothly. Only a single beam was slightly out of place due to some warping in the original piece of wood. It was only out by 1mm so with some clamping and screws it is well held into place.

At the end of today I have been left with a pleasing sight. Behold:

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Two assembled frames. These now need the outer frame to be attached to create the recessed gaming area and to have a nicer edge to lean your arms on. It is going to be smoother over by my router with a roundover bit.

Also left to do it to install the legs and work out how the drawer supports fit in. I had to wait until the main frame was together to measure up what is actually is before buying the drawer material.

So, progressing well. I hope to be completed on time at the end of the week. I might not be able to do the finishing stain or whatever due to very rainy days here in Sydney at the moment.

-Strobe

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#18 » Jul 29 2010 06:32

After a successful day routing and assembling I am left with a pleasing sight.

Today saw finishing of various sections. Rounding off the legs and lip sections with the router. Attaching of the legs. You can see that part here:

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Details of the leg attachment process.

It almost looks like a gaming table now. I hope to have everything except the drawers and table surface finished tomorrow

Here are the two tables side by side:

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This is the normal configuration for play. It will leave an approximately 8'x4' gaming surface with individual drawers for 8 players for RPGs. It really is designed for 7 as the GM/DM gets a double spot (they always have more to keep track of).

For regular sized games of 40k I intend to have a 2'x4' section on one side as a mustering area so the drawers don't need to be used. It will be felt lined and be able to hold reserves, spare dice and counters and the like.

Sorry the post is a bit short tonight. I am tired for the build. It was someone taxing with all the routing today. The router seemed light when I got it but after a few hours slaving over the wood it seemed quite heavy :(

I should be ready to go after a good nights rest. For the greater good.

-Strobe

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#19 » Jul 30 2010 03:11

The assembly is now complete:

Image
You can see I have now added the sides that make the lowered gaming surface and the supports that will hold the drawer rails.

There wasn't much to take photos of today. That is all you get.

A few issues that I was unsure of were solved today. Putting in screws at an angle so you can have a fastening where there is wood on boths sides is challenging. I have now devised a technique. Firstly, measure up and mark where you want to screw. Remember that you don't want to come out in the middle of the first piece, aim a little higher than that. Then, using a countersink, bore slightly into the top of the piece as if going straight down. This will provide a good angled place to drill from. Swap over to your drill bit and drill down on an angle. Swap back to the sink again and countersink on the newly drilled angle. Easy.

Anyone got some more questions? It seems a little quiet in here…

I'll post again tomorrow. Tomorrow will be final sanding then stain to a nice colour. If I have time left also I will buy my first top section and the material fror the drawers.

-Strobe

abraxus
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#20 » Jul 30 2010 07:39

I think we're all quiet because we're eagerly awaiting the promised schematics!!!!!

Seriously, I think thisis lookign fantastic. Anyone who may be considering opening their own gaming store should really keep an eye on this. I know my local stores biggest problem is their tables are HORRIBLE.

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#21 » Aug 03 2010 06:25

Right, better late than never.

This was actually done on Saturday and Sunday as I planned. The table isn't yet finished (well, it kinda is (I'll get to that)).

I started off with the base coat of the Walnut coloured stain. Results below:

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Close shot showing the decidedly honey colour.

At this stage I am worried I have ruined my table :(

It went on a bit patchy, sucked up heaps of stain and generally wasn't as dark as I expected.

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A wide shot of one completed table.

I powered on anyway and got both tables done with enough time according to the directions. The can said don't use it if it will fall below 10°C within four hours. It is winter here so it is something I have to consider. Thankfully despite it taking longer than I thought to apply I was finished with enough time.

I finished up, cleaned up the brushes and went home worried. Next day arrives and I get to work. The stain went on much better this time. It still drank it up and I began to worry again (see a theme here?) about running out of stain.

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The colour is much better this time though.

I decided to conserve my remaining stain by only double coating the sections of the table you will see when you have a surface put in. I can live with a bit of off colour when you change table tops. Really, if anyone complains maybe I should be having games with 'em.

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This is a close shot after the four hour touch dry time (colour should be fairly final) of the second coat. I particularly like how it has darked the knots in the pine. It is very pleasing to me.

When I finished the second coat I had probably less than 5mL left from my half liter can. Good planning? More like good luck :D

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Another close up shot here with a bit of leg thrown in (I say!).

The product I used was a combined stain/varnish thing by British Paints called something Once. Brush Once, Apply Once? Something. You are meant to sand in between each coat but I didn't feel it was needed. The finish is smooth without being fine furniture French Polished smooth. It is a gaming table and my first piece of cabinet making so I can live with the little mistakes.

Speaking of little mistakes, there have been one or two. I'll highlight them so you can avoid them when I get 'round to the plans.

A quick note on that too: If you are hanging out for the plans I want to stress that they will be made after I have finished the table. Whilst it looks quite finished it has a bit more to do. It might be weeks until I have the plans done.

So, this coming Saturday I will be moving the tables over from the workshop to my apartment and putting them in place. I will also, hopefully, be getting the table tops and material for the drawers. I already have drawer slides to mount them so it should be all done on the Saturday if not then on the Sunday. I am back at work so no time during the week. After all that is done Sunday the 15th will be the first game on the table. D&D I'm afraid, otherwise I would have a battle report. I need to get on to some terrain but as I mentioned before I honestly play more RPGs than Wargames at the moment. I hope this will change and I want to get more into 40k on a regular basis.

A final note on what you've seen in the above post. Due to my phone camera and it being Winter the colour is actually a little washed out. When the table is in place I'll get a tripod, better camera and put some lights around to do a few glamor shots for you folks as home. Remember, it is easier to sell a table like this to your significant other if you can show it looking fantastic in another persons house. Envy is powerful :)

-Strobe

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Sa'cea Mont'yr
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#22 » Aug 03 2010 07:19

This table is looking great, man. I really like the color you decided to go with for the stain; it's really going to add an extra something when other people come over to play on the table.
Shas'el Sa'cea Cal'Ka Mon'tyr

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RevRanDoM
Por'O
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#23 » Aug 03 2010 10:43

Just saw this thread now. Very impressive work on a complex project. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the final result too. :)

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Eiglepulper
Shas'O
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#24 » Aug 03 2010 10:58

I too have just spotted this thread. It is an excellent piece of "WIP", and has been Stickied.

Bookmarks may need to be adjusted, just to let those of you who are following this thread know.

E.

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#25 » Aug 13 2010 05:21

Alright, I'm not dead. I have been a little sick but actually the delay has been caused by external forces.

I now have the materials for the next (and second last) stage.

Expect more tomorrow.

Tomorrow I apply paint to the table surface and drawers and then, once dry (14 hours :(), install the drawer slides.

My first game on the table is Sunday so I better get it all done tomorrow.

-Strobe

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Strobe
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#26 » Aug 14 2010 08:19

Progress progress progress.

I did quite a few things today. Lots of painting of surfaces. I am glad I invested in a paint rolled. I really suggest you get one if you're going to do large smooth surfaces. If you're painting a gaming table that is textured, however, go for a large brush instead. I would think the roller wouldn't like texture much.

To start off today I fitted up one set of drawer slides to one unfinished MDF drawer. Behold!

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Here is the drawer at the regular extension. It is a good size for an RPG book open or book stack closed with a character sheet next to it.

For a wargame it neatly slides away:

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And the table is just a wargaming table again. You could, of course, use these drawers for special purposes. Casualties, reserves, mini building section to represent models inside and objective (I'm thinking kill team here). I'm sure you'll think of other things.

The rest of the work today was painting. Here is the setup in my garage:

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You can see one of the main surfaces behind against the wall and a drawer section I was working on.

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Some drawer sections drying here. Please excuse the lighting but it is winter and the back of my garage. Not much light gets in.

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Other drying sections here.

Also today my girlfriend and I put some black felt down on the table frame to help the playing surfaces sit nicely. It was simply stuck on with PVA glue (white glue, Elmer's glue, wood glue).

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And here is a closer shot of the felt.

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You'll note that is doesn't go all the way to the edges but the felt came in a bolt one meter across and it doesn't really need the felt everywhere to support the surface. It would have been too fiddly for not much benefit.

Tomorrow before the game I'll put the drawer slides on to the (now dry) drawers and lug the surfaces upstairs to slot into the frame. I'll probably rope in some unsuspecting gamers to help out as the tops are quite heavy and cumbersome.

-Strobe

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Sa'cea Mont'yr
Shas'El
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#27 » Aug 14 2010 10:33

This table is looking absolutely fantastic. My wife and I are finally starting to get a grasp on the whole unpacking thing, and it's got me really anxious to start a project like this.
Shas'el Sa'cea Cal'Ka Mon'tyr

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Panhead
Shas
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Re: A High Quality Gaming Table

Post#28 » Aug 14 2010 05:02

Really nice step-by-step

Will have to use this as a reference for later.. :)
It's the imperfections that make something unique

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