Saturday, July 2, 2011

Building a Gaming Table

I've always wanted a gaming table.  However, for years I just didn't have a need for one or even think that I could build one.  I had kicked around stupid ideas for some time, but nothing ever came from it.  One night, I was talking with my wife, and she told me I could build a table and put it in my front room.  This just goes to show that your spouse can still surprise you even after 20 years of marriage.  I never expected her to agree.

So I had one major problem.  I'm not handy.  No that's not modesty; that's reality.  I'm the guy who hammers a hole in the wall while hanging an 8x10 picture.  I'm that guy you never let work a power tool without supervision.  But I am fortunate to have two good friends who are not only quite capable but also quite generous. After some talking, they both agreed to "help" me build my table.

Tim K from Cursed Treasures and Mike W from Da Green Skins came over last night to "assist" me in building the table.  I will define "assist" as building the whole damn thing by themselves while I asked if anyone needed a drink.  On Tim's advice, I picked up a Simpson Strong-tie workbench box and the necessary lumber.  He had the truck; so he helped me to pick up the lumber.  Mike came up with a design to meet my wife's crazy requirement to make the table look good.  Can you imagine such a demand?  With the materials and plan ready, we started yesterday in the afternoon.  We made sure to pick and "excessive heat warning" day to work on this.  It would build character.

I was astounded by the array of tools off-loaded into my garage.  I own a hammer, screwdriver, drill, and some sandpaper.  That's my set up.  But last night that garage had nail guns, chop saws, sanders, cordless drills, just about everything you could need.  Here's Tim and Mike making the first cuts on the chop saw, probably the most important tool of the entire production.
The work went smoothly.  There were numerous unexpected challenges along the way.  But Mike and Tim found ways around each one of them.  The only catch was that it took a lot longer to build than anticipated!  Here are some shots of framing up the base.

This base would form a pedestal for the table top.  The bottom of it would form a shelf for storing my stuff.  The table top would be framed separately and be fit to the pedestal.  Here are some shots of that action.

At some point I was feeling pretty guilty just standing around doing odd jobs.  So I had offered to help finish screwing in some of the legs.  However, I still managed to make a mess of that. It was apparent that letting me use the drill would add several hours to the job.  At some point, I was assigned sanding duties to plane down an overhang on the bottom shelf.  At last I was useful!  Here's a shot of me getting excited with the palm sander.
After several more hours of work the table was ready to come together.  Tim and Mike put in some MDF to create a finished look to the pedestal.  Then 6" pine boards were carefully joined all along the edges to give the top a classy, and finished look.  We set the top on the pedestal, unattached for now.  Here's the result.

You can see in the bottom picture that we left one side open for me to access my stuff.  All in all, it is one awesome looking table!  Now it needs to be sanded down, painted and stained.  That's phase two.  The final phase three will be bringing it out of the garage and into the living room, where we'll attach the top to the pedestal.

I really, really, really have to thank Tim and Mike for their commitment and effort to this project.  It took nearly eight hours to build this.  It's a lot more complicated than it seems, let me tell you!  I can't wait to get this finished and in the house!


Tom O said...

Very nice Jerry. I like the "covered" look that you guys came up with for the bottom/base. It will look good when it's completed.

Drunken Samurai said...

Very nice! Sorry I missed the fun.

Scott said...

Great work guys. You've done a very professional looking job.

Whilst I am reasonably handy, and usually get wifes OK for projects, you guys are lucky you can work together. You always need an extra pair of hands to hold something while you screw it together.

Whenever I ask the wife I get the scowl, and comment, will it chip her nail varnish... Sheesh!

Jerry said...

Thanks guys! I'm putting up another update of the table drama tonight.