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Game Table Design Question

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Our family is big time into board games. So I'm designing a dining room table that has a removable top, which covers what will be a board game table. The idea is to not have to put away games when we can't finish them, yet still have a table for normal dining room use (ie. piling up mail, sanding projects so you can still watch the game, homework, scribbling with crayons or art... but not dining come on.)

 

Funny enough there is a furniture company I found that makes exactly what I was designing: http://www.geekchichq.com

 

Here is my question: How can I make this "rail system" they have on their tables: http://www.geekchichq.com/furniture/rail-system/

 

I actually thought of something similar based on an old Ikea design but it was more of a french cleat principle and not very attractive. Their rail system looks very clean and neat but I have no idea how it works. I can't make sense of it from the pictures (maybe that's the idea). 

 

Any ideas on how this works and how to recreate it?

 

Thanks,

Christian

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It looks like a rectangular version of the pegboard design. I think it require a rip and 45 degrees then a shallow rip in the same slot at 90. The 45 degree kerf could hold a tip-out tang while the 90 kerf would provide a shelf to carry load. Stamped steel "z" clips with one angle at 90 and the other at 45 could be tipped into such a groove. I am guessing here but this seems logical for a single piece solid rail. I suppose a "t" slot could also work but the bottom of the slot could catch debris.

If my explanation does not make sense. I had trouble finding good images but I think Hometime, Ron Hazelton, and TOH have all done video spots on this type of wall system for organizing garage spaces so you might be able to find a clip online that shows the system in action. http://m.grainger.com/mobile/details/?R=4ANL3

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They also make a simple router bit that will trim a groove like that, if you wish to cut it out of one piece.  That is the "route" I would go....

 

Then you just cut your accessories with a 90 degree lip, you put them on a 45 to get in and then lay flush.  This is the same concept you will find with many garage organization systems, if you need something to look at to visualize.  Z-clips like C Shaffer posted will be stronger, but a little more difficult.  

 

Here is an example of the bit.  Link

 

Sounds like a great project.  If you have the time, it would be an interesting one for the "Project Journal" section of the site.

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Christian,

When mentioning to my brother that I was putting together a small wood shop he sent me a link to a Geek Chiq table inside of 30 seconds and told me he wants to build one. While I don't yet have the skills to offer any advice, I would love to keep up on the progress of your project.

Good luck!

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I'm thinking the rail attaches to the table with something like a french cleat and the accessory slot is basically a T slot.  The accessories have a T on them where opposite corners are cut a 45 so that the turn to 45 option to insert works.

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You are missing two key factors. The rail on this table is too narrow for any T fixture to rotate 45 degrees. Their text also plainly states that their fixtures are inserted at 45 and then "lowered" in order to seat.

I think this matters only if you intend to use their accessories. If you intend to manufacture your own cup holders etc then the sky is the limit and your design capabilities are all that limits you.

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You are missing two key factors. The rail on this table is too narrow for any T fixture to rotate 45 degrees. Their text also plainly states that their fixtures are inserted at 45 and then "lowered" in order to seat.

I think this matters only if you intend to use their accessories. If you intend to manufacture your own cup holders etc then the sky is the limit and your design capabilities are all that limits you.

 

You make an excellent point about design options. I am going to make my own accessories but their design was more attractive than what I had been thinking. I wish I could see the accessory end that inserts into the rail. I'm curious how much support their design offers.

 

Thanks for the links everyone. They helped alot. I'm going to experiment with some cleat ideas based on what I've read here and find something that works and looks nice.

 

If anyone is good with sketchup or something and could diagram ideas that would be much appreciated.

 

I would love to start a building journal once I get moving on this. It could be a while as we are trying to buy a house.

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I feel your pain. I too was greatly disappointed in their website. I doubt I would feel comfortable ordering accessories "sight unseen." I did not check through their return policy but if items can be returned it may not hurt to back engineer to the chosen accessories no matter who makes the ones you choose. Happy hunting!

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I mistyped earlier, I meant to be speaking about hardware or mounting options and not their competed accessories.

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post-8974-0-72470600-1365129148_thumb.jp

You are missing two key factors. The rail on this table is too narrow for any T fixture to rotate 45 degrees. Their text also plainly states that their fixtures are inserted at 45 and then "lowered" in order to seat.

I think this matters only if you intend to use their accessories. If you intend to manufacture your own cup holders etc then the sky is the limit and your design capabilities are all that limits you.

 

You're correct, I misread.  But I don't think it's too small for something to rotate in.  I did a quick sketch of what I was thinking of.  Slot would only have to be about 3/8" wide.

 

See above - one day I'll get better at this inserting images thing.

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their tables are one of the many reasons i have recently decided to take woodworking a bit more seriously, because i would like to have a dual purpose (table top gaming/dining room) table in our house and we need another nice shelf/bookcase for all of our table top games.  :rolleyes:
 
anyways, it appears that the accessories have a shallow dado on the top and a roundover on the bottom opposite of the dado side at the back side of the accessory. there also appears to be more to it than just a dado and roundover to the system on some accessories. it looks like there might be a small lever to activate a slider or something on the accessory tables cup holders in the first two links below.
 
http://cf.geekdo-images.com/images/pic1532802_lg.jpg
http://networkrockstar.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DiningTable.jpg
http://www.geekgirlcon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/GCF-5.jpg.
 
edit: 
i found a review from a table owner and gives some little detail on the rail system:
  

http://www.nerdbloggers.com/nerdbloggers/2012/5/6/my-experience-with-geek-chic-part-2.html

Rail System - Instead of drawers, I chose the rail system for my table. The rail system is a groove that extends along the side of the table, onto which different accessories can be attached...
Because the rail is just a groove in the wood of the table, it can't support a lot of weight. This makes it perfect for cup holders, or other small accessories, but care would have to be taken with a desk or any other accessory that someone might be tempted to lean on. In fact, since the cup holders extend past the edge of the table when inserted into the groove, I've had a couple of close calls with people bumping into them with their legs while standing up, or walking past. This doesn't make them non-functional, it just means people need to take care when moving around the rail accessories.
Rail accessories come in two types: locking and non-locking. Locking accessories have a little latch that has to be pulled in order to remove them, or slide them along the rail, whereas the non-locking accessories do not...

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My only beef with those tables is I wish they were hexagonal/octagonal. We play a lot of board games as well, and square tables are always problematic because someone is going to be on the opposite end of the board, away from the cards, etc.

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