Gaming Dining Table Ideas


Recommended Posts

There are a lot of options for tricking out a table like this. Here's a good place to share, discuss, and ask for suggestions. The table isn't 100% finalized yet so there's a chance that your idea could be incorporated into the Guild version.

Either way, everyone is encouraged to build the table to their own needs and tastes. So let's hear your ideas!

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 6.27.05 AM Aug 28, 2015.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brainstorming Ideas

  • Locking mechanism for rail system.
    • Perhaps epoxying some recessed small rare-earth magnets to create a "soft lock" to keep lateral sliding of accessory rail holders.
    • I am sure there are some simple and clever mechanical locks that could be implemented as well.
  • Tabletop.
    • Braden Nash over at BoardGameGeek designed (and provided a SketchUp) of a gaming table design. His design utilizes wider edges that allow for a place for your forearms to rest. However, no rail/cleat system is installed. Also, a downside to this design is that now there is an wider overhang that may interfere with some accessory rail items. For example, a tablet holder would have to come out fairly far from the table rail to clear the overhang.
    • Single top vs. Leaves. Leaves could be constructed out of solid wood, single top could be constructed out of ply with solid edging. Less concern with wood movement with the a ply top, however a bit more cumbersome to remove and install.
    • Woodenskye: Cool idea! For the top, you could always incorporate a chessboard pattern like how cutting boards are made. Certainly doable with solid wood, not sure about veneer.
    • Spill protection: Neoprene/waterproof speedcloth helps. A single top would offer more spell protection over leaves. The big question is once the playing surface fabric wears out, is there a reasonably easy way to replace it? Wood usually holds up a lot longer than the cloth will.
  • Legs.
    • As mentioned, there are a couple current ideas to deal with the legs in the underside of the table. Marc suggested beveling the square edge, Bobinaustin suggested adding additional material on the inside of the table to conceal them. I suggested creating a right-angle "L" piece that would cover the tops of the legs and offer some width to rest your arms without extending the edges of the table that would interfere with the accessory rail. Mattdb also had a similar idea as well. However, the "L" may change the appearance of the table, and make it more "picture frame" as Marc mentioned.
    • Remove more material from the legs? Widen the skirt material? Not sure how this would affect the design or strength of the table.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started my first "for reals" woodworking project with a smaller 2'x4' gaming coffee table. (Have a thread going about it in the general section)

For the removable top, I'm going to attach felt/baize to one size so it can be used as a card playing surface, thought that could be a nice addition.

Also, I want it to sit flush with the overhanging edges of the table but I'm struggling to figure out how to get it out again once I drop it in place without handholds. I'm imagining that something like a cabinet push lock could be used, but haven't sorted that bit out yet...

coffeeTable_layout.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

TPirson: You could always lift up the smooth side with a suction cup. They commonly use them for floor tiles to access subfloors.

http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=suction+cup

You could attach a small leather strap stub that only faces upwards on the game cloth side. That way you can use the suction up to lift up the smooth side, and the small leather tabs to lift up the felted surface. Alternatively, increase the edge banding to allow more surface area for the suction cup to grab (1 1/2 to 3 inches).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Guild version, we address this with a small pin that is captured in the apron and allows you to simply push the table top up with your finger. Raises it just high enough that you can grab it with your hand and pull it out. If you have an extra thick apron setup or if your overhang is in the way, this might not work for you.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 11.28.46 AM Aug 28, 2015.png

    • Single top vs. Leaves. Leaves could be constructed out of solid wood, single top could be constructed out of ply with solid edging. Less concern with wood movement with the a ply top, however a bit more cumbersome to remove and install.

I wouldn't recommend going with solid wood at all, if the goal is a drop-in style top. No matter how you slice it, you'll have wood movement issues. The only way to prevent this would be to have sizable gaps between the leaves or around the perimeter, which isn't really great as a general use table surface. So unless you convert to an overhanging top, I'd stay away from solid stock.

Another idea we considered for the exposed legs in the gaming recess area is to turn them into a feature. By drilling a hole, we could potentially use that area for additional accessories. These accessories simply need a dowel post attached to them and they can drop right in. Since it's in the corner, you might be limited on the size but I'm thinking something like a simple cup holder. Maybe even a long stick of some sort for cards or game tiles. 

Edited by thewoodwhisperer
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Guild version, we address this with a small pin that is captured in the apron and allows you to simply push the table top up with your finger. Raises it just high enough that you can grab it with your hand and pull it out. If you have an extra thick apron setup or if your overhang is in the way, this might not work for you.

 Interesting, sort of the manual version of what I was thinking a push lock could do! I think I know how I can work with this. 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I wouldn't recommend going with solid wood at all, if the goal is a drop-in style top. No matter how you slice it, you'll have wood movement issues. The only way to prevent this would be to have sizable gaps between the leaves or around the perimeter, which isn't really great as a general use table surface. So unless you convert to an overhanging top, I'd stay away from solid stock.

Another idea we considered for the exposed legs in the gaming recess area is to turn them into a feature. By drilling a hole, we could potentially use that area for additional accessories. These accessories simply need a dowel post attached to them and they can drop right in. Since it's in the corner, you might be limited on the size but I'm thinking something like a simple cup holder. Maybe even a long stick of some sort for cards or game tiles. 

Roger that on the solid wood. I am guessing that the size of solid wood leaves would be a primary factor in the amount of wood movement? That and the fact that it is not a glued up panel, which means the potential for excessive gapping or binding?

I like the legs working to serve as an additional feature. Maybe play on the same feature of the accessory rail and just route a dovetail/slot through the middle of the leg top? Or a fancier option, route a cross (+) for it to be bidirectional. Then you can have a just have an accessory base with a slot at the bottom, which would be able to keep the additional accessories (dice boxes, scrabble tile/card/cup holders, etc) from rotating. Potential issue I could see would be clearance issues with the edge of the table.

Of course, you could always use a square dowel post or some other method to prevent rotation? Just a thought.

Edited by Al Capwn
Make my English more gooder.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we need to give H3nry his own little section of the forum to upload his "surprise" projects: "H3nry's Corner!"  What do ya'll think?  

Getting back to the table design: has anyone ever done or thought of doing a "Scrabble" top for such a table?  In my household of educators and literary types, scrabble seems to be a commonly played game.  I wonder if it even be legal.  I am going to think about this for bit and let the idea marinate for a while.  Hmmmm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am definitely of the opinion that a single top or two leaf top is better than segmented.  I dislike having the legs exposed and I want a wider rail that can be used to lean on.  I don't really see any point in the rail system either.  First off, I think it visually is unattractive.  Second, I don't see much need for it.  I would much rather just build a cup holder that hangs on the edge than have those rails detracting from the overall appearance.  Heck, I might even just put some recessed cup holders into the arm rest and have them covered up by the top when it is installed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two thoughts so far.  First, if you are thinking the accessory rail would be a design element when in table mode, should there be provisions made to the accessories so they don't scratch the finish when they are added/removed?  Perhaps expand the tolerances a little and add some felt?

The second, having not seen the full plans may not be an issue, but I would be a little concerned about the tolerances on the top pieces.  Too tight and might have problems with getting them in/out.  Too loose and I'd be concerned about them rattling when the table was used.  Have an idea of how maybe to address that, but don't know if 1) this is really an issue, 2) if the design would support the idea.

Looks like a fun project, and I can think of a couple individuals who will probably want one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it possible to do this with a floating top and maybe two leaves? This way half the table can be opened to play/store a game and can slide one top on top of the other while playing.

Also what is the approximate length of this table? I am already getting requests to add a drop leaf on each end (not sure how to do that) so that we can seat up 12 for dining. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As designed it's 72" L x 38" W. You could certainly break the top up into two leaves if you wanted to. If you don't want the whole 2-sided aspect to the top you have lots of options for how to break up the top. As for drop-leaf, that's definitely not something this design is intended to allow. I'm sure it could be done, but you might need to make some fundamental design changes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a little long but you might be able to get away with it. With this design, it's hard for me to estimate exactly how large we can go before having issues. This is much more complicated than a traditional table top. There's more weight, but there's also more beef to the overall structure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an idea that may address several of the concerns listed above:

1.  Vertical sliding dovetails in the leg-stumps.  Doing this would allow you to put a vertical stringer that could have more sliding dovetails every few inches or so along one side.  Playing a game that could benefit from accessories?  slide them in!  Not playing a game that requires any extra doohickies?  turn it around for a beautiful smooth wood surface.  A side benefit from this extra stringer would be providing support for the next idea.

2.  Lapped cushions.  Glue some 1/2" foam to some 1/2" ply and cover with pleather for a comfortable place to put your elbows while playing.  If you make the end pieces the full width and the long pieces long enough to make up the difference, you would have padding all the way around the table.  If you set it up to overhang the hard edge of the table, then you've got cushion all the way to the edge.  These could also be stored inside the table for a no-muss, no-fuss (no extra storage required) comfort solution.

3.  Leaf storage.  If you make the leaves narrow enough to fit between the legs side by side, you could store two from either end on a rail system for out of sight storage when  the top is off.

4. Spill protection.  A waterproof liner that goes inside the table to protect the gaming surface could be held in place using pins or magnets.  Any spills that get past the ship lapping would simply dry onto the presumably easy to wash under liner that would be easy to remove when it's time to play games.

5.  Leaf removal.  if you put a folding lever on the inside corner of the bottom of one leg, you could fold it out and step on it.  the lever would pivot around a dowel to push a rod that would lift that corner high enough for you to lift the leaf out.  When it's not in use, just fold it back into the recess at the bottom of the leg.

6.  Replaceable inner surface.  If you decide to felt the inside of the table for a nice game playing surface, place the felt on a piece of hard-board with t-bolts every foot or so.  this would simply rest on the real bottom of the table and be held in place with short machine screws.  If your felt wears out or gets ruined, just pull the hardboard out and re-felt a new piece.

I'm working in a bit of a vacuum as I haven't found a lot of details on this pending projects, but I'm bored at work, so I thought I'd take a stab at some of the problems that were being discussed.  Once I get home and can play around in sketch-up a bit, I'll be able to explore the feasibility of some of the ideas, and maybe come up with some hard dimensions.  Any thoughts?

Erik

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the track style that H3nry has, but would like to some how hide it a bit in the apron.  Attached are some crude sketchup thoughts, would love any input on a good way to keep the leaves hidden on the unit, but still beautiful.  I was thinking the decorative cover would use a piano hinge or something low profile.  

gaming_table_sample_2.thumb.png.acdffa34gaming_table_sample_track.thumb.png.268b

gaming table sample.skb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the rooms I'm considering putting this table in has banquette style seating on one side, so one possible change I'm considering is using trestle style legs.  Looking at "trestle table" images, I noticed most of the tables are simple flat tops, so I wasn't sure if trestle legs would work with a gaming table top like this.  Any thoughts on how feasible this would be?  If it ends up requiring major changes to the original design, I may have to abandon the idea for now.  Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a fairly nice design by Jarret Dunn from the BGG website.  He has fold-over edges that when up give you a wider outer edge for leaning on and when down are tables for the player positions. I think if you put your railing inside the fold-over box area, you could still have movable cup holders and accessories.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/894415/finally-finished-family-game-table

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   2 Members, 0 Anonymous, 53 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    31.2k
    Total Topics
    422.5k
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    23,790
    Total Members
    3,644
    Most Online
    jolaode
    Newest Member
    jolaode
    Joined