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FRANKENGAMINGTABLE! -- Vaulted game table from repurposed kitchen tables

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The tale starts at BoardGameGeek, where I was reading about vaulted game tables. One thread was about building a table from some guy named The Wood Whisperer.


Well, I checked it all out and despite what I saw, I ended up here. Some of you may not think that a good thing. :D

I enjoy playing games, including conflict simulations, aka "wargames," but I have two, make that two-and-a-half problems. The first two are our Maine Coon cats, Loki Furr and Luci Furr. They enjoy playing games too but for different reasons.


The remaining half-problem is my beautiful bride, who fully supports my hobbies but who also appreciates having things tidy around the house. To sum up, I need a vaulted game table so I can leave more complex games set up without having to clear them away after only a couple of hours.

Being a bear of very little brain, with very little disposable income, and no garage or basement for a shop, I only have my father-in-law's shop that I can use. It is forty-five minutes to an hour and a half away depending on traffic.


To make a short story long, I end up using parts from three different kitchen tables that I scrounged off Craigslist. The "Free" section is great, especially around the end of the month when people are moving and can't take things with them.


I used the apron from one table, the legs from a second, and the top from a third. I lined the apron with 15mm (5/8") Baltic birch plywood...


Then built a leaning rail out of BB and trimmed with poplar...


Attached svelte and sexy legs instead of bulbous farmhouse legs...


Stained everything...




I also added a 3mm neoprene insert which deadens noise, gives some "cush" for picking up cards and gaming pieces, and just happens to look awesome.


Some additional construction details:

* The whole thing is designed to knock down into pieces for moving. The largest single piece is the Baltic Birch table bottom, at 3' x 5'.
* The corner triangle pieces are floating to give access to the hangar bolts from above the table.
* Dowels secure the leaning rail to the aprons. A "key" dowel, slightly larger than the others, is used for proper alignment.
* The top was ripped lengthwise and a board added to help cover the leaning rail. It was also cut into three pieces for easy removal and replacement by one person.

Did I have fun doing it? Hell yes! Did I make mistakes? Oh hell yes, many of which are visible but I'm not going to point them out. Did I learn from my mistakes? You betcha!

I now have a gaming table that seats four comfortably, six in a pinch, and will resist the best efforts of any annoyed gamer to flip the table.


It may not be "fine furniture" but it will put up with the slings and arrows of enemies real and imaginary, probably get beverages spilled on it, and provide hours of fun and good times for me and my gaming friends. Thanks everyone for answering my questions, reading this far, and I hope you get inspired to build your own table.

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Great stuff, sir!  I have plans to redo my gaming table with some more... ahem... refined techniques once I have refinished my basement.

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