Thoughts on a gaming table

Dolken
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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by Dolken » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:29 pm

Zenako,

This table will be used in a gaming / craft room. Right now I am using a 4 foot by 8 foot table with a 30 inch by 60 inch raised by 7 inch table on top of the 4'x8' table. Which has been great. But have found that because sometimes we don't finished the build dungeon (almost every time ... lol) the dungeon sits built for two weeks keeping me from painting or creating. So i figured the dungeon can sit in the pit and I can put the top on and play other board games and paint ...

The shelf is 10.5" deep by 34" to 32.5" long and 5" tall so i hope it will be big enough to hold whatever the players want (Pathfinder Books, Netbooks or tablets ....

My Idea for opening the cover top was to embed a steel plate in the wood and use a 1" cube neodymium magnets to pull up the first panel. (What do you think of the idea?)

As far as spill control I am looking open to all ideas. I was thinking of painting the Pit with black flat water proof paint or maybe VOC Free Non Toxic Lumber-Seal Clear Satin Wood Sealer. Any other idea would be great....

As far as the storage area it is just extra storage as my existing storage is 8 foot tall shelves using 18" x 26" baking trays. So the under storage is just extra storage.

Thank you
Dolken

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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by zenako » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:08 am

Nice concept. Will this be a multipurpose table or just for gaming? Partly I ask, because if the table is in a common area of the house, making it nice and also useful for other tasks can be a factor. If it is dedicated to the gaming area, then appearances are more optional. (After thinking about building something of my own, I just went with getting 4 - 2.5ftx5ft laminated office tables from my company's used furniture clearance for like $15 each, giving me a very functional 5x10 foot play area. I zip tied the various legs together to keep the 4 of them from sliding apart (again a quick, simple, not very elegant or esthetic solution). With the top almost fully covered with a massive 4x8' hex /square play mat, it works well for our group.

I would seriously consider the utility of the sunken area for the play area. It is cool, but it does add a bit of complexity to the task (and is somewhat similar to those Wyrmwood tables that make DF additions look cheap!). Will it work well with the types of play you and your group do? I know my groups often end up with larger outdoor settings, so having the very large map/play space available works well for us. Smaller scale dungeon crawls are much less common.

When you make those top covers, have you given thought to how they are taken out ? Easy to drop them in, but unless you have some holes or other extraction slots, getting them out will be an issue (at least for the first one). How deep will those shelves around the edge just below the top be? Will they be deep enough for PHB for example to slide all the way in? Or would they be more intended to just be a shelf to stash a few things, and if so what? Again, a cool idea, but how do you envision your players or you actually using the feature.

Spill control? It will eventually happen, but when a drink is spilled, what will happen with fluid in the cavity?

Also give some thought to how far off the ground the bottom shelf is? and the actual inside height of that location. Will it hold your existing storage system? Will it be a useful height for stacking? I know when I custom built some storage shelves for a LOT of older books and papers, I made sure that there was enough space between the shelves (and their supporting material) to handle boxes stacked two high on each shelf. (those shelves were 3/4" thick plywood with 2x4 cross supports with (6) 2x6 verticals for a 2' x 8' shelf. When my dad saw that, he said I guess you just wanted to be able to support the floor above if the floor joists gave out, perhaps overdesigned a bit.)

Basically it looks like a viable design, you just need to be sure to factor in actual use, so down the road there are no regrets, like, man, I should have made that feature another inch larger.

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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by Dolken » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:20 am

Thanks William.

The Top will be all one piece. The Top will connect to the legs at 8 Points. I did not realize the 4 half inch 2x4 studs fell off the drawling. So 8 points of connection that when assembled will be screwed together no glue as it does need to be able to leave the house if I ever move. :lol:

So top goes to 8 points of contact to 4 points of contact to the floor.

Dolken

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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by William » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:48 pm

Nice design, but I have a question.

Will the table top with flat (6 bay) frame underneath, only be resting at 4 points (2 each side) along the length of that frame and possibly only one at each end? It appears the legs are supporting the table top panel, but not attaching to the structure. But then I might be seeing it slightly off due to the isometric view. This may all be fine if the top raised piece will be glued and screwed to the top, it will add a ton more strength to the top.

The bottom is much stronger this way, the plywood panels will resist most racking or twisting.

Otherwise it's very close to a final design, in my mind. Good job Dolken. :)
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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by Dolken » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:15 pm

Lets try this design. Note I will use the Normal names of the lumber but the drawings are done with the actual size of the lumber. For example a 2 by 4 is really a 1.5" by 3.5"
table with top.jpg
table with top.jpg (27.95 KiB) Viewed 424 times
With out top
table with out top.jpg
table with out top.jpg (29.39 KiB) Viewed 424 times
From looking below, the legs are 4x4 with 2x4 for suport and 3/4 plywood on the short area to keep them square.
legs with suport.jpg
legs with suport.jpg (29.37 KiB) Viewed 424 times
Then using more 2x4 and 1/4 plywood for the back and floor of the area.
legs with storage.jpg
legs with storage.jpg (29.41 KiB) Viewed 424 times
Removing all the leg support and storage area wood to show the bottom. the bottom area is 3 sheets of 3/4 oak plywood cut to 3 foot by 5 foot with 2x4 ran around the edges and across the split areas and across the long center area.
bottom of pit.jpg
bottom of pit.jpg (24.96 KiB) Viewed 424 times
With the bottom of the pit removed the of the table is 2x6 are used to create the player shelves and the central pit area. The top is 3/4 oak sheets with 1x2 ran around the edge and 1 x 4 to support the splits.
top with support to create shelf.jpg
top with support to create shelf.jpg (19.85 KiB) Viewed 424 times
I hope this is better build and explanation of what I hope to make.

Note the bottom of the table is at 27 inches and top is at 35.5 inches.

Again If anything I am forgetting or If It looks unsound please let me know.

Dolken

P.S. AnimeSensei I am looking at makeing drink holders that clamp on to the bottom area.

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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by William » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:05 pm

Funny you posted that Tavern Table plan.

We just brought home a 200+ year old Tavern Table from Mom's last week. It's from the time when we were still 13 colonies trying to figure this thing all out. I like to think Ol' Ben F. was thrown' a few down over heady discussions or coming on to the tavern wenches.

It's a little different than that design, but very cool and the finish has survived nicely over the centuries. Made of a few types of wood the finish almost has a hand worn patina to it that's unexplainable. It was the one piece the folks had that my wife and I really wanted to keep in the family. Not very useful due to it's size (low and odd smallish size), but beautiful. Too tall for a good coffee table and to low for a eating table, maybe a good "behind the sofa" table, but our house is a bit small for that kind of interior design layout. I can say with certainty we as a species have grown a lot over those two hundred years. Wish the table was a little bigger to actually play on, but I would need to do that before she can see me doing it from "above". ;)

Maybe I can just do a few layouts in the future on it. I'll be sure to note it when posting. :)
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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by Oldent » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:30 am

Dolken wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:34 am
Thanks guys, looks like I will try a different design. When I get it drawn I post it again and see if it is a better design.

Dolken ;)
I would look at a leg and apron table style design. A Tavern table is also fairly simple. I am going to assume you do not want to mortice anything.Look at Kreg joints. Home depot sells table legs and the hard ware. Keep it simple.

https://www.osbornewood.com/tableaprons.aspx

https://www.kregtool.com/store/c13/kreg-jigsreg/

Image

Keep in mind if you add a box to the table top you need to shorten the legs to keep the table top the correct height.I have my table in a game room. I find the removable top unnecessary.
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Dolken
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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by Dolken » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:34 am

Thanks guys, looks like I will try a different design. When I get it drawn I post it again and see if it is a better design.

Dolken ;)

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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by astolat » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:16 pm

I have no expertise myself, but thought I'd toss in this video I remembered stumbling over on youtube of building a gaming table for $150; there are links in the description to various other DIY tables, plans to download etc:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spdescYFqIE

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Re: Thoughts on a gaming table

Post by pacarat » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:50 pm

I see a few potential problems in this design.

You didnt give specs on dimensions (thickness) or type of wood on flat perimeter edge pieces. They may need some orthogonal support under outer edges.

I would relook how you have that lower tray/bed configured support-wise.

The weight of it plus the four short posts will put undo stress on your diagonal “joists/connectors” anytime this table is moved or lifted.

Those corner diagonals should be vertically oriented (shortest dimension is width for best structural support.)

Square joints /connections are stronger than any diagonal ones and much less complicated to construct.

Not sure from pics if you have any long-axis supports under that middle shelf, but think you need something more than those three cross-wise supports.

My two cents - go look at a bunch of dining room, etc. tables (or go online) for construction ideas. And library or bookstore for construction techniques.

I have built custom stuff over the years (table, AV stand, bookcases, hobby armoire, etc.) so I have some experience in woodworking (including doweling and biscuit joinery).

Frankly speaking I would not want to try to build this.

Think simple and strong - you’re going to have more than a few pounds of DF on this, plus whatever else is needed.

Kudos for wanting to do a custom table... I have wanted a custom table for years but keep falling back on my two trusty 6’ conference tables with 3/4” plywood 4’x6’ toppers. Would really like a large sunken pit/area that I could have stuff set up in, then cover completely for multipurpose uses (other games, build/paint surface,etc.)

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