Saturday, April 2, 2016

New Project: A Custom Game Table for Steve

 A friend of mine, Steve M (from WWPD) just bought a new house.  I've really enjoyed gaming with Steve and thought it would be nice to build him a custom game table as a house warming present.  Here's a picture of his table in a more natural, shall we say "relaxed" form.

This morning I decided to test a concept I always wanted on my table - accessory rails to reduce table top clutter.  What are accessory rails you ask - read on my friends.


 Here's my brand new Rockler router table - pretty damn sexy eh?

In order to create the rails and t -slots I need to router out two groves with a 3/8 straight bit.  The second photo shows me lining up the spacing for the initial router passes.  Once the two straight passes are complete I change out the bit for a T-Slot one and made a single pass....
 and this is the result - the T-Slot hold a T-Bolt (very creative naming) which is used to lock the accessory in place.  I'll be using 2 T-bolts to lock downs and will space them 5 inches apart.  The spacing is a bit arbitrary.

 Here's what the T-Bolts look like in place and you can see the holes for the accessory face plate to the left.
A rough cut accessory tray in place.  Don't worry this is just a test piece made from scrap, I'll build more attractive looking trays later.  This mornings exercise was just to make sure the concept works.

I've also got some much nicer brass nobs on special order so the finished table will not have those big, ugly but effective black plastic knobs.
The tray in use - I'm sure all of you game with a supply of wood glue always at the ready?

Side shot of the rail system. Why the second slot without a T-shape?
The trays will have a wooden tongue to fit in to add strength and stability.  My calculations tell me the trays will hold 150 pound before splitting.  I'll test that later today.

I did a really sloppy job on the test tray - the bottom section doesn't align flush (yikes) - very embarrassing.

The rail system will go around all four sides of the 6x4 playing surface.  I'll make trays to hold troops, and few drink holders and a maybe a dice tower.  If I get comfortable with the weight bearing nature of the trays I'll also make some that will act as table extenders to increase to playing size.

Help me out with some other ideas for accessories you'd like to see built into a game table.

12 comments:

Col. Hertford said...

Love the table porn...

If it's half as good as your table, your mate is a lucky, lucky man.

Loki Greathall said...

That is one very nice looking present

Peter Douglas said...

Lucky friend. I am jealous.

TamsinP said...

Nice work with this so far.

As for other accessories, maybe stands for spotlights or cameras

Peter Douglas said...

The best accessories would be a big glass of Rioja and a bowl of chips.

Ray Rousell said...

Looks great if you ask me!

AHunt said...

Add a couple of outlet's for charging phones. That's a fantastic house warming gift. The first steps are very promising.

Francis Lee said...

I like the idea of the rails, lovely work so far!

Michael Mills said...

Inspired work! Where's the fridge?

jmilesr said...

Thanks for the ideas

Peter - you and I see the world exactly the same (although I prefer a Malbec) - surprisingly, red wine and power tools often don't mix well..

Aunt / Millsy - there will be a shelf / storage unit under the table for a fridge and the power outlet is a really good idea!

Tamsin - Steve does a broadcast games so we'll be putting in light stands

Steven MacLauchlan said...

Oh man, I am so floored at how awesome this is going to be. I showed the wife and her response was basically "Finally, we won't have that piece of garbage game table in this house anymore". I'd call that a win!

Paul O'G said...


A wonderful present for a great guy. You are a good friend indeed Miles.

Might I suggest those flip down beverage holders? Don't get the flimsy ones, but the study folded plastic ones to fit either a soda can or a coffee cup. Putting one on either side near the end wont disrupt your accessory rails, and by fitted them on the side they are highly unlikely to spill onto the table (I dont tempt fate by saying its not possible or Loki will intervene...)

And yes that Rockler router table is quite sexy!