Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Steve's Gaming Table: Part 9 - Parts List and Build Advice

This post will feature a parts list and some advice on the tools you need to build a similar table.  Before doing anything the most important tools to use are a pad of paper and a pen - draw / list some ideas you want for your table.  Really think through what you want / what you don't need etc.

I tend to spend a week or so planning (my wife calls it day dreaming) and often end up changing the design / project goals several times before I land on what I think I want.  It's a lot less expensive to throw away a design on a piece of paper that a project that is halfway built.

In terms of tools needed for the project, I'll divided them into "got-to-have" and "nice to have".  A reason will be supplied for each "nice-to-have".

Before starting any project like this, you need to have 2 things firmly planted in your mind

(1) An understanding and respect for shop safety:
Power tools can be very dangerous if they are not used in a safe way.  Always wear eye protection (I keep a pair of safety googles with each power tool) and make sure your feet are clear of obstructions when using the tool.  The table is not a good project for a first time wood worker unless you've got an experienced friend to help you build it.

(2) Patience
One of the leading causes of shop accidents is haste - doing things too fast leads to accidents which can be unforgiving when a power tool is involved.  Take your time and don't get frustrated when you make a mistake (I make lots of them).  Have more than the lumber you need for a project on hand to account for mis cuts and always remember it's far better to go to the lumber yard for extra wood than the emergency room.

In terms of time to finish, the table took 3 weekends to completed assemble.  There's another few days of sanding and finishing work to do which will occur onsite at Steve's house.

Got-to-Have Tools:

- Carpenters Square

- Quality Tape Measurer (you use this tool the most, so don't go cheap)

- Hand Saw
- - I've become a big fan of Japanese style woodworking saws but any kind will do - very helpful for small parts or trimmings where using a power mitre saw is unsafe

- Power Mitre Saw
- - I have a big one (12" blade) make sure yours is big enough to handle a 4x4 post and cut 90 and 45 degree angles easily

- Power Router w/
- - 3/8 inch straight bit
- - 3/8 inch T-Slot bit

- Cordless Drill
- - 5/8 inch drill bit for mounting pegs
- - 1/4 inch drill bit  for T-Bolt holes on accessory trays
- - 1/8 inch drill bit for screw guide holes
- - Philips head screw bit

- Rubber Hammer (for "persuading" parts to fit without leaving a mark)

- Block Plane

- 3/8 inch chisel (for cleaning out the grooves)

- Clamps, lots of clamps

- Philips head screw driver

- Hand files

- Sanding Blocks ( pieces of scrap (usually a 6 inch length of 1x2 with sand paper wrapped around it)
- - 150 grit sand paper
- - 220 grit sand paper


- Table Saw
Really helps with building the accessory trays, cutting the mounting lip

- Router Table
You can cut all the grooves needed with a standard router and guide but a router table makes it a lot easier, faster, more accurate and safer - other than than that there's no real difference.  Rumors that I used this project as a way to justify to my wife the purchase of a new Rockler Router Table (the Rolls Royce of Router Tables) are true.

- Nail Gun
For this project I wanted to go with no visible screw heads or other metal fasteners, using a nail gun will "speed-up" the glue drying process.

- Marking Gauge
Used for accurately marking cut lines where consistency is really important (multiple parts)

Part List:
The costs associated for the parts is based on pricing from a large big box US Home Improvement retailer (Home Depot to be exact).  You can trim the costs for wood by 20% by getting the stock from a lumber yard.

Parts List
Table PartNameNumberCost PerTotal Cost
Top Apron1x6 Pine, 6'4$6.75$27.00
2x2 Pine 6'6$7.96$47.76
Bottom Apron1x4 Pine 6'4$4.38$17.52
1x2 Pine 6'6$3.52$21.12
Legs4x4 Cedar 8'2$22.70$45.40
End Capsscrap exotic wood$0.00
2x4 1/2 plywood3$15.00$45.00
Bottom Shelf
2x4 1/4 plywood3$10.00$30.00
Hardware / Fastners
L Brackets (2 per pack)8$3.97$31.76
3/8 Dowel, 3'1$3.50$3.50
1'1/4 Wood Screws40$0.12$4.98
Wood Glue
Total Parts Cost$274.03
Accessory Tray Parts
T-Slot Bolts (1/4/20, 1.5 inches)10$1.00$9.98
Knobs (1/4/20)10$2.49$24.90
Scrap Wood for the trays $0.00
Total Project Cost$308.91


Mike Reynolds said...

Truly an epic project. Thanks for posting about it.

Now, where did I put my saw…

Paul O'G said...

Brilliant job Miles!

john de terre neuve said...

An amazing job, I am quite envious.


Stefan (aka. Monty) said...

Awesome result. Well done, Miles!

Brett Murawski said...

Wish I had at least some experience in wood working to attempt this. It sure beats paying 5k for a game table made by other companies. I love the part where you list a rubber hammer for "persuading parts" to fit lol...awesome