Thursday, August 05, 2010

Making A Simple Gaming Table

As my kids start to outgrow the toys in the basement, I am starting to have designs on putting a gaming table down there.  I may not have the ambition to show you every painful detail, but I'll give some highlights.  This isn't really an entire gaming table as much as a gaming surface that can be placed on another table.

I started by creating a 6'x4' folding surface made from two pieces of 3'x4' 1/2" plywood, two largish hinges (3" long) and eight cylindrical rubber bumpers (self adhesive, about 3" across and 1/2" tall.)  The bumpers are primarily to keep the hinges from coming in contact with my kitchen table, but they add some skid prevention as well.  The hinges were places so they would be under the surface when it is open.  Yes, that means the play surface will be on the outside when it is folded.  To get the hinges attached I actually stuck the bumpers on first, laid the two halves on my kitchen table and then got under the table and connected the hinges, each about 4" from the outside edge of the table.  It's a little heavier than I had imagined it would be.

For the texture on the surface, I wanted something generic and fairly tough.  I wanted to play Warmachine, 40k, WHFB, etc. on this, plus have the ability to drop larger textured foam surfaces on it.  I used a tub of vinyl spackle (seen in pic) and some sand from the hardware store.  The sand had a nice combination of particle sizes, so I was hoping it would look good as ground.  I tried a couple techniques to put the sand down, including spreading a thin layer of spackle and pouring sand over it and tamping down.  The version I ended up liking best was to put about a cup of spackle in a container and mix with a little water until it's about the consistency of gravy, then mix about half that volume of sand into the spackle-gravy.  It should still be pretty fluid after the sand is mixed in.  Brush this mixture over the table, trying to minimize brush stroke marks.  My plan is to go over most areas with another layer of this, since it's fairly thin and the wood grain is visible in places where the sand was thin.  After letting the whole thing dry overnight it looks pretty good, and seems fairly strong.

Next: final texture surface, and then I can get to painting it!

1 comment:

  1. That "Every Painful Detail" video series is indeed both a lot of detail and a lot of pain. :) Good luck with your tables and keep up the good work!