Building a Gaming Table: Part 2

So it’s taking a little longer than expected, which is primarily due to the fact that my brother still doesn’t want to build me a basic table. To give him credit, he came up with a much cooler idea than I did. So, to make a long story short, we scrapped the two shelves below the playing surface, instead opting for one. Originally, the tabletop was supposed to be a sheet of plywood covered by the sheet of MDF board. That’s no longer happening, either. Now the MDF will be below the plywood, which will be easily removable for gaming purposes, but able to be used as a workbench whenever I want simply by keeping the plywood in place. That way, my brother said, if I want to play a game ten years from now, all I have to do is remove the plywood sheets and I’m good to go.

A return trip to Home Depot was in order. I returned the two 4′ x 8 ‘sheets of sub-flooring, which were going to be the shelves, and instead bought two more 4′ x 8’ sheets of sanded plywood at my brother’s request (since he can’t stand the thought of using sub-flooring as a shelf when it will look like shit).  I bought some other stuff as well, listed below; and  of course, more beer.

My new acquisitions:

(2) 4 x 8 sanded BC pine plywood sheet: $71.54

(4) 1″ x 6″ x 144″ premium pine boards: $54.68

(2) 2″ x 4″ x 96″ pine studs: $5.44

(1) bottle of Tite-Bond wood glue: $5.47

More beer: $30.11

Subtotal with Tax: $175.81

Credit for returned sub-flooring: -$42.44

Total new charges: $133.37

Add that to my previous total, and I’m into this thing for $337.91 already. Way more than I wanted to spend, but remember that $58.05 of that is just beer (and that number is certain to go higher).

We got the framework for the top of the table together last time. We added a couple of cross-braces to support the tabletop, and got to work cutting the MDF board to fit the dimensions of the tabletop. For the record, MDF board likes to be cut upside-down, otherwise a circular saw will tear the shit out of your playing surface. We tested it first to be sure. A generous application of wood glue and the judicious use of a finishing nail gun, and the MDF was attached to the framework. We clamped it and let it sit overnight.

I went home, and over the next two days my brother managed not only to run his normal landscaping business and single-handedly build his staircase to the top floor of his barn, but he also put together the frame work for the table legs. I arrived last night with more beer (+$9.29) to find this:

We cut the shelf, now made from plywood, and fitted it to the frame with glue and finishing nails. Then he screwed the tabletop to the frame with an impact driver (so we can remove it later if we need to), which, as you can see, is now recessed MDF. The recess is 1 1/8″, so the 1″ modular pinkboard I will use as a play surface will fit nicely and won’t slide around too much. Plus, the remaining 1/8″ recess should be negligible and won’t piss me off when I’m pushing lead around.

Despite my repeated requests, my brother finds it completely unacceptable that this table looks like what it is: a workbench. So he insists we face the studs with flat boards to cover the framework because that way  “it’s better than staring at fucking studs all day long.” We tipped it on its side and did the framing on the front and side legs of one side. And that’s where we left it.

I’m supposed to go back Sunday to finish the rest, which will include framing the sides and the shelf and finishing the top. My brother has already told me we will be taking another trip to Home Depot first, where I’ll get to return another sheet of plywood and buy some more framing materials. He’s not going to let me take it out of his workshop without staining and polyurethaning it, too, so I guess I’ll be buying that stuff as well.

And of course, I’ll be buying more beer.