Saturday, October 10, 2015

Custom RPG Table

Hey folks,

So while this isn't technically RPG Story related i figured i'd post it here just in case there are any other crafty RPG connoisseurs who would be interested in doing a similar project to mine. So cutting to the story, i recently moved out of a one bedroom apartment with hardly any space and into a four bedroom house with way more space than i needed. And with my deep seated passion for RPG'ing and playing board games, i wanted to upgrade my dining table to something that was more multi-use and less 2-person pub hightop table.

After many weeks of procrastination i finally hit the drawing board and came up with the table in the following images:

3 feet tall from floor to top, 8 inch drop onto a leaf on each of the four sides which would support roughly 30 pounds on each leaf. I did coloration on this design and this design only so it would be easier to explain to some woodshop guys at work. They gave me some feedback, spoke to a very close friend who is also a player in one of my games to get a player's perspective and he provided some equally useful info. I went home and revised the design that night.

 changed the drop from 8 inches to 3 and a half and added some lateral movement support to the frame which would also double as support for the center piece I started to buy the supplies, get everything cut to length and then got to work, after the first day i realized that there was a way i could provide even more stability so i revised the table design one last time.

This last revision ended up adding further stability to the leaf supports as well as preventing lateral movement of the table further. With the design finalized, it was time to go to construction. Day 1 I got the legs and frame assembled. 20-20 hindsight would have built it slightly different, but that's the learning process and this is the first table i've ever built so keep that in mind as we move forward.

Day 2 saw the first leaf supports in place, wasn't really a big day production wise, but discovering how i wanted to attach everything together to make it stable was a rewarding experience itself. Lateral supports inside the frame also went in.

Day 3 comes around and i've got the rest of the primary leaf supports in a well as a couple of the secondary supports.

Day 4 the exploratory stuff was done, milling was done and it was time to buckle down and finish the frame, assembled the rest of the table's frame in a single marathon session after work that went from around 4pm to around 9pm. It was raining that day which is why i moved it back into the car port.

Day 5 was a short day, put the leafs in, added the above leaf center support which was the lynchpin of support for the center of each leaf. and added the first table center which is a 3.5 foot square piece of half-inch plywood. lacquered the whole thing like there's no tomorrow and resolve that the piece de resistance would be a coating of whiteboard paint (not pictured).

Wait 3 days for the whiteboard paint, brought it inside as the monsoons had kicked into full gear and the whiteboard paint has cured and my table is officially complete!

You're probably wondering, why do a crappy piece of plywood as the table center. Well i'll tell you why: it's not permanent. i designed the table to be self supportive without a center in it. This way, if i want to RPG with a projector throwing a reversed image on the center of the table (from beneath that is) i can swap out the center for a piece of stretched white cloth (just an example) and tada you have and cheap projector screen. If you're playing  board games, put in the plywood, tada you have a board game table. if you want to eat in luxury, one could feasibly buy a nice piece of padauk and make a 42'x42'x.5' insert and you have an elegant-ish table. the goal was functionality over appearance, and i think i achieved that pretty well. Each player now has a roughly 21'x12'x1.5' cubby to call their own and everyone is equidistant from the center of the table so there's no asking someone to move your things or standing up and reaching across a rectangular table.

The best part about the table is that i was able to construct it for a whopping 30 bucks because i had most of the materials already, but for those who were building from a starting point of nothing, 80-110 will get you all the wood and screws and paint you need to make one for yourself. Very cost effective table considering my rinky-dink bartop that i bought at Target was about 400 out the door.

Tell me what you think? I'm excited to hear feedback. I'll post more pictures on request of the table in action once i get a chance to use it!

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