Game Table (WIP)

ste6168

Mike
Senior User
Hi all - Have been working on this game table for my kids, our playroom upstairs, for a bit. This table went from initially being a simple build, with a plywood top, to much more in-depth, and I have been essentially building/designing on the fly. So, long story short, it is similar in nature to the WoodWhisperer game table where the top panels can be removed, to access a play surface/lego/puzzle area. So that leads to my question.....

QUESTION - Initially I planned to just do a small thumb hole in the corner to lift the panel up, but I am trying to come up with something a bit more elegant, that doesn't detract from the tabletop. Marc Spagnula uses some type of pin that is pressed from the underside. I have thought about magnets of some type? I don't want it to be a seperate pice that can (will) get lost, though. Any ideas?

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*Edit - Yes, right now, the panels look tight in the framed top, and I plan to monitor the movement over time. If I starts to get tight, I will hit the edge with a block plane a few times, until at its widest point, it's no longer tight. If that leaves gaps in the winter, so be it.
 
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smallboat

smallboat
Corporate Member
how about a little cam on the inside (or lever) with a handle on the outside connected via a pivot through a hole in the side skirt. That was a lot more words than this idea deserves.

The handle can fit under the fixed overhanging edge of the table top.
All it needs to do is lift the top panel clear so you can get your fingers under it.

For that matter it could operate with a string pull out the bottom of the table.
Pull down, top pops up.

(beginning to think a sketch is in order)

Nice table !
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I would have responded sooner, but I was enjoying the shop tour. Nice shop.

A cam. Black knob on the outside that rotates an inside cam of some sort that raises the top enough to grab.
 

ste6168

Mike
Senior User
Thanks all, definitely some good ideas, wish I would have thought of a few of them (the cam & slot in the apron) I think would be hard to incorporate now. I have been looking for the brass pop-uo handle, haven't had much success, but certainly could be a contender. I am thinking on it now, trying to figure out if/how I can incorporate the cam. Appreciate the ideas and kind words on the table, been a fun build and think the kids will enjoy it for many years!

A bit about the table, base is red oak, M&T joinery, painted black. Top is obviously spalted maple, will be left natural. Top frame is assembled with bridle joints. Play surface is pre-finished ply, set in a dado on the aprons, corners cut to account for the leg. Can't remember if I posted the "Game Wall" here, but when we bought this house a year and a half ago, I took a bunch of the kids board games, mounted them to simple plywood boxes w/ integrated piece storage and cleat. They're now decoration (plus playable) in the game room, same room this table will be part of.




More pics of that, here:
 

ste6168

Mike
Senior User
I would have responded sooner, but I was enjoying the shop tour. Nice shop.
Thanks Bob - It has been a fun process building it out, still has a long way to go. Soon as I have time to build, or money to pay to have built, a shed and can get the lawn stuff, bikes, and other junk out of the shop it will be much nicer. For now, I play musical chairs and when I plan to be in here for the day, I move all that stuff out into the driveway, a PITA, but better than no shop at all! I also need to get some electrical work done, currently have a single 120v circuit + lighting circuit, and lots of carefully placed extension cords. LOL. Here is a pic of the shop in its "working state." I have a miter saw on one of those Ridgid folding stands that I pull out in front of the garage door, when needed.



Also, I built that skateboard there on the bench a couple months back, first time doing any bent lamination, that was a fun build and is fun to ride around the neighborhood with the kids!
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
Mike,

Your entire game set up looks great.

The maple top also turned out really nicely matched. I think see more of the telltale signs of Ambrosia Beetle staining versus what I’ve come to know as decomposing spalted wood.

In any case, I really like the look of the base and the way that table top turned out!
 

ste6168

Mike
Senior User
Mike,

Your entire game set up looks great.

The maple top also turned out really nicely matched. I think see more of the telltale signs of Ambrosia Beetle staining versus what I’ve come to know as decomposing spalted wood.

In any case, I really like the look of the base and the way that table top turned out!

Thanks! and yes, I would agree about the beetle staining. In that case, this would be ambrosia maple? I really wasn't sure if/what the difference was, first time I have ever used it. I bought the stack (stood vertically next to drill press in the shop pic above) from a guy a couple months ago for a couple bucks a board. He described it as spalted maple, but it is definitely riddled with beetle holes, some large enough I plan to fill with epoxy.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
Mike,

I’m definitely not an expert on fungi or insects, but I do think your table top is what I’ve always understood to be “Ambrosia Maple” and not the spalted wood that I used to work with.

FWIW, I no longer work with actual spalted wood.
That’s coming from someone who grew up using automotive gasoline as a general purpose solvent! o_O
 

ste6168

Mike
Senior User
So, I just wen't ahead and ordered one of these from Amazon. I stumbled upon this when looking for the brass pull ring/push button/circle handle thing mentioned here. While it still wont provide a 100% "Normal" tabletop, I think as far as functionality goes, it will work well. Being the top cap is already glued in place, and the rails for the center panels to sit on are as well, adding a cam mechanism, or pin of some type, or simply an opening in the apron, would be too much work. Unless I can figure out something better, I think this is the final solution.


 

ste6168

Mike
Senior User
Mike,

I’m definitely not an expert on fungi or insects, but I do think your table top is what I’ve always understood to be “Ambrosia Maple” and not the spalted wood that I used to work with.

FWIW, I no longer work with actual spalted wood.
That’s coming from someone who grew up using automotive gasoline as a general purpose solvent! o_O
Assuming the dust from the fungus is no good for the lungs? Never heard that before, either. Learning a ton from this thread, interesting!
 

ste6168

Mike
Senior User
Finally getting around to putting some finish on the table. Got the handle installed. Hopefully get it moved upstairs to the playroom tmrw or next day. Handle wasn’t 100% what I was looking for (wanted fully “invisible” from the top) but it was a simple and practical solution.
 

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