Gaming Tables

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Forum topic by OptimusGrime posted 09-17-2014 02:02 PM 1515 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View OptimusGrime's profile


2 posts in 1618 days

09-17-2014 02:02 PM

Hello All!

I just wanted to start off by saying I am new to woodworking and that I have alreadly learned a great deal from reading the forum!

From reviews on tools to projects to get me started the site has been a great help!

I have recently been thinking about building a board game table. The idea is to have a table with a recessed area that can be used for gaming but then have a cover that covers the recessed area so that the table can be used for other things.

Here are some examples/plans that help express this concept:

Table with edge and crown molding

Very simple table with Rail System

both designs have their pros/cons. I particularly enjoy the Rail system as this allows for all sorts of add ons like drink holders/small snack tables.

My questions are:

Do you think this rail system is as sturdy as possible? Is there a way you can think of to build a “locking” system with this?

How would you suggest I plane/joint the table insert while still making it flush with the edges?

Overall what are your thoughts on these plans? Do you have another plan/suggestion?

I hope that I am not the only one who finds this idea intriguing!

Thanks in advance for your help!

5 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12524 posts in 2650 days

#1 posted 09-25-2014 02:52 AM

The rail/track idea is interesting. I would be inclined to make an inset french cleat so your drink holder or whatever would go in and down, but that wouldn’t prevent the most likely spill which would be an arm knocking it up and out. A “T” shape (like T track) would fix that but be less convenient, everything would have to slide on and off through the corners.

-- Rick M,

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1791 days

#2 posted 09-25-2014 01:22 PM

I love playing board games and like the idea of a dedicated table. I wonder what is the purpose of the raised edge around the perimeter ? It seems like it would be more likely to get in the way than to be facile. I foresee bruised elbows.

If the bed of the well is made of felt, if it were me, I wouldn’t allow drinks anywhere near it. I would provide side tables for drinks and chips.

The insert in the top image looks heavy. How would you get it in and out ? Also, if you intend to use the table normally for dining, I imagine whenever a drink would get spilled it would seep down into the crack to the felt surface.

I would incline toward making a table that can be converted to a gaming surface rather than the other way around. Have you thought about a thin (maybe 1/4”) felt-covered sheet with edges to go down over the main table or with line-up pins for your gaming surface ? It seems like it would be more wieldy to access the surface come game night.

..Or, if you’re really adventuresome, how about a surface on pins in a frame that would pivot .. the dining table on one side and the gaming table on the other ?

View OptimusGrime's profile


2 posts in 1618 days

#3 posted 09-26-2014 07:55 PM

Good ideas!


How would one cut a T-track? Would you do a wide straight cut with a router then cover part of it with veneer?

Alternatively what do you think of a dove tail based on the same idea?

I did find another forum with additional designs that had a “lock system”

Table with Lock System

The question here is: How does one make a half dove tail? Do you use a small dove tail head router bit then cut one side with a straight edge bit?


In the plans the designer stated that he used heavy duty suction cups to remove the top. The main benefit of having a recessed area is that if you have a game that lasts several hours that you could leave it set up in the recessed area, cover the area with the table top, and still be able to use the table for other things.

I do like the dual surface idea! That would be very cool!

View Woodknack's profile


12524 posts in 2650 days

#4 posted 09-26-2014 09:45 PM


How would one cut a T-track? Would you do a wide straight cut with a router then cover part of it with veneer?
- OptimusGrime


I like the half dovetail slot with locking mechanism. A bit complicated but maybe worth it.

-- Rick M,

View FancyShoes's profile


592 posts in 1634 days

#5 posted 09-27-2014 01:06 AM

Check out a little nicer tables that makes those look like childsplay!

their tables are awesome

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