How to make a cheap and easy to store game table. - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Romulus's Avatar
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    How to make a cheap and easy to store game table.

    I've read a lot about scenery and painting, but not much has been said about the MOST important item of all. The "Game Table" in which all this carnage must take place on!

    Over the years I've made custom tables, slid tables together, placed plywood over a table and played in the floor. The tables were multipurpose and used in many of my hobbies. Each option we tried had some form of obstacle that had to be overcome in order to make the table "Player and Real-life friendly."

    Many of these choices come with inherent problems:
    1. Custom tables: hard to store, hard to move and not easy to build.
    2. Sliding tables together: requires 2 tables, 2 tables cost $45 each, hard to impossible to get two tables of the correct size 4X6.
    3. Plywood: it warps in the corners, a splinter magnet, VERY heavy and hard to move, not the right size.
    4. Floor: It was good, when I was younger......oww! My Back! My Back!

    My inspiration:
    I found my new game table inspiration, when my 2 folding tables you get at Lowes were stolen off my back porch a few months ago! Yes, someone stole my two $45 white tables that were on the same porch as the $500 grill and $400 patio furniture! lol This little theft left me without anywhere to play Warhammer. Of note: the two tables where stacked beside a large piece of plywood and an unassembled game table. The next few gaming sessions we heaved the plywood inside and set it on top of the dinning room table (blanket protecting the table). This is where the weight became an issue along with the splinters with the plywood. I debated putting the custom table together, but my new house just didn't have a great spot to leave it set up. The floor was a no brainer with my now approaching 38 year old back.

    The question becomes: How do you make a multi-functional table that is the correct size, easy to setup and move, doesn't cost a lot, has no splinters and doesn't kill your back?

    Solution:
    Two cheap wooden doors and some packing, gorrilla or duct tape from Lowes.

    How to make a game table for under $40's that is light, easy to store, almost the exact size (4x6) and splinter free.
    1. Go to Lowes or any home improvement store.
    2. Purchase one roll of Duct Tape or clear packing tape ($4).
    3. Purchase two 24" X 80" Lauan Flush Interior Door Slabs ($16 each).
    4. Carefully lay the VERY light and smooth doors on the floor aligning them evenly side by side.
    5. Tape the doors together using strips of duct tape about 8 inches in length.
    6. Use about 8 strips of tape evenly spaced along the length of the doors.
    7. The act of taping the doors together forms a natural hinge allowing you to fold the doors on themselves for easy carrying and storage.
    8. Cover you dining or kitchen table with a cloth.
    9. Lay the doors on the table and unfold them. CAUTION: Be aware of the weight placed on the parts of the doors that hang over the table.
    10. Place a sheet over the doors.
    11. Walla, you have a portable game table.

    In summary:
    The doors are 24" X 80" inches and have no holes in them. Putting the two doors together makes them 48" X 80" inches. That is ALMOST 4' X 6' (48" X 72") and much closer in size than my two tables sliding together, the plywood option and way better than the floor. Obviously, my custom built game table is the perfect size and the best option when life permits. I store the doors in my half bath downstairs as they easily fit right behind the bathroom door. They are quite light making them very easy to lift and carry. The doors come finished (sanded and smooth), so you needn't worry about splinters or scratching things in the home. This option may not be perfect, but it works quite well for my home.


    Again, be careful with putting too much weight on the sides and corners.

    ** EDIT **I've been using this table idea for about 5 game sessions. The Duct tape is holding OK, but still comes loose somewhat easy. I tried the clear packing tape yesterday and it seems to take a better hold on the wooden doors. If possible I would try both to see what works best on the doors you get. Again, I've just used the clear tape since yesterday, but it seems to hold better.
    .

    Last edited by Romulus; June 9th, 2006 at 18:44.
    40K: Tyranid, Necron, Space Wolves
    Fantasy: Dark Elves, Lizardmen, Orcs & Goblins, Dwarves

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  3. #2
    I Expect the Inquisition RecklessFable's Avatar
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    You know, I've spent hours strolling through Lowes looking for materials for this type of thing.

    The one near me actually sells Blue Styrofoam Insulation in 2" thickness in a 4'x8' sheet. My problem with it is twofold:
    1) getting the darned thing home
    2) All the pieces they have are gouged in some way or another that I don't feel like dealing with.

    I've walked through the door section to see what was there but I didn't notice the doors you speak of. However, now that I have the name, I'll be able to focus my search.

    Thanks for the tip! Have a gold star
    RecklessFable's Journey to Mediocrity (Painting an IG army)
    I've been addicted to World of Tanks lately and neglecting my IG... But it is so... much... fun!

  4. #3
    Senior Member The Salmon Thief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RecklessFable
    You know, I've spent hours strolling through Lowes looking for materials for this type of thing.

    The one near me actually sells Blue Styrofoam Insulation in 2" thickness in a 4'x8' sheet. My problem with it is twofold:
    1) getting the darned thing home
    2) All the pieces they have are gouged in some way or another that I don't feel like dealing with.

    I've walked through the door section to see what was there but I didn't notice the doors you speak of. However, now that I have the name, I'll be able to focus my search.

    Thanks for the tip! Have a gold star
    Haha, I actually just bought three 2" thick sheets of pink foam from Home Depot today... all in pretty good shape, too. It was troublesome getting them home, and I had to carry them through the basement doors to my house because they wouldn't clear the turn on the stairs >.>'

    In reply to the thead: Sounds like a good idea... might try it someday when I get bored of making custom tables
    Gloria Imperator, The Firstborn Stand!
    - 2000pts Inquisition, 2000pts Vostroyans, 3000pts Vampire Counts, 1400pts Daemons, [WIP] 2500pts Death Guard

  5. #4
    LO Zealot magnet_man's Avatar
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    My friend and I made our board out of the same insulation. We cut it at the store into 4 sections then took it home and squared the corners. We lost 2" from the length. We then duct taped the pieces together so that they fold up. Later we ran to a fabric store and picked up some felt and then hot glued it to the foam. Found this was better than flock since flock seems to come up when it gets wet (which will happen if you put a cold one on the table) and the felt won't show any dings in the styrene. It folds up into a ~2' by 4' section for easy storage. We lay it out on the kitchen table. If we're playing 1000 pt games we only use 3 of the 4 sections to make it more interesting.
    Tim Wright

    "The internet perceives censorship as damage, and routes around it."
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    I don't remember how much it costed exactly, but i think it was around 50 or 60 dollar (40€).
    my table can be taken appart into 2'x2' sections with the option to make it indefenitly in size.
    i got some mdf plates cut into two foot squares, got a fraise and the assorted milling-machine and some aluminium hooks. By carefully milling the spaces and placing the hooks i can attach segments together by just sliding then next to eachother. and with a bit of attention you can make the system in such a way that the size off the board is only limited by the amount op segments you make.
    a simple product that protects it against moisture, and it's good to go.
    Mdf is relatively light and an 8 mm thick board is sturdy enough.

    My table has been fitted with holes to keep scenery segments into place. i plan to make 'tiles' of schenery that can cover the whole table so they don't slide off and have a degree of versatility.
    MvG, vindicator.
    Last edited by vindicator; May 14th, 2006 at 10:36.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Romulus's Avatar
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    Edited main post: Through game play it seems like Duct tape may not hold best on all doors. I tried the clear packing tape yesterday and it seems to hold to the wood much better.

    Again, I would go with Clear Packing Tape over duct tape. If you have access to both, then give each a try.
    40K: Tyranid, Necron, Space Wolves
    Fantasy: Dark Elves, Lizardmen, Orcs & Goblins, Dwarves

  8. #7
    LO Zealot magnet_man's Avatar
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    Have you thought about picking up some hinges?
    Tim Wright

    "The internet perceives censorship as damage, and routes around it."
    -John Gilmore

  9. #8
    Senior Member Romulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnet_man
    Have you thought about picking up some hinges?
    Hinges aren't all that smooth. I'm laying them on my dining table and with the hinges down it would scratch my table. But, yes.....I have considered it with hinges up.

    Keep in mind that my goal was cheap and EASY.
    40K: Tyranid, Necron, Space Wolves
    Fantasy: Dark Elves, Lizardmen, Orcs & Goblins, Dwarves

  10. #9
    LO Zealot magnet_man's Avatar
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    Well, maybe it's because my family has built cabinents for so long, but hinges are easy

    There's types of hinges that are meant to be be flush with the wood so that the barrell or the hinge its self does not stick out to scratch the table. If you're interested I can try and track down a manufacturer and a part number for you?
    Tim Wright

    "The internet perceives censorship as damage, and routes around it."
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Romulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnet_man
    Well, maybe it's because my family has built cabinents for so long, but hinges are easy

    There's types of hinges that are meant to be be flush with the wood so that the barrell or the hinge its self does not stick out to scratch the table. If you're interested I can try and track down a manufacturer and a part number for you?
    That would be appreciated and i will add it to the main post!
    40K: Tyranid, Necron, Space Wolves
    Fantasy: Dark Elves, Lizardmen, Orcs & Goblins, Dwarves

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