Now that the family is getting settled into the new place, I’ve been able to do something that I had no room to do at the old apartment…
…Build a gaming table.
I know it isn’t much, but it’s more space to play than I ever had before–mustering the room for even a 4′ x 4′ area was impossible without rearranging the furniture.
The table top consists of two 4′ x 3′ reinforced wooden painting panels screwed together. I’m a little concerned about the strength – the wood is soft and lightweight. It’s meant for hanging in a wall. On the plus side, minimal construction and the reinforcement is already done. I still plan on getting some 6′ long 1×2 boards to reinforce the sides. I’m a bit worried that anyone putting weight in the middle of the table may break it in half.
I also want to put a layer of hardboard across the top. Just something thin to help reinforce surface. Currently the tabletop is a very thin sheet of plywood (maybe 1/8″ thick).
And, of course, the whole thing needs to be painted.
It rests on two Martha Stewart shelf units, so plenty of under-table storage is available for terrain and other useful things like dice and tape measures.
I won’t go into price. Overall, it’s cost me a bit more than I’d originally planned, despite getting everything on sale for around 20% off. I was planning on building the whole thing from scratch, but lacking proper transport I would have had to get the plywood for the tabletop cut into smaller sections to fit into the car.
Right now the table top is just resting on the shelf units. I’ve hit a bit of a problem that for some reason I didn’t really expect: the whole thing is wobbly. The shelf units are sturdy enough, it’s that the table top doesn’t sit evenly on top. I can shim it in place, but I’ll need a more permanent way of levelling it so a casual bump won’t knock everything off-kilter.
All considered, though, I’m darned happy I’ve got this thing.
Note: I also owe a debt to my wife for coming up with the idea of using painting panels. A long talk with a staffer at Home Depot left me rather depressed about the lack of tools needed to build this project–I wasn’t about to go get a table saw just to put this thing together. It’s a bit like buying an iPad just to read the digital versions of the GW rules. I think her idea was the best solution for my limited implements and carpentry experience.