15 August 2015

Gaming table - part 2

In my last post I set out what I wanted from a gaming table, and why. Now I need plans and timber!

I had a good look around the internet at interesting set-ups (some of the prettier pictures were in that last post), trying to decide on a suitable design that

  1. Would be sturdy
  2. Would allow me to change the layout
  3. I could manage myself (on a Warhammer stat line my DIY Skill would be 3)
  4. Would not be bigger than agreed (i.e. 100x150cm)
  5. Would include book shelves for not-gaming books along one side (another planning condition!)
  6. I could build with the tools I already had (hand saw, electric drill, screwdriver)

I had just got stuck on my own plan when I came across this set of plans on the Warpminds blog that were like my own except better. So I did what any sensible fellow would do... and ditched mine for the better set! Although of course I wouldn't follow the instructions exactly ;)

First stop, B&Q for timber and screws. Hmm. Let's just say that the store I went to is staffed by a very friendly but special breed of creature who, collectively, would be unable to organise an alcoholic drink in a distillery. When it got to the point that I had to buy a saw because they were unable or unwilling ("elf and safety, innit, mate") to lend me one because I'd had the foolishness to choose timber that was the wrong size for their special timber saw and couldn't otherwise fit the wood in my car......... Well, let's just say that it was better for everyone that the axes were not easy to access...

Fortunately, however, I reached that zen level of calm where I preferred going home and building my table to laying waste to the store and its inmates,

I won't give instructions, the Warpmind set above is what I more or less used, but here are some build photos.

Big pile of wood in a small space:

The plan is to hang that sword and my single-hander either side of the chimney arch for "atmosphere"

The frame takes shape:

Internal structure in place

Upside-down for the castor wheels to be added:

Painting and hanging an eight-foot shelf for #1 son's growing collection of
books did slow the build down somewhat!

The finished beast! The lip is to hold the terrain boards in place:

Getting the terrain boards (they'll be 2 inch thick blue foam or equivalent) in and out of that compartment would be pretty much impossible without damaging them as they'll fit the space exactly, so I had a Cunning Plan - I've hinged one side, using two bolts from an old cot-top changing mat to hold the board in place when upright. Nifty, eh?

Now obviously it's not yet finished but the main construction is done. I still want to add the shelves underneath but won't do so until I know what's going there and what spacing will be needed. I like the idea of having fold-down ledges along the edges for drinks, dice, army lists etc. as I have a hatred of clutter on gaming tables - terrain and miniatures only! I might make a fold-down, felt-lined dice tray as well along a short edge, just because I can! And then there's the terrain boards themselves...

Before all that, though, I need to reorganise the cellar and then I'm going to paint the board and the inner edges of the lip a nice matt black to serve as a suitable background for dungeon adventures and to roll out my X-Wing mat on.

What do you reckon? I'm delighted with it.


  1. Looks very cool so far, can't wait to see it finished and am wondering what books you have to fill it with. But would be great to have that!

    1. Thank you :)

      The storage is split into three sections. The smallest (along the short edge nearest the camera) will be for board games and box sets (Talisman, Bloodbowl, the old Avalon Hill LotR game, etc). There is a section for the eventual terrain boards to be stored, and the final bit is for some of our ever-expanding library.

  2. A very cool project to watch develop. Wish I had the space at home to build and house my own, but will live it through your blog!

    1. The table isn't that large, but I found the space needed to build it was! Sort of like the difference between the size of a pub pool table, and the room needed to use your cue...

  3. So does this mean I may finally be invited to yours for a game?

    Looking good, btw.

  4. mate that is coming on a storm.

    I hate B&Q as well. It's where I can see all my SEN students ending up!

    1. I fear so. There, or Tescos. Still, if it gives satisfaction and funds an independent existence then it contains value within it.

  5. What a nice looking table... very envious. Of course, now that the table is (almost) done, you need to populate it with a bunch of terrain!

    1. Yeah.... that's going to be the slow part! I have buildings and the like, but having put this much effort in, I really want to push myself towards something like this marvellous table by Captain Blood!

    2. Looking at things painted/made by Captain Blood is simply too demoralizing!