How To Build a Simple Poker Table

Build a Simple Poker Table: It used to be, that if you wanted to find a poker game, you’d have to fly to Vegas or wait for the next steamboat to head upstate. Today, the game is everywhere, bankrupting online hold-in addicts and gluing eyes to plasma. Still, nothing comes close to the fun and feeling of actually flipping cards with friends.

“Playing live gives you a real poker experience and adds to the excitement,” says Mike Sexton, a World Series of Poker winner and a commentator on the World Poker Tour.

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If you’re going to host a home game, you should do it at a proper table like the one we made. “It’s hard to turn the kitchen table, deal, count the chips,” says Gene Trumbull, who runs poker events for Palms Casino in Las Vegas. “When you’re playing on feel, everything runs smoothly.”

Making a stand

You have several options for the base of your poker table—including a simple square pedestal design or even metal folding legs that allow for easy storage. Our best approach is a 12-sided cherry pedestal with three sturdy legs for stability on any floor. Building a cylinder is much simpler than that.

Cut the stock larger, then set your table saw blade at 15 degrees and rip the edge ridges to full width [1]. To join the pieces, arrange them the edge to edge and add strips of tape across the seam [2]. Then, flip the slats over and spread glue on the edges [3].

Roll the assembly up, stand it on the end and apply some band clamps to pull the joints tight [4]. After about 45 minutes, remove the clamp and peel off the excess glue with a chisel.

Adding legs

How To Build a Simple Poker Table

Pedestal legs come from 2-in. Cherry stock. Cut the oversized blanks, then make a 1⁄4-in.-plywood pattern of the shape of the legs.

Move the shape to the spaces [5] and cut along the line with the band saw. A jigsaw will also work, but use a sharp, new blade designed for sharp cutting. If you have this option, don’t use orbital action – the cut will be less accurate. Smooth, sand, file or scrape the raw edges. If you have a spokeshave, this will work on the top edge of each leg. A drum sander is also a good choice in a drill press but stay away from trying to use it with a portable drill if you want a square edge on the leg faces.

Use a doweling jig to guide your drill while boring the pilot holes [6] for the hanger bolts, then round the top edges of the legs with a 3⁄8-inch-radius rounding-over bit installed in the router table. Install the hanger bolts into the holes with locking pliers. Sand the pedestal and legs, finishing with 220-grit paper.

Lay out the bolt hole locations in the pedestal, drill the holes, and secure the feet with nuts and washers [7].

Formation of round parts

to make 52 3⁄8-in.-dia. Circular table base out of 4 x 8 ft. Add two 4-inch-wide strips to the sides of the plywood sheet, 54 inches long. Make a trammel or beam compass that is pivoted at 3⁄8 in. Set the dowel into a hole in the center of the panel, and mark the circle on all three pieces [8].

Lay out the joining plate positions in the adjacent pieces and cut the slots [9]. Next, apply glue, attach the plates and seal the assembly for an hour.

You can cut the circular table base with a jigsaw, but this will leave a rough edge that requires more work to finish. For a perfect circle with a perfectly even edge, we cut with a plunge router mounted on a trammel. Make the trammel out of 1⁄2-in.-thick plywood, attach the router to one end and install the bit straight. Measure from the bit edge to find the pivot point. As you rotate the router around the arc, press down slightly into the plywood [10]. You can use the trammel for other circular parts by shifting the pivot point.

Invisible ring formation

To make the hidden ring, you first need to make a plywood pattern. Next, cut the plywood cover blanks for the hidden sections so that they are an inch or so larger than the finished size. Use a utility knife to cut the top and backer veneers to match the gaps. Don’t be tempted to skip the baker’s mantle, but feel free to use the cheaper species here because it won’t be seen.

The special top veneer we used, called camphor burl, is oily, so you need to clean it with alcohol or paint thinner and let it dry before gluing. Regular wood glue will work, but a tight bond cold press is better for veneer because it has a longer open time.

Spread glue on one side of the cover [11], lay the cover on the backer veneer, then spread the glue and add the top veneer.

Cover both sides with waxed or kraft paper, and add 3⁄4-in. Plywood nail and clamp for at least 2 hours [12]. When you feel comfortable with the operation, you can stack two or three sections together and close them altogether. Just make sure to put the paper between the sections. To trim them to the correct size, first cut a 15-degree angle on each end and then clamp them to the plywood pattern [13].

Double-check that the seams fit well, then secure them with screws driven from below. Cut the sections with a jigsaw to within about 1⁄4 inch of the edges of the pattern, and use a flush trimming bit in the router to make the final cuts [14].

Outline the rings of veneer on the table base panel, then use these rings as a guide for positioning the veneer segments [15]. Clip each one in place. When you’re satisfied with the fit, remove each section in turn, apply glue to the back, then pull it onto the table base. Use Holiso to cut out the holes for the drink holder, and finish the invisible ring with three coats of polyurethane varnish.

Creating padded surfaces

How To Build a Simple Poker Table

The outer edge of the padded rail ring is made with eight narrow sections to thicken the top edge. Create a segment template and use it to create segments. Pull each to the bottom of the padded ring cover so that it overlaps by 1⁄4 inch. [16]. Then, use a flush trimming bit to route the sections to meet the ring. Switch to 3⁄8-in. Use rounding over a bit to shape the top edge of the ring and a 1⁄4-in. Version to round the edge of the center playing surface panel.

To finish the playing surface, cut a 1⁄4-in. A few inches larger than the closed-cell foam circle. Lay the panel on the foam and trace the outline. Coat both the panel and the foam with spray adhesive. After a minute or two, flip the panel over and press it onto the foam. Using a small block of 3⁄4-in.-thick wood as a guide, trim the foam so that it overlaps the panel [17].

Cut the fabric about 12 inches larger than the panel. Lay the finished fabric down on a table and center the foam-covered panel on it. Fold the fabric over the panel, drive three closely spaced staples, then go in the opposite direction and drive three more [18]. Repeat this process at 90 degrees, then, going from side to side, wrap the fabric around the frame. When you’re done, slide the panel inside the veneer ring and secure it with screws.

Apply the outer ring to 1-inch thick high-density foam and apply the inner edge of the ring to the foam [19]. Then use a spacer to mark the outer foam cut line 1 1⁄2 inches from the ring. Cut the foam into lines, and attach it to the spray adhesive ring.

The vinyl fabric for the padded ring comes in 54-in.-wide rolls, so you’ll need to do some sewing to make the desired 72-in.-dia. Staple the piece in the same way you attached the center panel [20].

When the frame is secure, make a radial cut on the inside, stopping about 4 inches short of the ring [21]. Then pull the vinyl to the ring and staple it. Check for wrinkles before over-trimming. Fasten the ring with screws, and then attach the pedestal to the top.

What is a poker table called?

A poker table or card table is a table specifically designed for playing card games.

What Are The Official Dimensions For Poker Tables?

A standard casino poker table measures between 92 and 104 inches (234 and 264 cm) in length, 44 inches (112 cm) in width, and 30 inches in height (76 cm).

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