Thursday, March 29, 2012

Portable Gaming Board

Since I am intending to play Warmachine with co-workers after hours it is essential that we have a play surface that is easily transportable. Since most people don't have a truck to transport this in I decided I would make a table topper. Essential this will not be usable by itself and is designed to be place on an already existing table. The overall dimensions of the play surface will be 4' x 6'.

1x 4 x 8 sheet of 3/16-1/4 masonite
4x 1" x 2" x 8ft pine boards
1x 4' Piano Hinge
1" Screws
1.5" Screws
Spray Adhesive
2.5 - 5 yards of felt depending on width
Painters Tape
1/4" Staples
Saw (Chopsaw preferable but really any type of saw will work)
Counter Sink Bit
Philips Bit
How To:
1) First we need to cut the masonite. I had this done at home depot to make it easier to transport. You will make 2 cuts 3' apart from each other along the 4' side. This will leave you with 2 3' x 4' pieces and a left over piece of about 2ft.
2) Using the saw we need to cut 4 3' long sections out of the 1x2. This will take up 2 sticks and leave a section roughly 2' long left over.
3) Using the saw we need to cut 4 46.5" sections out of the 1x2. This will use up most of those pieces and leave very little left over.
Note: The pieces we just cut will become frames for the 3' x 4' sections. You may be wondering why we cut the long pieces to 46.5 inches. This is because the 3' sections will overlap the longer rails. 1x2 has an actual width of .75 x 1.5 after plaining. So the 3ft sections shorten the length of the long rail by 1.5 inches. You may also be asking yourself why not cut the 8' boards down to two 4' boards. The reason for this is because the thickness of the blade on most saws is 1/8" think which would leave us 1/16 of an inch short on each side.
4) Frame assembly. Take the 2 of the 3' sticks and 2 of the 46.5" sticks and set them on end so that they make a box. The box should measure 3' by 4' if you have set it up correctly. You may want to use box clamps to hold things together but that is not neccissary.
5) From the 3' stick use the dril and counter sink bit to pilot a hole that lines up roughly with the middle of the longer stick. Now sink a screw into that hole so that it is flush with the surface. Repeat this 4 times. You will only need one screw per stick in the frame as the top will provide more support.
6) Repeat steps 4 and 5 to make the second frame.

7) Lay one of the sheets of masonite on the frame. Make sure the smooth side is up and that the rough side is touching the frame. Line up all the edges so they are flush.

8) Using a counter sink bit pilot a hole in one of the corners. Make sure to offset enough so you don't run into one of the screws in the frame. I go in about 2 inches from each corner to do this.

9) Using a 1 inch screw drive it into the pilot hole so that the head of the screw is flush with the masonite. If the screw head is not flush it may show through the felt later.

10) Repeat step 8 and 9 applying screws every 8-12 inchs all around the border. Make sure the frame is flush with the edge as you do so.

11) Repeat steps 7-10 for the other frame and sheet of masonite.

12) Time to mount the Hinge. Take the 2 framed sheets of masonite and lay them on top of eachother so that the masonite sheets are touching and all edges are flush.

13) Along on of the 4' sides aline the hinge so that the center of the hinge follows the seam between the 2 boards of masonite and screw it in. I suggest putting a screw in each end to start.

When complete you should have a table that looks like this.

14) Time to apply the felt. The overall process for this will differ depending on what material you are using. If you are using 2 36" wide strips you will want to mask off the areas you don't want to get adhesive on. Essentially you want to start in the middle and apply adhesive. Lay the felt over the adhesive and work any airpockets out to the edge.
15) Once the adhesive sets fold the table in half to do the final touches. Like you see in the picture.
16) Cut the excess felt so you have about 4 inches of felt. This will make it easier to staple.
17) At the corner cut one edge at a 45 degree angle into the corner, cut the other edge perpendicular. This will allow you to make the corner edge later.
19) Starting from the corners work towards the hinge pulling the felt taut and stapling it down to the inside of the 1x2.
20) When it is complete you will have a bunch of fabric like in the picture to the right. Simply cut this bunch at about 4 inch and tuck it into the corner. You should be able to make a nice corner.
21) Repeat this for all the edges and corners and the pieces is complete.
Below is a bunch of other pictures I took but didn't use in the post.

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