The Making Of - A Gaming Table - Part I  

Posted by Hal'jin in , , ,

There's lots and lots of updates coming! The conclusion of the IHRH series, some updates on a side projects and many more, but also this little building log, detailing my construction of a gaming table for use by me and my cousin mostly. Expect quite a few pictures and tips that I will learn durin the process.

It's actually not the first gaming table I'm making. We used to have one before, made a bit differently out of (I am unsure I'm using the right word, but that's what the dictionary is pointing me at) a harl board. It was cut to a proper size, it had sand glued on it and painted and it looked like this:

Uh yea, it is ugly. Mostly because the paint we used wasn't really what we wanted and in the case of the yellow one, we simply ran out of it and haven't bought more since. It had a lot of other isses though. It was huge, meaning storing it anywhere was a big problem. It was also pretty damn heavy and carrying it around was annoying at the least. We were thinking of cutting it in half and adding hinges, but that wouldn't really reduce the weight. After some consideration I decided just to scrap the entire idea and make a new one, using different, lighter materials. Also make it modular, just like the GW's Realm of Battle board.
Speaking of which, I was also considering purchasing one. I heard a lot of good of it and how it's worth the money and everything. Still, it might be worth the money, but I just don't have that money. With its price being £146.80 and the polish price tag of 649 zł (Which with the current exchange rates is actually cheaper..) it's just a tad too much for me to handle, at least now. Sure, my cousin could pay half of it, but he was reluctant to do so and so was I. In the end I decided to plan out making everything on our own. Guess what? All the materials cost us aproximately 100 zł, being roughly £20. Fun, huh? I'll actually post a price breakdown at the very end and now, on to the beginning of the work!

First a list of materials used for the table itself with the tools used.

First, a 4'x6' plywood board, 3mm thickness. A first problem appeared here, as I ordered a board cut in such dimensions, in centimetres being roughly 122x183. To be on the safe side I ordered 125x190. Guess what I got? 121.5x190. Yep, smaller than 48". Luckily I got that problem fixed
Cost: approx. 26 zł = £5,35

4 styrofoam (Wikipedia whispers its called: Extruded polystyrene foam) boards, being slightly over 2 meters square. The edfes of it are L-shaped to allow placing one on another, and that edge helped me to offset the missing 0,5 centimeter.
Cost: 36,78 zł = £7,57

Finally the tools: a modelling knife and a bottle of PVA glue. The one show here is actually too big, half of it would probably suffice.
Cost: approx. 13 zł = £2,68 (for the glue, I'm sure you have a knife!)

The process of production was actually quite simple. Basically, glue the styrofoam to the plywood. I decided to use the L-shape to my advantage, by both making it stick out from the longer table edge adding to the incomplete 4' (Making it slightly over that, but that's not a problem!) and helping the quarters come together (though due to the size of the boards it was only possible on one edge). I put the styrofoam on the garage floor, covered it with glue and put the plywood on it. As you can see I put some firewood on it to weight the plywood down so that it connects better. Later on I also used a smaller piece of mentioned before harl board for that.

Here you have a shot of a single quarter finished. It might look slightly uneven, the gap between two styrofoam boards is visible, but it will all go away once I glue the sand onto it and actually sculpt some terrain in it.

The same piece as seen from the edge, being an intersection of the table.

And a shot taken the next day after the glue has totally dried out of the entire table as it is now:

Next step is to sculpt some terrain into it, like slight crevises (I bet I mispelled that), craters and such, then to glue the sand onto it. It will probably increase the weight of the entire thing quite a bit, but without it there won't be any texture to the table and it will horribly.

And that's it for today. Keep an eye out for, as I mentioned at the beginning, there's a lot of stuff coming up!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at Wednesday, July 29, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


solid start! I'm following with much anticipation!

29 July 2009 at 13:23

I just built a gaming board this past weekend. I would suggest rather than carving crevasse, built up around it. We tried carving out a stream, and the texture just wasn't what I was looking for.

29 July 2009 at 13:30

Good start. Keep the motivation. :)

29 July 2009 at 15:03

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