Back in high school my friends and I would play Texas Hold'em every week. Our table usually consisted of one of those cheap octagon table toppers. After playing for a couple of years I got tired of playing with half broken tables that were cheaply made. So I designed and built my own table from scratch. The inspiration for the design came from the poker tables used in the World Poker Tour.
| The final dimensions of the
table are 7ft by 3.5ft. I wanted to ensure that there would be enough
room at the table to hold all of my friends
on even the busiest of nights.
To make the table as classy as possible I incorporated a number of features. The black vinyl railway is padded and designed for elbow resting. There is a six inch wide wood laminate raceway that goes around the perimeter of the table, and the felt in the middle is padded with a thin layer of foam for a luxurious feel.
The table does fold in half into the reasonably compact size of 3.5ftx3.5ftx1ft. And there are heavy duty handles on the sides for easier lifting. It does take two people to lift and setup without damaging the table.
I was having difficulty with some of the construction of the table and so one of my friends, Mike, helped me finish the table.
| Here is
another view of the table. The seam in the center where it folds is
pretty small. I made sure to get the two sides of the table on the same plane
so that cards would not catch and flip should someone be dealing cards across
The vinyl for the railing was constructed out of strips of vinyl sewn together into one long strip. My mom sewed the vinyl on one of my grandparents industrial sewing machines. To cover the curved sections of the railing I pleated the vinyl and used staples to keep it in place. There is foam between the vinyl and the main structure of the railing for user comfort.
| I used a half inch thick
plywood sheet to create the table surface with two two-by-fours
running the length of the table for superior rigidity. In hindsight the
table could use thinner plywood to save weight and lower cost of
I found the legs after I had constructed the tabletop. When I went to put them on the table they were too wide and would interfere with the two by fours. So I had to create channels for the legs to fold into in the two by fours. I did this by drilling a lot of holes with a one inch drill bit and then chiseling out the extra wood. Its not pretty, but it works.
Here is the first of two original sketches of the table. The original specs called for a white marble laminate rather than wood, a card shuffler built into the railing where the dealer would sit, and something mysterious and square in center of the table (I don't remember what it was). This drawing shows how I constructed the vinyl rail that goes around the perimeter. I used some old wood molding from my parents house to create the support structure. The decorative wood layer is particle board with a faux wood print. I chose this for its cheapness and flexibility so it would curve around the railing easily.
This is the second of two initial drawings. This is more of a bill of materials with costs. This project ended up costing around 120 dollars which is 20 dollars over my original budget. I was not going to cut corners by buying cheaper materials especially on the fabric which was the most expensive part. The fabric had to feel right and be able to stand up to things sliding over it constantly.
The table took me one summer or so to build. Unfortunately by the time I got the table done the frequency of our poker games was starting to diminish. The table has only been used a handful of times and now it just sits and collects dust, a memento of the past, a symbol of good times, a reminder of fond memories.
Copyright, Brian De Vitis, 2013 Contact Me at firstname.lastname@example.org