A Gaming Table.

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A Gaming Table.

Post by S W Dickson on Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:50 pm

Yep, I'm making a gaming table - for my house. For playing on and photographing etc.

(I'm used to playing at clubs and stuff and the only board I got at home is a Balins Tomb thing - not exactly suitable for most games - or CC photography! Got tonnes of scenery - but again, all is fairly "branded" or contains bits and bobs from kits)

So, I'm going with a 2'x2' modular design - more for storage than anything else - plus the workshop I have access to is fairly stacked full of bandsaws and routers and stuff and you can't move anything much larger about in it. I may do a couple of 2' x 4' sections (coastal/rivers/canyon that sort of thing), but I'll stick with 2' x 2' just now.

So, started off on Sunday with a single board (to test my abilities!) and results were okay. Just a bit of chipboard/plywood (no MDF lying about in that size) with mitred pine batons supporting it - sorta like an artists canvas frame. It is lightweight and feels fairly durable - as well as cheap (plywood tends to be cheaper than MDF) - standard wood screws countersunk in to secure the top sheet (just showing off). My measurements were a little out, so one the mitred corners needs a little filler - no big deal - it's securely fitted, and I'll be using a filler anyway to cover the surface screws and add a little bit of surface variance on the top. To keep the surface lightweight, whilst adding a suitable texture, I'm gonna water down some filler (spackle) a little and "stipple" with a large brush. This will keep the drying time minimal whilst breaking up the monotony of flatness (and also not being too bumpy). Some clean sand (I'm using Birdcage sand from a pet store - it's clean, dry, and has a large enough grain to make an impact) will be glued on the top, using a thin coat of PVA. Again, trying to add texture whilst keeping the weight down - too much glue and I'll have big claggy lumps of sand adding considerable weight. I also don't want to test the rigidity of damp plywood at this stage!

Anyway, once all that's done, and the excess sand removed - and it's all dry, a bit of an undercoat. I used to use black spray paint - as it was an allowance - but on a budget, I'll be using the cheapest black matt emulsion I can lay my hands on. I've not decided on the "theme" for this board yet, but usually a solid coat of black will lock on any texture and give a nice layer of protection. Again, stipple application rather than brush on, paint strokes tend to a) remove lose bits of sand, and b) look rubbish.

I've also made a half dozen 6" long irregular pieces (for walls and stuff), a couple of squared building bases, and four irregular "area" terrain pieces from the offcuts. All nicely bevelled on the belt sander. As I've not decided on the board theme yet, I'm not sure what style these will be, though I reckon I'll do this first one as a grassy battlefield to start - the houses being in the Tudor or half timber style - generic fantasy stuff.

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S W Dickson
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