View Full Version : My new gaming table

03-14-2008, 01:30 PM
Going to make my own gaming table. We needed a second table for parties, picnics, etc. anyway, so I bought some saw horses and a sheet of particle board. Going to cut the board in half and hinge it to make it more easily stored and portable. Here's what I'm gonna do to make it usable for D+D.

Going to paint it with several coats of a good exterior gloss finish paint. Get a good thick coating on it. Then I'm going to mark off a 3'x4' section in the center in a 1" grid. I figure it will be be fine for wet erase markers. I priced battle maps, and a big one was $35. A quart of paint will be less than half that.

Has anybody ever done this before? How did it work?
I will keep you posted.

03-14-2008, 07:39 PM
Back in the old days I had a ping-pong table that folded up. It worked fine for many different types of games. The pool table worked pretty well too, but what I really like and still use is the 30” by 6’ folding table. The table cost me $47 at Office Max or some office supply store like that. I leave mine out all the time so I have a place to do my bills and sort clothes from the dryer. Kids like to do art there too.

When we play I toss the blanket from when I was in the Air Force over it and clamp it down around the edges. It works for fantasy game when we go tactical and games like A&AM and Flames of War, as well as most Sci-fi games. And if you play cards it works very well. :) Not having hexes of 1” grids has never been a problem as I have a small stash of six-foot mini tape measures from Home Depot I bought for a buck each.

And way back in the old days my cousin had a train layout we played on. Whatever works is fine. :)

As far as the paint over the particleboard, I must say it didn’t work so well. After I painted it the strand lifted a bit, so I sanded it down and repainted it. Well, it lifted again but not so much, so I re-sanded it. The third coat and it is still a pretty rough surface, not what I expect you will find easy to write on with the dry erase markers. I ended up making another one and hinging them together and screwing them to the sand box to keep the neighbors cats out. Worked better at that then as a table for Star Fleet Battles.

03-15-2008, 05:32 PM
my first group had a vinyl poker table that we had used perm markers to make grid on it. it lasted for about 2 years until we all graduated and we rarely had to redo any lines.

03-15-2008, 10:59 PM
I am here to serve.

Do-it-yourself Whiteboards (http://chrismetcalf.net/blog/archives/2007/06/16/how-to-dirt-cheap-wall-sized-whiteboards/)

03-16-2008, 08:22 AM
Malruhn: You is da man. This will be better and probably even cheaper than my painting idea. Take less time too.

Oh, and just for laughs, I priced a 3x5 white board: cheapest one I could find was $250, plus shipping. Now I can make a whole table!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

03-16-2008, 03:01 PM
May I argue? You da man. Through your connections, you have found a way to meet your needs... which puts the power in your hands.

A gaming buddy followed the same procedures - and the white-board came out beautifully. There were a couple of "waves" in the surface, but it was smooth enough to write on without any smears - and minis slid very smoothly.

Remember where this thread is - or bookmark that other site. That way you can help out someone else when they need a way to game mo' betterly. ;)

Who knows - you may end up gaming at their table one day!

03-16-2008, 04:57 PM
Funny how corporations try to nickel and dime us on stuff that we know (or have a strong hint about) should be affordable.

03-16-2008, 10:10 PM
A note on the white board. I was given a 4x8 white board once. Had this great idea to use it for gaming (another GM had used a huge chalk board that I thought worked well). I used a paint stick to mark it with a one inch grid. That weekend we used it to play on. When we started to erase some of the dry erase markers and all the lines came off. I was so dissapointed I just cleaned it off and let my son take it over for his games. Now I use a six foot table with an army blanket and terrain pieces.

03-23-2008, 08:29 AM
i found that permanent marker or paint marker (depending on the type of paint) works pretty good at getting the lines to stay.

03-24-2008, 07:12 AM
I'm in the planning stages for a new gaming table. Not really sure when I'll actually get to build it, but I'm going along the lines of the Ultimate Gaming Table (http://www.agyris.net/v3/ugt/default.asp) that was used by the Agyris gaming group. Now I'm sure I won't be going to quite the extreme that they did with their table, I'm planning on it being a nice table none the less.

03-24-2008, 01:08 PM
Worked for them I suppose. I prefer something, lower.

We all have our idea of the perfect gaming table.

04-01-2008, 08:44 AM
I prefer an extended dining room table myself, though some of those features are pretty nice like the bookholders and the extended GM's area.

04-01-2008, 12:46 PM
It's an interesting table for sure. I had a similar plan for a gaming table back in the late 80's but with networked laptops. I may have to pull my plans out and merge it with this one to come up with an interesting table. Assuming my wife doesn't have me whacked first :D


04-02-2008, 12:22 PM
So many people forget the chairs. Good chairs are vital to a good gaming experience. I can live with a simple conference table. A bad chair is death.

04-02-2008, 12:26 PM
I so agree. I picked up four really comfortable waiting room chairs and several office chairs for my players. No leather couches, but very comfortable.

04-03-2008, 10:48 AM
Bought the "shower board" as suggested, have it glued to some plywood. Going to mark the grid tonight, it will make it's debut saturday afternoon. Will let you know how it worked out.:biggrin:

04-03-2008, 12:04 PM
It depends. My Sunday games are in the back room on folding chairs. Heck, the last one or two to arrive get the chairs with the missing back panels :)

I stand when I'm running the game. I like to be up higher so maybe a barstool would be just as good an option.

The table in the link above looks like it's more of a standing table. The top part is fairly high, not that you couldn't sit or again, bar stools.

I do like the slots for the game books and clipboards though. That's a pretty good idea. And the metal steam-punk type balls for communication is great.


04-03-2008, 01:10 PM
i've never thought of having a 'gaming' table before. ^^ but then i usually wind up playing with people in different time zones rather than people in my own local area. despite my efforts to the contrary. i'm resigned to remote forms of play, after so many years. ^^

05-13-2008, 07:08 AM
I made a 4x8 gaming table for Warhammer 40k, that i also use for D&D and Dark Heresy, i used the legs from an old particle bourd folding tabe i found in my barn, the best thing about the table is that when im not using it, i can fold it away and put in a closet.