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How To Build a Custom Poker Table

This oak poker table has a felt-covered center and built-in cup holders.

More in Decorating

Step 1: Sand and Mark the Wood

Sand all of the base pieces before beginning the assembly. Take both bottom platforms (20") and both top platforms (40") and mark the center points. From this center point measure over 1-3/4" in each direction and draw a line across the 4 x 4 using a speed square. Do this on both sides of all four pieces.

Step 2: Drill Holes in the Wood

Using a drill with a 1-1/2" spade or forstner bit, drill two holes (offset them) down one inch on each side of the center point, between the two lines. Do this on one side of each piece. Finish drilling through each hole you made with a 1/2" drill bit. Take the two vertical legs (21") and measure over 1-3/4" and 3-1/2" from each end. Carry these marks across with a speed square. Do this on the opposing side of both legs.

Follow the directions above for each end of one side of each leg.

drill two offset holes with spade or forstner bit

Step 3: Assemble the Base

Place each vertical leg (21") on a flat surface with the hole sides facing away from each other. Place the two middle braces (56") between the legs. The end of each brace should line up between the end of each leg and the line you made. It should make a rectangle. Clamp down the pieces and place a long punch or screwdriver through the center of each hole and make a mark on the ends of the brace. Using a 1/4" drill bit, drill each mark you made on the ends of each brace. Drill into each mark about four to five inches, being careful to keep the drill bit straight and perpendicular to the end of the brace.

assembling the base

Step 4: Attach the Legs

Attach the legs to the braces using the 1/2" lag screws with washers and wood glue. As the joints tighten, wipe away the excess wood glue. Attach the two bottom and two top platforms to the ends of the legs. Use the same procedure as above. Attach the two 2x4 top braces (60") to the two top platforms.

attach legs to braces using lag screws

Step 5: Mark the Top Platforms

Set the 2x4 top braces on edge across each side (perpendicular) to the top platforms. The ends of the 2x4s should overhang the top platforms by four inches on each side. Set the 2x4 eight inches in from the ends of the top platforms. Run a pencil along each side of the 2x4 to mark the top platforms and vice-versa.

Step 6: Finish the Base

Set your circular saw blade depth to 1-3/4" and out between the lines on both the top platforms and the 2x4s. Fit the 2x4s into the notched top braces. Pre-drill the 2x4s and attach them to the top braces with three-inch wood screws. Stain or paint the base as desired.

Step 7: Create the MDF Support Layer

Rip the 3/4" sheet of MDF to 42", then cut the length to 88". Cut off the corners and then measure back 12 inches from each end and draw a line across. Find the center of each end and measure over eight inches in each direction and mark each. Draw a line from those marks to the ends to the 12-inch line you made. Using this line, cut off all four corners with a circular saw.

Step 8: Attach the MDF to the Base

Set the cut sheet of MDF on the top of the base. The MDF should overhang the each side of the 2x4 top brace about one inch. Adjust until it is equal. Attach the MDF to the top for the base using 1-3/4" wood screws.

Step 9: Build the Oak Tabletop

Decide which side of the 3/4" sheet of oak plywood you want to be the top of the table. Measure over 14 inches from each corner, draw a line and cut the corners off. Center the oak plywood on the MDF and attach it from underneath, through the MDF. Use 1-1/4" wood screws.

attach oak plywood on MDF with wood screws

Step 10: Attach the Felt Top

Cut 1/2" sheet of MDF to 24 inches wide, six feet long. Measure over eight inches from each corner, draw a line and cut the corners off. Wrap the MDF in the foam and staple it to the underside of the board. Do the same with the felt. Attach this felt top to the oak in the same manner you attached the oak top to the MDF.

Step 11: Add the Rails

Wrap the 2x4 rails in the foam and then the vinyl. Attach them to the edge of the oak top all the way around. Screw the rails in from underneath the oak plywood using 1-1/2 - 1-3/4" screws at an angle.

Step 12: Cut Holes for the Recessed Cups

To make the holes for the recessed cups, use the base of the cup and a pencil to trace the cup's shape onto the wood. With the forstner bit, drill two holes on either side of the circle. Use a router to cut out the rest of the circle.

make holes for recessed cups from traced shapes

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