How to Build a Custom Poker Table
This oak poker table has a felt-covered center and built-in cup holders.
Cut the lumber to these specifications:
five boards, 2x8 x 10', premium grade
four boards, 4x4 x 8', premium grade (untreated)
4x4s for the table base
two 94" long supports (square both ends)
two 30" bottom braces
two 29-1/2" top braces
two 18" middle uprights (connect the top and bottom braces)
2x8 x 10s for the tabletop
five 6-1/2" x 112" (rip boards to 6-1/2", then square both ends to 112")
2x4 x 8'
four 1/2" x 2" x 8' (rip board into 1/2" 'slices')
3/4" x 4" x 8' MDF for the tabletop base
one 30-1/2" x 8' (rip sheet to 30-1/2")
Note: Adjust the measurements as needed to fit your room and family.
Make sure both ends of the long supports and the middle uprights are square. Plane the 2x8 x 10' boards so that the surfaces are smooth. Pre-drill the 22-3/4" end uprights for lag screws.
Lay one of the 22-2/4" uprights on a work table. Place a bottom brace against the upright so that the upright forms the base of an L. Drill two holes through the upright and into the bottom brace, making sure to hold the pieces square while you drill. Use wood glue and two 6" lag screws to attach the bottom brace and the upright. Flip over the L and attach another upright to the other end of the bottom brace, forming a U-shaped assembly. Use the same method to attach the top brace to the uprights, forming a rectangle.
Use glue and lag screws to join one end of the middle upright to the center of the bottom brace and the other end to the center of the top brace. Do the same with the other upright. You'll now have a vertical support in the middle of the rectangle, which forms one of the leg sections.
Note: Make sure to pre-drill and countersink the lag screws. Repeat the process to make the second leg section.
Attach each end of the long supports to the leg sections. Attach one long support in the center, flush to the top. Attach the other long support flush to the bottoms of the middle uprights. Use wood glue and 6" lag screws, as in step 2.
Attach the bottom plates to the ends of the uprights with glue and screws. Attach the four casters to the bottom plates with 1" to 1-1/2" pan-head screws. You now have the table base completed.
Center the cut MDF on the top of the table base and attach it with glue and 2" wood screws. The tabletop will sit on and attach to the MDF.
Get the cut 2x8s. Use a router to make a 1/2" dado 1" deep along both sides of three of the 2x8s and on one side of the other two. Glue the 1/2" x 2" x 8' strips into the dadoes to form a tongue-and-groove assembly. Put glue along the edges of the 2x8s and join them by fitting the tongues into the grooves.
Clamp the five pieces together with 36" bar clamps spaced every 10" to 12". Let the glue dry completely.
Note: Make sure the tabletop remains flat while it dries.
After the glue dries, remove the clamps and sand the tabletop with a belt sander and/or orbital sander. Use a router to round over the edge of the tabletop.
Stain the tabletop and base.
Center the tabletop on the MDF. Glue it in place. With 1-3/4" wood screws, attach the tabletop by screwing from underneath through the MDF into the bottom of the tabletop.
Note: Depending on the door size, you may need to bring the tabletop and base into the room separately before attaching them.