Tag Archives: woodworking

Divide into equal parts

Found in the comments in a post by Chris Schwarz about Lost Art Press’ book By Hand & Eye, this is really great: Divide into equal parts. Very cool.

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#RPGaDAY DIY edition: Build your own gaming table

Thanks to Autocratik for this series of RPG discussion prompts. And to my friend Tyler for his inspiring responses on his blog, Held Action. And for prodding me into reviving my own blog.

I’m going off-script today with my own topic: build your own game table. It isn’t often that I get to talk about gaming and woodworking in the same breath. I made this table because I needed a big surface that was lower than a normal table, but a higher than a coffee table. I also needed something inexpensive. Here’s my solution.

This table can easily be knocked down and stored when not in use. It’s built from one 4×8 foot sheet of plywood and a couple 2x4s. I built this to be comfortable for folks sitting on a couch or easy chair. You can adjust the dimensions to suit your needs.

Legs and table top cut from single sheet of plywood.

Legs and table top cut from single sheet of plywood.

I picked a sheet of plywood with a good side and a patched side. I had the home center make the cut to separate the legs from the table top, and then had them cut the top to width. The rest of the cuts I made with a jigsaw.

Two-by-fours fit into vertical notch in legs.

Two-by-fours fit into vertical notch in legs.

I used a simple edge-lap joint; grooves on each side of the 2×4 that lock into a vertical notch in the plywood leg piece.

The legs and braces assembled.

The legs and braces assembled.

Here are the legs and braces assembled. It’s surprisingly sturdy.

Table height was select to work well from low chairs or couch.

Table height was select to work well from low chairs or couch.

This photo shows the height of my table, which is 24″ (half the width of the plywood). It’s low enough that people in easy chairs or on a sofa can see the table easily.

Some useful accessories: elastic tie downs, acrylic sheet or gaming mat.

Some useful accessories: elastic tie downs, acrylic sheet or gaming mat.

I used some elastic tie downs to keep the table top from sliding around too much. More recently, I picked up a sheet of acrylic, under which I can place maps or grid paper. I have a preference for wet-erase markers, and they work nicely on the acrylic.

I also picked up a couple large pieces of craft felt to cover the table, which was a nice surface until the cats got to it. I didn’t put any finish on the table, but I’m considering adding some paint (to cover the food stains).

CraftyMomma’s most recent project

When I got home from work, yesterday, Beloved Wife showed me her most recent creation:

A spouse who’s good with power tools. W00T!

It’s a “grazing ark” for our intrepid guinea pigs. Yes, they will be spending most of their summer days outside. (Hurray!)

It came out just exactly as she had described it to me and had sketched. We had a couple brief consultations about construction methodology, but the design and execution are all hers. Well, done, BW!

Summer reflections 2: Picnic Table

I built a picnic table during my vacation in August. I hadn’t built anything this involved in quite a while, probably not since the chicken coop over ten years ago. It seemed like this ought to be a pretty straight-forward project, and I spent time looking at plans online until I found a set that I liked.

Then it was off to the local hardware store for lumber and fasteners. I decided to make the legs out of pressure-treated lumber, but the rest is regular 2x framing material.

First step was to cut the lumber to dimension. I did find a couple errors on the plans as I went, though:

  • Part B, cross stretcher that supports the seats, needs to be 60" long (as indicated in the elevation), not 84".
  • Part D, seat members, need to be 84" (same as table top), not 11-1/4".

Luckily, I was very careful to measure twice, and double-check the diagrams, before cutting.

Materials, nicely stacked.

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