Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Gaming Table - Part 1

(or leave it to me to over-engineer something!)

Yes, that is a scale model of a frame for my gaming table... why do you ask?
After the frustration of the arrival of summer in South Carolina and the increasing misery factor for playing in our usual locations (a friend's garage or screened-in porch), I decided to take matters into my own hands.

The goal was to have a frame that could fit over my dining room table, as that rarely sees use, except as a buffet holder when friends come over for parties!  With the wife's blessing, and a promise to not mar the finish, I set about to turn a 55" square surface into a 4'x6' table for 40k.  I had the following requirements
  • One person can assemble or disassemble
  • Balanced and secured so that a rogue feline or opponent won't up-end it
  • Able to use a variety of terrain boards 
  • Not look like it was made by a renegade servitor with two left thumbs
So what does a modeler do when they need to estimate materials and ensure compliance with the requirements?  Build a scale model of course!!  Thankfully I only needed to build half of the frame, as it was easy to extrapolate materials from that one.  Thus with a few balsa craft "Skinny Sticks" I was able to assemble a rough prototype for one-half of the table. 

The design is for 24"x24" drop in tiles (more on those later) to fit inside the frame with a minimum of underside support framing.  I might consider adding another longitudinal support to allow the use of 12"x12" tiles - but that isn't in the basic plan, at least for now. 

Now off to Lowes to pick up the lumber to build the first half!  (if it ever stops raining here in SC!!)
I'll show how I plan to protect the table's finish and attach the two halves in the follow-on posts.