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Desktop Trim October 26, 2009

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Yesterday we did a lot of sanding and added a piece of trim to the desk pieces.

Side view of the trim on the desk pieces.

Side view of the trim on the desk pieces.

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Desk Pieces October 24, 2009

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Today we finished cutting the desk pieces.

I got up as high as I could and took a picture looking down.  You can almost see all of the desk pieces together.

I got up as high as I could and took a picture looking down. You can almost see all of the desk pieces together.

Here is a view of the desk pieces from the side.  All we have left to do in the construction phase is to cut the tops of the arms and then add an edge to the desk surfaces.

Here is a view of the desk pieces from the side. All we have left to do in the construction phase is to cut the tops of the arms and then add an edge to the desk surfaces.

Arm Mounting October 20, 2009

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This weekend we finished mounting the arms to the base and attaching the braces between each section.  We also received the shanks, fittings, tubing, and CO2 cylinder for the draft beer system.  We should be able to get all of the desk sections cut next week.

Arms Attached 1

Here you can see the arms attached from the side of the player stations. The bracing will provide stability for the desk surface as well as add rigidity for the arms.

Here is the view of the arms attached from the GM station.  You can see roughly how far out the desk surface will extend.  The GM will have a huge amount of space to lay out books and stat sheets.

Here is the view of the arms attached from the GM station. You can see roughly how far out the desk surface will extend. The GM will have a huge amount of space to lay out books and stat sheets.

Space is going to be tight for the shank and tail piece for each tap.  We may have to purchase some 90 degree low clearance tail pieces to make the turn or otherwise get creative in fitting it all together.

Space is going to be tight for the shank and tail piece for each tap. We may have to purchase some 90 degree low clearance tail pieces to make the turn or otherwise get creative in fitting it all together.

Arm Construction October 14, 2009

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With the base complete we could now start on the arms which are the most difficult parts to build.  Because the larger GM station throws off our angles that we used for the other arms, we had to mount some bracing to the base so they could rest against it.

We added a solid piece of mahogany cut at an angle to each side where the arms would rest against the base.

We added a solid piece of mahogany cut at an angle to each side where the arms would rest against the base.

After building the arms we laid them out on the ground upside down to figure out how to mount them to the base.

After building the arms we laid them out on the ground upside down to figure out how to mount them to the base.

With everything upside down it was easy to visualize how it would all go together.

With everything upside down it was easy to visualize how it would all go together.

Originally we intended for the arms to be removable to make it easier to change the kegs in the kegerator at the center of the base.  This proved to be too difficult so we ended up just mounting them directly to the base.

Originally we intended for the arms to be removable to make it easier to change the kegs in the kegerator at the center of the base. This proved to be too difficult so we ended up just mounting them directly to the base.

Base Construction October 13, 2009

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Next we turned our attention to the base of the table.  It had to be large enough to accommodate our kegerator but small enough so it didn’t hit our legs when we sit at it.

This is the inside of the base.  We used Kreg joints to hold everything together.  It is very sturdy.

This is the inside of the base. We used Kreg joints to hold everything together. It is very sturdy.

And here is what it looks like from the outside with everything stacked on top.

And here is what it looks like from the outside with everything stacked on top.

Shelf Construction October 13, 2009

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Continuing to work our way from the top down, we began construction on the shelf that would support the mapping surface.

This is the top of the shelf that the map grid will sit on.

This is the top of the shelf that the map grid will sit on.

These are the sides of the shelf.

These are the sides of the shelf.

Here is the grid sitting on top of the shelf.

Here is the grid sitting on top of the shelf.

Grid Construction October 12, 2009

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We decided that we would build the Epic Gaming Table using Mahogany and Maple.  These light and dark woods allowed us to make the various features of the design stand out so the first step was to cut about a billion little 1 inch by 1 inch squares that would form the map surface.  A generic grid would give us a blank slate to work with for drawing out any maps we might need.  The plan is to put a piece of glass over the grid that can be written on with dry erase markers.

Cutting all these little squares was a huge pain.

Cutting all these little squares was a huge pain.

Each tile was hand cut and sanded.  We needed about 1,200 total for our grid.

Each tile was hand cut and sanded. We needed about 1,200 total for our grid.

The tiles were alternated to create the grid.

The tiles were alternated to create the grid.

The Epic Gaming Table Project Introduction October 12, 2009

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In September of 2008, the three members of my weekly tabletop gaming group and I decided that it was time we invested in a table that would serve to enhance the enjoyment of our sessions.  Because one of our members has expertise in carpentry, we decide to create a design from the ground up and then build it using quality materials so it could stand on its own as an attractive piece of furniture.  We created the design in Google Sketchup.

Table Initial Design

Our initial design contained desk spaces for up to six players and included features such as a character sheet clip, dry erase board for recording notes, a magnetic or cork board for hanging various other sheets, and sliding counters for keeping track of HP, spells, etc.  From the very beginning we knew that we want to include draft beer taps because it was something we had never seen on any of the other gaming table designs we found.

Table Design 2

We determined that our initial designs placed the map surface too high and that the players would have a difficult time seeing what was going on.  Also we wanted to be able to still see each other since we didn’t want it to feel like we were role playing in cubicles so we lowered the map surface eliminating the ability to place a character sheet vertically on the desk area.  We also eliminated one of the player stations in order to add a larger space dedicated to the game master.

Table Final Design

Our final design included a slightly raised map surface in order to achieve an attractive multi-tiered effect and also to create a sufficient space in the center for the kegerator.  We also eliminated all of the frills except for the counters figuring people would be able to lay everything out however they choose.

It took us several weeks but we finally reached a design that was feasible to build and gave us the features we wanted.