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Author Topic: Advice on making or buying a table that's 6ft x 8ft that extends to 6ft x 12ft?  (Read 854 times)

Offline cram

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Looking for a dedicated wargames table that'll be 6ft x 8ft and is extendable up to 6ft x 12ft. 

I was thinking of maybe a drop leaf of 2ft either end of the table to extend it to either 10ft or to 12ft long.

Really important the underneath of the table is clear of obstructions like supports as I'd want to store terrain boards under there.

Anybody made anything similar, and could offer some advice. Or maybe there's units/tables available to purchase that could allow me to have this set up? The more straight forward I can make this the better as I have limited DIY experience!!

Thanks, Marc.

Offline SteveBurt

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Think about how you will support the drop leaves, and also remember they will block access to the ends of the table.
One trick I have seen several people use is to buy cheap kitchen units, and screw them together. The units are normally 600mm square, and of course you can use them as cupboards or drawers. If you want you can even put them on casters to move the table around.
Big sheet of MDF on top, and off you go. I actually have an idea for such a table, but would do the extension using support bars which slide out from under the top to support the extra bits - that saves having unused drop leaves hanging around.

Offline Fitz

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The most flexible method would be to include a two foot sliding extension under each end, which would give an eight, ten or twelve foot table. The woodwork isn't difficult if you have any skill at all.

One caveat about this system: for a gaming table it would be worth including some sort of stabilizer clips for when the leaves are extended, as pressure on the end of an extended leaf can otherwise lever up that side of the centre section.

If you have the space to store additional panels, a more innately stable system (and one that is extremely extensible) would be to build the table as two sliding halves with extra panels to fill in the centre gap.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 08:30:53 PM by Fitz »

Offline FifteensAway

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The table is - relatively - easy.  Sufficient space around the table matters a good deal.  If we assume you have adequate space then the next question is what will be your base material. 

Over here in USA, I would use three sheets of 4' x 8' plywood cut to 4' x 6' (at the Big Box store).  Two sheets would be the main board and the third sheet would be the optional board. 

If you are willing to have a high playing surface, then hinge the third board on one end so that it swings down when not in use (and blocks dust and debris accumulation).  A lot of people will not like such a high table so you could create a hinged wing for each end (which would be easier to support).  And support them, as mentioned, you must - but it can be a slide away support when not in use, perhaps an "X" bottom and "X" joined by a 2" x 2" piece of lumber and measured to just match the bottom of the swing up extensions.

You'll want to frame all the boards, even the extensions, so they won't warp.  I recommend the glue and screw method - and it might be worth investing in a rechargeable screw gun if you don't already have one, save a lot of time and blisters!

You will need cross bracing to achieve adequate stability but it can be on the width of the table between legs , probably at least three sets, rather than the length of the table to preserve storage space under the table.

That should be enough to get you started - more information than that and I expect consultants wages!  :D
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 05:31:57 AM by FifteensAway »

Offline Hammers

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Good thread this. We've not had many on how to plan and build a gaming table.

Offline smirnoff

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Mine is dropleaf supported by hinged leg supports. Works a treat

Offline EndTransmission

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Mine is dropleaf supported by hinged leg supports. Works a treat

Mine is the same and works really well. I used kitchen cupboards underneath the main section instead of legs though, so I have plenty of organised storage space. I wanted drawers for scatter terrain and figures/cards, but equally just using the main body as one big cupboard with a few shelves would give lots of organisational space for terrain boards

Offline cram

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All good info guys, thanks!

When this Covid 19 nightmare allows, I'm having the garage converted into a games room. I could always get the carpenter to knock up the table, providing the price is right for my pocket.

Games room will be 18 half foot by 11 half foot. Once cabinets for storage have been put in, I'll have enough room to comfortably take the 6ft by 8ft table. But I also want to have a larger table area for bigger games, so 10x6ft and 12x6ft, those table sizes will really swallow up the room, so to have an extendable table where I haven't always got such a big set up is the way to go.

Offline FifteensAway

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Another consideration.  For most people, a six foot wide table is quite a reach.  I recommend limiting the width to five feet.  And a five foot table with cabinets (if on the long wall) will allow more gaming room. 

Remember, a lot of gamers do not fit comfortably into a three foot wide space!

Offline Daeothar

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I've been tweaking my design for a gaming table for years now, and this is the solutions to this very same challenge I came up with:

Attach a hinged surface on the short end of the table, so it hangs down from the side, but when extended up, it is flush with the table surface.

Then make two legs to support the extention from two inverted L shapes, where the short (horizontal) leg is hinged (vertically this time, like a door) from the original table's leg. When 'opened', the legs should be fully supporting the extended table surface.

Make it so, that the legs fall under the original table's overhang when folded in, so the table extension can drop down in front of them.

This solution does not take up any space underneath the table, as the entire contraption will remain outside of the table's legs. And with your gaming table dimensions, the math should work out too, as the extensions then have a 3:1 ratio...

I've scribbled down a badly proportioned sketch of the entire affair, in two parts for clarity; the top one (badly) shows the hinged table surface, and the bottom one depicts the legs (even worse):

« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 09:43:54 AM by Daeothar »
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Offline EndTransmission

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Mine's not too far off that. Instead of making the L shapes, I've got two vertical sheets of MDF that hinge out.

They don't get swung all the way out so that it supports the middle of the board a bit as well. So far it seems to be able to take a fair bit of weight. The thing to remember is don't put the legs right up against the end of the un-extended table, allow some room to fold away the two fold out areas. From the beading along the edge of mine, you can see where the main table ends and the fold down extension begins
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 12:26:13 PM by EndTransmission »

Online cuprum

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Terrane panels can be placed vertically in supports. You can have two or four of these tables.
If you do all of the metal base frame, the storage area will increase significantly.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 02:18:16 AM by cuprum »

Offline FifteensAway

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Daeothar has the right idea but the way he's illustrated the hinges just won't work - though it may be that he is trying to show the hinged swing out as transparent.  Spend some time thinking about how the hinges will work and even try some dry runs.  The hinges must be on the bottom of both the main table and the swing out.  And it may be necessary to recess the hinges into the top and bottom - though that is a rather special wood working skill. 

There is also the alternative of free standing end pieces on legs (which might be collapsible somehow).  Then all you need is a way to c-clamp to the main table when playing - not just buy the c-clamp but make sure there are two sturdy elements to both pieces to clamp to.  And buy the right size c-clamp!  Too big might work but too small definitely will not.

Offline cram

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Thanks for all the input every, its a great help!

Offline cram

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