Making the Cuts – Oval Poker Table

The table will be built using 3 sheets of plywood.
Sheet #1 – ¼” Pine for the foamed rail.
Sheet #2 – ½” Birch for the rail lip, racetrack, and playing surface.
Sheet #3 – ¾” Pine for the table base.

 

Sheet #1

 

You are going to make a 4” rail that runs around the entire table. Starting with Sheet #1 is a good idea if you have never used a jigsaw. Using a jigsaw is very easy, but since this part will be covered up any small errors that you may make will not matter. First, we must draw out the circles where the jigsaw will cut. The method below is the quickest way to make perfect circles and will be used throughout the cutting of all three pieces of wood.

 

The first step is to drill two small holes in the center of your yardstick at the 1” and 25” marks. This leaves a 24” gap between holes on the yardstick.

 

Measure 24” from each side of the plywood and nail the ruler through the 1”mark. The 25” hole should line up with the shorter end of the width of the plywood. If you swivel the ruler so that it is perpendicular to length of the plywood, the 25” hole should match up perfectly on each side as well.

 

Next, drill a hole at the 21” mark on the yard stick. Take a pencil or a sharpie and place it upright in the two holes (and 21”) and trace out your half circle

 

The pictures to the right show the nailed down yardstick and the beginning of the semi-circle that is at the 25” mark of the yardstick (24” from the nail). The inner circle will be on the 21” mark and create a perfect 4” rail.

 

Repeat the steps above for the opposite side of the plywood and then use your yardstick to connect the two inner semi-circles. The end result is that you will have a perfect 4” rail drawn out on the plywood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheet #1

The rail will be 4” wide and is represented by tan oval in the diagram. Note that outer edges of the straight-aways are the outer edges of the plywood. ` Nail Ruler 24” from edge of table20” 24”

 

The next step is to make the cuts. It doesn’t hurt to have a helping hand to hold the plywood during this step. If the plywood is secure it can be done by one person.

 

Start by cutting of the corners. Make sure that you are consistent with the speed of your jigsaw and amount of power you are using. You don’t want to make sudden starts and stop and splinter the wood. Use a smooth, wood cutting jigsaw blade.

 

Once you have the outer circle cut you will need to start on the inner circle. Because we are not going to use the center piece of Sheet #1, you can drill a small hole inside the inner circle (represented by the blue oval) and begin your jigsaw from there.

 

Once the inner cut is made you should have a 4” piece of wood for your rail. Set this aside for the time being and we will come back to it later. The center piece of this sheet is just scrap wood, although I offer a suggestion for its use later in this guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheet #2

 

Sheet #2
Sheet #2 is the ½” sheet of birch. The pieces that will come from this sheet are the lip for the padded rail, the racetrack, and the playing surface. MAKE SURE TO DRAW THE LINES ON THE SIDE OF THE TABLE THAT YOU WILL NOT BE VIEWING WHEN COMPLETED. You’re going to use the same techniques as with Sheet #1 to draw the circles. Use the 25” mark for the first semi-circle. You will then need to drill holes at the 23 ½” and 16” marks on the yardstick and draw out the other two circles.

 

The 1 ½”, tan colored, outer ring will be secured to the bottom of the rail ring from Sheet #1.

 

The 7.5” green ring will be the racetrack. This piece of wood will be the only visible area, so it is VERY IMPORTANT that the cut between it and the center piece is as straight as possible.. The straight edges can be cut with a circular saw if you are not comfortable with making a straight line with the jigsaw. I’m no expert woodworker myself and I didn’t have any problems with the jigsaw.

 

The difference between this sheet of wood and the last one is that you will need to use some skill to start you inner cuts with your jigsaw blade. I used a very small drill blade and worked it back and forth until I had a cut wide enough to get my jigsaw into. DO NOT simply try to make the initial entry point with the jigsaw. You will quickly find out that it won’t work and have to make another trip to the hardware store to get another piece of wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheet #3

 

I’ve saved the easiest cut for last. Setup the ¾” Pine sheet so that you can make the final cut. Again, you will be using the same techniques as above to make the semi-circles. This sheet will be your table base and because I didn’t want it to be flush with the side of the rail, I choose to cut off 1 ½” from around the base. This makes it much less visible when looking that the table from the side.

 

The tan-colored, center oval, will be the table base. This cut can be made quickly as it will not be visible. I’m sure you sick of cutting wood by now.

 

Sheet #3
The last step to making the cuts is to sand all of the edges of all of your new pieces. This is where having an electric sander comes in very handy. You don’t really have to sand Sheet #3, but if you’re a perfectionist like myself, then go ahead.

 

Next:
Building the Rail

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