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Building the Rail – Oval Poker Table

The first step is that you will need to glue the 1 ½” rail lip from Sheet #2 to the 4” rail from Sheet #1. The two pieces should match up correctly, but there may be a few small discrepancies because they came from two different pieces of wood. Sand any major idown. The rail will be covered in foam and vinyl so they will not be visible.


Next, use wood glue to adhere the two pieces together. The easiest way to keep the pieces together is to use small clamps like the ones pictured to the right. I have always used 8 of them and have never had a problem. Let the rail sit overnight.


In the morning, use some finishing nails around the rail to secure it even more. I usually use about a dozen.


At this point you may want to move onto the staining portion of the plans since they will need to dry overnight also.
















Next, lay the rail on the 1” thick piece of foam. Draw a ring ¾” from the inside of the rail. Also, make an outer ring 1 ½” from the outside of the rail. Once you connect the lines it should look like the picture.


Use a razorblade to cut along the lines that you have drawn. The next step is to use the 3M spray adhesive to adhere the foam to the tof the rail. The foamed covered rail is pictured to right. Note that the plywood underneath the rail is only there to support the rail. It’s not part of the table at this point in the project.



Staining the Racetrack


Attaching the Playing Surface – Oval Poker Table Plans

First you will attach the playing surface to the base. Use a tape measurer to make sure that the surface is directly in the middle of the base. You should have 7.5″ of base showing from underneath the playing surface.














Use two people with this step. One person should make sure that the surface doesn’t move while the other person drills in 8-10 1 1/4″ screws in the base. Remember that the base is 3/4″ thick and the playing surface is ½” thick (not including the foam surface). You do not want the screws to come through the foam!! I’ve had it happen, so work slowly.


Next, you will want to use your excess foam to pad the base around the playing surface. This will allow for the racetrack to be flush with the playing surface. Some people like a raised playing surface, but I don’t. I think that table looks much more professional when the surfaces are flush. You could use extra 1/4” plywood, but this will add weight an already heavy table.


Drilling the Cupholders


Attaching the Racetrack and Padded Rail – Oval Poker Table

Next, you will want to attach the racetrack to the padded foam. These pieces should fit together according to your marks that you made on them earlier. If necessary, use a long screwdriver as a lever to make the two pieces fit together snugly.


Use 3/4″ screws around the entire edge of the racetrack to hold the two pieces together. I used about a dozen screws.
















The last step is to attach the newly created piece to the table base. Use 1 ¾” screws to attach these pieces. Make sure to screw the holes as close to the edge of the base as possible. You want the screw to go through the wood in the rail, and not through the top of your racetrack. I have also seen this happen, so please be very careful before drilling.


Congrats! You’re done!

Drilling the Cupholders – Oval Poker Table

Place the racetrack over the playing surface. Make sure that you line the two pieces up as they were cut out of the sheet previously. I eyeballed the placement of the 10 cup holders but made sure that they were all 1 inch from the playing surface.















Trace around the bottom of the cup holder and then drill a large entry hole for the jigsaw. Cover up the playing surface before making the cut. You don’t want to get sawdust all over your new playing surface. Be very careful when making the cut. You can always cut the hole bigger, but you could be in a world of trouble if you make the initial cut too big. Continue to try and put the cup holder in the hole until it is snug.


Once you have all 10 holes cut, remove the racetrack. You should have holes that look like the one pictured to the right. You may also choose to a hole-cutter drill bit that cuts a perfect 2 ½” hole, but I have never used one personally. I don’t know if it would be able to cut through the entire thickness of the base, foam, and racetrack.



Attaching the Racetrack and Padded Rail


Attaching the Table Legs – Oval Poker Table

Before putting the table all together, you will want to attach the table legs. Lay the legs out on the bottom of the base so that there is about two inches between the bottoms of each leg.














Measure the width of the base and secure your legs to the middle of the base with the hardware provided with the table legs.


Test out the new legs by turning the table over and standing it up. You should have a sturdy base to build that table upon. There are many options for table legs, but because I wanted to store the table when not in use I went with the folding legs. Get creative if you are going to be using your table as and everyday piece of furniture.


Attaching the Playing Surface


Covering the Playing Surface – Oval Poker Table



The next process can be a messy one so I suggest doing it in the yard. Lay the playing surface on the ground. Make sure that you lie it down with the correct side up because this piece will have to fit back together with the racetrack. Line up the 1/4″ foam so that it will completely cover the playing surface.









Next, use the 3M adhesive to adhere the two pieces. I attached about 2 feet at a time. Do not be shy with the adhesive. You don’t want thesepieces to come apart later.











Once the clue has dried (about 10 minutes), take a razor blade and cut off the excess foam. It is important that you make a smooth cut that is flush with the wood. Do not leave any excess.









I chose to do the next step indoors to protect the suited speed cloth. Lay the playing surface on top of the suited speed cloth. Note that the first picture is simply showing materials used. You will want to flip both pieces over before beginning. Much like you did for the padded rail, you will want to cut large triangles around the rounded part of theplaying surface. This will allow you to pull the cloth more easily and decrease bunching.














Begin to staple on one of the straight-aways and work your way around. Flip the board over occasionally to make sure that there are no wrinkles and that the pattern on the clothis lined up properly. Make sure that you are pulling the cloth very tight as you staple around the edges. The last thing you want is a wrinkle or loose area on your playing surface. Once you are done you should have a beautiful playing surface where you will hopefully make a fortune.☺




Attaching the Table Legs


Staining the Racetrack – Oval Poker Table

If you are going to build the poker table as a weekend project I would definitely stain the racetrack on the first day/night. The Minwax stain suggests allowing at least 8 hours to dry.


First, you should sand down the birch racetrack until the surface is silky smooth. The sheets that I usually buy are pretty darn good and don’t require much sanding.














Next, you will want to clean up your shop or garage. Get rid of all that sawdust from earlier. If you don’t have a clean workspace, you’ll likely wake up to messy stain.


Use a paintbrush to apply the stain. Feel free to be very liberal with the stain, but make sure that you are applying it with the grain of the wood. Continue to go with the grain even on the turns. Always keep a wet edge and work your way around the entire surface. Be conscience of any area that may have a pool of stain sitting on it. We are looking for a very even coat. I used the Minwax Cherry color stain on this table and it looks great. After about 5 minutes take towel and wipe any excess off.


After the staining is complete let the racetrack sit overnight. I only used one coat and was very happy with the color.














At this point if you still have some energy, you can move onto page 18 while the racetrack and rail dry.
The next morning, if you have the stain color that you desire you will need to apply polyurethane to protect the wood and give it a nice finish. If not, re-stain and wait.


Again, make sure that you work area is free from dust before you begin. Use a brand new paintbrush that doesn’t shed. Use smooth strokes and spread the polyurethane evenly.


The polyurethane takes at least 4 hours to dry. You can put as many coats as you would like, but for this table I used 4 coats. Between coats you will want to VERY LIGHTLY sand the previous layer of poly. Use very fine sandpaper and use 1 or 2 VERY LIGHT strokes over the entire surface. Keep applying coats until you are happy with the finish.


Next: Covering the Rail


Covering the Rail – Oval Poker Table

This is arguably the toughest part of building the poker table. I would suggest using two people on this step. It will make it much easier and your rail will turn out much smoother.


The first step is to lay your foamed rail, upside-down, onto the back side of the whisper vinyl. The vinyl is 54” wide and will not need to be cut on the outer edges. However, the length may need to be trimmed up so that it is easier to work with.


Begin to work your way around the rail with the staple gun. I always start with a straight-away and then work myself around the oval. Make sure you are stapling the vinyl to the top of the rail lip rather than wrapping it all the way around the lip.


USE A TON OF STAPLES. I literally left left less than a ¼” between staples. I’m making it look very easy in the picture, but you need to really pull the vinyl tight to have a nice smooth rail. This is the part that can easily be botched for a beginner because they don’t spend the time to make sure it is tight. Flip the rail over every so often to make sure that you are looking good. The lip will eventually have to fit back over the racetrack.


When you get to the curves it’s ok to bunch up the excess vinyl as long as itbehind your staple, towards the center of the table. You will trim the vinyl later, so you won’t have anymore bunching.


Once the outer edge is stapled you will need to cut a large rectangle in the middle of the vinyl like the one shown in the picture. You don’t want to cut it too big though. If you do, you will be able to see the cuts once you wrap the vinyl around the inside of the rail.





Use your razorblade to cut long triangles on the inside of the rail. Once you get to the curve you will pull each individual triangle and staple it securely.















Lastly, you will need to work your way around the inside of the rail wityour stapler. Make sure you are stapling to the rail itself. If you weren’t pulling the vinyl tight before you should start now. It’s not too late to make this rail the envy of all of your friends. Flip the rail over everycouple of feet to check your progress. You can always undo the last foot or so if necessary. We are looking for clean lines and NO wrinkles. Hard work will pay off huge here. Trim off the excess vinyl and admire your new rail.


Covering the Playing Surface

Materials List – Oval Poker Table


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Step 1 – Choose Your Poker Table Cloth (all colors are correct size for this table)


Step 2 – You need ALL 3 products below. One pad of foam is for the table padding and the other is for the table railing. The vinyl is for the rail around the table.


Step 3 – Choose Your Cupholders


Step 4 – These items can be found at your local hardware store:
– 1 8’x4’ sheet of ¼” Pine – cheaper plywood can be substituted, but I would stay away from MDF.
– 1 8’x4’ sheet of ½” Birch – this will be the visible wood on the table, so make sure it’s nice. I like birch because it stains nicely and has a soft look.
– 1 8’x4’ sheet of ¾” Pine – again, cheaper plywood can be substituted, but I would stay away from MDF (a type of plywood).
– Sandpaper – fine and rough grade. I used an electric sander and was so glad that I did.
– 3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive
– Miniwax wood finish – I used cherry stain
– Miniwax fast drying polyurethane
– 8 clamps that can hold together 2 pieces of plywood (roughly ¾” thick) – these aren’t necessary but make things a heck of a lot easier.
– Elmer’s wood glue.
– Banquet Table Legs – these are sold by the pair and are in a flat white box. They have them at Home Depot for sure.
– 2 paintbrushes for the stain and the poly. I spent a little extra on the poly brush.
– 1 yardstick – found in the paint dept. of Home Depot
– 12 Finishing nails – ½”
– 12, ¾” wood screws
– 12, 1 ¾” wood screws
– 12, 1 ¼” wood screws


Tools Required
– Power Drill, although a couple of screwdrivers would work too
– Electric Sander, although sandpaper will work.
– Jigsaw – a router can also be used, but I find the jigsaw works perfectly and is more common around the everyday home.
– Tape measurer
– Razorblade
– Staple Gun

Next: Making the Cuts


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