Building a game table. Part one

I got my start much in the same way many other gamers did. A couple blisters of miniatures, a handful of dice, a basic grasp of the rules and some eager friends. We played on kitchen tables with books and soda cans for terrain then eventually graduated to an unfinished plywood board resting on folding card tables or saw horses with some half decent scratch built terrain. As my interest grew and skills improved, I became a better painter, better gamer and better terrain maker. I never managed to create a nice table to play on. It was still just plywood placed on folding tables. It was easy to store and didn’t take up valuable space in the small places I usually lived in.

A few years ago I got married and moved into my first grown up house. In the past I lived in various houses shared with housemates that always doubled as a place for bands to crash when on tour. Now I live in a house that has a garage that isn’t full of other peoples amps and drums. Luckily the garage is large enough for a couple tables so folding tables were put in, plywood table tops were placed on top and regular gaming started happening at my house. One day while hanging out after gaming, Ben and I got to talking about the garage, our gaming group, terrain and painting. He suggested we should build a table. We already have two tables I told him but what he said sunk in about one second after I said that. We should build a nice table, something permanent, something to be proud of. He was right. We immediately began brainstorming, drawing sketches and making plans. We had rough measurements and planned to meet up later in the week to get some lumber to start the project.

Later that same evening I had remembered bookmarking a web page years ago that had plans for a game table in case I ever had a garage with enough room for a permanent table. I pulled up the page in browser and was disappointed. Server not found. The domain,, no longer existed. Luckily I was able to find an archived copy via the Internet Wayback Machine. I grabbed the plans, made a shopping list and went to Home Depot a few times over the next two weeks. I don’t have a truck so it took multiple trips to get all the lumber, hardware and other supplies needed.

pile of lumber

The initial lumber pile that would eventually become a gaming table

Coming in part two: Sawing, sanding and swearing.

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About Chris Kohler

Chris Kohler lives in Chula Vista, California. He discovered both hardcore and gaming around the same time in the early 80s and it has been downhill ever since. He currently only plays Warhammer Fantasy but has played most Games Workshop games, Confrontation and D&D heavily in the past. He played in a few bands that did not go far in the mid 90s and is often seen lecturing younger hardcore kids on how much better everything was before '85.