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Fred Voorhees

Building my custom poker table Pt.5

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Clamped to the tabletop, the jig allowed the router to simply be pulled through the tabletop's surface and the result was a nice, crisp " recess cut right down the middle of the joint.

The walnut inlay was applied and when dry, sanded down flush with the playing surface and then the final milling was done which included a slight "round-over" of the inner edge and a nice chamfer of the outer edge. Some final sanding was pretty much all that needed to be done to this particular piece before the finish was to be applied.

I fabbed up some cove-style trim to dress up the aprons. This would dress out the underside of the tabletop and give it a nice appearance.

Some final sanding of the three pieces making up the table and a general "going-over" led to the final step before applying the finish. A half sheet of " plywood provided the substrate for attaching the felt playing surface to. I had ordered the exact felt that was used on my pool table so that the pieces of furniture would match. I wanted to use something under this felt though, to provide just a little more softness to the playing surface. I ended up using some cheaper, off the shelf felt for an underlayment. I had originally wanted to wrap this underlayment around the edges of the plywood, but I had cut the plywood to a closer tolerance than would allow that, so I trimmed it even with the top edge of the ply.

With the base felt in place, the good stuff was stapled and stretched onto the playing surface and wrapped around to the bottom of the plywood and neatly stapled in place.

After the step of applying the finish ( Waterlox tung oil Marine sealer and high gloss finish for those in the know) it was on to the final steps before enjoying the first game of poker. The pieces were moved into the bar room and the pedestal assembly was turned over onto the bottom of the tabletop subsurface and attached using square drive screws from the McFeeleys catalog.

The felt covered playing surface was then attached to the oak and walnut inlay tabletop surround, again using square drive scews from McFeeleys. These screws are head and shoulders above anything you can buy from any of the "big box" places!

And finally, it was the moment of truth! The playing surface was set atop the table assembly and wow - it looked great. I had enough felt left over from the pool table job, as well as covering the poker table surface, to cut out pieces to place into the eight coin/chip recesses around the playing surface and that really added to the finished look I think. All that we need to do now is find some suitable chairs to place around the table. Man, has this been a satisfying project! It has to rank right up there as one of my proudest achievements.