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Fred Voorhees

Building my custom poker table Pt.3

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The round hole for the beverage holder would be routed out using a flush cutting bit. That meant that I had to "hog out" most of the wood first using a 1 " hole saw in my drill press and then cutting out near the circumference with a saber saw and leaving a minimal amount to route with the bit.

Being that my flush cutting bit is a "bottom bearing" style, I actually needed to route the holes with the jig face down. No problem though. The scraps holding the segment in place were the same thickness and they provided a nice support for the router base.

To route out the recess for the change and poker chips, it meant flipping the jig over and using a " up-cutting spiral bit. This helped in making a smooth bottom to the recess and helped in clearing the resulting debris. The base plate on my router was not wide enough to ensure that it wouldn't slip into the recess and gouge out the wood deeper than I needed. I had to fab up a wider plate for this purpose and " luan ply scrap that was lying around fit the bill.

In a moment of not paying attention, I nicked the side of my jig when I was raising the router out of the jig and it needed to be repaired since the nick would cause the router to transfer the mistake to the recess that I was routing out. Some five minute epoxy came to my rescue.

While the epoxy set up, I began to do some of the initial sanding of the segments. It was beginning to look like something!

A rabbiting bit made quick work of adding a recess that the plastic beverage holder insert would sit in-between the two laminations.

While I investigated just how I was going to add a bottom to the plastic beverage/can holders, I decided to move on and begin to fabricate the part of the table that would support the playing surface. Concise measuring and figuring needed to be done before marking out the 5 foot square sheet of Baltic birch plywood. I didn't need to make a mistake laying this out as this is a $61 sheet of plywood and I didn't want to have to buy another one. The depth of the slight reveal around the perimeter of the playing surface - the thickness of the small trim that would trim out the bottom of the playing surface and the remaining stock after the dado was milled into the apron pieces all needed to be figured into the equation to finally figure out the full width of the eight sided plywood piece. As it turned out, the piece needed to be 2 " less in diameter that the overall width of the playing surface. I turned back to my original cardboard segment pieces and trimmed 1 3/8" from the outside of the segment and used that to check the layout on the plywood. It checked and I was good to go. I can't stress enough the need to check and recheck your figures before cutting. Once it's cut, it's a done deal.

After some experimentation, I found that I could easily cut and fabricate the holder bottoms from Lexan. Cutting was done on the bandsaw and final sizing was accomplished at a disk sander mounted on my lathe. A simple jig was used to cut the holders down to the depth that I needed and then a special Super Glue for plastics was utilized and the bottoms were secured permanently!