Ultimate Guide to Great DIY Gaming Tables

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4025 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4025 Articles

Article Featured Image

FOLM62CIL6VC7BI.LARGE[Image from David Rickman’s Simple Dining Table Conversion]

There is definitely a huge resurgence of interest in boardgames, tabletop miniatures games, and role-playing games going on these days. I went to my local comic book and gaming store the other day, early evening, and the gaming areas were filled to capacity. A couple of D&D games had even spilled out into the aisles amongst the comic books. There must have been 50 people in the store. It was nuts.

As one gets serious about his or her gaming habit, the inevitable oohing and aching starts over gorgeous gaming tables as seen on such shows as Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop. But those tables are far from cheap (the “Minimalist” from Geek Chick costs between $3200-$4750). And hey, you’re a maker; it’s just a table, how hard can it be?

Cinematographer and gamer Webb Pickersgill decided to find out as he hunted down the best DIY gaming table projects and plans online and evaluated each. This is not, by far, all of the gaming table projects available online (there are hundreds), but this represents a decent survey of the different table types that people are making, different skill levels and costs involved, tables for different gaming types, etc. If you’re thinking about building a table, this is a great place to start.

Every listing offers specs for the table, special features, pros and cons of the build, and rates the DIY-ness of each project. Here is an example listing, for the Simple Gaming Table by Kristy GD

Pros:
What appealed to me about this table was that it was just a playing surface with no legs. It was more simple to make, and was easy to put up against a wall when not in use. The headliner foam with the velvet surface must be the perfect comfortable combo to play on.

Cons:
There is really nowhere to write. The soft surface would also unfortunately mean your pencil could easily go right through the paper when trying to write, so you would need clip boards or something else to help with writing. The fabric surface won’t remove easily if servicing is needed.

Specs:
Players: Up to 8
Size: 63″ x 31.5″
Legs: None (requires table to rest it on)

Features:
Stores away easily when not in use
Headliner foam and velvet surface
Elegant wood molding trim

DIY Resources:
8/10 – Nice photos, detailed explanation, and detailed parts list with links.

You can see all of the gaming table project entries in Webb’s Coolest DIY Gaming Tables article.

Have you built your own gaming table? If so, we’d love to hear about it and see pictures in the comments.