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Jigsaw Puzzle Table

To build a rectangle poker table—or rather, a table top — that can be stored on its side when not in use one simply needs to follow the instructions below.

The materials required include MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), ply, wood screws, Wattyl Interior Stain and Wattyl Estapol Gloss (Clear Lacquer) for an exposed wooden “beer rail,” staples, spray adhesive, PVA wood glue (from the hardware store); white vinyl, length blue felt (from the fabric store), foam, and foam EVA (from the foam supplier). The total cost of materials would be about $210. The tools required include a jigsaw (for shaping wood), drill (one-time use, for pilot hole for jigsaw blade), orbital sander or sandpaper (to correct the jigsaw-handling inadequacy), staple gun (one for every 1,000 staples), and a helper.

Start with a top sheet of plywood if a “beer rail” is required; otherwise, use two sheets of MDF to mark out and cut the main shape of the table or table top (use an electric kitchen knife, $20). Begin with a 1,200mm-wide sheet — to come in 600mm from the side and the ends — to find the midpoint of the oval arc. Screw in a broom handle there and draw against the firm edge. Cut the curves off and place the top “template” over the bottom sheet of MDF. Trace around the table to make the pieces fit evenly. Now, cut the four corners off the bottom sheet, leaving a 700mm wide felt-covered playing area. Move it to the side, and cut once with the jigsaw to separate the padded rail section.

Stain the ply and spray some adhesive to the back of the EVA foam and to the plywood. Trim the edges off (use Stanley knife). Lay out the felt, flip over the board, and staple it on tight (use an electric stapler), cutting off any excess felt. Now, over-cut the two inches of foam by one inch to make a rounded edge off the outside edge. Glue the foam down with PVA wood glue to the padded rail section of wood. Sand before and after the first coat of lacquer. Staple on either side of the foam and seal the ends. Turn over the inside of the rail, apply it to the main table section, and staple it. Pull the vinyl tight and underneath the table, and ask the helper to staple from the bottom. Drop (or screw) the felt section straight into the middle. The poker table is complete.

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