Transforming into a dining table isn’t the only trick the game table in issue 270 has up its sleeve. The three accessories you see above can attach to the table’s sides by sliding into the slots. Alongside those, we included a key to help pull out the leaves of the table.
Table Attachments. Starting at the left in the photos above is an attachment for the at-home sommelier: a wine glass holder. In the middle is an accessory with a tray for dice, chips, or game pieces, along with a slot for holding cards. On the right is one with a similar design, but with an added spot for a cup. Each of these attachments tightens into the sides of the table. As you can see in the illustration below, a pair of hex bolts pass through the mounting block and thread into knobs. The heads of the hex bolts enter the slot through the centered hole and the knobs tighten the mounting blocks against the table, making for easy adding, moving, and removing.
Wine Glass Holder. Of the three table accessories, the wine glass holder is the simplest, and if you intend to make all three, it’s a good place to start. As you can see below, it consists of two pieces aside from the hardware: the mounting block and the glass holder.
After cutting the two pieces to size, I started with the wine holder. The first task was making the dado across the back (detail ‘a’). I made this at the table saw, sizing it to fit the mounting block’s thickness.
With that in place, I moved onto the cutout for the glass (detail ‘b’). I used a hole saw at the drill press to remove most of the waste, but I wanted a cleaner final edge than a hole saw could offer.
For this, I turned to the router table. I cut a piece of hardboard to the same size as the holder, then drilled the 3" hole so it could be used as a template. After taping it to the workpiece with double-sided tape, I used a flush trim bit to rout the edges of the cutout.
For the slot that allows the stems to pass through, I first went to the band saw to rough-out the slot. From there, I returned to the router table and used a 1⁄2 straight bit to clean the slot. After setting the fence so the bit was centered on the piece, a single pass should do the job. Lastly, I swapped out my straight bit for a chamfer bit to create the chamfered edges shown in detail ‘b’.
Now comes the mounting block. Start off by setting up a fence and a stop at the drill press. This will ensure the holes for the hex bolts are even on both sides. Once those holes are in place, round off the corners of both pieces (main illustration and detail ‘b’). After sanding these pieces and gluing the attachment together, all it needs is some finish.
Dice & Card Holder
The next accessory as a similar overall structure to the wine glass holder, but with a few different operations to create the tray. After sizing the pieces, I began once again at the table saw to make the rabbet in the tray piece. Once that was finished, I swapped out the dado stack for a thin-kerf blade to cut the slot for the cards (detail ‘b’).
Next on the docket is the recessed area of the tray. I began by making a hardboard template so the waste could be routed away. Before doing any template routing however, I wanted to take care of the center of the tray. Using a spiral upcut bit and plunge router, I routed out most of waste, leaving 3⁄8" of waste around the edges.
Now for the template. Make it according to detail ‘a’ below. You’ll be using a 3⁄8" core box bit, so if you have don’t have one with a bearing, be sure to account for the bushing you’ll use when making the template. Once the template’s finished, tape it onto the tray piece. Rout the remaining material out with the core box bit.
For the mounting block, use the same set up at the drill press as before with a fence and stop to keep the holes for the hex bolts aligned. To wrap up these parts, round off their corners (main illustration and detail ‘a’). After sanding and gluing up the pieces. the dice and card holder will be ready for finish.
Cards, Dice, & A Cup
The final accessory is nearly the same as the previous one, but with one vital addition: a place to rest your drink. The pieces of course will be a little larger, but otherwise the steps are the same: cut the rabbet and the slot for the cards, then use a hardboard template to help you rout the tray. You can even drill the holes in the mounting block, but don’t round off the corners quite yet.
To make the cup recess, I used a straight bit and a guide bushing with a plunge router and hardboard template. I sized the template according to detail ‘b’ below (accounting for the bushing I’d use). After taping it on, I used the template to guide me while I routed the outside of the recess. I then routed the waste from the middle freehand, with the template supporting the router base.
Once that was done, I rounded the corners, sanded the pieces down, and glued them up. After drying, I finished them as well.
You can make a set of these to suit whoever you play with most or make a few to keep on hand for whoever happens by. You could even use these as a jumping-off point for your own ideas — as long as you have a mounting block with the right hardware, it’ll work with the game table.
While tight-fitting leaves make for a great looking table, they’re not the easiest to remove. The last accessory for the game table is the leaf key you see above. This is a great use for any leftover scrap wood. After sizing the piece, Head to the router table to round over the end of the piece (main illustration and detail ‘a’). After rounding both sides of the end, head to the band saw. Make a relief cut right behind the rounded end, then meet it with a long, tapering cut from the opposite side.