Scott Keen was kind enough to write a small article for our burgeoning board. He has a great forum himself, and we are happy to call him a friend. This will be part of our Articles once that section is running properly.
Dear Poker Enthusiasts,
My name is Scott Keen, I run the largest Internet discussion forum for people interested in building professional quality poker tables, on Scott's Poker Forums. With the help of the original plans from Jasen "Quads" from PCPotato.com, I've built 3 professional quality poker tables. I hope to impart some helpful tips to those looking to build their own poker table. It's extremely rewarding, and it will add a whole new level of enjoyment to your home poker game.
Use a good quality wood for your table and rail, with as little warp in the wood as possible. I use 3/4" birch plywood. After you cut out the wood for your table, be sure and put down several coats of polyurethane. This will help protect the wood from liquid spills soaking through and rotting the wood. After you've covered your table with foam, use a short-fiber velveteen for your playing surface. The velveteen should not catch the cards in one direction. A good velveteen will glide the cards in all directions.
One of the most frequently asked questions about building your own poker table is about the foam, which kind to use, and how thick. As you might expect, it's a personal preference. My first table was built with 1/4" closed cell foam on the table, and 1/2" high-density camera case foam on the rail. I tried variations, and the one I like the best is 1/2" medium-density foam on the table and 1/2" high-density foam on the rail. When cutting the foam, you'll make perfect factory-like cuts by using an electric carving knife from your kitchen. I kid you not!
Another question I'm asked about is how to get a wrinkle-free rail. The key is lots of pulling and tugging and lots of staples. It's hard work! You can ease some of the work by getting marine vinyl which stretches easily in all directions, versus cotton-backed vinyl which is very hard to stretch. A powerful contractor-grade staple gun or powered staple gun will make the job easier, and be sure to hammer the staples the rest of the way in when you're done stapling.
Take your time building the table and attaching the fabrics. The care and attention to detail you spend will show through in the final product. I hope you'll find building poker tables as enjoyable as I do.
Scott A. Keen
* You can find Jasen's original poker table plans at http://www.pcpotato.com/poker
and Scott's modified plans at http://www.scottkeen.com/poker
. Scott's Poker Forums is free to join and provides a place to ask questions and offer help to others with building poker tables. Visit Scott's Poker Forums at http://www.scottkeen.com/forum