BACKGROUND
I received a foldable felt poker table top for Christmas. Since we didn't really have a proper table to place this on, I decided to make my own octagon shaped table that would have a recessed octagon center for the foldable felt table top to drop into.
We also didn't have the room to have this table out full time. Which means we needed to make the legs collapse like a banquet table so we could store it in our basement and lay it up against a wall when not in use.

SUPPLIES
- Two 4'X8' sheets of 3/4" plywood
- One 4'x4' sheet of pegboard
- Two 8' long 1"x6" pine boards.
- Two 8' long 1"x4" pine boards.
- Two 4' long 1"x4" pine boards.
- 16 - 2" L-brackets (with screws)
- Eight 3" wide cup holders (purchased at Cope Marine Supply Store)
- Set of folding banquet table legs (purchased at Lowe's)

TOOLS
- Circular Saw
- Craftsman 6 in 1 Tool
- 1/3 sheet sander
- Cordless drill
- 3" hole saw bit
- Adjustable square
- Mini hack saw
- Clamps
- L Square
- Sandpaper (150 grit, 220 grit)
- 4" & 2" Paintbrushes

PROCESS
1) I took my foldable felt tabletop (which is a 4' x 4' octagon) and I placed it on top of my 4' x 4' pegboard with four of the flat sides flush against the four sides of the pegboard.
I then traced the angled edges of the felt top onto the pegboard so I was sure to get an identical size.
I used a circular saw to cut along the traced lines on the pegboard and cut off the edges of the pegboard to create an identical shaped octagon as the felt table top and will be essential in the making of the rest of the table.

2) I took the pegboard and placed it on one of my 4' x 8' sheets of plywood so exactly half of it was on the plywood and half was off. I did it this way because Lowe's only sells plywood in 4' x 8' sheets, and my table is going to be 5' wide. I traced around the pegboard and then cut out the "half octagon" with my circular saw. I then did the same thing with the other sheet of 4' x 8' plywood so I now had two halves of the octagon which will be the backbone of my table.

3) I then took a piece of plywood leftover from the half-octagons and cut out a rectangular piece about 4' x 2'. I placed the two octagon halves together and screwed the rectangular piece perpendicular to the seam and intersecting it like a plus-sign. Then I cut two triangle pieces of plywood, big enough to screw in for more support along the parts of the seam that aren't covered by the rectangular piece.

4) Next, the table legs. I wasn't sure if I needed two or four legs for this table. So I bought a set of two and if I felt like it needed more support, I would go back and buy two more. As it turns out, two legs for this table is plenty. I placed the table legs where I thought it would give the most support while not interfering with anyone's knees under the table. I screwed the banquet table legs into the rectangular support plywood under the table. Now you can turn the table over and let it stand on it's legs as you work. However, you may want to place sawhorses under the ends other than the legs for more support while working. Which is what I did.

5) After flipping the table so it was on it's legs, I then grabbed my octagon pegboard again. Using a ruler I centered it on top of the plywood octagon. I had about 6" on each side of the pegboard after it was centered. Next I traced around the pegboard so I had a drawn inner octagon on the plywood. I drew a line from each corner of the pegboard straight out to the corners of the plywood.

6) Now it's time to use the router attachment to my Craftsman 6 in 1 tool to rout the edges of the plywood octagon. Using a 1/4" roundover bit, I slowly routed the edges. You have to go slow and do it a little at a time. Don't go the full 1/4" deep right away or you will splinter the plywood. Whittle away at it...it might take three or four passes.

7) If you have a power miter saw, that will make cutting the angles in this step so much easier. Adjusting my miter saw to 22.5 degrees, I started cutting my 1" x 6" boards at 24 1/8" long from far point to far point. These will be the "track" around the felt octagon. After cutting the first board, I placed it on the table against one side of the octagon pegboard and then pulled it back about 1/16" (so the felt top will certainly fit and allow for a little play so it can be easily removed) and screwed it from underneath by using five, 1" wood screws. This should leave about a 1/2" edge (or slightly less) of plywood exposed...which was routed in the previous step. Measure exactly how far from the corner of the plywood that the corner of the 1" x 6" board is. Then I measured in that far on every corner of the plywood (along the inner octagon corner to outer octagon corner lines I drew earlier), which ended up being about 1/2". Each board should be 24 1/8" long, but to allow for ever so slight miscuts, I laid down each board right after I cut it and measured how long the next board should be so I could compensate should I have cut the previous board 1/32 of an inch too short or long. If so, I would just cut the next board that much longer or shorter so it would be a perfect fit.

8) Next I routed the edges of the completed octagon track of 1" x 6" boards with a decorative router bit. Again, I took it slow. Three or four shallow passes so it didn't splinter.

9) Next I drilled the holes for the cupholders. Yes, the foldable felt tabletop has built in cupholders, but they are so shallow that you will almost certainly have someone spill their beer as those cupholders are only about 1/2" deep. I wanted deeper cupholders that won't allow a beer to spill should someone bump it. I used my 3" hole saw because that is how wide the cupholders were that I bought. If you have an air compressor, it will come in handy to blow the sawdust out of the hole you are drilling as the sawdust piles up quickly inside the hole and dramatically slows down the drilling process. So three or four times during each hole, I had to blow the sawdust out and clean the wood out of the teeth of the hole saw. It took a little while since you are cutting through 1 1/2 inches of wood (the 3/4" board and the 3/4" plywood beneath). I positioned mine on the left since most chip action is with the right hand, so it wouldn't get in the way as much. I also made sure I didn't drill the cup hole too close to the outer edge because I am adding a recessed wood skirting underneath the table edge in the next
step.

10) The skirting uses the 1" x 4" pine boards. Again I set my miter saw to 22.5 degrees and cut the first board 24 1/8" long. Using my L Square, I inset the skirting 3/4" from the edge on the underside of the table and attached it with two, 2" L-brackets. I then measured over the next corner and cut the next board that length. I applied wood glue to the end of the first board and then clamped the 2nd board into position, butting up against the first board's glued end and attached the L brackets. If you will notice, one bracket is long than the other in the picture. Lowe's didn't have enough 2" L brakets, so I ended up buying eight 1 1/2" brackets as well...they did just fine.


11) Next came the sanding. A lot of sanding. I used my 1/3 sheet sander to do most of the sanding with 150 grit sandpaper. And I used foam padded sanding sheets to do the routed edges. After sanding I blew off the sawdust with an air compressor and wiped the areas to be stained with a damp rag.

12) Staining. I applied a coat of stain, let it sit for 20 minutes or so and then wiped off the excess with a dry rag. A few hours later I restained it and waited 30 minutes before wiping off the excess this time.

13) Varnish. After the stain had dried overnight, I applied the first coat of polyurethane. Five hours later I lightly sanded the varnish with 220 grit sandpaper, wiped down the surface with a damp cloth and applied another thick, even coat of varnish. The next day it was dry and I had decided it looked plenty thick and no more coats were needed. Mineral Spirits (paint thinner) was used to clean the brushes and hands.

14) The last step is to place the octagon pegboard inside the center recessed area and place the foldable felt poker top on top of the pegboard so the felt table top is almost flush (I wanted it a hair higher than the track).

15) I also attached two handles underneath so it would be easier to move, because this table isn't light.

16) And to top it all off, before I applied the stain and varnish, I used my 6 in 1 tool to sign my name and date this project.

17) Project finshed. Admire project. Play cards.

UPDATE!!!
-- After the first night of using the foldable felt table top, the green felt was balling up and was all over the floor, our clothes, in our hair...everywhere...and the tabletop was ruined. The company I got it from said they had a batch of table tops that did that and offered us money back. I took the money back and used it to buy some dark green microsuede and resurfaced the foldable table top. It looks better than it did before! All's well that ends well! However, the table top is no longer foldable or removable...which is fine by me...no creases in the table makes for a better playing surface.

UPDATE #2
-- After some use, the microsuede has been replaced.  It was not a good surface to slide cards and chips.  The surface grabbed the cards instead of letting them glide across the table.  I replaced it with a slicker, stretchier fabric that works great and is extremely durable.  The stretchiness of the fabric allowed me to pull it tight and staple it under the drop in foldable table top so it doesn't move or wrinkle when raking chips.

poker table

poker table

DSCF1453

DSCF1449

DSCF1454

DSCF1440

DSCF1433

DSCF1450

DSCF1447

DSCF1446

DSCF1438

DSCF1460

poker table

DSCF1434