For the experienced woodworker, this project can be done over a weekend. But for the average person it might take a little longer.
This is more of a paced project. It’s all good cause we’ll have a ton of fun building it. I mean who wouldn’t want to have a custom built poker table in their Man Cave ;-)
Ok so on with the tutorial.
(Disclaimer: This poker table, pics, and instructions were built and written by peterod. Some modifications and corrections were made to the instructions)
How to Build an Octagon Poker Table: The Octagon Ring
Most poker tables you find for retail sale come in two size’s, 48 inches and 54 inches.
The most common is a 48″ Octagon. This table you can find in any store or online outlet from low to fair price. Most are made of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and are for the most part cheap in cost to build and sold at a high markup price.
The other size you can find is a 54″. This of course is best in size when playing with a full table.
Just about any retailer will tell you that the table is made of Oak but what they won’t tell you is that the Oak is only a veneer. Most of these tables are not made of 100% oak.
We are doing it all here guys, pedestal included.
Keep in mind that some tools are needed to do this project and if you don’t have it then you will need to buy it or rent it.
Lets get started…
Lay out the 1×8 oak and cut the 6′ pieces in half so you have eight 3′ pieces. These are going to be made into your Octagon ring.
We will be cutting a 22.5 angle on one end. But before you do that check the piece for any bow, crown or cupping.
As you lay out the Octagon all your cupping if any should face down. Use your carpenter square to check for this. By the way, as you go along with this keep a short block with 120 sandpaper around so you can clean up your cuts.
QUICK NOTE: Do not make heavy pencil marks on your oak. Try to make all marks with the grain if you can. Pencil lead is hard to remove when applied hard to wood.
Cut your 22.5 angle and measure 22″ on the inside (The Short Point) then cut 22.5 angle on the other side.
Use the table saw to make your cuts for the chip holder. I lay the piece on the table saw and turn the blade up into the wood. Measure 1″ up from the inside and 4-1/2″ from cut to cut. Keep at least 1-1/2″ from the end of the angle.
Use a jig saw to do the other two cuts and clean up the opening. I made my opening 4-1/2″x14″. You should have 1-3/4″ on the outside (The Long Point) of the board.
Position for your cup holder using a 3″ hole saw drill for your cup holder. If you don’t have a 3″ hole saw use what you have and open it up with your router.
After you have done the first one use it as a template to make make all the other pieces and much care to get the 22″ inside measurement right on.
Most home made Octagon tables on the web have a drop down skirt. What I did was a Bull Nose profile.
Get out your 1×6 oak stock and cut eight 3′ pieces. Go to the table saw and rip 1″ off the board. The 1″ rip will be your bull nose and the rest of the board will be your skirt. Put the skirt pieces aside as you rip all eight. Flip your Octagon side over so the cup holder is on your left and glue and clamp the 1″ rip to the long end.
Make sure you have the clean side of the rip facing out. Make all eight side to look the same.
Using the compound saw trim off the ends of the glued on bull nose.
Oh yea, make sure the glue has dry over night. Do one and use it as a template for all the others.
So by now you have all you eight sides ready to go. Time to break out the Joiner and your #10 biscuits.
We will be adding two biscuits per joint. See the picture for biscuit placement. From front side mark it at 2-1/2″ and 6″ and make your cuts with your joiner on all ends. Lay out all the sides on the floor and check for fit. Get ready to glue the sides together.
You should have a nice clean surface where to clamp your sides. See the picture for clamping position and layout.
Notice that I have add a piece of paper towel under the joint so that the side would not get glued to the bench. Lot’s of glue here guys and do not bang in the biscuits. You should only have to press it in with your thumb.
Do four sets to start and let dry over night. If you are short on clamps this will take a few night to complete. Wipe off any glue that is press out the joints as you go along.
From four we go to two. Just a flip and glue and a set and let dry over night again.
At long last we get to joining the full Octagon together. You would need to do this on your work bench or the floor. Bench is better.
Once this has dry you will be able to move it around but always treat it like a new born baby. Use a short block like in the picture to stop the slide of the joint.
Join the two ends the same way. Keep a clamp on all the joints over night.
Took me 3 days to get to this point so if you are with me you are doing well.
Next step we bring out the router and palm sander with 120 sandpaper.
I used a 3/8 quarter round router bit to round off the top and bottom of the bull nose. You can also go with a 3/4 round bit for a thinner looking bull nose. You also need to sand the bottom side of the bull nose before we attach the skirt.
Notice how I added some blocking to keep the router level as I go along.
Sand the edge of the bull nose and flip over and do the top bull nose. As you sand you could see where some joints have cracks or openings. Push some glue into the space with your finger and sand over the space. Dust will fill the joint and it will look great.
That’s all for today.
In the next phase we’ll be covering Building and Attaching The Octagon Skirt.