Cutting The Wood to Make a Round Poker Table

Measuring and Cutting the Wood for a Round Poker Table

Tools and Materials Used in this Step

During this phase of making a round poker table, the only materials we will need is one sheet of 4′ x 8′ plywood.  You could also use MDF, OSB, or any other type of wood as the entire thing will be upholstered.  Either way, you will need one sheet and it should be 3/4″ in thickness.

As far as tools go in this phase, you will need:

  • Jig Saw
  • Drill
  • Tape Measure
  • One Screw or Nail
  • String
  • Pencil

Measuring, Marking, and Cutting

The first cut will be to cut your plywood in half giving you two perfect 4′ x 4′ squares.  Do this by measuring 48″ from each side and marking the wood (Figure 1-1).  Connect the dots with a straight edge and run your saw along the line.

Measuring to build a round poker table

This would obviously be an easier cut with a circular saw and, if you have one, I highly recommend you use it.  When done, this will give you two identical square sheets.  We will call them A and B (Figure 1-2).

Initial cut in making a 4 foot round poker table

With our two identical sheets of wood, its time to mark off the center of each piece.  To accomplish this you will measure 24″ from one side and make a line near where you believe the center is.  Next you need to measure 24″ from the top and mark another line.  Your two lines should intersect making an X.  This X is the center of your wood (Figure 1-3).  Repeat this step on both sheet A and sheet B

Once you have both sheets marked, you can drive a screw, or pound a nail, partially into the center of that X.  Next you will attach one end of a string to that screw.  The other end will attach to a pencil.  The string should measure 24″ and reach all 4 edges equally.  You will use this pencil and string to follow an arc all the way around the wood on both sheets A and B creating two perfect circles Figure (1-4).

Drawing arcs for round poker table

You are now free to cut along those lines and create two identical 4′ x 4′ circles.  One of these will become your padded rail and the other will become the playing surface of your round poker table.  Depending on the depth of your saw, you may find it easier to clamp the two pieces together and cut them both at once.

Piece A will become the playing surface.  The outer 2″ however will become the base of your padded rail.  This means that we need to cut a 2″ ring off of the outside of A.  To accomplish this, all you have to do is shorten your string from 24 to 22″ and draw anothe arc around the entire circle (Figure 1-5).  The same will be done for B but this outer ring will become the top of our padded rail and will be 4.5″ wide.  The same technique of shortening the string should be used but this time shorten it to 19.5″ giving you a 4.5″ ring around the outside of B (Figure 1-6).

Cutting the top and bottom of the padded rail

Now you will have to cut, again with your jig saw, around the lines.  Keep in mind that you will be using both the inner circle and the outer ring of both pieces.  That means that you have to be careful with your cuts.  To get your jig saw started you will need to drill a hole in the wood to fit your blade in.  Then just follow the line on both pieces.  This will give you a large circle (A), a smaller circle (B), a thin ring (C), and a thick ring (D).  All can be seen in Figure 1-7 below.

All wood cut for 4 foot table

Now it’s time to set the power tools aside and start making all this wood look like a poker table.  If you’re having any trouble following these round poker table plans, fear not.  Things should begin to clarify when we move onto Step Three – Making the Playing Surface.