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Upholstering the Padded Railing

Upholstering the Rail on a Racetrack Poker Table

For this step in how to build a racetrack poker table, you will need:
  • The assembled railing
  • Spray adhesive
  • 1″ foam
  • Vinyl
  • Staples and staple gun
  • Scissors
With a little bit of upholstery experience under your belt, now it’s time to attack the rail.  The first steps are similar to that of the playing surface in that you will first spray a light coat of adhesive on the top (the wider side) of the rail and attach the 1″ foam (Figure 4-1).

racetrack poker table rail plans

This is where we deviate from the playing surface a bit.  Rather than cutting off all of the extra foam, we are going to leave a 2-3″ over hang on the outside of the rail and a 1″ over hang of foam on the inside of the ring.  This will allow our rail to be padded on all sides and give you a very comfortable racetrack poker table when it’s all said and done.  Once you’ve cut the foam properly, lay the padded rail down on your vinyl with the padded side down (Figure 4-2).

upholstering a poker table railing

With the foam secured and trimmed, we are ready to start stretching the vinyl.  I recommend that you place a few staples at each end and make sure to pull tight.  Once you have a few staples in each of the 4 sides you can start to work on the arcs.  The best practice here is to start in the middle of the arc and pull tight and add a few staples.  Then you move to the exact opposite position on the other side of the table and repeat.  With the 8 extreme points stapled you can head down the long sides always pulling very tight before you staple. Now all that should be left is the arcs.  The easiest way to get a perfect wrinkle free rail is to continually bisect the arc.  What I mean is to find the center point between two staples in an open area and to pull tight and staple.  Repeat this process until there is nowhere left to be stapled. Before you cut anything off, check for wrinkles or looseness of any kind and don’t be afraid to add more staples.  You will likely end up with your staples end to end all the way around the table when you’re finished.  If you’re happy with your padded railing, you can cut off the excess vinyl (Figure 4-3). To upholster the inner edge of the padded rail, you will first cut the vinyl lengthwise down the center of the rail.  Then you will cut a star pattern in each end of the table making cuts that extend 2-3 inches from the actual wood (Figure 4-3).

Upholstering the inside of your poker table rail

Once you have the vinyl cut, its very easy to upholster the long sides of the table and that should be done first.  All you have to do is fold the vinyl back and staple it.  Now onto the insides of the arcs.  This area is best done the same way that the outside was upholstered. First you pull and staple the apex of the arc.  Also know as the very end of the rail.  Then you move to one side and pull and staple directly half way between the staples from the straight side and the end of the table.  Continue to repeat this until both arcs on both sides of the table are completed.  Cut off the extra vinyl and your rail is complete (Figure 4-4 and 4-5).

complete poker table rail

complete poker table rail cross section

You’re almost finished.  With all of the individual parts of your racetrack poker table completed, all thats left to do is Step Six – Assembling the Table.