Measuring and Cutting The Wood to Build a Lighted Poker Table
To begin making your poker table with lights, you will need all of the basics. Pencil, measureing tape, and your jig saw, along with a length of string or light chain, a nail or screw, and three sheets of 8×4 3/4″ plywood. To start, we will mark all three sheets of plywood the exact same way and when they’re cut, you will have three identical ovals. First, measure 24″ from each end and make a mark in both places. Next, you will find the center of the sheet by measuring 24″ in from each side and marking. Where these marks meet is where you will drive in a nail or screw that will serve as the axis for marking all of your arcs from here on out.
Attach one end of your string or chain to the nail and the other end to your pencil making sure that the length between in 24″. To test this, your pencil should make a perfect arc and reach the end and both sides of the sheet perfectly. When you have this achieved, go ahead and draw those arcs in by following your pencil along the path provided by the string (Figure 1-1). Do this to all three sheets.
With your lines marked, you can cut along the arcs with your jigsaw. This will give you three identical ovals that we will now use to create different sections of your lighted poker table.
One sheet 1, using the same axis point (nail) shorten your string to 19.5″ and draw similar arcs to the ones drawn in the previous step. Next you will measure 4.5″ from the edge of the straight sides and draw a line. This line should connect the arcs on both sides giving you a perfect 4.5″ line drawn all the way around the wood. When you have completed this, go ahead and cut on the line. The outer ring will be used as the top of your padded rail (Figure 1-2). We will later call this C.
On your second sheet, you will repeat the previous step using measurements of 22″ for the string and 2″ from the straight edge. This will give you a perfect 2″ ring around the outside that will be used as the bottom of your rail (B) and the inner oval will be used as your playing surface (A). Figure 1-3
On your final sheet of wood you will repeat the process using a string length of 21″ and a measurement of 3″ from the edge. The inner oval (E) will be used as the base of your poker table and the outer ring (D) will be the riser that your rope lights will mount to (Figure 1-4).
This completes all of the cutting you will have to do to make a lighted poker table. You should now have 5 usable pieces of wood and one oval that is scrap (Figure 1-5).
Now put away your power tools. It’s time for a little finesse. It’s time to learn how to upholster a poker table. Move on to Step Three – Upholstering the Playing Surface.