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If you like playing table-top games, cards with friends, or doing puzzles, this Gaming Table gives you the ability to store them inside a great looking table. This simple-to-build table allows you to keep a campaign game going in secret while working or eating on the upper surface. We have digital plans available so you can make one too!

  1. Build the Table Base
  2. Assemble the Top
  3. Add LED Lighting

1. Build the Table Base

To fit the most people at a table comfortably, we designed the Gaming Table with a trestle table base. A trestle table has two support uprights inset from the outer bounds of the table top. The two supports are joined together in our case by a 2×4 stringer with little walls. This base is very robust and made from laminated 4×4 oak beams purchased from the home center. The Gaming Table base not only looks nice and can support the table top, it acts as the storage compartment for the three table top panels we’ll make later.

2. Assemble the Top

Now that the base is assembled and painted black, we can create the actual table top and set the pieces on top of the base. The table top is made of two play surfaces, a lower surface covered by upper panels. The lower surface is a single piece of plywood with rounded corners. On top of this lower surface, we made a ribbed frame with a rectangular arena in the middle. This frame is glued and screwed to the lower surface from underneath with 1 1/4″ screws. At this point, it is best to start edge banding all the exposed plies. Before starting the top, make sure to drill an access hole in one of the wall faces. This way, you can push up on the top panels to remove them.

The top surface is made from a sheet of plywood with a rectangle cut out of the center. This space will fit over the lower arena opening, but overlap the walls by a little bit. Make sure you center it in the space before gluing the top to the support walls. While you can use regular edge banding for the top surface, I chose plastic T-Molding. It is more durable over time and matches the base’s black color really nice. For the center covering panels, I cut three pieces of plywood and made sure the pieces were small enough to accept a 1/4″ piece of hardwood banding around the outsides. These panels will be handled a lot, so the banding is necessary to protect all the surfaces. Lastly, drop the panels into the center hole and trim until you have a nice fit.

3. Add LED Lighting

What would a gaming table be without some cool lighting? Because we are using this table for campaign games like Dungeons & Dragons, I wanted to be able to control some lights assigned to each player. This way, the Dungeon Master can illuminate different players when it is their turn to battle. I also wanted the RGB LED strip to animate and look like fire or lightning. Using an Arduino Uno and a digital button pad, I copied some basic LED animation code and assigned them to specific buttons. Once the code worked, I soldered the light strip together and cut down some aluminum diffusion channel to place on the lower surface.

At this point, the Hidden Gaming Table was all finished and ready to accept the images from our overhead projector. Josh rigged up a mirror mount to move the projector’s wall image to a straight down one. This way, we can bluetooth maps, or movies, or anything to the game table. You can also put a TV in the space, I think it should fit a 65″ tv to max out the lower surface, but check the dimensions. Or you can roll out regular maps or puzzles, it’s super versatile.

Bunch of Happy Nerds!

I’m so happy that we have a place to play games in the office now. Everyone here at ILTMS likes playing D&D, X-Wing, and cards from time to time. We now have a space that can facilitate all of that while still be a really nice looking conference or dining table. We would love for you to make one of these simple-to-build tables so you can play more games with your friends and family. We’ve got some really beautiful and easy to follow digital plans available so you can make one for yourself. We want to encourage you to make things, even if you don’t have a lot of tools, you can have the nice things you want.

Get The Build Plans!