Poker Players Alliance: Keep It Legal

The Craps Table

My good friend, Phil, and I worked for over a year building a craps table. Along the way we learned a lot about woodworking and buying a number of tools. Yeah, ok, we bought a lot of rum, too. :D Anyway, here’s a collection of pictures that chronicals our efforts.

Putting it all together.
After cutting out all the different pieces, we started with the easy things. Attatching the base for the chiprail was reasonably simple. The hard part up to here was cutting out all of the curved pieces for the corners. Phil tells me it was a right pain in the arse. He and his dad spent a day cutting them out since I don’t have a bandsaw yet.

Taking shape!
Finally, the walls and top rail are in place. We have the braces there so the walls remain plumb.

The Toast
Now most of the work is done. …yeah, right. We thought so at the time, but we were wrong. Still, its never too early to toast!

The Christening
Before we covered the table base with the felt or with stain, we signed the wood and christened it with 12yr old single malt Dramboui. YUM! Hope the table enjoyed it as much as we did.

Gotta play.
Ok, we couldn’t wait. The walls were up, the top rail was on, and it was beginning to look a lot like a craps table! We had to play.

Front-line winnahs!
A great start! Phil hits the 5 and passes. YAY! We won, …er… some fake chips. Oh, well. Its fun. :P

Surface preparation
Here you see Phil and I sanding and prepping the table base and drink rail. The original plan called for the base to be attatched to the legs, but we opted for just having it set on the legs for greater portability. You can see in the picture the quarter round trim we used as a seat for the legs so the table wouldn’t move side-to-side.

Staining
We finally get to staining and sealing with polyurethane. You see in the picture the underneath side of the table base. The top side (drink rail) has 5 coats of poly on it! Should be durable.

The chip rails.
These were what we were dreading for the entire project. Again the original plan called for something different, but we felt that if we were going to do this thing, we were going to do it right! The straight chip rails weren’t that difficult. We just ran them straight through the router a couple of times. The curved pieces took some more thought. We eventually made a curved jig so the piece could slide around on a radius and cut the chip rails. It worked out better than we’d thought it would.

Completed craps table, 3-4 view.
With the everything finally in place, we loaded up the table and drove it from my place up to Omaha. There we finished the staining, and the end product is what you see before you.

Completed craps table, inside view.
The one thing that we were still missing as of this photo was the mirror, but that’s been fixed since. I need to take a new picture. of the inside so you can see.

Completed craps table.

40 Comments

40 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The Gambling Geek » Blog Archive » Do-It Yourself Caskets? // Feb 13, 2006 at 9:51 am

    [...] As many of you already know, I enjoy woodworking. For those of you who didn’t already know this, check out the craps table Phil and I put together last year. Anyway, I was looking at the website Woodworking.com and ran across an amazing book. First of all, when I was looking at their plans, I noticed that they had a section for caskets! Apparently, there’s enough of a call for homemade caskets that they felt the need to have a special section. While looking there, I found this: Do-It-Yourself Coffins by Dale Power. I’m almost tempted to buy it, just to have it up on my bookshelf! [...]

  • 2 The Gambling Geek » Blog Archive » Big Brother is Watching // Oct 17, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    [...] http://www.the-patte…ugsBlog/?page_id=219 [...]

  • 3 Steve Rabon // May 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Just wondering where you guys got the plans for this wonderful craftsman work. I am looking to make one myself but do not want to pay over 1000 on just the plans. I hate when people are out to get rich. I mean it is only paper tensile right? I mean why pay 1000 for paper?

    Any help be gladly appreciated

  • 4 Doug // May 6, 2008 at 5:49 am

    We got the plans from e-bay a few years ago. It only cost us $20-30 bucks, and at the time it was worth it for us. However, I wouldn’t do it again. The plans were fine as a starting point, but we ended up making a lot of modifications ourself, including the chip rail. Its really a pretty straight forward build, and sometime we’re going to make another go of it with additional modifications to the design. My suggestion if you’re comfortable experimenting is to make a scale mock-up with 1/2 MDF. The hardest part of the construction is the corners, and there’s multiple methods. We used a stack of plywood pieces cut to the right radius and veneered the outside. The other method is to kerf-cut the inside, but that will leave a faceted outer surface.

  • 5 Steve Rabon // May 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks a bunch and take a look at these plans and see how they look and tell me if they are good enough. They are free to download.

    http://www.crapsfest.com/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=getit&lid=7

  • 6 Doug // May 11, 2008 at 5:36 am

    I’ve seen those plans, and there’s a lot in it that I like, but I’m not keen on using kerf-cut corners as they suggest. I’m also in favor of a side-wall construction that permits the walls to be removed and lifted off of the base so that the table felt can be changed if needs be. I do like how they did the top-rail. At any rate, any plan you decide on will have pros and cons, and in the end, you’ll find yourself probably making a lot of design changes on the fly.

  • 7 joe // Jun 4, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Can you provide me any additional information on how you constructed the chip rails. I am in the process of building my own table and I don’t know how to get the curved chip rail and also how to stop the router at the end of the straight rail so it appears square. Thanks

  • 8 Doug // Jun 9, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Joe,

    We used a 1-1/2″ box-core bit in the router, although in retrospect, we should have used a 1-5/8″ bit. You can get the bit pretty cheap at MLCS Woodworking. The straight pieces were simple enough. We just set the router fence and ran each straight piece through, flip repeat for the two sides. You will need to do this in multiple passes, raising the bit a little with each pass. Also, its nice to use a push block behind your working piece to avoid chip out. The curved pieces were more challenging. We made the curves out of a piece of solid 2×6 oak. Once we had the cut made at the bandsaw, we saved the outer scrap piece and used it as a guide on our fence. With the curved scrap piece bolted to our fence, we repeated the process of cutting the chip grooves except of course here you can’t just flip your piece for the second row. You’ll have to move the fence back. Since you’re referencing off of the same outer curve, you’ll have the same radial center and your two rows should still remain equidistant from eachother.

    I’m off to a conference today, but later I’ll try and take some pictures of exactly what I mean regarding the curved pieces when I return this weekend.

  • 9 Joe // Jun 26, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Doug,
    Thank you for helping me with the chip rail I was able to order the bit and it came out looking great. I recieved the diamond rubber which I purchased off of ebay and the rubber has some scuff marks and some other stuff on it. I tried to clean it but some of the small scuff marks will not comne off. Where did you purchase your diamond rubber and did you have to paint it or do any additional prep before you installed it. Also how did you adheare it to the wood? I think that the I may have to return the diamond rubber I just got but I could not beat the price I got it for. Any additional information would help alot. Thanks.

  • 10 Doug // Jun 26, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Joe, we got the rubber from CasinoSupply.com. To adhere the piece to the wood, we used a combination of construction adhesive and staples. The staples are simply there to help apply pressure until the adhesive dries. I’m glad to hear that the routing went well. If you’re willing, send some pics. :) I’d love to see the work.

  • 11 Joe // Jun 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Doug,
    When you got the rubber did it have a light film/coating on it? If so how did you clean it off. How do I attach pics? Do you have an e-mail I can send them to?

  • 12 Scott // Jun 30, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Doug,
    Would it be possible for you to provide measurements of the pieces used in the construction of your craps table? I have several different picture angles, but it is difficult to come up with the exact measurements. This would be a great help to me in trying to construct a table half as good as yours. I would truly appreciate it!

    Thanks

  • 13 Doug // Jul 2, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Scott,
    Unfortunately, I don’t have the full plans any longer. I’ll try and scrounge up what templates and measurements I can, though. There are some plans out there that you can get for free that are very similar to what we used and modified. See Steve’s comment above. He provided a link. My only problem with these plans is that they create the curved corners by using inside kerf cuts. That can create an uneven radius or a faceted outside surface if one isn’t very careful and precise. I prefer the substrate and veneer method that we used. However, I’ll use MDF rather than plywood for the substrate on our next table.

  • 14 keith vaughn // Aug 5, 2008 at 11:09 am

    where can i get a copy of the plans? The table looks really great and i would like to build one. Any info you have or are willing to share the plans would be appreciated.

    thanks,

    keith

  • 15 Phil // Aug 5, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Keith,
    I found the plans on Ebay. Unfortunately I just did a search and cant find them there anymore. If I can figure out who I ordered them from I’ll post it.

  • 16 Ben // Aug 27, 2008 at 6:40 am

    Hey Keith!

    I was looking all over for that router bit, and some description of how it would work out, also for the right size, and I couldn’t even find someone mentioning it, you’d think someone would be making custom chip rails online. then I saw this comment page and hot dawg i’m much more optomistic. so the 1-5/8″ core box bit is the one you reccommend? also, It seems to me the kerf mothod for the sides would be faster even if you put the kerfs only 1/4″ apart or something, and even then if it wasn’t perfectly round, you could just belt sand it to perfect, it just seems to me the veneer would stick more sturdily to a side of a kerfed piece rather than the edges of those sandwich pieces, what with expansion/contraction and such. any thoughts?

  • 17 Ben // Aug 27, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Doug! that last message was for you, sorry! I got the names screwed up.

    peas,
    ben

  • 18 Doug // Sep 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Kerf cuts would be faster, you’re right, but the sandwiched edges can be made velvet smooth with careful construction. Make one of the curved pieces with extreme care, then use it as a template and bearing guide for a flush-trim router bit so you can duplicate that one piece for as many times as needed. MDF will remain very stable dimentionally.

  • 19 Josh // Oct 6, 2008 at 2:04 am

    What did you guys put under the felt, if anything…? Wondering if you have any suggestions…

  • 20 Ed // Oct 27, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Where did you find the 1 5/8 box core bit? I am at the point of building my chip rails and found this site and I think I can do it like you did, if I can find a bit. Thanks

  • 21 Doug // Nov 8, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Josh and Ed, sorry its taken me so long to respond. This Fall has been crazy busy! As for the felt, we put a 1/8″ shelf liner pad under it. It provides just enough cushion without being springy. As for the router bit, just about any bit you want can be found at MLCS.
    http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_core.html

  • 22 Donnie // Dec 15, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Great looking table. Did you guys use a drop in for the layout or did you attach it directly to the base?

  • 23 Doug // Jan 4, 2009 at 11:01 am

    We attached it to the base, but we built the table in such a way that the base could be separated from the table walls if the felt ever needs replacing.

  • 24 Frank Licht // Aug 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Greetings, Would you be willing to sell a copy of your plans. I want to build a table myself…

    Frank

  • 25 Frank Licht // Aug 21, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Hey Guys,

    What thickness of Volara pad did you put under the felt..?

    Frank

  • 26 Denis // Sep 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Hey guys awesome job on the table. I have been looking all over for plans to build my own table also, but i have not been lucky. Is there anyway to get the pans that you guys got. this has been driving me nuts. thanks in advanced. i am willing to pay for it.

  • 27 Michael Alanis // Oct 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    That table looks great. I know many have asked about the plans. Any luck? How about just some measurements to start? I sure would like to have one in my game room.

  • 28 Frijol // Dec 31, 2009 at 12:54 am

    What thickness of Volara pad did you put under the felt..?
    Or u guys just put the felt?

  • 29 Reggie Jones // Jan 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Are you selling your plan for this design. nice job I want it

    My email: blackhole33@mac.com

  • 30 Quang // Feb 27, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I would like to build one like this. Is there anyone please give me a plant how to built craps table.

    Thank you very much for your help

  • 31 Erik Souza // Mar 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Nice work gentlemen! Bravo! I am in the infancy of starting my own Casino Events company. I will definitely have some questions in the future. I am not the Gambling Geek, but a good desciple!

  • 32 don // Mar 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    great workmanship. how far did your top rail plywood hang over the wall so the top rubber will fit . or is it flush with the wall.

  • 33 Ellen // Apr 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Wow! I am so impressed by you guys. I need to come up with something for our Casino party but this is way over the top for me.

  • 34 Richard // May 11, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I,m going to build a regulation 12′ craps table. I’m going to make my plans availible for purchase at a reasonable $100.00 I have researched the tables extensively. I’m a lic. gen contractor for 30 years and have my own cabinet shop. If there are enough responses to this comment then I will video tape the entire process. this means that there will need to be a minimum of 100 responses. Thank you

  • 35 Ben // Aug 5, 2010 at 10:42 am

    well doug, phil,

    looks like if you could put some blueprints together, you could sell these plans for some cashola! hehehe, it seems the people read this story, and get a kick out of seeing you too ‘regular guys’ put such a beautiful table together. it makes it seem very doable. and after that comment about the bearing guide/pattern template for the rounded pieces doug, i think your idea about the mdf is a great one.

    i think i’m actually going to bend a couple pieces of 1/4″ hardwood ply, fit to top and bottom rails, and fill it carefully with spray foam. almost no curve pieces to cut, and it should be a bit lighter too!

    i’l definitely let you know where i end up!

    and thanks for the inspiration!

    peas

  • 36 DogSnoopySnoop // Aug 29, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Well Billard was just playing a game at DD and thinking about the Old Hands that used to play a few hands and shoot the breeze and thought of yourself, remembered you had this blod and come seeking out “The Gambling Geek” just popped in to say Hi and hope all is well with you and yours sir. GL.

    Ed.

  • 37 Eileen // Dec 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Only female so far interested in building table How could I get the plans and measurements
    Eileen

  • 38 curt cobler // Jan 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Would you share with me how you made the chip rails.

    Thanks,

    Curt

  • 39 vaughn // Mar 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

    if you are willing could i get a copy of the plans i will pay please email me back

  • 40 Doug // Aug 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Sorry I haven’t been keeping up this site, lately. For those who have been wanting plans, the place where we got our plans is no longer around, and real life has strongly interfered with our plans to make a new and improved table. When we do, I will certainly make our plans and process available here.

    Curt, we made the chip rails by using a 1-5/8″ core-box router bit. To make the corner chip rails, we started with a 2×6 oak blank and used a bandsaw to cut the corner. We kept the cutoff piece to use as a jig for the router. The cutoff piece was mounted to the router fence to guide the corner piece across the bit.

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