Seasonal DIY Projects

Game Day Table

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 186 Projects

Make your next party unforgettable by crafting your own game day table. Requiring only basic woodworking skills and standard building materials, this sturdy table is foldable, portable and easy-to-store. Plus, it takes just one afternoon to build.

Build a Game Day Tabletop

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    Place the plywood upside down across braces, such as four sawhorses or four pieces of scrap lumber. Cutting plywood upside down helps to reduces splinters on its top face. The braces should support both sides of the cut so that the halves of the plywood panel don't fall together and pinch the blade when you make the cut.

    For example: Place two braces, equally spaced on both halves, so that when you cut through the plywood, both halves remain horizontal, and can’t tip in any direction.

    TIP: Use high-quality birch plywood for your tabletop surface. It costs a little more than standard plywood, but it’s much smoother and has fewer knots and other imperfections for a beautiful playing surface.

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    Measure and mark a cutting line on the plywood for a width of 24". Clamp a straightedge lengthwise to the panel, allowing for the width of the saw's base, so your saw will cut along one side of the 24" line. Use a BLACK+DECKER 15 Amp 7-1/4 in. Circular Saw to cut the plywood along the line. The cut should result in a 24 x 96" piece of plywood and another piece that is slightly narrower than 24", due to the material removed by the saw blade.

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    Measure and mark the center of the 24 x 96" piece of plywood, dividing it in half along its length. Clamp the straightedge in place and cut the panel in half, using the circular saw to produce two equal halves measuring 24 x 48" (or slightly less than 48" due to the cut). These are the two sections of tabletop that you will hinge together later.

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    Attach the included rip fence to the circular saw. Use the saw with the rip fence to cut four 2 x 96" apron strips from the remaining 24 x 96" piece of plywood.

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    Use the circular saw to cut an apron strip for each side of both 24 x 48" plywood tabletop pieces. You should have four pieces at 48" long and four pieces at 22½" long, plus or minus 1/16" to 1/8", depending on the actual thickness of your plywood.

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    Use a pocket hole jig to drill holes with the BLACK+DECKER 12V MAX* Cordless Lithium Drill/Driver and a pocket hole drill bit, in all eight pieces of 2" wide apron. Drill holes about every 8", perpendicular to the length of the apron. You will use these holes to drive screws up through the sides of the aprons and into the bottom faces of the tabletop pieces.

    Also drill two holes on the ends of each of the short pieces of apron, evenly spaced, parallel with the length, to join the aprons together at 90°.

    TIP: A pocket hole jig helps you drill steeply angled holes on the backside of a piece of wood, allowing you to hide the screws. New jigs typically come with one or more pocket hole bits. If you don't have access to a pocket hole jig, attach the apron by drilling steeply angled pilot holes with a ⅛" bit, and then using 2½" screws to attach the aprons to the tabletop pieces.

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    Apply wood glue to each piece of apron. Flush the aprons with the sides of the two tabletop pieces, with the short pieces fitting between the longer pieces. Use the drill/driver with 1½" pocket hole screws to secure the apron to both pieces of tabletop and to join the apron pieces at 90° on the corners.

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    Sand the tabletop pieces smooth, using the BLACK+DECKER 1/4 Sheet Finishing Sander with 100-grit sandpaper. Slightly round over all corners and edges. Repeat the sanding with 180-grit sandpaper to prepare it for final finishing.

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    Apply a light coat of water-based polyurethane with a brush, and allow it to dry for at least four hours. Sand the dried polyurethane by hand with a folded piece of 180-grit sandpaper. Apply one or two more coats of polyurethane for a durable finish. Allow it to dry overnight.

    TIP: Birch plywood is gorgeous, with pronounced grain patterns set in a honey-colored background. You don't need stain but you can use it to darken the table before adding the poly finish, if desired.

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    Use painters tape to mark off a 1½" perimeter around both tabletops, and to outline directional arrows. Use craft paint formulated for plastic to brush or spray on borders and directional arrows. To add logos or designs, use stencils or paint them freehand, or use stick-on decals. Allow all paint to dry overnight.

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    Place the two tabletops upside down, butted end-to-end on a flat surface. Open the piano hinge and place it cylinder-side-up, centered along the intersection where the two aprons butt together. Use the drill/driver to drive ¾" brass screws into all of the holes on both aprons.

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    Unfold each leg assembly and position the legs on the bottom of one of the tabletops, centered, 6" from the outer end apron. Folding legs typically have swivel mounts with pre-drilled holes for installation screws. Flush the mounts with the table, and mark the holes with a pencil. Remove the leg assembly and drill pilot holes with a ⅛" bit. Be careful not to drill all the way through the tabletop. Mount the legs to the table with ⅝" screws.

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    Cut the 96" 2 x 4 board into two, 29¼" long pieces, using the 15 Amp Circular Saw. Use the BLACK+DECKER 5 Amp Jigsaw with CurveControl™ to cut a notch 1 ½ inches wide and 2" deep, centered on one end of each piece. The notches slip over the aprons under the tabletop. Fit the braces in vertically, one on each side, under the aprons where the two table halves hinge together to support the table in the center.