Necessity is the Mother of Invention

In our house we have a second living room. At some point, the garage/carport got turned into an actual room. It can’t be classified a bedroom since it doesn’t have it’s own source of heat.

The gaming room before the big clean, including the aforementioned glass-top table.

We turned it into our gaming room. It also has almost all of my bookshelves and stores my crafting supplies and hubby’s MTG cards and warhammer miniatures. For the table between the couches, we were using a glass-topped coffee table we picked up over eight years ago at a garage sale for five bucks. It was just big enough for our gridded playmat (The Bob) and served our purposes quite well. I was always on the lookout for something to replace it, but it was always very passive since we had something that worked fine.

That all changed on Wednesday. I was doing a big clean of the gaming room since I said I would after I finished the last epic project (it’ll be gifted on Tuesday, so I’ll post about it after that). I was doing good, getting a lot accomplished. I have this bag I store all of our reciepts in, and I decided that I should probably sort through it. I was sitting on one side of the table and the bag was on the other. I leaned across it, putting my elbow down on the glass, and CRACK.


The $5 table bit the dust and I got a decent sized cut and bruise on my elbow. It could have been a lot worse, but it still rather sucked. I bled for about 10 minutes before I was able to do anything else, and I tried to keep from using my left arm for the next two days. I tend to talk with my hands and I hurt myself a few times talking with hubby about replacement table plans. “It needs to be about this wide, ouch, and this long, owwwwwww.”

We use that room twice a week, for Monday and Friday gaming, and especially the table I just broke. I went to twelve different stores that day, trying to find an inexpensive replacement. I even looked at getting a piece of wood or plexiglass to replace the glass. Nothing was really catching my fancy.

Hubby and I discussed the table they have at the gaming store (it has easily removable legs!) and possibly just

The gaming room is clean but missing something important. . .

building one, but nothing was decided Wed or Thurs. On Friday, I brought home one of the folding tables we had at work and we made due with that for gaming. It worked, mostly, but it annoyed me into action.

On Saturday, after our obligations, hubby asked me what I wanted to do. “Build one, dammit.” So that’s what I did.

The top of the table is an interior, solid core door that measures 36″ by 80″. Hubby wanted it closer to 40″, but that would have to be ordered in and cost three times as much. I built a box out of 2x4s to support the legs. The legs are ‘steel perforated tubes’, which is a fancy way to say they are square steel rods with holes down the sides. I used big’ol bolts to hold the tubes to the box, going both directions. We got two sizes of tubes, using the smaller ones as the permanent legs and the larger ones that slip over those. The table is adjustable! We can go from 25″ all the way to 40″ in height, and down to 19″ if we remove the outside legs.

‘The Bob’ playmat is there for size comparison. It covered almost the entire top of the glass-top table.

The table is also INCREDIBLY HEAVY. I built it solo at work (our shop) last night and somehow managed to finagle it into our shop van to bring it home. Never underestimate the power of sheer stubbornness. It fits in the space wonderfully. However, there was still a problem. The door we used wasn’t finished; it was still raw wood. Since there is a great deal of soda and drinks set on the table, something needed to be done.

I decided this morning to just pick up a piece of countertop laminate and use that. Sure, I could have varnished it, but I wanted to use the table NOW! Cutting that stuff is so difficult! The really awesome thing is we can use dry erase markers on it. I tested them and they only require a bit more cleaning. I was also completely unimpressed with the hardware store we got all of the supplies from; not once did anyone ask us if we needed help AND we couldn’t find anyone when we did need a bit of help.

My cuts weren’t perfectly clean; I chipped some of the formica. The sides were still exposed too. So time for another trip to the hardware store! The person I managed to grab was decidedly unhelpful. “This is what I’m doing, this is what I want to accomplish. Unconventional is fine; the table is a door!” .. “Umm… have you tried aisle three?” Sigh. I stumbled upon some metal tape near the ducttape, so I decided to just go with that. It wraps over the top slightly, covering the chips, and then down the side. It doesn’t go all the way to the bottom, but it is really hard to tell.

So after a few days, a lot of swearing, a handful of bandages, a dozen trips to the hardware store, more swearing, a bunch of sweating, and a ton of “let’s see if this works!” we have a new gaming room table, one big enough to not only satisfy my needs on Mondays and Fridays, but big enough for hubby’s Warhammer Quest Sundays and for board games like Descent (that’s what they’re playing now!).

I’m excited to see how it works for our group tomorrow.

All ready for gaming now!