Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Pipe Dream - Part 2

This is part deux of Fly Molo's series on making his very own awesome Warhammer table. Part 1 can be found here.

So I hit the store. Lowes is going to get about $60 of my money which I think is reasonable for a table that I hope to have for a long time. And one that's going to be totally sweet!
The shopping list:

8' by 4' plywood board, 1/2inch thick (building)
8' by 4' pink sheet styrene, 1 inch thick (building)
5 10' pieces of 1/2 inch PVC piping (plumbing)
2 tubes of Liquid Nails construction adhesive (paint)
1 quart black latex paint (paint)
1 quart tan paint (paint)
1 quart yellow-ish paint (paint)
50 lb bag of sand box sand (outdoor)
many 1/2inch elbows (plumbing)
1 can Loctite spray adhesive
PVC pipe cutters

Everything else, I owned already: brushes, drywall square thing, razor, saw and other tools you see me use. On this list, the pricey-est thing was the PVC cutter, at $11.95. Each quart of paint was around $10 too, which surprised me. The plywood was under $10, the sheet styrene was about $10 too. The pipes and elbows were stupid cheap.
The next thing I would need was the consent of my lovely wife to spend an evening dominating a good portion of our house, a good portion of our evening and to make a big mess. Luckily, I married the best lady on the planet and my request was granted.
Step one is getting the piece of sheet styrene to size. I want this to be the actual playing surface. I had an internal debate here about if I should cut the wood down too but decided against it. If I leave the extra wood there, I have somewhere to put our armies while we set up, some where to roll dice and somewhere to set coffee. I measured out a straight line 2 feet down from the top of the sheet styrene, cut it with my razor about 3/4 of the thickness then snapped the board off. Boom. A 6' by 4' board.

Next, I used my Liquid Nails to put down a good amount of adhesive all over the top of the wood where I wanted the board. I used my putty knife to spread it if I didn't get good coverage. Then I carefully put the board down then laid on it. I wanted all of the air out of between there, just wood then adhesive then styrene. Boom. Playing surface.

Now, time to consult the plans. I have my dimensions on my little card. Now I just needed to measure off those onto the actual board. I used a dry erase marker and my straight edge to put down the line for the center pipe. The other two pipes would go on either side of this one.
Another view of the pipe line. I'm getting excited at this point! Woooo!
Now, I must say, buying that PVC cutter was an incredible $11 well spent. I could cut a pipe in about 9 seconds, nice and clean with little to no effort. It would have taken at least 54 seconds to saw them with my hacksaw. That's 6 times as fast! SIX TIMES!!! At 18 cuts minimum, that's 162 seconds versus 972 seconds. That 13 minutes I saved I used to sleep. That's 13 more minutes of sleep I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. I attribute my success at work to those 13 minutes. 
Anyways, I laid out the PVC pipe, marked the spot I wanted to cut with a pencil, then *snip,* then measured out the next and *snip,* until I had the 3 pieces covering the line. At that point I simply plugged in the ends of the pipe into the elbows. No glue needed, it was a snug fit and perhaps in the future, I might want to move some pipes.
At that point, I was in a bit of a conundrum, a pickle if you will. And you will.
I wasn't sure how far apart to lay the piping from each other. I wanted it to look uniform but no matter how I tried to space it, it looked off. My wife gave the suggestion to just glue the elbows together, and voila, the spacing between the pipes was perfect. And it was easy. Bless that woman.
That concludes part two. Coming up, cutting shit, painting shit and flocking shit. You guys will love that shit! :)
Stay tuned!


  1. Following this with interest. Constructed my custom gaming table a few months back but never quite find the motivation to make the gaming board.

    Your little time saving calculations made me chuckle. Just the kind of thing I think about!

    Can't wait to see the finished product!

  2. Man, I would love to have a garage to be able to do this type of project in! Looking good, Fly!

  3. Thanks for the kind comments guys. I figured making myself a nice board was a long time coming.
    Those time/money/happiness saving calculations make for a different way to look at life. I suggest others try them!