I've got a reasonably big coffee table that we use for playing board games, but having played Arkham Horror on it It's starting to feel a little cramped.

I thought It might be a good idea to get a board of wood and cover it with felt that I can bring out on came nights to give us a bigger playing surface.

I'm not sure I can fit a board as big as my table in my car though so I was wondering if anyone had seen any tutorials on building a hinged gaming board that I can fold up to give me a playing surface.

My main issue is making the hinges flush so they don't get in the way.scratch the table.

  • I'd suggest going to the wood working and carpentry SE, but unfortunately it's still in the commitment phase. – CaulynDarr Jun 7 '12 at 11:59
  • You would probably need to router out the locations for the hinges. This way the hinge can be flush with the bottom of your board. – user1873 Jun 7 '12 at 13:37
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    I think that this is on-topic for diy.stackexchange.com. (It's tools/materials/best practices for a very specific task, I don't think it's a hobby project.) – Cascabel Jun 7 '12 at 16:21
  • I think I've found the right kind of hinge. Counter top hinges ironmongerydirect.co.uk/Products/Hinges/Special_Purpose_Hinges/… Not sure if it's worth answering my own question as it's just an idea. If I have any more issues I'll have a look at diy.stackexchange.com – Omar Kooheji Jun 8 '12 at 10:37

It's a relatively simple project. While specific plans would need to be done using the dimensions of the table desired, it's very basic power-tool carpentry. It requires high precision, and the correct hinges, but isn't hard.

Essentially, you can just put the hinges outboard of the supporting table's width, on the underside. Let the table hold the panels up. So, if you have a desire for a 3'6" wide, 6' long surface, but a 2' wide table, and need it to fit into your 3x5' trunk, you rip a board to 3'6" wide, 6' long, then rip it to two chunks 3' long. Finish the edges as desired, except the two which will face. Roundover the underside with a 1/4" roundover, and mount standard door hinges (4" wide) equally distant from the central table and the edge. (That should be 42-(2x4" hinges)-(24" central table)/4" from edge - 1.25" in from edge.) If being particularly fancy, you use a straight-cut bit and route out the hinges flush, so it folds truly flat...

If felting it, mount the hinges so that two compressed felt layers separate the two pieces, and the felt gets mounted so it covers the ends with the hinges. (This ensures that one only has a line between them, so stuff can't get under the felt easily.) also wrap it around the other edges.

Remember to both glue and either nail or staple the felt.

resource videos

Ask this Old House has a show that shows recessing door hinges. Uses a jig, two clamps, and a hand router. Or, alternatively, a wood chisel, and some patience. (if using engineered wood products, use the router.)

New Yankee Workshop, American Woodshop, Rough Cut, or The Woodsmith Shop all have covered hinges, as well.

advanced technique

If you make it thick enough, a Soss hinge could be used; their smallest one is 3/8" and needs 3/32" clearance on the folded-in side (and at least as much outside) for 9/16" wood thickness minimum. It will, however, affect the felting. Soss hinges require skill at mortising, which is a more advanced (and past my level) skill.

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