Secret Gaming Tables

You like analog games, such as board games and card games, but you are also short on space. Most modern board games require a lot of space to play, usually 4’x4’ bare minimum, which means your dining room table is the only flat surface that is large enough to really get down and play a board game. You want to play a board game that will take a long time, but you will need to stop and clean up to use the table for other things, like dining. This classic conundrum has plagued game playing civilization since the dawn of Monopoly, but there is a better way. There are a few things you can do if you have some old dining room furniture that you don’t mind making more awesome, a drill, and a bit of time to invest. That’s right, we’re going to make a secret gaming table.
Pictured above: Secret gaming table, personal results may vary

The goal of this project is to make a hollow area under the table top where you can keep games set up. As a bonus you can roll dice without worry of them falling off the table.
For this project, you will need:

  • • A dining room table, preferably one that isn’t a family heirloom or sentimental as you will be making some serious modifications. Also, it should have side panels, the deeper the better. You should stay away from tables that have central inserts.

rectangular dining table
Here’s a good example of the kind of dining table you need.

  • • A drill with drill bits.
  • • Enough wood to cover the bottom of the table, one inch thick should be sturdy enough.

First, remove the table top as carefully as you can. You want this to remain intact as this will still be your dining room table. You might have to do some prying or some simple unscrewing, it just depends on the table.

Next, take all the measurements you need for your work under the table. Cut out the wood and attach it to the bottom of the table. I would recommend drilling a set of holes in the side panels and gluing in small pegs. Then you can let the planks rest on the pegs. You could just nail or screw the planks to the underside of the table, but then you need to make sure the wood doesn’t crack.

Now you can slide the table top back onto the table frame. If the table top is sliding around, you can take a few pieces of wood and secure them to the underside of the table top in a rough outline of where the table top attaches to the table frame, thus creating a guide that will fit snuggly and prevent any sliding.

This is just one way to take furniture for a dining room and turn it into a sneaky game table and the end result has a lot of possibilities. You could turn your secret game table into a display cabinet for miniature models if you’re running low on storage space. You could put in felt and make a professional looking card or craps table. You could use the space to store extra plates. And, of course, the extra space will allow you to play long board games without having to break it down and clean it up when dinner is served.