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Home > Build a Poker Table > Building the Table Rail

Poker Table Rail

To build the rail for your poker table, you will need one of the two sheets of ply wood which were part of the material list. I started with an 8' table, so I was not able to cut my rail out of one single piece of ply wood unless I either had 9' ply wood, which has it's pros and cons to it either way*. I needed to create it in sections, to have the proper length for my table size. I started with putting my table down on the piece of ply wood to trace the outside edge as a starting point. and measured 2 inches out from that line, and then 2 inches in from that line to have a 4" wide rail (minus padding).

 

*look at Maui Poker's table cutting digram which including cutting your rail with the table in one cut.

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The lines on this image show the table line, the outside line of the rail, and the inside line of the rail. Both of which I'll cut along.

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Once I had the once "J" piece, I wanted to check it against the table, before cutting the other 3 pieces needed.

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I used that as a template to mark the other 3 needed.

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Once complete, I had the 4 "J" pieces needed for the top portion of my rail.

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I then needed an arc for the bottom lip of the rail, so I used the simple, yet effective string method to create an arc which would be the same size as the outside edge of the rail, which is 44" wide. The piece needed to be 2" wide, so I marked and cut that with a jig saw. Many skip the bottom lip of the rail, which I personally think is a mistake. The bottom lip severs several purposes. 1) it helps hold the rail in place without screwing it down 2) it covers the unfinished edge of the play surface where you either have your material wrapped around the edge or stapled to the edge. 3) cosmetically, looks 100% better 4) building a "raised rail" is based on this design. (a raised rail is what you see on TV where the rail is taller and allows for cameras in the rail, or just the looks of a taller rail face which some prefer.

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Once complete, this will attach two of the "J" pieces I cut out earlier.

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From the rest of the piece of ply wood, I cut two strips which would connect the opposite ends of the "J" pieces together. Once you have that done, take some measurements and make sure that, when flipped over, it will fir on your table with some extra space. You want a little play in this as it will be covered in vinyl and foam, so this doesn't need to be a tight fit. With everything sitting on the garage floor, I made the needed adjustments and used drywall screws to hold it all together.

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Once complete, dust it off, and it should fit on your table like this.

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*Pros v. Cons on building the rail as I did.
If you want a table made from a full sheet of wood, this is one way of doing it. It's a longer process to cut each "J" piece, but it gives you a longer (full 8 foot) table. The other option is to make your table slightly smaller and cut the rail, and the play surface at once by screwing the two pieces of ply wood together, making the outside edge cut, then separating them, and cutting the bottom lip of the rail out of the other piece. This process is faster, and much easier and is prepared by most people who build tables. This process is illustrated in step by step photos at Maui Poker's web site which is also in my links section.