Friday, June 5, 2009

DnD Project: Building a Digital Game Table, Pt. 3

In which a table is stained and a projector is mounted . . . sort of.

I was wracking my brain for a good way to mount the projector inside the table. I considered building a mount and looked for tripods and stands, but none of it really seemed like a good solution, especially since I don't plan on using the same projector forever.

My wife suggested bungee cords - which I initially dismissed as I didn't want the hooks scratching up the edges of the table and preventing the plexiglass from lying flat. Of course, bungee cords were exactly the cheap and easy means of holding the projector I wound up using. I guess it pays to listen to your wife . . . sometimes (love you, honey! :-P). My contribution to the solution was the loop (bracket?) from a couple of cheap hasps wide enough to hold the hooks.

I don't have the receipt with me at the moment, but each hasp was approximately $1.80 and the wide, flat bungee cords (individual pairs of these) I used were just under $4.00 for a pair at Wal-Mart. Initially, I got them 40" long, thinking I would need it for the behemoth of a projector we have, but it turns out that the 30" cords work better.




It's probably evident from the pictures that I attempted to stain and seal the table, as well. I had some leftover Minwax Polyshade from my 40K table, so I thought I use it. Bad idea. The stuff is runny but sets up thick and goop-y, so you have to make sure that you apply just the right amount or you'll have dark runs - especially on edges and corners. It also kills brushes unless you have mineral spirits to clean up with - which I don't.

Also, the stain does not take on the Liquid Nail that got smeared around when assembling the table. As a result, there are light-colored blemishes here and there on the exterior, mainly along the seams. Fortunately, this kind of project doesn't have to be 'showroom perfect.'

Finally, throw in an 18" x 24" mirror ($10.00 from Wal-mart) which will lay flat on the floor and we're ready to roll! From here on out, it's a matter of getting the software synched up and building encounters in MapTool.

At some point, I will probably add fold-down trays to the sides and maybe even some trim to pretty it up, but we need to start saving up for a new house. Priorities!

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