Finishing and Assembly
With all the subassemblies completed, everything can be cleaned up, given a final sanding and the finish applied. For ease of application, durability in use and low-odor considerations, I chose waterborne polyurethane for this project. I applied three coats on all the subassemblies, with a light sanding between coats. When the finish completely cured, the sub-top and top were waxed to allow the top to smoothly pivot on the frame. A 1″ long carriage bolt was set into the hole in the center of the top, and down through the matching hole in the sub-top. A fender washer and nut attached the top to frame.
Next, reattach the leaves to the frame with the hinges and install the pull on the leaf. I mounted brass pulls to the drawer front — and the project was getting dangerously close to completion. All that remained was to mount the felt onto the playing field.
Applying the Felt Field
To make the playing surface, the felt is cut slightly oversized in comparison to the 1/4″ substrate you cut earlier. I used spray-on adhesive to bond the felt to the substrate, and then trimmed the felt, leaving a 1/4″ flap all around the substrate.
Grab the double-sided carpet tape you’ve used earlier and apply several pieces, as shown in the photos below. I used thin spacers to center the felt-covered substrate as I mounted it.
With the felt-covered substrate in place, I used a thin wedge to tuck the overhanging felt flap into the crack between the frame and the field.
When not hosting a card game, the table is a mild-mannered end table, quietly gracing a den or family room. But when friends arrive, the top is rotated 45 degrees, exposing the corners of the frame. The leaves are unfolded, exposing a felt playing surface and the expanded table surface. When you’re done with the game, simply fold the leaves back in, and rotate the top until it is squared with the base of the table.
Here’s one thing to be aware of: the hinges are a two-knuckle design, with a short connector bar between the leaves. This means that the hinges can shift back and forth about 1/16th of an inch when closed. As the leaves are closed over the top, they can shift noticeably from corner to corner. A tap with the palm can align them properly.