I've decided to build a new poker table with a raised rail. Kind of an ambitious project but since I already have a poker table, I can take my time.
I'll document as much as I can of the process, with a ton of info for those curious enough to build something like this or for feedback from those that have.
I decided on a slightly shorter table than a traditional 10 person table, but slightly wider than the compact tables. The final table should comfortably hold 8 players, but could accommodate 9 no problem. Final overall dimensions will be 84" x 44".
The first job was to cut the 4' x 8' sheets of plywood into 84" x 44". That meant cutting off 12" on the length and 4" on the width. Since I don't own a table saw I used 2x4s clamped along the 3 boards stacked. The job went smoothly with some minor chipping along the edges.
Next step was to round the corners, that meant a 22" arc along all the boards. I was debating using a jigsaw or router and decided on the router for a more accurate cut. In order to guide the router along the corners I had to devise a jig. Using pegboard, I made a pretty poor jig since pegboard is a little pliable around the pivot point so the accuracy wasn't perfect. But it did a decent job.
The cutting took two days, the cuts themselves weren't too bad (did 2-3 passes per router cut) it was the constant battle with the accuracy of the jig. Final step was rounding the edges of the rail.
It took a couple of hours for the padded rail, but I am happy with the result. Putting the rail up against the surface, you can get a glimpse of the colour scheme I chose.
After arranging the layout, I had to router out the recess for the carrying handles, once completed, could screw in all the hardware. I got the idea of the handles from a fellow table-maker called Irish, he gave me some great tips.
All the pieces are finally constructed, ready for assembly. First step is installing the LEDs, then installing cup holders, and finally assembling it all together.