I have the very basics in wood working tools: Table Saw, Compound Miter Saw, Router, Scroll Saw.
And of course, drills, wrenches, and several clamps, big and small (I had two long clamps and 6
small...I really could have used more...both long and small.)
You will notice that the garage already has sawdust
EVERYWHERE. This is because I told my wife that I'd finish the wood in the basement (bar, pine doors,
baseboards), paint the main hall, and install shelves in my sons closet -- All of this to be done before I began working
on the table. So I did! But I wasn't about to take the time to clean up before I started!
I had finished my entire basement in a rustic pine style. Of coarse, I wanted the pool table to match
everything. But, you do not want to make a pool table from Pine...it will not stay level. The closest
hardwood to resemble pine, that I found, was Hickory. But there was one major problem...they don't sell Hickory
at the HOME DEPOT!!! I was lost! I thought the Home Depot had everything. I called around and finally
got a hold of a nice guy over at MacBeth Hardwoods that started talking jiborish..."board feet",
and "random widths and lengths." I had no idea what to do! So I told him, "I don't need random widths
and lengths! I need specific widths and lengths." After consulting with the gentlemen, he told me to come up with the sizes I needed, and he would figure out the rest. So that's what I did.
I designed this table in my head every night as I watched David Letterman for months. So I had a good idea
of what needed to happen, but I didn't know how much wood I would use. So, I drew a quick draft of the table
to scale. Then I calculated all of the lengths of wood that were needed. Next, I took those pieces and
added them together to make lengths of wood from 7' to 10' (whichever was most efficient.) If I had two
4 foot pieces to cut, I figured on a nine foot piece of board because you are going to have some splits
on the ends which will need to be trimmed off, and you have to figure in your saw blade too. I wont go
into detail on every piece, just take your time and don't be short. I ended up having about 8 feet extra
(not including all of the scrap on the floor.)
Eventually the Home Depot finally came to my aid in a big way. After consulting with Ron at bestbilliards.com,
we decided that to build the strongest table, I would use a combination of 3/4 " thick hardwood and a high
quality 3/4 " oak plywood, and glue them together to form an inch and a half thick piece of home made solid
laminate for the frame and legs. In my opinion, this is much stronger than the alternative of one 1-1/2"
thick piece of
hardwood (which would likely warp more easily then the home made laminate.) Another reason for this was
the cabinet frame was going to be 12" wide. Hickory does not usually come in 12" widths, so having a 12"
wide piece of oak plywood to glue two 6" wide pieces of hickory to, was a very stable solution.
I purchased the Oak Plywood from the Home Depot, and asked them to cut my width's for me. They cut them straight and
they did it quickly. I do have a table saw, but cutting plywood is not a fun thing to do on a medium sized table.
After faxing my wood list over to MacBeth's, they had it Milled and cut to my "specific" width's and lengths
within 3 days.
They called on a Monday afternoon to let me know the order was ready. I ran over, picked up the wood,
and was making saw dust fly by 5 P.M.
One thing that I must emphasize: I spent many hours visualizing the building of this table.
I built it in my head several times. I would run into road blocks along the way. So I'd start the
process again. It's better to start over in your head, or on paper,
than it is with the wood itself. By the time I got the wood, I was confident,
and ready to go. My point is, BE PREPARED!
COST:Because of the decorative trim around the entire table, it took a little more hardwood than most tables.
The hardwood cost me a little over $500. Hickory is a fairly inexpensive hardwood. If I were to go with
Maple for example, it might have been an additional two or three hundred.