Monday, October 26, 2015

Box for Poker Set



Once upon a time I had a nice poker set complete with an aluminum box, similar to the picture above.  At some point when I was moving from New York to Arizona, this set was either given away or lost.  I wound up getting some new poker chips and cards, but I don't have a nice box anymore.


I recently built a new table saw, once my old store-bought table saw broke.  I made several add-on to the old table, which were constructed from MDF board.


I now have a lot of scrap MDF at my disposal, so I decided to make a cool poker box using the MDF.


I once made a cool little box out of MDF to hold some Magic playing cards.  I think my poker box will be similar to this box.


To start I had to remove the tracks and parts I added to the MDF table saw extensions.  These were somewhat easy to remove with the use of a sharp chisel.


Whenever I work with MDF I make absolutely certain to wear a breathing mask.  MDF dust is toxic.


With my breathing mask on, I sanded the rought MDF until it was smooth.  There are a few gouges left over, but those will be easy to fix later.  For this build I'm not making any plans or sketches.  I'm just going to wing it.


Next I cut a piece for the bottom of the box...


...and a few strips for the sides.


I then began cutting the strips to the correct size for the sides...


...and glued & clamped them.  I made certain all the corners were perfectly right angles.


Next I cut a few more strips...


...which will make the divides for the cards and chips.


Then I cut even smaller divides...


...to divide the different colored chips.


The chips are sitting a bit low in the box, so I cut another piece of MDF to fit underneath the chips.


It may be hard to tell from the image above, but the image below shows the height difference.  The black chip is sitting on the raised area and just peeking above the divide.  The white chip is a lot lower.


With the raised floor glued in place, I then spaced out the divides for each color chip.


Then I glued the new divides in place.


I more-or-less did the same thing for the 2 packs of cards.


The middle will be reserved for papers with rules or dice.


...but I decided to add one more divide in the middle.  Then I let everything dry for a while.


Once dry I began sanding the box.  I rounded the edges and leveled the joints.


Then I added wood filler to fill in the gaps and gouges.  Although there looks like a lot of filler in the image below, there were actually very few spots to fix up.


After the filler dried I sanded once more.


Next I clamped the box top to the rest of the box and began sanding until both sides had the same shape.


I then added a little more filler here and there as needed.


When the filler dried I sanded once more.


I went to the store and bought hinges - which I attached.  I clamped the top to the box to make sure everything was even.


I tried to buy some latches for this box, but couldn't find any.  I wound up buying a Sash Lock instead which I attached, following the directions.


At first it seemed the sash lock worked well...


...but as it turned out it only seemed to work about 50% of the time.


Unsatisfied, I took off the sash lock and filled in the holes I made with filler.


I'll have to find a better solution.  When the filler dried I sanded once again.


Then I removed the hinges and gave the box a good cleaning followed by a few coats of primer.


When the primer dried I gave everything a good sanding with fine sandpaper.


Sanding the insides required sanding by hand.


After a lot of sanding and cleaning, I then applied some glossy black enamel spray paint.


When the black paint was dry I put the lid on and applied some silver webbing spray.


Looking good so far, but it's not done yet.


I tested to make sure everything still fit well, which it did.


But the cards and chips don't easily come out, so I went out and bought a few things.  The first being some fabric which I will use to line the bottoms of each compartment.


I also bought some matching elastic ribbon, but I'll get to that shortly.


I began cutting some thin cardboard to fit each of the compartment.




Then I attached the cardboard to the back of the fabric with some double-sided tape.


I then cut out each piece with sharp scissors.


Next I used white glue on all the tabs and folded them onto the bottom.


It's not super pretty, but no one will ever see the bottom.


Then I used hot glue to attach the ribbon I bought earlier.


With more hot glue, I put the piece into the box with the ribbon coming out from the bottom edge.


Next I folded the ribbon to go across the bottom...


...and then laid down the pack of cards.


When you pull on the ribbon the cards will come out easily.


To pretty up the cut edge of the ribbon I simply added hot glue to the edge and folded it over.


I repeated this process for the other cavity for cards, and for all the cavities that hold the poker chips.


And it looks great!  I threw in some dice I had, plus a poker chip from Vegas and the dice game "Left Right Center".


For the inside lid of the box I wanted to have a diagram showing all the winning poker hands.  I found a decent image online which I downloaded and placed around a magenta border.


I then printed it out, applied double-sided tape, and attached it to the inside lid.


Almost done!


I flipped the box over and added 4 felt gliders with adhesive bottoms.


I finally found the latches I wanted, and a handle, but they weren't going to work.  The handle was too wide and would not be able to be attached centered to the front of the box.  The lid for the box is also too thin for the latches.


So I improvised with some more ribbon glued in a loop, and glued to the lid.


And now I'm done!


I always enjoy making these marble looking boxes.


The box itself is great!  It holds both my deck of cards, and all my poker chips nicely.


There's still plenty of room in here for additional cards, chips, dice or whatever.


The ribbons make it easy to remove the cards...


...and the chips.


Plus the printout makes it easy to remember what hands win.


Now all I have to do is find people to play poker with!


Thanks for reading!