The Hunt for the Great Gaming Table: Part 2

OK, so I knew I needed a new table and I had laid out my requirements.  Where to begin?

I looked at some websites of local furniture stores (Bob’s, Jordan’s, etc.), but the styles popular these days just weren’t quite right.  As I said, I kind of like the look of some hefty wooden trestle table.  I did some more internet hunting and found some very nice custom work out there, but custom woodwork tends to break the bank.  They were far too expensive.  Next stop: craigslist.

There were some promising items to be found used locally, and the prices were the lowest of anything I looked at.  Generally though they fell into one of two problem categories.  First, were tables that were just, well, ugly.  Right size, good price, could be easily transported, and just screamed 1977.  I guess that chunky wood trestle table style was in back then, and it’s hard for me to put my finger on what separates those beautiful custom items linked above and the mass produced 70’s stuff I was finding, but I could tell it when I saw it and I just couldn’t bring myself to go in that direction.

The second category was even more disappointing: impossible to move.  These tables looked great, maybe needed a little refinishing, were cheap, and super far away and heavy.  I suppose I could have rented a trunk to drive up to New Hampshire if I was absolutely sure I wanted one of them, but I knew for any table there was going to be at least two trips: one just to check it out and a second to actually transport it.  And no doubt the two photos on the average listing would be misleading or not show some important detail.  I suddenly foresaw many weekends of driving around looking at these things in hopes the next one would be the right one.  Gosh, it sounds a bit like house hunting, and didn’t I just finish doing that nonsense?

I sent a few craigslist post to Jenn in hopes that she might help the search a bit, and also so she could express her opinion on any furniture I might bring into the house.  Enter etsy.  I never would have thought of looking there, but Jenn sent me this very cool looking item:

Farmhouse Trestle Table DIY Kit

OK, this looked promising.  I like the way it looks, I can customize the exact size, it’s pretty cheap, I thought we might have a real winner.  My only fear based on the pictures was the grooves down the length of the table.  They looked like d20 catchers, and I fore-saw a lot of cocked dice disputes.  Then the idea hit me of making a topper for it, some flat piece of wood perhaps felted on top that could be fit and held in place on top of the table for gaming.  Should we ever want to use the table for something else (eg. Thanksgiving dinner), the top could be easily removed.  OK, it’s getting to be a bit bigger a project than I wanted, but the topper could probably be delayed.  We were basically living at Home Depot over the weekends these days, so I took the opportunity one Saturday to examine the wood that would be used for the table top.

Well, it was clear that not only was I going to have a problem with the grooves, but the transport issue was beginning to show itself again.  The 2×10 planks it calls for are huge and heavy, and of course I’d want a good 8′ in length on these.  There’s no way our little car could carry these massive boards.  So toss in there a truck rental just to bring the wood home.  Transport, labor, dice catching grooves… no single one of these problems was insurmountable but put all together it was starting to feel like this was not the table for me.

And that’s where we were this weekend.  Nothing obviously promising on the horizon, and honestly far from our minds as we drove about on more house related chores.  We were at Pier 1 to look at curtains for the living room when I saw the trestle table at the front of the store.  It looked like they it was probably too small, but I liked the style so I went and poked around.  Next to the trestle was this table, which looks pretty plain and boring on the website, but in person was quite nice.  Not quite the trestle style I’ve been looking at, but it has a good solid chunky look.  The price was good too, the only problem was it felt a bit smaller than what I wanted.  Then I saw sitting on the table the advertisement for the other pieces of the collection: chairs, bench, and oh my goodness, a variation of the table that includes a 24″ leaf.  Perfect!

I tried to order it online when I got home, and unfortunately it looks like it’s only available for store pick-up.  The store is only a few miles away, but will I be able to transport it?  Well, the good news is there’s a u-haul rental place just down the block that will rent me a truck or van for $20 plus $0.60/mile.  It was border-line failing the transport requirement, but OK what the heck, I ordered the thing.

So there you have it, table ordered and scheduled to arrive within 10 days.  Coming soon, The Hunt Part 3: Chairs.

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