Community J!NX Blog

Fuzzy's leveling guide to Carpentry

Some of you may recall a while back there was a blog post when we launched the board games on the site. After reading through all of the comments about the table what we used for all of the photos and videos of the games I figured I could indulge the curiosity of the minions and show you how exactly I made it.

Jinx had the idea that he wanted the table we used for the board games to be reminiscent of a worn tavern table you might find at any adventurer gathering place. It had to possess the prerequisite axe marks, scratches, and assorted random kajoobery that would happen to said table as it was eaten at, drank at, and likely fought at by countless Chaotic Neutral ruffians and lawful good Paldadins alike. It was agreed that we had no other choice than to build it ourselves.

Luckily after my last level up I had some skill points left over after topping out photography, and so I decided to drop a few into carpentry. I figured should I ever need to fabricate some shiny-pire killin’ stakes, or a nice bookshelf I would be good to go. As fate would have it I ended up building a table. While the rest of the JINX crew ventured north to Blizzcon I had the fortress to myself, where I commenced to build, and then abuse the tavern table.

What green colored wizard device is that?!

The tabletop itself is built from 2”x12” pine connected with wooden crossbars under the surface. After hewing the planks to size with nothing but the use of my lazer eye-beams, I commenced on the fun part.

The key ingredient here is the metal hammer I gained from a hospital somehere.

To get all of the marks we needed to give the table it’s well-loved look, I brought a plethora of wood interrogation tools. A 10 Lb chain, countless files and sharp bits, a sack full of rocks, a set of chisels, an axe, a sword, the broken horn from a Dwarven helm. Maybe not the helm part, but you can see where this is going.

That is where the half orc's Danzig belt buckle landed when he made the joke about the Hill giant's momma.

One at a time, I lovingly added wear and tear to the boards. I did not use a single power tool in the creation of the markings on the table, it just seemed wrong. I did use a power sander to finish the wood after staining, but that was more of a concession to reality. After each board was given a thrashing, the four were mated as a top where I gave them some finishing touches that would connect them such as axe cuts that spanned more than one board.

Moments before this, the planks said to their friends "I'll be right back."

Once I was happy with the board beatdown, I stained the wood in a way not advised by the fine folks at Minwax (you ain’t the boss of me Minwax!) and got the color of wood we were looking for. The legs were also distressed and stained by hand and attached to the table.

They call this "Older than a Wood Elf" stain.

The piece de resistance is thanks to Jinx, who commissioned a blacksmith (an actual, bad-ass Lady blacksmith.) Who forged the iron straps and handmade the clavos, or nails, that connect the straps to the table.

From new pine to worn hardwood in no time at all.

To give the table a realistic finish we decided that covering it in some chemical like polyurethane was not cool enough, so instead I sanded the wood for two days with progressively finer sandpaper until I was finishing with 2000 grit to give the wood a glassy surface. After sanding down the table got two coats of hand rubbed paste wax, which let me tell you takes so much elbow grease I think I actually get a few extra points in STR and STAM after I was done. The paste gave the wood a nice warm glow that was the exact thing you’d expect from the sweaty forearms of an endless stream of dungeon delver forearms polishing the tabletop over questionable food and suspicious looking ale.

The finished product in all it's splendor.

The straps got nailed into place I gave the whole top one last good rubdown, and christened her done. That’s right, her. Don’t you judge me! You try spending the better part of a week building a table and don’t get attached. No one understands our love!