Here's a great lego table with a trough for piece collection and a huge 30x30 building pad!
I remembered about halfway through building this table that a 1x6 is actually .75x5.5 so hopefully I've got all my planning numbers adjusted correctly :)
Step 1: The Plan
I wanted a table with the top approximately 30-32" square and the trough all the way around the outside for maximum playability. The actual size would depend on what kind of materials I could find at Home Depot.
I wanted the trough to be about 4x4 so I planned to assemble it as shown in the picture. I put a 1x6 laying flat with a 1x6 along the back, attaching it to the table and a 1x4 making the lip in the front.
Step 2: Materials
Ok, here's the list of materials that I used:
Two 32x36x1 planed pine shelves
Four 1x4x4' knotty pine boards
Two 1x6x4' knotty pine boards
Three 1x6x6' knotty pine boards
A 2x4x10' stud
A 4x4x8' cedar post
2 steel plates (probably overkill)
Four 15x15 grey lego bases
Gorilla glue (glue down base plates)
Step 3: Table Top
I started by cutting the shelves down to 32x32 square and gluing them together. I tried to make the surface as flat as possible since this is where the base plates will go. I also screwed the 2 metal plates in the bottom with 3/4 screws to keep the joint flush.
Step 4: Outside Edge and Bottom
I cut my abcd pieces from 2 of the 1x6x6' boards and nailed a and b on making sure to get the cut length matching my table width exactly in order to eliminate gaps. Also sand the cut edges before assembling since they're easy to access now.
I left a 1/2" lip on the table to help keep the lego on. Then I nailed on c and d.
I flipped the table over onto the face and added the trough bottom e and f first followed by g and h.
Step 5: The Trough Lip and Test Fit
I guess you could do the legs here but I left them till the end. I didn't want to do any mitre sawing at 11pm.
At this point the trough feels kind of flimsy, but once the lip is on, things will tighten up.
Flip the table right side up and add the trough lip L and k followed by i and j.
I had to test fit the lego bases in, so everybody is standing around looking proud after that.
Step 6: Legs and Dividers
The 8' cedar post worked perfect for the legs. I cut four 24" pieces and then skimmed them down on each end to exactly 23.5". I set up a jig in my saw so I could push each post against it and get identical mitres on each side.
I then measured and cut my four 24.75" 2x4s and tapped them down flush with the trough bottom before putting a couple screws in from the outside to hold them in place. You want a snug fit with the 2x4s to keep the legs sturdy.
Next, screw the 2x4s to each post.
I spent a bit of time hand shaving the corner of each post for about 6" so I could add a 45 degree support at the corners but I didn't think I needed it in the end.
I added a divider in the middle of each trough using leftover 1x4 pieces. You can see these in the finished picture.
Step 7: Glue the Baseplates On
I'll post an update when I actually glue the base plates down. I hear gorilla glue is the stuff to use so I'll try it this weekend.
Make sure to attach the plates together with bricks when gluing them down to get perfect spacing.
Here's a nice shot after everybody had fun building on the almost complete table :)
In hindsight, if I had glued the joints before I nailed each piece on, it would be even more kid-proof.
Let me know how yours turns out!