Finishing the Racetrack and Cutting Holes for Cup Holders
Assembling the Racetrack Poker Table
Before we start cutting cup holders, it's a good idea to get the whole table together without the upholstery as you will be cutting through several pieces of wood to make your cup holder holes.
The first thing you will need to do is assemble the rail. To do this just lay piece C on top of piece D and line them around the outer edge. Then drive a few 1 1/4" wood screws through to hold these pieces together (Figure 2-1). This will eventually be upholstered and will turn into your padded rail.
With the rail complete, you can put the rest of the table together for a dry run. Start with piece E, your base and lay piece B, the racetrack, on top of it making sure to center it. Now your rail, comprised of C and D will fit on top of the rail. The playing surface, A, will fit in the center but does not really need to to complete this step (Figures 2-2 and 2-3).
Cutting Holes for Cup Holders
With everything together, you can either clamp it to hold or simply send a single screw from the base into the bottom of the racetrack on each end. Either way, you don't want this to move as you will have to cut through both pieces. Now to position your cup holders, measure 2.5" from the inner edge of the wherever you want a cup holder to go and mark it. This will center your cup holders in the racetrack when you make the cuts.
Once you mark all of your cup holder holes, you can begin cutting them out with a hole say (Figure 2-4). Keep in mind that you are likely going to need to cut out the top layer of wood first and go back in for a second cut as few hole saws will go through 1.5 inches of wood in one go.
With your holes all cut, you can take the table apart again and focus solely on the racetrack. There are a lot of options for a finish. Remember to always keep in mind the other materials that you're using. Some colors go better with different wood finishes. Also be sure to follow the manufacturers guidelines when using stain and top coat. After you choose and apply your finish you can set the racetrack aside (Figure 2-5).
With your racetrack completed, its time to wash our your brushes and get ready to start upholstering. Move on to Step Four - Playing Surface