Drilling the chip holes: Shopsmith to the rescue

by Poker_Table on ‎01-27-2012 08:45 AM

Jim and I started drilling the chip holes and the holes that form the bottoms of the finger slots on the outside of the top ring.  The chip holes start with a hole large enough for a poker chip through the top three of the four layers.  Then a 1" hole is drilled through the bottom layer.  This allows a player to push up the stack of chips in that hole.  The outside finger slot allows the player to pull up the chips they want.  Here is a picture of the original for reference:


Truman Table Chip Holders






















We have constructed two big drilling tables, using an old Shop Smith for the horizontal work, and a floor model drill press for the vertical work.  The tables have guides to match the inside radius of the rings.  We are able to simply rotate the piece into position for the drilling.


Drilling Tables with Top Rings in position






















A close-up of the vertical drilling...


Drilling Chip Holes in top ring


A close-up of the horizontal drilling...


Horizontal drilling bottom of finger slots






















And here is one of the rings with the drilling completed!


Horzontal drilling maching with ring in place


We need to drill the second ring and then we start routing the final shape on the finger slots.  That step has us most "anxious" because of the possibility of chip out.  After getting all this way, if we snap a piece off that would not be good.  We made a template from a piece of composite board, and we're building mock-ups and practicing before we start the router on the final pieces.












After the chip holes and finger slots we will drill or rout the ashtray insert holes.  We have located brass cup holders that look amazingly similar to the original brass bases. 


Brass Ashtray Base






Truman Table Cigar AshtrayWhat we found fits nicely into a 3 9/16"hole.  We can find 3 1/2" and 3 5/8" forstner bits (go figure!).  The ashtrays really can't be "sloppy" in the hole or they will scratch and wear a ring around the top of each hole.  One challenge after another!


If anyone knows where to find a 3 9/16" forstner bit, let us know.  I have melted my search engine looking for one.






We're headed to the Kansas City Woodworking Show Friday and then we both have some extensive travel in February so we may get slowed down a bit.  We're pretty happy with the progress so far.


For sure this is a two-person project.  One could do it, but four hands and two brains have been critical several times!




Dave and Jim

by BeerParty
on ‎03-24-2012 12:27 PM

If you have not found a 3 9/16" forstner bit yet, you might want to invest in a Jasper Jig. You should be able to get a perfectly sized hole for your brass cups with that and a plunge router.

by beardsleegary
on ‎04-13-2012 12:35 PM
If you take your 3 5/8" bit to a machine shop they can grind it down to 3 9/16 . I have had this done for a smaller 3/4' bit and it works. you are only taking .032" off a side.