DIY dining table has a hidden compartment for puzzles and games

If you’re spending a lot of time putting puzzles together lately and finding that having those pieces spread out everywhere is a little annoying, we’ve found you a great solution. Puzzle fans who don’t want their games taking up all the space on their dining tables will like this DIY table idea.

Over on Reddit, woodworker Dan Amantea shared a maple dining table he created with a hidden puzzle compartment below removable wood panels.

“Made a table to allow us to puzzle without cats stealing pieces while we are away,” the Alberta, Canada resident posted.

Made a table to allow us to puzzle without cats stealing pieces while we are away 48”x91” from Jigsawpuzzles

Amantea commented that a 2,000-piece puzzle would probably fit in the space he made and that his idea could be modified to make the “hidden” area deeper for card games, board games, Legos and other purposes.

The table was inspired by a project made by The Wood Whisperer, who posted a how-to video on YouTube about making a similar, though slightly deeper, gaming table.

As one of the commenters on the video points out, “Definitely not amateur hour for this game table.”

In other words, this looks like a DIY project for someone with a good supply of woodworking tools and skills. For that, you can buy the plans. If not, you could commission a table from Amantea himself starting at about 2,100 Canadian dollars (or about $1,514 American), but you have to live near Calgary, where he’s located.

Tables like these have actually been available for years — but they’re expensive and take months to ship because many are made to order with your choice of wood, accessories, and more. For example, check out Carolina Gaming Tables or Or there are other ready-made pieces available through Etsy, like the coffee table below from ZBrandonWoodworking.

Etsy | ZBrandonWoodworking

Tucking a puzzle away sounds like a good idea for puzzlers with small children that want to get their hands on the pieces — as long as those kids can’t figure out how to pry up the boards. For stopping table spills that might seep between board cracks, Amantea suggests adding a plastic tablecloth. The Wood Whisperer’s design includes a cloth and plastic layer between the gaming area and the top boards.

The Wood Whisperer himself recently posted an easier DIY project you can do with your kids and some simple tools: a mini trebuchet!

Check out his encouraging words at the end of this how-to video about doing any project with your children, including this advice: “He had fun, I had fun, and I didn’t push him to do more than he really wanted to do.”

Seems like woodwork can be enjoyable all around — both in creating cool projects and using them!

DIY & Improvement, Home

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About the Author
Anna Weaver
Anna Weaver is a writer and multimedia journalist from Hawaii. Her two young kids keep her on her toes and hooked on online shopping. Anna’s also a fan of movies, reading, photography, and sharing far too many IG stories about cute dogs and capybaras. Visit Scripps News to see more of Anna's work.

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