As some of you may know, I am making my first ever project: a board game table. It's not going so well! Here are some pictures:

board game table under construction board game table under construction board game table under construction board game table under construction

The red lines on the first picture are the drawer railings outside to outside on the top. The blue lines are the drawer railings outside to outside on the bottom. I have a few questions regarding my table and a few issues that maybe you guys have good ways to sort out.

  1. Do these measurements matter a lot? I assume they do. My drawer seems like it's getting pinched when I push it in. I squared off all the corners on the drawer box, leveled all the railings, leveled the two pieces of wood long side to long side and short side to short side. The only thing that isn't "perfect" are these measurements.

  2. My table bows in the middle slightly. It goes from 49" to 49.5" and then back to 49". It was supposed to be 4 ft, not 4ft 1 inch! grrr!

  3. Two of my corners don't come together nicely. Sand it down? Plane it down? What should I do to make these corners come together or at least have the illusion that they do?

  4. How the heck do you move screws over 1/16th of an inch while keeping everything level by yourself? I have no one helping me with this and I've spent the last 5 days leveling railings and adjusting pieces of wood by 1/16th" and I'm at wits end!

Anyone have any suggestions/comments?

  • 2
    I know your four questions are all about the same project, but it would be better if they were posted as separate questions (unless the 4th is related to trying to fix the 1st, in which case they can be the same question). It seems tedious but this way a) you can have titles that are more descriptive than your current title and b) each question can garner the best answers to each point (which is what you want!). Thanks and good luck with the table, it certainly looks good from those photos.
    – drs
    May 27, 2015 at 11:08
  • 1
    On top of having more tailored descriptions. You can include photos more specific to those new questions. You mention that two of the corners arent good. I maybe see one of corners in question in the photos above. .
    – Matt
    May 27, 2015 at 11:27
  • Sorry about that. I'll work on asking more specific questions next time. I just don't want to flood this stack exchange with my posts. May 27, 2015 at 11:48
  • 4
    FLOOD it. As long as they are good questions, that stand on their own, you should ask all you can. There is nothing wrong with it and it is even encouraged
    – Matt
    May 27, 2015 at 13:38
  • I think you can distill this down to at least 3 very good questions: (1) Why don't my final measurements match the original plans, and when does it matter or not matter? (2) How do you properly align pieces by yourself during assembly? (3) How do you fine-tune or fix misaligned parts?
    – rob
    May 27, 2015 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


Don't worry -- almost nobody builds perfect furniture the first time out. (Certainly not me!)

To your specifics:

  1. You need your drawer assembly to be parallel. Seriously. It'll be no end of woe if it isn't. I'm not entirely sure how it's in there, but if you can take it apart, temporarily brace it dead parallel, then re-integrate it with the box, your life will be better.

  2. Not sure.

  3. Clamp the corner, remove the screws, tighten the clamp to the point where the crack isn't visible, refer to #4 for screw therapy, and re-screw. If you don't happen to have clamps that long, use strapping/string/whatever is strong enough, and then twist a bar in it to tighten it up.

  4. To move screws over, plug the old holes with toothpicks and glue, drill a pilot hole where you want it, and screw it back together.

Good luck. You're doing fine!

  • Do you have any recommendations for getting my drawer assembly parallel? It's especially important for me because both of my drawers use the same 1x6s. So if they're off at all at one end, the other end sees it as well. May 27, 2015 at 11:49
  • If your ideal inside surface width is 17-1/4", I'd cut a 1x6 to exactly that, with dead square ends. Screw that into the middle of your assembly, so that you've got something resembling an H (with the drawer faces horizontal on the floor and facing up). That will maintain the right distance and keep the sides square. Set the H assembly on a flat surface and square it up. (As long as the uprights of your H are the same length, the corner to corner measurements will be equal when the assembly is square.) Tack or screw a bit of scrap on an angle across the 3 parts of the H. (to be continued...) May 27, 2015 at 13:39
  • Flip the assembly and check square again. Put a piece of scrap across the 3 parts, making an X with the other side and tack in 3 places. Now you have something that should have an exactly 17-1/4" wide opening at each end and in the middle. Fill the old screw holes in the ends and reassemble. Perfect world, you should have parallel sides when viewed from above and from the side. A 32nd won't kill you here. May 27, 2015 at 13:49
  • While you have your drawer rails disassembled and before you attach the 1x6 to form the H, check their lengths. If your table bulges in the middle, it's because the drawer rails are 1/2 inch too long.
    – Ast Pace
    May 27, 2015 at 16:33
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate how would you make the 1x6 with dead square ends? Use a right-angle and a sander to adjust? May 27, 2015 at 21:26

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