Wyrmwood Modular Table - Thoughts


This post is broken down into two sections: thoughts on the table & accessories, assembly gotchas. This post will not go into many of the significant issues with the company’s leadership, and management.

table with most of its toppers removed. A game of Spire's End Hildegard has been laid out. Near the camera you can see a nalgene water bottle and an espresso. Many of the accessories are visible

Table and Accessories

The table itself

Overall the table lives up to the marketing. The thing you need to keep in mind about it, is that while these are high-end tables they’re also not artisan tables. These are mass produced with good quality materials. There are plenty of blog and video reviews of Wyrmwood’s first generation modular table, and I believe their commentary apply well to the 2nd generation. This isn’t a notably different table.

I am dubious about their implications that children can paint on it and use markers on it and everything will clean off without a care, but I’m not about to put that to the test.

The magnetic rail system is very nice. It works really well. Things feel very solidly held, and the system is so simple that anyone with a some magnets and some wood, or a 3D printer can make their own accessories.

We were concerned that reaching past the edge into the table would feel awkward. In practice it’s been absolutely fine.

There are, however, three frustrating aspects of the table for me.

First, there are two holes at the end of each piece of the apron that are a key part of the assembly, BUT they’re drilled too far from the edge for the hardware provided. I’ll cover this in more detail in “Assembly Gotchas” but the short version is that the legs are well made, but each bolt is only using about 1/3rd of its threads. It works, but if I had access to a lathe I’d mill some new hardware for them.

Second, at the center of each apron piece you can see an area that either didn’t get varnished, or didn’t get the last coat of varnish. It seems as if maybe some sort of holding piece was here when they were varnished.

In their defense, this makes sense from an industrial mass-production perspective. It’d require twice the drying time if you varnished all but the side being held, let it dry, turned it over, and varnished the side that didn’t get it the first time. Also, it’s in a location that you’ll never see once the table is assembled. However, this is marketed as a premium table and that feels lazy.

Third, the plywood inner-table. Underneath the felt surface are multiple pieces of plywood. Intellectually it’s unreasonable to expect them to use anything else, and they did show that it was plywood in their behind the scenes video of making things. Emotionally it feels really cheap.

Dowels connect each piece, but the dowel holes are way too big, and the plywood is so thin that there’s very little wood between edge of the hole and the surface. You’re essentially guaranteed to break it if you follow their instructions for sliding the pieces together on anything except maybe the small table. Wood screws are used to attach the plywood to the table meaning each time you assemble it (when moving) you’re damaging the holes a little more. It’s not an unreasonable choice because you’re not going to disassemble it and reassemble it many times, but it’s also the cheap and lazy choice.

The “Toppers” (the removable table top) are sold separately. This feels ridiculous. I would be surprised if even 0.5% of their table customers buy a table without them.

Minor defects:

One of toppers has a manufacturing defect on the bottom. Ours is “rustic” which means many small pieces of wood of varying colors are used to make up the whole. One of the pieces of wood had defects that went too deep for their sanding. The piece should have been thrown out and QA should have caught it. There’s also a gap in the end of one of our pieces. It doesn’t extend the full length and is probably just a sanding issue, but it is visible. In their defense I’m being very nitpicky. Minor defects like these should be expected in a mass-produced item. At the same time, this is not a cheap purchase.

The accessories

With the exception of The Player Desk, and the Hobby Shelf every accessory seems to have a curve on the attachment-side that matches the curve you can see. This looks nice, but only when it’s not in use. When in use it means that any pressure you put on these is not going to be evenly distributed along the far edge but focused on the two rear corners. Does this matter practically? I’m not going to press hard enough to find out when and how ours break, but it’s an artificial weakness that wasn’t necessary and doesn’t help anything.

The Hobby Shelf

I don’t like that the End Caps of The Hobby Shelf sold separately, or that they are detachable. I understand that the idea is that you can connect multiple of them and make a wide flat place for things. I don’t think many folks will actually do this. And if you get enough for that you’ll probably need somewhere to store them.

Without the End Caps, The Hobby Shelf looks unfinished relative to the rest of the table.

The Player Desk

It feels surprisingly sturdy. It works well, and it meets the expectations set by the marketing. However, it’s not very comfortable to actually use for any notable typing or writing because it ends up sitting a little too high. There’s not really anything they can do about this. It’s just the nature of having a vertically thick table whose underside is high enough to go over your legs when you sit.

The end result is that this is great for reference. Put a laptop on it. Put a book on it. Don’t try and write your homework on it. At least not at the table.

Cup Holders

We got the Large Cup Holder and Small Cup Holder. The small cup holder holds beer bottles, and basically nothing else. They say “stemware” but I’m dubious. Even if your stemware happens to fit, I’d be afraid of breaking off the stem if I lifted it too fast. The Large Cup Holder works as advertised. Don’t get the small one unless you consume a lot beer in bottles, or things that come in bottles of that size & shape.

Card organizer

I think the Card Organizer is designed for standard playing cards where you can overlay them and only need to see the corner of each. It’s not wide enough to hold even 3 poker cards with the full face visible. The rows are so close together that it’s impossible to see anything but the top edge of anything that isn’t in the front row. With traditional cards this means you’ll be able to tell it’s a black 3 but not if is it a club or a spade. I feel like the people who designed and approved this couldn’t possibly have been into traditional card games, because it’s useless for any game with large hands where you need to actually know suit and number.

The games I play with cards require me to be able to see the whole card, which means it’s useless for me too.

Don’t buy this. I’ve added the task of designing a replacement that actually works to my personal ToDo list.

a photo of the card organizer with four cards from the atma game. Two are in the front row and one in the row behind it, and one in the row behind that. You can't see much of the rear cards

The Topper Block & Tray

First some terminology. A “topper” is one of the slats of wood that fit together and go over the gaming table to convert it into a normal table. It’s kind of like a table “leaf” except that it’s just a pretty board that sits on top. The Topper Block, is just a block with slots to hold those where they won’t get scratched while you’ve got the gaming table open.

This works as advertised but I’m really annoyed by this whole thing. First, it’s bullshit that The Topper Block Tray doesn’t come with the Topper Block. Most of the time you’re going to have the “toppers” on the table and the block will be empty. Otherwise the table surface is just a piece of felt waiting to soak up spills and collect dust and particles.

Our Tray also doesn’t match our block. This is because they don’t offer “Rustic” versions of the trays. It’d been so long between ordering and delivery that I thought they’d sent us the wrong one. The mismatch looks bad, and like they cheaped out.

They also really cheaped out on the construction. The outer box is fine, but they just reused the same packing foam that they shipped things in to hold your toppers in place. I expected that the little “fingers” that hold things up were going to be felt covered plywood or some other form of rigid structure with a covering to not hurt your toppers. Instead it’s just a stiff plasticy packing foam. The foam is being compressed when you have pieces in it. In order to make this work they needed to make it a very snug fit. So, when you insert or remove a topper you have to use force to push or pull. This isn’t terrible, until you get to the last piece at an end. Then you have to put a foot on the block and hold it down otherwise it won’t let go of your topper.

a photograph of the topper block with a single end piece in the rear slot

It gets worse. The topper pieces that go at the ends of your table are slightly different. They have little rubber feet on them to keep them in place. They fit just inside the corners of the inner table area. I’m 100% fine with that. The problem is that they didn’t cut a slot into the foam that would accommodate inserting it with the foot side pointing outward. Because of the way the toppers fit together on the table you’ll be grabbing an end first, and you’ll want to put it in one of the end slots of the Topper Block.

The problem is that when you lift a Topper from the side of the table, the bottom is facing away from you. The simplest motion is to pick it up, and hold it vertically in front of you as you walk to your Topper Block. BUT you need to flip the first end piece around before inserting it because otherwise it won’t fit. All the other pieces will be not flipped because that’s easier.

Is this a minor nitpick? Yes. It’s also a minor annoyance every single time I open the table and there’s absolutely no good reason for it.

It’s also not a square. It looks like a square, so I keep grabbing the Topper Tray and just trying to put it on, but half of the time that doesn’t work, because it’s a rectangle and needs to be rotated 90°. Again, a minor annoyance, but an annoyance. There’s nothing indicating “this side forward” although 2 of the edges of the topper have a little cut out of them it’s not obvious if that should be on the side or the front.

  • Topper Tray

    They market it as being useful as a dice tray. This is true. It works well as a dice tray. However, you’re not going to use it as one because it’s too damn big. It takes up too much space to be used by a single player or pair of players. It’d be too far away from some players if you put it in the center of a long table. It’d take up too much space if you put it in the center of a small table.

    I appreciate that they at least made it capable of doing something other than just covering the Topper Box, but in reality you’re not going to use it.

  • Tray Drama

    The Corner Dice Tray, and Topper Block Tray were sold to Kickstarter backers - and presumably some pre-orders after the Kickstarter - as having leather lining (for rolling your dice on). Both shipped with felt. The Topper Block was also show with with a chamfered edge.

    It was eventually revealed that the company created a handful of Topper Block prototypes before the Kickstarter. That’s what they used for the promotional photos and videos. It seems they never considered what it would take to build those designs at scale. Then, after changing it, they didn’t bother to tell anyone. Customers started getting things that were different than what they ordered and many were very upset. Doug - the co-founder who seems to run things - responded that, “Those people need to relax.”

    Overall, Wyrmwoods handling of it was 💩.

    In the end they offered a $25 gift certificate to affected parties. They did this is one of the Kickstarter updates saying, “to those that have their trays shipped to them before updated photography is available”. This was on November 20th. The Kickstarter campaign ended on January 15th. I’m not sure when they ended up updating the photography on the site, but if it ended up being before someone got theirs then tough shit. Doesn’t matter that we sold you one thing and you got another.

    There was no separate email to customers about this. It also completely ignores the fact that a lot of people aren’t going to read every kickstarter update, or every detail of the long ones. In the case of this campaign, the updates are essentially all the same and can be summarized as “we’re behind in shipping” and “logistics are hard”. I suspect lots of folks didn’t notice until it was too late.

    Did they technically say “sorry”? Yes. Did the whole thing feel like them not actually giving a shit and expending the least possible effort whilst saying the politically appropriate things? Also yes.

    I feel like their CEO (Jason) actually does care about customers. I also feel that it doesn’t matter because Doug seems to set the tone and handling for everything.

Assembly Gotchas


The paper instructions are fine. The PDF instructions are terrible. The PDF is laid out for the same long folded paper that they used for the included printed one. This doesn’t correspond to anyone’s home printer, or anyone’s screen. It’s just bad.


In addition to the tools provided and recommended you will need a flashlight to see down into the dark holes, and you should have a “speed square” to make sure you actually have apron sides and legs all square to each other. A drill bit that is the same size as the holes in the plywood. Some coarse grit sandpaper.

When using the speed square you should be careful to not lay it on grub screws that are poking out, and only hold it against wood. The grub screws keep being where I wanted to place it.


Finish the screw holes

There are holes through the plywood that the wood screws will go through when attaching to the apron. Many of ours were not drilled the full way through, or had chips that weren’t removed at the end that prevented us from seeing if the holes were aligned with the pre-drilled holes in the apron.

I’d recommend taking a quick pass over each hole with the coarse grit sandpaper. Hopefully that’ll remove most of the problems. Then go back and drill out any hole that needs it and sand any chips that are left.

Use your flashlight to align the holes before drilling. Do not assume that because you lined up one piece of plywood that the piece next to it will be aligned.

Align every piece with its holes individually. Then screw in the four corners of each piece. Then go back and screw in the rest.

Be cautious with dowel holes

The instruction video shows lifting one piece of plywood with dowels in the end to slide the next piece onto them. Do Not do this! The distance between the dowel hole and the plywood surface is too short and the dowel is /very likely to rip through it. I don’t have a better solution beyond just being very slow, and very careful and using the help of others.

Attaching the Legs

The leg attachment is a real problem. It’s also how the entire table is held together.

At a high level, you screw a series of “posts” into the leg, and slide them into a hole in the apron. The apron has 2 holes you drop cams and grub screws into. These clamp the posts into place. The idea is fine. I have no reason to believe it isn’t a good solution. The problem is that they fucked up the measurements of the posts and put the holes too far away from the leg.

There are two different and incompatible instructions about how to deal with the posts.

The first instruction is to screw them in until they stop, and then back them out just far enough that the divot in them points towards the far end of the leg. This is exactly how it should be, but if you follow that instruction the post will barely even reach the hole for the grub screw, and thus you won’t be able to hold it in place.

The second instruction is to use a plexiglass template they provide and unscrew the post until it is at the edge of the template. Do not do this either! The template was clearly constructed with the wrong measurements. If you do this there will be zero to one-half of a thread holding the post in. It will not only fall out, it won’t be able to hold the leg on.

Instead you need to compromise and find a point where the edge of the post is just barely past the center of the hole for the grub screw, so that the grub screw has something to catch on to and so that the post actually has enough threads in the leg to hold it on.

This is bad. If you know where to buy longer posts do it before assembly. If that’s not an option and you are one of the rare people with a lathe, make new posts that are longer.

I’ve found the connectors they’re using on a German site. [Click the German flag at the top to see the English version]. These may be available elsewhere. Try and find posts that are about 1cm longer than the ones Wyrmwood shipped. For some context in finding these, this is not something an individual woodworker would likely use. This kind of connector is used by companies producing things as quickly as possible in significant numbers.

Should you get one

You should get a gaming table if you can afford one, or make one if you’ve got access to the tools. Having it has been wonderful and we’re actually playing the many board games in our shelves.

Should you get one of Wyrmwood’s gaming tables? Honestly. No. You shouldn’t. Their magnetic railing attachment thing and accessories are unique, work well, and very tempting. The barely attached legs are extremely concerning.

For a variety of reasons, in addition to the company dismissing numerous allegations of sexual harassment and keeping the person in question on staff, everything they communicate and do feels incredibly dismissive, half-assed, and incompetent.

Despite having Kickstarted essentially the same table before and having massive logistical issues then because of unexpected demand and being a small company, they completely fucked up the logistics the second time around too in incredibly predictable ways. Yes, they have a very difficult logistical problem, but none of it should have been a surprise and all of it should have been planned for.

We were supposed to be in the December wave of shipments. We got ours in January. This was well within our expectations, however there are still people from the first wave of shipments in June who haven’t received their stuff. I’m writing this on Feb 1st, and it looks like maybe 75% of the December wave people still haven’t received their shipment.

On January 31st I received an email from them saying “Your Wave 6 order was scheduled to ship by the end of December. Unfortunately, fulfillment is running late, and we apologize for any disappointment.” They then offer a $25 gift certificate as a form of compensation.

The thing is a) they don’t seem to know we already have ours. b) this came at the end of the month after the month it was supposed to have shipped. It should have been sent around the 1st of January not the 31st.

Where then?

I don’t know. Carolina Game Tables seems like the most visible alternative, but while their thick edges may be comfortable for resting forearms on it’s going to require you to reach a lot farther to interact with anything in the table. The thinner edge of the Wyrmwood table is not uncomfortable and allows you to have your cards and dice much closer to you.