A lot of people love to play air hockey and many of them show their passion for this game by buying their own air hockey tables. However, some air hockey enthusiasts are not content with ready-made air hockey tables. They instead show their passion for this game by building their own air hockey tables. They even record every step of their D-I-Y air hockey table in order to provide guidelines to others who would like to build their own air hockey table.
Of course, if you are not a craftsman or a handyman, you would surely find the idea of DIY air hockey table unappealing. But if you’re a handyman who can fashion out great and beautiful crafts out of different materials, then, you can surely engage in DIY air hockey table. So, if ever you decide to do it yourself, we would like to delineate the simple steps on how to go about with a DIY air hockey table.
Plan and then, Actualize your Plan
“Everything is created twice: first, in the mind; then, in reality,” according to Stephen Covey, the author of the bestseller “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Similarly, if you want to build a DIY air hockey table, first, you should create a design of your prospective air hockey table. Afterward, you should actualize this design. Building a DIY air hockey table, therefore, requires you to do your own research on the following:
- the specific dimensions of air hockey table,
- the materials out of which it is made,
- the other things and other accessories that you would need to make the project a reality.
Of course, you would also need to consider your budget for this project. If you don’t want to make a sketch or plan, then, you can readily rely on video tutorials on YouTube and follow the simple steps outlined in that video. But on our part, we would like to outline the steps that you can take to build a DIY air hockey table.
Steps on How to Build a DIY Air Hockey Table
If you already have the master plan with all the dimensions and measurements indicated in the plan, then you can proceed with the following steps:
- Secure all the materials for the project.
You need to buy the construction frame which is usually made of whitewood. Get the exact measurement and buy the materials based on the measurements you’ve made. For the construction frame, you would be needing woods for the two long sides, and two short sides. You would also need materials for the playing surface. Moreover, you would need small beams as supports for the top and a plate opposite the surface. You will also need an air source which can be a leaf blower, vacuum cleaner, or a centrifugal blower.
You will also need an air inlet consisting of around two meters of a tube with a diameter of 90mm. The size of the tube should depend on the size of the outlet of the leaf blower. You will also need a PVC sheet that measures around 250mm by 250mm. It should have a hole wherein you can fit the tube. You can also use a PVC muff if the tube doesn’t exactly fit into the hole. Additionally, you would also need 2 pieces of plywood. For the two goals, you will need wooden beams and a strong piece of fabric.
- Then, prepare the tools that you would need.
The tools that you would surely need include the following: jigsaw, proper tenon saw, regular saw, hole saw, drill with bits, wood glue, sanding machine, Dremel with bits, hammer and nails, screwdrivers and screws, duct tape, and thermoplastic adhesive.
- Begin to build the frame!
You will be needing your tenon saw to get the correct 45-degree angles on the eight pieces previously mentioned woods. You would also need to be extremely accurate in your measurement. “Measure twice and cut once,” is the rule of the game.
Attach the beams by using nails and polyurethane glue. Glue the smaller beams at the right height. Make sure that the clipboard fits perfectly into the ridge. Leave the pieces alone for 4 hours so that the glue can harden.
- Predrill the four corners and attach the screws.
Then, mark the points where you are going to drill tiny holes. You can do this by making a grid on the surface of the MDF. Then, create a grid template and stick the template on the flat surface. By making the template as your guide, you can now start drilling holes based on the template. You can also use a Dremel using a 1mm drill bit. This will take you much time to complete. But be patient!
- Remove Burrs on the opposite side of the sheet which is intended for the playing surface.
Utilize a sanding machine to eliminate the burrs on the intended playing surface. First, you can sand it with rough sandpaper. Then, you should smoothen it further using a finer sandpaper. Afterward, saw the wooden pillars. Ensure that the supports are sturdy enough. Place the pillars away from the edges. Then, affix the supportive pillars to the MDF’s rough side. Make sure that the pillars stay in place by using a clipboard on the pillars. Then begin making the air inlet by attaching the Leaf Blower. Attach the clipboard likewise.
- Start Making the Goals!
Using the jigsaw, you should cut the holes at a certain height of the playing surface. Then remove the cutout. Afterward, sand the cutaway down. Then after, you can nail the long beams under and above the cutaway and put a strong fabric in the center.
These steps may help you build your DIY air hockey table. But if you want a more comprehensive and detailed procedure with video instruction on how to create your own air hockey table, you can check out some YouTube Tutorials on DIY air hockey tables.