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Add side ball returns your Halex/Franklin foosball table

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I bought this inexpensive Halex foosball table for my family at Toys R Us. It's great, but it annoyed us that we had to reach over to the end of the table to retrieve the ball after each goal. So I decided to add some ball-return lanes to roll the ball back to us.

Before you start chopping up your foosball table, take note: This mod works ONLY for tables of this design! You may be able to customize this plan to work with your table---but first, read all the steps carefully and be sure you know what you're doing. If you mess up your table, I can't be responsible!
 
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Step 1: What you'll need

Picture of What you'll need
Parts:

6 feet of 3 x .25" hardwood or plywood
6 feet of 1 x .25" rectangular wood molding
Six 2.5" metal angle braces
Twelve 1" bolts, plus 2 small washers, 1 lock washer, and 1 nut for each bolt
1 foot of 2" PVC pipe
2 right angle (90-degree) 2" PVC pipe connectors (Get the type called "medium", not the narrower or wider types---see photos)
Duct tape
.5" brads (finishing nails with narrow heads)
Wood glue

Tools:

Dremel rotary tool with disc-cutter bit (or a coping saw)
Electric drill
Drill bits: 1.5" flat bit; 1/16" bit; bit for bolt holes (depends on bolt thickness)
Hand saw
Hack saw
Measuring tape
Small chisel and rubber mallet
Screwdriver
Pliers
Small adjustable wrench
Flat file
Fine sandpaper
Rag or paper towel
Safety goggles---and ALWAYS WEAR THEM when you use power tools!! If you've never gotten a splinter or metal shaving in your eye, you're lucky... But believe me, you don't want to find out what it's like!

Step 2: Remove the corner cover

Picture of Remove the corner cover
Remove the plastic cover from one of the corners between a player's goal and that player's side of the table. (You want the ball to roll back to that goal's player, not the other player, right?) This reveals the "downhill" end of the goal box.
squawker4 years ago
Duct tape always looks messy. Try to avoid using it.
squawker4 years ago
Very cool. A friend of mine did a similar thing but the ball rolled along the bottom of the table before being lifted through the center by a series of electro-magnets. You don't see this operation but every time a goal is scored the ball shoots out of a hatch. The best part is that the hatch is lowered so it doesn't get in the way and the ball will roll over it freely. OMG He refuses to tell anyone how he made it and wont even post youtube videos of it in action. :(
b2gills4 years ago
I would have run it through the inside.
brunobl34 years ago
Amazing work! Very clean and useful!
jongscx5 years ago
I guess the wooden padding makes it look more authentic, but you could also just cut a PVC pipe in half to make the tray, no?
jongscx jongscx5 years ago
urg, not wooden padding, wooden trough. Looking at the last step that says padding and got confused.
ander (author)  jongscx5 years ago
Sure, an all-pipe return would work too. But to rip the entire length of pipe (lengthwise), you'd need to feed it into a table saw—and I don't have enough experience with such unconventional cuts to recommend that.
AWESOME DUDE!!!!!!
mmh5 years ago
Good idea. A little surgery does the trick.
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