# DIY Air Hockey Table

Inspired by a do-it-yourself miniature table spotted on youtube we decided to built a full-size (122cm x 244cm) air hockey table. This instructable will guide you through all the steps in making this large air hockey table (without table legs).

You can download a 3D model of the DIY Air Hockey Table here. This will help you understand the project better. In order to view the 3D model you need to install the free application SketchUp.

We hope this information is useful to you and start building this thing straight away!
If you've got any questions or remarks or you just appreciate this instructable, don't hesitate to comment!

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## Step 1: Requirements and Measurements

COMPONENTS
(MEASUREMENTS ARE EXPRESSED IN MM)

Some of these measurements are standard european measurements. So if you are American these might vary a little. This means that you cannot make an exact copy of this project and need adjust the project to the materials available to you.

The drawings might clarify what materials you'll need. They show the basic construction and measurements.

Construction frame (of whitewood)

• Two long sides: L=2530 ; W=45 ; H=70 (no. 1, see this component in the drawings)
• Two short sides: L=1310 ; W=45 ; H=70 (no. 2)
• Two long sides: L=2440 ; W=20 ; H=35 (no. 3)
• Two short sides: L=1220 ; W=20 ; H=35 (no. 4)

Expenses: 27 euros (about \$37,-)

Playing surface (of MDF)

• L=2440 ; W=1220 ; H=6 (no. 5)

Expenses: 13 euros (about \$18,-)

Supports

• Small beams of scrap wood with heigth of 35mm (no. 6)

Expenses: 8 euros (about \$11,-)

Plate opposite to the surface (of chipboard)

• L=2440 ; W=1220 ; H=12 (no. 7)

Expenses: 11 euros (about \$15,-)

Air source

• Leaf blower, centrifugal blower or vacuum cleaner (no. 8)

How to calculate the the required volume flow and pressure rise: see attached PDF file below (I'm not sure if the specified jet speed is correct, though).

The required output for a 7 to 8 feet air hockey table is about 400 cubic feet per minute. Regular household vacuum cleaners have an average air output of around 140 CFM. You'd need at least 3 vacuum cleaners to make the puck float. This air source would therefore be to expensive. There are more powerful industrial vacuum cleaners, but are hard to get and expensive. Centrifugal blowers are highly specialized. The output ranges from a few CFM to a 1000 CFM or more. These blowers are used in air hockey tables as well. You might want to try to get one for cheap. Overall centrifugal motors are pretty expensive.

Leaf blowers are very powerful. Their output ranges from 350 CFM to 600 CFM. We believe that getting a cheap second-hand electric leaf blower is the best option. We therefore bought a new leaf blower with adjustable output (max. output: 490 CFM). We tried out the leaf blower at the lowest speed (7000 rpm) and it worked fine. The noise produced was significantly less than at higher speeds. It should have a circular outlet. The blower cost 40 euros (about \$56,-).

Air inlet

• One or two meters of tube with a diameter of about 90mm (depends on size of leaf blower outlet)
• A sheet of PVC measuring 250mm by 250mm, with hole in which the tube fits. (no. 9)
• If the tube doesn't directly fit into the hole, use a PVC muff (which does fit around the tube and in the hole)
• Two pieces of plywood measuring 250mm by 250mm (no. 10 and 11)

Goal

• Wooden beams with a length of about 400mm
• Strong piece of fabric measuring 400mm by 400mm

Puck and Mallets

TOOLS

Note: these are the tools we used, but you might find that other tools can be used for the same job as well.

• Proper tenon saw
• Jigsaw
• Regular saw
• Hole saw
• Wood glue (regular and polyurethane glue)
• Drill with adequate drillbits
• Dremel with adequate drillbits of 1mm (or 1/32)
• Sanding machine with very fine and super fine sandpaper (P180 and P1200)
• Hammer and suitable nails
• Screwdrivers and suitable screws
• Thermoplastic adhesive (hot glue)
• Duct tape
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emmkayy414 years ago
Great Instructable. Built this guys for about \$250 and it works great.
casvandegoor (author)  emmkayy414 years ago
Great! Have fun with it!
Johnte4 years ago
Hi Guys thanks for a great instructable. I have built the table it works brilliantly. I made some slight changes (12v blowers from a camper van and an old desk for the base) We have had hours of fun. keep up the good work
casvandegoor (author)  Johnte4 years ago
Great! Great to hear you build one!
AutonomousAlex1 month ago
I am actually making a smaller version of this now (2 by 3 feet) i know you had mentioned cfm in the instructions now i was wondering if static pressure matters also how accurate does the hole spacing have to be.
casvandegoor (author)  AutonomousAlex1 month ago

At the time that I built the table, I didn't do any calculations in order to find the right air supply. Just now I did a quick search on the internet, and to my surprise I found this engineering exercise: http://user.engineering.uiowa.edu/~me_160/Extra%20... It describes how to calculate the required volume flow and pressure for an air hockey table! I hope it is useful. I don't know if the values are correct though. A spacing of 25mm seems to be common. I don't think you have to worry about the accuracy of the hole spacing.

I also found this Popular mechanics article: http://books.google.nl/books?id=EuIDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=P... Less related to your question, but interesting anyway.

Good luck!

27 days ago
Thank you very much for your help i actually just finished this and it works great i made my own mallets as well as 3d printed my own puck i also plan on adding a scoring system in the future.
the_project_man4 months ago

What is the average price for Home Depot? I'm thinking about doing this.

hon_ed8 months ago

we made a air hockey table but we have a problem on it..we want the table the surface to be smooth.we paint an acrylic spray paint but the surface of the table is rough.what we're gonna do on it?

casvandegoor (author)  hon_ed7 months ago

I would sand it with some fine sandpaper. Perhaps do several layers. Some tips on painting mdf to a mirror finish: http://forums.shoryuken.com/discussion/67501/how-to-paint-mdf-to-a-mirror-finish-worklog

briollet made it!8 months ago

Thank you for the instructable! Build it for 50 €
I did a flipper also, you can have a look at http://benriollet.com/experimentations/arcade

casvandegoor (author)  briollet7 months ago

wow, didn't see it until now. awsome :)

biofueljunke9 months ago

now if you have a spare refrigeration unit to pull apart you could make an ice version.

ChinesePeanuts11 months ago

Hi Guys, thanks for this tutorial. But, is it possible to have back the 3D model

? Because it's not avaible anymore, same for the hole template. I've planned to make the table 40% shorter for a school project !
Thanks for everything, Keep doing awsome things

casvandegoor (author)  ChinesePeanuts11 months ago

Thanks for letting me know. I've uploaded a new hole template. It's strange that you can't access the 3D model. Have you tried clicking the link? (http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid...

casvandegoor (author)  casvandegoor11 months ago

JOSHdog71 year ago
I am building this table as a school project, a mini one (1mX60cm). I was just wondering how "1" and "3" fit together, and also how the sides "2" and "4" fit together? Can anyone help me?
casvandegoor (author)  JOSHdog71 year ago
I used polyurethane glue and nails to attach 1 to 3 and 2 to 4 (see step 2). I hope this answered your question. Good luck!
Shagglepuff5 years ago
Awesome idea. I'm actually trying to make my own 6 x 3 version of this. But instead of using a leafblower, I am planning on using 8 40CFM computer fans (http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16778) They should add up to a bit over 225, which is the minimum CFM for a 6 x 3 air hockey table. But I'm not sure if this will work. Can someone help me?
casvandegoor (author)  Shagglepuff2 years ago
Hey, I was wondering whether you have completed this project succesfully. Many people like to know whether they can use computer fans in their table. Thanks in advance!
2 years ago
I never actually attempted the project, so I'm afraid that I can't tell you about that. I did make a small version with a single fan, though, and it worked surprisingly well. I don't see why a scaled up version wouldn't work.
2 years ago
Yes it will, I bought a fan with 340 m²/h and 127 Pa pressure and it worked, the puck does not float as smooth as with the leaf blower but the noise, oh the noise, it is gone. If you play hard you will probably not notice the difference in smoothness. Here is the fan I bought, @Casvandegoor I can send you a video of the fan so you can upload it here for others. Anyway I bought the fan here, make sure you buy another piece of crap along so the total price will be over 50 euros, you can google a couponcode for getting 5 euros of from orders above 50 euros :) Shipping is free above 25 euros, but I don't know how it works for people ordering from outside the Netherlands.

casvandegoor (author)  anteino2 years ago
Thanks for your comment! I could embed the youtube video into the instructable?
2 years ago
Sure :)
2 years ago
Watch this to get an idea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0Mz7grOln4&feature=plcp
Braideneaster2 years ago
how many hours did it take to complete the table and how much was all of the material to build it ?
phatkowz3 years ago
Thinking of building one of these this coming summer! Does anyone know whether a fan like this :
http://www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/valueline-inch-435-cfm-centrifugal-inline-fan-p-2260.html
would be sufficient to supply the air?
casvandegoor (author)  phatkowz3 years ago
I'm guessing that it's a fine air supply. Good luck!
does it make a lot of noise with the leaf blower? any quieter solutions?
where is waldo3 years ago
pleas post the video you got the idea from :p
casvandegoor (author)  where is waldo3 years ago
sidharthbhatia3 years ago
Hi! I just made the whole table following every instruction above but when I connect my blower, air comes out of 2-3 holes above the pipe and isnt spreading throughout the table! Any ideas why this is happening?? Do you think I need a more powerful blower? Please let me know quickly!! Thanks on advance! Awesome tutorial! :D
3 years ago
Big diameter of holes can bring it to this problem
casvandegoor (author)  sidharthbhatia3 years ago
I really can't imagine that the air only comes out 2 or 3 holes, even when air pressure is low (because the holes are so close to each other). So the only thing I can think of is that the air inlet is too close to the holes. Please provide some more details about your table, air inlet, blower (perhaps some photos). I think I will then be able to help you better.
tinker2343 years ago
wow if i did the top black with el wire llines be amazing lyly cool also love the viedo woho is funny
casvandegoor (author) 3 years ago
Don't worry; I like to try to help you out. I don't know the minimum CFM my leaf blower (max: 490 CFM). Neither do I know if a to high CFM creates problems. Can their output be varied? If these fans are the only option you could of course let some air escape to reduce the air pressure in the table. Sorry if this wasn't very helpful.
bblake13 years ago
Hi,

I'm very new to all this DIY and I just built a surfboard rack successfully! Now looking for a more demanding project and this sounds like it. I'm just wondering whether using a PET laminated MDF board would create less friction and thus create a faster table? Also, I'm curious as about whether you could use some sort of plastic rail that bounces better than wood (which I imagine would dent and crack over time) and if you have any suggestions as to what to use.
casvandegoor (author)  bblake13 years ago
Hey!
I don't think laminated mdf would create a faster air hockey table, because the puck floats above the surface of the table and doesn't actually touch it.

A lot of people have suggested the use of some sort of rails along the sides. I haven't used the table thourougly and just used the bare wood. I'm not sure what material is most suitable. Perhaps strips of acrylic or aluminium would work.

If you've got any other questions, just ask. You might also find a lot of information in this comments section. Good luck!
3 years ago
Thanks for the advice oldschool. I think you talk about different types of leafblowers throughout the comments; however, I'm wondering if a powerful fan could be used. One like this one

http://www.hydroponics.net/i/131194

or maybe 2 of the following:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/INLINE-DUCT-VENTILATING-EXHAUST-FAN-6-150MM-25W-METAL-/320578560668?pt=AU_Seed_Starting_Hydroponics&hash=item4aa3f8a29c#ht_2973wt_907

would 2 of those work ?

maybe one at each end of the table or something... ?

Thanks for any advice you can offer
casvandegoor (author)  bblake13 years ago
I think both options you proposed are ok.
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