Step 3: Drilling holes / preparing playing surface

F: Before drilling holes, you'll need to make a grid on the MDF. You can either mark the 25mm squares (1 inch squares) you self with a ruler. But if you get sick of measuring you could use the grid template provided on the bottom of the page. Then draw a bigger grid, in which the templates fit. Simply stick the template to the surface.

G: Drill the holes according to the grid you've just created. Use a dremel and drillbits with a diameter of 1mm (or 1/32 inch) to do the drilling. This job is time consuming, but do not rush. Otherwise you'll break a lot of drill bits.

In total we drilled 96x48=4608 holes, breaking 3 drill bits.

H: Use a sanding machine to remove the burrs on the other side of the sheet. This side will become your playing surface. First sand the surface down with rough paper. Then smoothen it further with fine sand paper. Make sure that the holes are free from waste.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
Mundy1014 years ago
what sort of drill did you use. would the holes be straight every time, or would it not matter that much if they were not exactly straight
If you have a Dremel tool, there is an optional add-on plunge router attachment for the Dremel. Would make drilling perfectly straight holes a snap. Could even set up a guide bar to rest the edge of the router to...
Thats exactly what i ended up doing. Took about 10 hours though :(
casvandegoor (author)  Mundy1014 years ago
I used a dremel with 1mm (or 1/32 inch) diameter drillbits. Drilling by hand will give holes that are straight enough.
Excellent Instructable! My two boys (aged 9 and 10) and I built a similar table about 35 years ago from information that was in (probably) Popular Mechanics. We just demolished it because the son that had inherited it was moving and couldn't get it out of his basement. Some suggestions that I might add - Use a sheet of pegboard clamped to the playing surface instead of laying out the holes. They drilled the holes using (I believe) a 1/16" drill bit in a 1/4" drill bushing, centering the bit in the pegboard holes. Drill from the top or playing surface. Use Formica or similar for the playing surface. We used some lower cost plastic laminate and it started to show wear after 20 years of playing. We used a squirrel cage blower from Grainger Electric. This table got an awful lot of use over it's 35 year life by our sons and grandkids!

How did they get it into the basement?

Four husky teenagers were able to fold the legs on the table and drop it down a two-level stairwell. 
We demolished it because there was no one else that wanted it.  Remember, the kids that had built it initially were now 35 years older!
weasel9995 years ago
they sell this maysonite at home depot that has holes in it u can use as template
jeff-o5 years ago
4608 holes! How long did that take?
mjdinsmore5 years ago
You might want to use a cabinet scraper as well to give a nice clean, smooth surface.