Step 6: Making air inlet / attaching leaf blower

We decided to connect the leaf blower with a tube to the table, instead of directly mounting it onto the table. Since vibration might cause this machine to fall, if it would be mounted directly to the table. The image below shows the leaf blower we chose. Most of these tubes are expensive. We didn't want to spend to much money on this, so took a suitable tube from a construction site. You'll need to experiment with the size of the tube yourself, because it is dependent on the air outlet of the leaf blower and the one we used isn't ideal.

Chipboard is cheap, but has as disadvantage: it is weak. In order to make a sturdy air inlet, the force needs to be distributed. This is why you'll need a large PVC sheet (with a hole in it), which covers a large area. We needed a muff to make the tube and PVC sheet fit tightly.

O: Glue the muff onto the blue tube with thermoplastic adhesive. Connect the other end of the tube to the outlet of the leaf blower with some duct tape. This will allow you to easily remove the leaf blower and use it to clean up your back yard.

P: Using a 'drill-saw' (see image P), drill holes through the two layers of plywood. The holes need to be bigger than the one in the PVC sheet, since this sheet will be sandwiched between the plywood. Now decide where you want to have the air inlet (we recommend you to place it in a corner of the bottom plate). Once you know the position of the air inlet, drill a hole through the chipboard (bottom).

Q: Predrill the two layers of plywood according to the diagram: one piece of plywood should have four holes in each corner, the second one should have eight equally distributed holes. The same applies to the PVC sheet.

R: With polyurethane glue, glue the layer of plywood (with four holes) onto the desired place on the chipboard. And screw the plywood down with four screws. Now put the PVC sheet and the second piece of plywood on top of the plywood you just glued. Make sure the holes of the two components are aligned and screw them down with eight screws.
airhockey5 years ago
 we can use air condition turbine because it makes several presure that is the real truble to pass, lets make an air blower with an 1/4 hp motor and 2500 rpm it will work better than leaf blower trust me, thjanks for this wonderfull idea
igorp10245 years ago
Can you name the model and manufacturer of leaf blower you did use? I can't find any providing a aifrlow mentioned by you. It would be nice if you name several. Thanks.
rokeylounge5 years ago
it's written that for this particular size of table, approximately 400cfm is the required airflow. if a person were to find (for example) four 100cfm computer fans, that would be enough airflow.
casvandegoor (author)  rokeylounge5 years ago
Would the fans be able to handle the Pressure? Because I believe that airflow and pressure are two different things.
you make a good point about the pressure, and I am not certain to be honest.

honestly, i have taken quiet the liking to this Instructable, and may be doing it myself in the near future (with a few modifications). in my head, one of the mods i've been planning to do is use computer case fans since they could be mounted to the underside of the table and thus be hidden. they would also give me the allowance to space them out evenly along the bottom side of the table and thus theoretically give me more even airflow than a single inlet can provide. also, I expect i'll be using dowels for the Surface Supports, which will increase the build cost, but as I'm probably a bit more anal (sometimes) then i'd like to think, it'll save me the frustration of making things even, lol. Also, being round, air will flow around the dowels with much more ease than they would around lumber with corners... thus reducing the internal air resistance.

You have my sincerest appreciation in having made this particular Instructable. Similarly, I feel that after I have completed my own Air Hockey Table (with a design based on yours), that I will also have gained a lot of respect for anyone else who has taken on such a project.
casvandegoor (author)  rokeylounge5 years ago
I appreciate your comment as well. Tell me when you succeeded to build it. I'm curious for modifications.
nogginhead6 years ago
Can these PVC pieces be found easily? This looks like fun...
anything else you can use instead of a leaf blower?? i want to make this in small scale and will be using your idea... but smaller =p

i cant get on youtube since i live in china.... youtube and social sites are blocked here.
arduinoe6 years ago
HAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA pvc muff hehehe , im so imature
could I use a large PC fan instead.