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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.
Great Instructable. Built this guys for about $250 and it works great.
Great! Have fun with it!
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
Great! Great to hear you build one!
Is a 4x8 foot sized air hockey table an ok size? Or should it be smaller?
I think it's okay. I believe it's the largest air hockey table size.
<p>Can the smooth side of hardboard work as a tabletop surface?</p>
It's quite rough, isn't it?...
<p>I don't know if i missed it or not but how is the air evenly distributed throughout the entire table? I didn't really understand how the leaf blower was hooked up to the table other than me knowing it was with an air tube.</p>
<p>Because the holes are so small, the air doesn't directly escape though the holes above the air inlet. Instead, the air pressure is built up evenly throughout the air chamber. Please see step 6 for attaching the leafblower. I see that I didn't explain how the tube is connected to the leafblower. Well... I did it with duct tape at the time :). I think the best way to do this varies, depending on the type of tube and leafblower that you have. I hope this helps?</p>
Very helpful! Thank you for replying.
<p>Hi, i made the air intel on the bottom wood (chip board) at the center, and used a bounce house blower. But when i turn On the blower, the playing surface (MDF) raises up because of the air flow fcing the playing surfce fom underneeth directly. I attached glued a 1.25kg weight on the playing surface inside the air room, in a way that it doesnt block any air hole. But it still raises up, because the air flow is cery strong. Any help would be highly appreciated.</p><p>Note:my plan is to lower the RPM of the blower, it runs on AC 240V. Any idea how to do that? Maybe a dimmer?</p>
<p>Did you try adding supports that connect the chipboard with the mdf board like in the instructable? I don't know how to lower the RMP of the blower...</p>
<p>We are going to build one for a school project, just asking if someone could help me with installing an electronic display for a points system or some sound on the table? It's for mechanics so we need to use some electronics in it.</p>
I've made a similar system with an arduino and two lcd 16x2 i can help you about that
<p>Would somebody who built this be able to tell me how long it took?</p>
<p>Amazing project, thanks for sharing! I'm trying to calculate my own table with fans (230V types). I found some large guys but I can't understand something in your pdf-file with the formulas. I'm trying to convert the formulas to metric units, as well. In the second formula, you've typed the following: D (hole) = (1/16)/12 ft. = 0.0052 ft. which, converted to metric units, is 1.58mm not 1mm (the drill bit you've used in this project). Is your calculation correct? Also - is there any relation between the inside volume of the table and the flow (In the manufactured versions - there is a prism in the table to reduce it's volume, for now - I don't know why)... Keep up the good work!</p>
Thanks for your comment! What formula are you referring to? I can't find it in the text. Can you tell me what step it is? It's been a while since I wrote the instructable. I can't remember that I calculated the drillbit size. I don't know if there's a relation between the volume and the flowrate. My interpretation is that the volume is not a critical dimension, and that the pressure throughout the table is the same. I could be wrong though.
<p>Hello again and thanks for the quick reply!</p><p>It's in Step 1 - <a href="http://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FRQ/9KFD/I21QZU62/FRQ9KFDI21QZU62.pdf" rel="nofollow">3-162.pdf</a>. You're right, the volume isn't critical (as a geometry) but it's a must to calculate the flow rate for the fan's motor. The rule I've heard is: less the volume - the better. Basically the theory behind the Air-hockey table is the hovercraft effect. I'm stuck on the part that I need to convert the velocity of the air thru the holes (worst case scenario is when the puck is on top of 4 holes, the best case - 8 holes) into a force. :)</p>
<p>Hi Guys, thanks for this tutorial. But, is it possible to have back the 3D model</p><p> ? Because it's not avaible anymore, same for the hole template. I've planned to make the table 40% shorter for a school project !<br>Thanks for everything, Keep doing awsome things </p>
<p>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? (<a rel="nofollow">http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid...</a></p>
<p>sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=8407a23b9faac67887ea561c1fed5461&amp;prevstart=0</p>
<p>where can i find the sketchup plans? the link is broken, thank you!</p>
Mission accomplished just a few final touches but let me save the next person the headache u don't need the 150 pillars just use a peice of underlayment for the bottom and make sure u attach it to the 2 X 4 outer framing and ur good I used a bouncy house blower it works great
<p>Okay, nice! We just wanted to make sure that the MDF remains flat. Good to know that it works with less supports.</p>
Is it really necessary for the 150 some blocks of 2&times;4 I bought a sheet of underlayment for the bottom and figure only a few supports would be needed cuz it'd paper thin and light weight
Gonna try this got my 8 ft sheet mdf and frame to get started in don't see drilling 4600 holes going to well gonna take me at least 6 weeks wish I knew of a machine ship that can drill them all
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.
<p>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: <a href="http://user.engineering.uiowa.edu/~me_160/Extra%20Problems/Chapter3/3-162.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://user.engineering.uiowa.edu/~me_160/Extra%20...</a> 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.</p><p>I also found this Popular mechanics article: <a href="http://books.google.nl/books?id=EuIDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA94&dq=Popular+Mechanics+air+hockey&pg=PA94&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Popular%20Mechanics%20air%20hockey&f=false" rel="nofollow">http://books.google.nl/books?id=EuIDAAAAMBAJ&amp;lpg=P...</a> Less related to your question, but interesting anyway.</p><p>Good luck!</p>
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.
<p>What is the average price for Home Depot? I'm thinking about doing this.</p>
<p>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?</p>
<p>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</p>
<p>Thank you for the instructable! Build it for 50 &euro;<br>I did a flipper also, you can have a look at http://benriollet.com/experimentations/arcade</p>
<p>wow, didn't see it until now. awsome :)</p>
<p>now if you have a spare refrigeration unit to pull apart you could make an ice version. </p>
I am building this table as a school project, a mini one (1mX60cm). I was just wondering how &quot;1&quot; and &quot;3&quot; fit together, and also how the sides &quot;2&quot; and &quot;4&quot; fit together? Can anyone help me?
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!
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 (<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16778">http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16778</a>) 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?<br/>
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!
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.
Yes it will, I bought a fan with 340 m&sup2;/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. <br> <br>http://www.conrad.nl/ce/nl/product/189493/Ventilator-172x150x51mm-230V-IP55/SHOP_AREA_17202&amp;promotionareaSearchDetail=005
Thanks for your comment! I could embed the youtube video into the instructable?
Sure :)
Watch this to get an idea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0Mz7grOln4&amp;feature=plcp <br>
how many hours did it take to complete the table and how much was all of the material to build it ?
Thinking of building one of these this coming summer! Does anyone know whether a fan like this :<br>http://www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/valueline-inch-435-cfm-centrifugal-inline-fan-p-2260.html<br>would be sufficient to supply the air?
I'm guessing that it's a fine air supply. Good luck!

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