Introduction: How to Make Nesting Cornhole Boards

Picture of How to Make Nesting Cornhole Boards

A popular space-saving design for cornhole boards, nesting boards, are made by building one standard board and one board with a recessed frame so that the frames fit into one another. To build these, you will need:

Materials

  • 4 96" 2x4's
  • 1 96" 2x3
  • 6 3 1/2" long 5/16 diameter carriage bolts
  • 2 5/16 diameter nuts
  • 2 5/16 diameter washers
  • 4 5/16 diameter wingnuts
  • 16 2-1/2 inch coarse drywall screws
  • 2 2'x4' pieces of half inch plywood (one sheet of plywood will yield four of these, they can be cut to size in the store where you buy them)
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Water based polyurethane
  • Putty
  • Wood Glue
  • 1-1/2" brads
  • Chest pull handle
  • 2" webbing
  • Sew-on velcro

Tools

  • Chop saw or circular saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Air compressor
  • Air powered brad nailer
  • 5/16 drill bit
  • 3/8 drill bit
  • 3/32 drill bit
  • Countersink bit
  • 6 inch hole saw
  • 250 grit sandpaper/sanding block
  • putty knife
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencil
  • Awl
  • Tape ruler
  • 5/8" paddle bit

This Instructable expands on my previous Instructable, How to make Cornhole Boards: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-Cornho...

Follow that Instructable through and stop after step 7, so that you have one standard board built.



You can expand upon this design and add wheels as well! This process is detailed in my "How to make Rolling Cornhole Boards" Instructable here: https://m.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Rolling-Cornhole-Boards/

Step 1: Making the Nesting Sides

Picture of Making the Nesting Sides

Lay the standard size board flat on the ground with its frame facing upward. Measure the interior of the frame along the long sides. Measure both sides in case the standard board is not perfectly square. Subtract 1/4" from these measurements and cut 2x4's to that length. Set these cut 2x4's inside of the standard frame to verify fitment.

On one end of each piece, measure 4-1/2 inches from the end of the board and make a mark. Measure 1-3/4 inches from the edge of the board to the mark you just made, making a second mark. At the intersection of the marks, take your awl and make a small indentation in the wood. Next, using a drill or drill press and a 5/16 drill bit, drill through the indentation. These holes will be used to hold on the legs.

Use a 5/8" paddle bit, countersink each of the leg holes about 1/8" so that the head of the carriage bolt will be flush with the side when installed.

Step 2: Making the Nesting Ends

Picture of Making the Nesting Ends

Place the sides back into the frame. Measure between the nesting sides on the top and bottom of the board in case the standard board is not square. Subtract 1/4" from these measurements and cut 2x4's to that length. Set these cut 2x4's inside of the standard frame to verify fitment. The boards should not fit snugly into the frame. If they are snug, trim the boards, or they will not want to nest later!

Step 3: Pre-drilling

Picture of Pre-drilling

Take the two side 2x4's. Using scrap wood, elevate them so that you can drill through them without hitting the ground. As shown in the first picture, the boards are laying with their 4 inch sides up. Using your 3/32 drill bit, drill two holes into the side boards 3/4 of an inch from the ends. Do this on both ends of the side boards.

Use your countersink bit on each of the eight pre-drilled holes so that the head of the screws will be below the surface of the wood.

Step 4: Making the Nesting Frame

Picture of Making the Nesting Frame

Now all of the pieces are ready! Lay all of the pieces down in the shape of the frame. Put wood glue on the ends of the end boards. Make certain that the leg holes on the side boards are on the same end and that the sides of the boards with the countersunk holes are facing out.

To put the frame together, you may need an extra hand or two. This person will line up the end pieces with the side pieces and make sure they are flush while the other person uses the drywall screws to fasten the sides to the ends.

Step 5: Attaching the Deck

Picture of Attaching the Deck

Set the nesting frame into the standard board's frame. Make sure that the frame slides easily in. If it doesn't, re-check your measurements.

Use a 2x4 to draw lines around the outer edges of the plywood deck. These will serve as a guide for air-nailing the nesting board's deck so that you don't attach it to the standard board's frame

With the nesting frame in place, apply wood glue and smooth it out with a paintbrush. Lay the plywood deck onto the nested frames. Align the edges of the deck with the frame of the standard board. Use the brad nailer to fasten the deck to the nesting frame by nailing 3/4" to the interior of the pencil lines, leaving about 6 inches between each brad.

Be careful to hold the nailer straight up and down so that no brads stick out of the side of the frame. If any of the brads are sticking out of the wood, tap them in with a hammer.

Step 6: End Spacer Board

Picture of End Spacer Board

Because the nesting board's frame is made with a different size than the standard board, we must add a spacer board to the end of the nesting board that rests on the ground so that the in-play dimensions will be the same (especially if you're a stickler for the rules).

Lay a 2x4 on the non-leg end of the cornhole board and mark it so that its length will match that of the board's deck. Cut the board and find its center on the 4" side. Measure 5" to the left and right of center and make a mark. Measure 1 3/4" from the top of the board at the left and right marks. Make an indentation on both the left and right marks. Use a drill press to drill 5/16" holes on each of the marks.

Put a 5/16" drill bit into a hand drill. Set the spacer board on the bottom of the cornhole board. Clamp it to make certain it does not move and make sure it is centered. Use the holes made with the drill press as a guide to drill holes into the bottom of the nesting board's frame. Remove the spacer board and bore these holes out with a 3/8" drill bit.

Hammer two of your carriage bolts into the spacer board. This will be held onto the nesting board with two of the wingnuts when the boards are in play.

Step 7: Finishing the Nesting Boards

Picture of Finishing the Nesting Boards

Next, you will return to https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-Cornho... and perform steps 6-10. Some important things to note:

  • Bore out the leg holes on the standard board to 3/8" as these legs will have to be removable. Use wingnuts to attach the legs when in play
  • Hammer carriage bolts into the leg holes on the nesting board. Attach the legs using washers and nuts as these legs don't have to be removed.
  • Because the leg holes are in a different location on the nesting board in reference to the deck, you will have to perform step 7 on that Instructable for the nesting board as well to maintain proper dimensions.
  • After painting, on one side of the standard board, center and install a folding chest pull. Make sure that the pull folds toward the bottom of the frame so that it will be out of the way during play!
  • To hold the boards together during carry and transit, I make a strap out of webbing and sew-on velcro as shown above. You could do this with some sort of latch, but I used what I had on hand.
  • You can put the standard board's legs, the spacer board, and all eight beanbags between the boards before you nest them to keep the set together.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable! Comment if you have any questions for me, or any suggestions! Remember, once again, the key is patience. Have fun!

Comments

rolltidehank (author)2016-06-15

Hi psingle1, I love your nesting design. I'm about to embark on my own set and had some questions. Sorry if I've missed the answer if it's already published and thanks in advance for your help!
1. Are the legs for the outer nesting piece also removable? I think they have to be in order for the inner board to sit flush.
2. Is the inner nesting board stable enough for gameplay? Specifically does it rock left to right at all because the legs are further inside the board?
3. What would your ideal way be to hold the nesting set together? I know you used a strap but I'm trying to think of a more permanent way to connect them while nesting.

psingle1 (author)rolltidehank2016-06-16

First of all, Roll Tide!

1. The outer legs are removable as they should be installed with wingnuts.
2. It's plenty stable, I've never had an issue with it.
3. A strap with velcro works very well, I had thick webbing and sewed velcro onto the sets I sold. My personal set is a rolling set, so the axle holds them together with no need for a strap. That design is here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Rolling-Cornhole-Boards/
A permanent connection method is somewhat difficult to achieve. I did not want to screw anything into the sides of the 1/2" plywood (it's sort of thin, didn't want to mess with the structural integrity, etc), but you could try some sort of cabinet latch. The only issue with latches is that a bag could snag part of the clip and damage the bag or mess up gameplay somehow (the bag may stay on due to the clip's presence or something) which isn't a huge deal, but some people get really particular about cornhole and you want to avoid silly arguments about a fun backyard game...best luck in your build, I'd love to see your boards if you'd like to post them!

seamster (author)2015-12-17

This is an excellent design! I've built dozens of cornhole sets, but never once considered making a nesting set. Such a great idea, well done.

psingle1 (author)seamster2015-12-17

Thank you! You can take this a step further and add wheels. I have another Instructable up with that info as well!

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Bio: I'm a graduate student at Georgia Tech in Electrical Engineering. While at The Citadel for my undergrad degree, I ran a business making cornhole ... More »
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