This Instructable covers building a standard set of cornhole boards. If you are interested in building a nesting set, my Instructable shows you how here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Nestin...
If you want to get real fancy and make a rolling set, my Instructable here shows you how: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Rolling-Cornhole-Boards/
To make a set of boards, you will need the following:
- 3 96" 2x4's
- 1 96" 2x3
- 4 3 1/2" long 5/16 diameter carriage bolts
- 4 5/16 diameter nuts
- 4 5/16 diameter washers
- 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)
- Water based polyurethane
- Wood Glue
- 1-1/2" brads
- Chop saw or circular saw
- 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
- Tape ruler
Step 1: Making the Sides
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.
Step 2: Making the Ends
Step 3: Pre-drilling
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 Frame
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
Step 6: Cutting the Hole
The next part can be sort of tricky if you don't have a hole saw. You will have to trace 6' diameter circle and carefully cut along it with a jigsaw. Here, a 6" hole saw makes this much less of a headache. Place the hole saw's bit in the indentation and cut through the board. You should use a powerful, low speed drill for this. A regular drill will not have enough power to turn the saw and will allow the saw to bite into the wood causing the drill to turn rather than the hole saw. It's an easy way to hurt yourself.
Dogs like to play with the circle scraps.
Step 7: Friends Don't Let Friends Skip Leg Day
The next step is a bit more tricky. Here, you will need a long, flat table or countertop. Attach the 2x3 board you just cut to the frame using the leg bolt. Put the cornhole board up on the counter, hanging the 2x3 board off of the side of the counter as shown in the 7th picture. An extra set of hands is helpful here. Making sure that the deck of the board is exactly 12" off of the counter, use the counter as a straightedge to mark a line on the leg. Cut along this line with your saw. Make another leg for the other side and you will be set.
Using this method allows you to size the legs perfectly for your boards so that the deck will be at the right height and so that the legs will have the maximum amount of surface area on the ground.
Step 8: Making It All Smooth
Step 9: Painting
After that dries, it's time for artwork. Here, you can do whatever you want! Personally, I use a projector and print designs onto it, then project the designs onto the boards and trace the projection with a pencil. After that, I just paint between the lines! The key to good artwork is patience. It takes time to make it look right.
After your artwork is finished, you should apply a few coats of water based polyurethane to protect the artwork. MAKE SURE IT IS WATER BASED! If it is solvent based, the clear coat will turn yellow in a few weeks and ruin your artwork. You don't necessarily need to use outdoor polyurethane here; all it adds is UV protection. Indoor polyurethane is often used on floors and provides excellent protection against scratches and scuffs.