Introduction: Foosball Table DIY!
For those of you with video memory, put your sound on and check out the link above. For those with picture memory, enjoy the read! Or enjoy both;)
Step 1: Planning
I got these specs from a ''Tornado'' table because I wanted to make it as close to regulation size as possible. And since regulation sizes usually vary, I know that the ''Tornado'' tables are used in competitions very often so I went with them.
Step 2: Ready Your Materials
To start out, I layed out all the wood I was going to use. I used pine for most of the project. Pine walls, pine plywood. The legs were cut from oak, and the handles were carved on the lathe from maple.
Step 3: Cut Em Up
When making a wide board, it's best to glue small pieces into one instead of using a whole board. This will later minimize curves and bends in the workpiece when humidity changes. So I cut up my wide pieces on my old table saw and planed the edges for a smooth and straight result.
Step 4: Glue
Once everything was cut up, I got gluing. Everything here is pretty self explanatory. Once the glue dried, I used the planer to smooth everything out.
Step 5: Routing
Now to attach the boards to the plywood, there's quite a few options, but I went with the routed trench option. I think this is the most simple option if you've got a router. So I routed out a trench width to the thickness of the plywood board on all four wall boards, all equal distance from the top.
Step 6: Fit
I fit it all together to see how it all came together. I was genuinely satisfied with the results!
Step 7: Goals
I then drew out a square for the goals and cut them out with the jigsaw. I tried to cut as straight as possible since I wouldn't be able to get my sander into the opening and would have to fix the imperfections by hand sanding. After cutting the goals out, I also cut out an opening for the ball drop hole. Which I then traced with the router to round out the edges.
Step 8: Cover Board Cut-out
This step is also optional since you can build your table any design you'd like. For my table, I wanted the whole table to be flush and square. So I decided to cut out this ''down-stair'' to later set my cover board on top of. This way it would be flush with the top of the whole table.
Step 9: Making the Legs
So I got four long oak logs and cut/planed them square on the table saw. But in this step also lies a small design problem. The oak that I used was only outdoor-dried. So it wasn't very dry at all. Also, I cut the rectangular legs from the center of the logs. Which means that the heart of the wood was used. And when you put these two together, you will get some cracked table legs once they dry. But that didn't bother me since that was the look I was going for.
Step 10: Leg Attachments and Finish
When attaching the legs to the table, I didn't want to use only screws. So I went over to the miter saw and made two parallel cuts on two sides of the leg about 3cm deep - using a wooden block as a saw stop/guide. These will rest on two small blocks that will be screwed to the table and then inserted into the gaps. This will put less stress on the screws and add stability to the legs to prevent any play. Once all the carving was completed, I finished the wood with black wood lacquer for an old rustic wood look.
Step 11: Mixing the Paint
For the playing surface I was looking for a dark green color. So I took regular water based white paint and mixed it with a bottle of green pigment and a few drops of black pigment.
Step 12: Painting
I ended up putting about 3-4 coats of paint on to remove as many imperfections as possible and to get the color tone I wanted. After the paint, I used some polish to give it a shiny finish.
Step 13: More Painting
The inside of the walls were painted a light gray and the goal walls and pocket were all black.
Step 14: Drilling the Holes
Since I don't yet have a drill press in my shop, but needed perfectly drilled holes, I decided to improvise using a router and its plunge base. I happened to have a 16mm router bit and used it to plunge through the 3cm of wood. Then I put in a wider diameter bit and drilled half way into the same holes. This is so I can attach bearings sometime in the future if I so desire.
Step 15: Duplicate the Holes
Once one board was finished, I took the other board and lined them up, clamping them together. I marked the openings with a 16mm feather drill bit. Then I removed the top board and repeated the routing process following the markings. Once that was all done, I painted them.
Step 16: Handle Grips
I used the lathe to carve out the maple handle grips. I made them all at once and then cut them up instead of making them all one by one. Then I drilled a 16mm hole in them and this part got pretty smokey since maple is pretty hard. Then I did a bit of sanding with the company of my dog:) And I used the same black lacquer on these to match the legs.
Step 17: Attach the Hand Grips
To attach the handles, I used a type of glue that apparently glues about everything. This is my first time using the glue so I'm not sure how long it'll keep its hold but so far it's holding on pretty good. If later it gives out, I'll use screw or pins to secure them.
Step 18: Assemble the Walls and Legs
Now I was finally ready for assembly. I attached the field walls to the playing surface first. I used thick furniture screws for durability. I also assembled the legs, sliding them into their pockets and fastening them with screws from 3 sides. So that's 5 screws, since 1 side got 1 screw and the rest got 2. ''They ain't goin no where!''
Step 19: Slide in the Bars and Players
Now the table was on its legs and I was ready to attach the players. I slid in the bars in their correct order with four handles on each side. And also slid in the players in their correct order:
Team 1 -------------I--------------
Team 1 -----I----------------I-----
---I---------I----------I--- Team 2
Team 1 ----I----I----I----I----I----
----I----I----I----I----I---- Team 2
Team 1 ---I---------I----------I---
-----I----------------I----- Team 2
-------------I-------------- Team 2
Step 20: Attach the Player
It's important to get the measurements correct between the players (check step 1) and once you're ready, screw in a hole in the bar the size of your bolt. Attach the nut from the other side and tighten. The boards in the pictures don't mean too much, I just used them to help keep the players in place instead of having them slide around. I also used it to suspend the bar so that when I put pressure on it from the drilling, it wouldn't bend. You can do this without the boards, just need to be a little more careful.
Step 21: Cut the Bars
When I was buying the bars, I bought them all 1.5m long. You don't need all this length because the longest bar you'll need is about 1.2m. But I just decided to get extra just in case. So since my bars were longer than needed, I went ahead and cut them to the correct distance with my jigsaw. But be careful not to cut too much! Before you cut, make sure you push in the side that you are cutting all the way in, away from yourself, and cut about 2-4cm out from the wall . If you do the opposite, you'll cut too much and scrap the pipe!
Step 22: Drop Hole
For the goal drop hole, I cut out 3 pieces of plywood to their correct width and height - the height matching the end board. Painted them dark, and slid them in between the boards, and attached them with a few nails. You really don't need much to hold them in place. They won't be receiving any pressure or use.
Step 23: Put on the Cover
And now to cover up all those internals, I slid a pine board on top and screwed it in place. I then coated it with white lacquer (as I did with the rest of the table) and I was all done!
Step 24: Final Product
I hope you enjoyed this build and were motivated to build one yourself! It's definitely a great toy to have around the house (if space allows). It's especially great since it's fun for all ages from kids to the elderly. Of course, you could save yourself a bunch of time and go buy one that's already built and ready to go, but you'll be missing out on the adventures of building and designing your own. Plus you could probably save yourself a few bucks. Anyway, thank you for you time, and let me know if you end up building one!
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