Introduction: Magnetic Hockey Table

About: We are a supplier of neodymium, rare earth magnets. We also love to conduct experiments with our magnets and build unique projects with them! We have several engineers on staff who are always thinking of new p…

We made a table top "hockey" game using magnets! We used hockey rules since they are easy, but you can make it custom to what you want! On top there is a play piece that hits the ball into the goal. This piece is moved by another magnet underneath the table. Follow along as we test and build this game!


Tools used: Table saw, mitre saw, drill/driver, hand sander, hole saw

Materials: cedar boards, screws, lauan sheet, 2+ XLTK (thumbtack magnets), 2+ D6Y0, foosball or ping pong ball

Step 1: Testing Testing Testing

Using the 1/4" thick playing surface, we tested our thumbtack magnets with some cylinder magnets to see if they would move through the surface. We need the magnets to be strong enough to hit the ball and not separate but weak enough to easily move around.

We are using a foosball and our larger XLTK magnets, since they match up with the ball well. Under the table, a D6Y0 works well as the moving piece. It's a 2" tall cylinder, so it's easy to grab onto.

If the playing surface is thicker, you'll probably need stronger magnets.

Step 2: Cut the Pieces

We already had a piece of wood to use for the play surface, so we made the rest of the build fit that board.

First, the sides: these are just 2 long pieces and with 2 shorter boards, screwed together with a butt joint.

Next, we made the supports for the play surface. These are put together with rabbet joints to have a little more strength. These are then glued together and screwed to the sides.

Last, we cut the leg boards to width and a rough length. We stacked all 4 leg pieces together and cut them all at once, to ensure they are exactly the same length.

Step 3: Frame Assembly

First, we assembled the main box of the playing field. We pre-drilled and countersunk the holes to avoid splitting any of the wood.

We then attached the center support for the play field and the other short end supports using the same method. The supports for the playing field are wider than the main box so that they over hang about 1/4".

At this point we sanded all of the pieces by hand and with a palm sander. We attached the legs, 3 screws in each, to make sure that they were well secured and wouldn't rotate while playing.

Step 4: Play Surface

After the frame is assembled and sanded we cut the play surface so that it fit within the frame securely.

The play surface is 1/4" thick lauan, cut to size, and with two holes drilled as the goals.

PRO TIP - When drilling holes in lauan board, place masking tape on the surface to reduce the amount of chipping on the hole. This 1/4" thick play surface means that we can use the large XLTK magnets or the smaller TK magnets without any problem.

We didn't put any markings on our play surface but some paint could really spruce things up and make for a beautiful, custom "arena"!

Step 5: PLAY!

Now that the play surface is finished it can be used to play and test.

We used some simple rules to make it like hockey, but the rules can be customized to make the game what ever you want.

Here is a video of a similar table that we made with a little extra detail in the top.