Introduction: Wooden Paddles for Use With Goodminton/Jazzminton Birdies
Goodminton and Jazzminton are nice paddle games with slow birdies that are supposed to be easy for children. I decided to make my own paddles which I used with some clearance Jazzminton birdies as well as with a home-made birdie (which I will describe the construction of). You can also buy 20 packs of paddle birdies on ebay or aliexpress for about $8-10.
I used a CNC router and scraps of 6.3mm cheap birch plywood (the thick-ply kind, not the nice Baltic stuff). You could use a laser cutter. Or you could just trace the svg files and cut out with a jigsaw. This is a very easy woodworking project, but I find it more convenient to use a CNC router.
Step 1: Cut Main Paddle
Cut out the main paddle file from approximately 0.25" plywood. Use a CNC router, laser cutter or jigsaw. The SVG file is here. My dimensions are 189x329mm.
Step 2: Make Handles
The 0.25" thick handles are uncomfortable. Cut out pieces to glue on both sides to thicken them. There are three options:
- CNC route a 3D handle overlay (the stl file is here)
- 3D print plastic overlays (using the above-linked stl file)
- cut out a handle in 2D (CNC, laser or jigsaw; the svg is here) and then sand to make it rounded.
Glue. Then sand to fit better.
Step 3: Finish
I sanded (up to 320 grit), rubbed on a layer of polyurethane with a cloth, sanded, put on a second layer of polyurethane.
Step 4: Birdie
We had two small party favor foam sport rocket balls. The rocket part fell out after some paddling, leaving a hole. I had a tulle strip several pieces of which I anchored in place with a rubber stopper (a small cork, a segment of dowel, or a 3D printed appendage would also work). I experimented with various lengths, and am still not sure which is the best. The tulle sometimes gets between the ball and the paddle, but it still works.
However, the official Jazzminton birdies are nicer, having a nice spin.
Step 5: Games
We haven't yet played any competitive games with these. But here are some non-competitive games:
- rally back and forth to see how long two people can keep the birdie in the air; before that, decide if you allow sequential hits by a single player
- see how many times you can hit the birdie and keep it in the air yourself; here are two variants:
- two paddles, require alternating paddles between hits (I think this is my favorite); lay the birdie flat on the paddle and use the paddle to toss it in the air for the start
- two paddles, free choice of paddle.