Intro: Glow-in-the-Dark Polish Horseshoes
This is a quick, easy, and fun project for people who want an outdoor game for cookouts, beach trips, and parties. Polish Horseshoes is a game in which teams of two take turns throwing a Frisbee at the opposing team's pole, with the intent of knocking off a can or bottle resting on top of the pole. The teams are awarded 1 point for each of the following: 1.) Hitting the pole. 2.) When the opposing team does not catch the thrown Frisbee. 3.) When the opposing team fails to catch the falling bottle. Additionally, 3 points are awarded to a team for hitting the opposing team's bottle. In this tutorial, I will show you how to make the basic designs of the pole and base, as well as show you how to make this game playable at night.
Step 1: Gather the Supplies
For this setup, you will need to get the following:
1. A 10 ft, 2 X 4 piece of wood
2. A 10 ft piece of 1 7/8" diameter PVC pipe
3. A 2" hole saw bit
4. A few strips of flexible rubber
5. At least 2 ft of a 3/4 X 3/4" piece of wood
6. At least 10 ft of LEDs, powered by a battery pack (I used RTGS Micro LED packs)
Step 2: Cut the Wood and PVC
First, you'll need to cut the wood into four 2' pieces, and four 6" pieces.
Then, you'll want to measure to the center of each of the four 2' pieces, make a mark, and use the hole saw (attach the bit to a drill) to make a circular hole in each of the four pieces.
While you're at it, cut the 10' PVC pipe in half.
Step 3: Assemble the Bases
Attach the 6" pieces of wood to two of the 2' pieces to act as legs.
Then, using the cut PVC as a guide, attach the corresponding pieces of 2 X 4 (the legged pieces go on top) using two screws, drilled diagonally from one another on either side of the pole.
Step 4: Add a Shim
Since the holes you have cut are 2" in diameter, and the pipe is only 1 7/8" in diameter, you will have to use a shim to make the poles fit in the base more snugly.
I used a few strips of thin, flexible rubber wrapped and stapled on the inside of the base.
This served two purposes: 1.) To act as a shim 2.) To serve as a guide for guiding the poles into the bases.
Once the shim is in place, you can slip the poles into the bases.
This completes the basic designs of the poles and base.
Step 5: Drill Holes in the Pipes
Next, you'll need to drill holes in the pipes to allow the light to shine through.
I drilled four columns of light holes, spread 10" apart, vertically, and off-set with the second row being at the 5" mark of the first row (between the other holes).
Take any liberties you wish in designing the pattern and amount/size of holes, but keep in mind that more holes means more light shining through.
Step 6: Create a Way to String the Lights Through the Poles
As with the last step, there are plenty of options here.
Because of the string of lights I'm using (which measure a total length of 7.5'), I wanted something that would allow me to run the strand up the entire 5' of pole and then double down with what was left.
I drilled a couple small holes near the top of the pipes, and used a hammer to drive in slightly thicker nails.
I then cut off the excess nail sticking out of the pole.
Theoretically, the nail should "swell" inside the pole, and stay locked into place, but if this does not work you could possibly use a dab or two of adhesive.
Step 7: Run the Lights Through the Pole
To then run the lights through the length of the pole, I drilled another slightly larger hole at the base of the pole.
I then pushed the lights through, and doubled down the excess lights over the nail that I put in at Step 6.
Step 8: Build a Box to Hold the Battery Pack (OPTIONAL)
I chose to then build a small box on one of the short legs of each of my bases to firmly hold the battery pack in place.
I did this mainly for aesthetics, as well as a way to keep the battery pack from moving around while playing the game.
To make this, I used the 3/4 X 3/4" pieces of wood to make three sides (the materials and cuts may vary depending on the size of your battery pack).
Step 9: Paint (OPTIONAL)
Finally, to add a little flair, I used some spray paint to add color to the bases and posts.
I painted the posts black with the intention of not being able to see them at night, so that it would appear as though the bottles were floating on lights.
Step 10: Play!
Once you've assembled two base-pole combinations, you can start playing.
I prefer to use a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee, as well as glow sticks inside the plastic bottles.