Do you enjoy playing air hockey but lack the funds to get an air hockey table? Now, you can learn how to make a DIY air hockey table of your own using materials you probably have at home. Be ready because everyone will envy your retro arcade game room.
This is not a simple project that you can scrape together with some duct tape and some old plywood. You must be ready to devote some of your free time to the building process. However, the reward is a fantastic air hockey table with all the components like the ones you can find in store but much cheaper.
How To Make An Air Hockey Table – DIY Air Hockey Table
The skill of DIY is now accessible to everyone. Not only will you be proud of your work, but it will also result in significant financial savings. We’ll show you how to make a basic air hockey table and if you want to know how it works, just click here.
- White marker board, 2′ x 4′ (0.6 x 1.2 m), 3/16″ (4.7 mm) thick
- Common pine board, 10′ 1″ x 6″ (307 x 15 cm)
- 1/4″ (0.63 cm) plywood, 2′ x 4′ (0.6 x 1.2 m)
- A piece of 3/4″ (1.9 cm) thick scrap wood
- 4-Gallon (15 l) vacuum cleaner
- Pin Nails
- 4 3/4″ (12 cm) wood screws
- Wood glue
- Paint and finish coat
- Table saw
- Miter saw
- Dry erase marker
- Using a drill bit with a very small (1/16″ (1.5 mm) or smaller) diameter
- Use the tape measure and square
- Countersink bit
- Hot glue gun
1. Milling And Dimensioning
You must first decide on the size of the air hockey table that you want to build. Although 8 feet by 4 feet (2.4 m by 1.2 m) is the traditional size of air hockey tables, there are also some smaller models. You can pick any size as long as it doesn’t exceed 7 2/3 feet (2.3 m) in length and 3 1/3 feet (1 m) in width (8′ x 4′ or 2.4 x 1.2 m). The next step is to divide two pieces of MDF with a table saw so they are each 18 inches (45 cm) wider than your tabletop’s length. So if your tabletop is 8 feet (2.4 m) long, you will need to cut 2 pieces of MDF that are 10 feet 4 inches (3.14 m) wide. Each component needs to be 18 inches (45.7 cm) tall.
2. Build The Frame
Cut the 2 1/2″ (6.35 cm) wide stock to size with the miter saw set to a 45-degree miter. The long side rail’s nominal outer dimension should be 48 3/4″ (1.2 m), while the short end rails are 24 3/4″ (62.8 cm). To check that the smaller beams are the right size, place a white marker board on a level surface. Then, align the smaller beams against the board. Drill several little pilot holes in the corners before adding any screws. Test the wooden frame and, if necessary, trim it.
3. Drill Holes
On the whiteboard, use a dry erase marker to create a 1-inch (2.54 cm) grid. At each intersection, drill air holes using a drill and a tiny bit.
4. Prepare The Spacers
5. Prepare The Goals
Cut four 7″ (17.7 cm) long strips of scrap wood to create the goals. Drill holes into your structure 5’’ (12.7 cm) from the center and then use a jigsaw to level it with the playing field. You can make the puck catcher by nailing the sturdy cloth between the 13″ (33 cm) beams over and under the cut.
The puck will not bounce back out if you mount the goal slightly below the slot.
6. Attach Pillars
Your scraps should be placed 3″ (7.6 cm) apart and 2″ (5 cm) from the board’s edge. Attach the scraps to the board with standard wood glue and then set the pine board on top to keep the pieces upright while the glue dries.
7. Attach The Board
Clean up the area by removing the tape from the whiteboard. After applying wood glue to the frame’s edges and each pillar, carefully slide your board into position. Allow it to dry while supporting it with something heavy.
8. Build Puck & Strikers
Cut two 1 1/4″ (3.17 cm) dowels into lengths of 2 1/2″ (6.35 cm). Round over the ends with sandpaper, a belt sander or by hand. From 1/4″ (6 mm) MDF, make two circles that are 4″ (10 cm) in diameter and one that is 3″ (7 cm) in diameter. Connect 4 countersunk screws and fasten the 4″ diameter circles to the dowels.
9. Sand And Finish
You can paint it as desired or even put on some lights. Paint pucks with paint spray, design an arena sign and print it on paper.
You can use LED strips too if you want to light up the air hockey game and make it more appealing.
The air hockey table is supported by two sawhorses. Change the vacuum port on your shop vac’s hose to the exhaust port. Attach the blower coupling end of the hose. If the connection is loose, you can tighten it up by wrapping it several times with blue tape. Play while the vacuum is running.
11. Improvements And Extensions
The table’s sides need to be firmer in order to enhance playability. Stiffer sides should produce a better bounce. Perhaps a rubber bumper, like the ones on pool tables, would lessen the bounce. You could use a circle cutting jig to get better outcomes because the pucks and strikers need to be perfect circles to function properly, but also so your air hockey table slides better. But, due to the complex technology needed to run it, a professional air hockey setup is typically only found in arcades.
DIY Air Hockey Table Cardboard
You will need some simple supplies to make a mini air hockey table out of cardboard, including cardboard, paint, a marker, a measuring tape and a ruler.
- Cut the table to roughly six feet (1.8 m) long and three feet (0.9 m) wide.
- Cut two cardboard pieces and paint them in the chosen color.
- You can draw the playing surface lines on the top cardboard piece using a marker.
A cardboard sheet and a hot glue gun are required to make the rails.
- Divide the cardboard sheet in half, equally.
- Depending on the size of your table, the rails should be 24 to 28 inches (60.9 to 71 cm) long.
- The cardboard sheet should be glued in two halves, one to the top and one to the bottom of the table.
- The rails must be straight and parallel to one another.
The cardboard box that will be the air hockey table’s goals must have two rectangles cut out of it first.
- The rectangles should be around 18 inches by 12 inches (45 x 30 cm) in size.
- Next, make the pucks by cutting out two circles from the cardboard.
- Cut out the paddles made from two thin cardboard strips.
- The paddles should be 2 inches (5 cm) wide and 6 inches (15 cm) long, roughly.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make a homemade air hockey table you will need a wooden frame with slick surfaces. It is usually made of plastic and raised corners all around the playing area to keep the puck from going off the table. To ensure a level and frictionless playing surface, drill symmetrically tiny holes onto the entire surface of the air hockey table.
Building an air hockey table costs less than $100, depending on the materials you have or need to buy. Air hockey tables from the store cost about $400 but still, a DIY air hockey table will be even cheaper. If you want an arcade-quality model, it costs between $1,000 and $5,000.
To make a full-size air hockey table you should think about the size first. 8 feet long (2.4 m) and 4 feet (1.2 m) wide are the dimensions of standard full-size tables. The most popular method is to use a regular construction kit. The boards, sticks, balls and screws required to construct the table will be included in the kit.
Our intention was to help you to make a DIY air hockey table so that you can play this game at home. By using readily available materials, we were able to show you an affordable and simple way to build air hockey table. If you follow the directions carefully, it’s just a matter of time before you have a homemade air hockey table at your home.