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For many homeowners, investing in a ping pong table is the pinnacle of in-home entertainment. Whether you have kids or regular house guests, they can often be entertained for hours with a ping pong table in the room. But there’s just one problem with them – between the cost of the table itself and the equipment needed to use one, they’re rather expensive.
There’s not much a homeowner like you can do to avoid that cost, other than hunting for a bargain. However, one option you may not have considered before involves building your own ping pong table from scratch.
As you’ll see in the process outlined below, this kind of DIY project only requires a few steps and a collection of readily-available materials.
Should You Make Your Own Ping Pong Table?
This might be the first question that crosses your mind when looking into a ping pong table DIY project. The answer here is…yes, you should definitely consider making your own ping pong table. It is especially the case if you already like taking on DIY projects and want to save some money on the cost of a retail ping pong table.
Admittedly, building a ping pong table from scratch isn’t for everyone.
For example, if you lack a workspace large enough to house a ping pong table while it is being assembled, then you may need to pass on this project. Also, be sure to keep in mind that there are several different ways to build a ping pong table from scratch.
How to Make a Ping Pong Table Out of Wood
The steps outlined below will effectively build a full-size table, but DIY recipes for table-top versions are also available.
Step 1: Gather Materials
In order to successfully build a wood ping pong table from scratch, you’ll logically need to pick up an assortment of assembly materials – lumber included. In particular, you’ll need to pick up the following all at once to avoid needing to make multiple trips to the hardware store:
- One 4 x 8 feet sheet of 3/4-inch plywood
- One 14-inch square of 3/4-inch plywood scrap
- Six 6-feet 1×6 boards
- One 8-feet 2×6 board
- One 6-feet 4×8 board
- A pack of 1-inch pocket screws
- A pack of 2-1/2-inch pocket screws
- Two 24-inch heavy-duty continuous hinges
- Wood glue
- A pack of 3/4-inch brad nails
- A pack of 1-1/4-inch brad nails
- A pack of 1-inch wood screws
- A pack of 1-1/4-inch wood screws
- A ping pong table net and supports
Keep in mind that this table assembly does not include support legs. Instead, you should procure a set of sawhorses or similar supports upon which to place this table when it is finished.
Step 2: Make Wood Cuts
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary materials, you’ll want to pre-cut your lumber. If you have an appropriate power saw on hand, you can do this on your own. Otherwise, your local home improvement store can make these cuts for you.
You’ll need one of each of the following:
- 1×6 @ 48 inches
- 1×6 @ 49 1/2 inches
- 1×6 @ 16 1/2 inches
- 1×6 @ 32 7/8 inches
- 1×6 @ 15 1/2 inches
You’ll also need:
- 2×6 @ 48 inches
- 4×8 @ 48 inches
Step 3: Insert Screws
Once you’ve made all of the necessary cuts, you’ll essentially be ready to assemble your table. To do that, you’ll want to layout your wood in accordance with this blueprint. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to grab an electric drill with a pocket hole jig attachment.
With that equipped, you’ll want to begin drilling in pocket holes to attach each of the sideboards as indicated.
These pocket holes should each be spaced apart such that they will fully support each side independently. This can often be accomplished by spacing said holes about 1 inch apart.
However, they can be spaced out further if your supplies are limited.
Step 4: Add Hinge, Place on Supports
Once the general structure of the table is assembled, you’ll want to attach the folding hinge onto the center seam of this table. This should be done with screws sized appropriately to fit your chosen hinge or hinges.
Be sure to align your two table sides before mounting on the hinge, though. Otherwise, you may find that your resulting table folds together unevenly.
With the hinge properly attached, you can now set up your several support structures (sawhorses, ideally) and set your table upon it. At this point, it should become clear if adjustments will be necessary, either across the table or in its supports.
Step 5: Affix Net
Now, you’re ready to finish up your homemade ping pong table.
To do that, you’ll want to grab your pre-made ping pong table net and support assembly (like this one). Following the instructions for your assembly set, mount the net supports onto your table’s midpoint (but not over the hinge).
This can be done using a non-permanent mounting method to make it easier to store the table between uses.
Once the net support is attached, you can place the net itself upon it. From there, you’re ready to play once you have a paddle and ping pong ball in hand.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks
Building a ping pong table from scratch can be a bit challenging, leading to mistakes that can impact your table’s performance in the long run.
The first of these involves picking out good lumber to start off with. Namely, you should choose medium- to high-quality plywood for your table’s surface to ensure it is both durable and resilient when struck with a ping pong ball.
This plywood should also be as straight as possible to allow for an even playing surface.
After completing your table, you may feel compelled to paint its surface green or blue to match the style of a commercial ping pong table. If you choose to do this, be sure to choose a durable, yet ultra-smooth paint.
Ping pong table surfaces should be as low-friction as possible to prevent drag on the ball. Often, these types of paints can be ordered by request at a local paint supply store.
Are you still excited to build your own ping pong table?
Hopefully so because, with just the right materials and a few assembly steps, you could have your own at-home ping pong table without paying a commercial premium. Once you see how much your family and friends enjoy your DIY creation, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try to build your own ping pong table from wood sooner.