Home #Makerspace: DIY Air Hockey Table for Under $40

This is a scaled down, fun-filled air hockey table is a perfect summer project.

DIY Air Hockey

Two employees of Brunswick Billiards Co invented Air Hockey in the 1960s.  The game field consists of a low-friction (usually by means of an air blower creating an air cushion under the puck) playing field with two goals.  Each player has a striker, and smashes a puck at the opposing player’s goal.  First player to a set number of goals wins.  Air hockey tables are staples of entertainment in billiard halls, arcades, boardwalks, rec rooms and other places of ill-repute.  Which is why I just had to make one.

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I utilize a 5-gal shop vac as a blower, marker board, 1/4 plywood, one 10’ 1”x6” and some pin nails.  A 3D printed part certainly helped with the fitting, but isn’t essential by any means.  I also utilize 45 degree miters for a very clean look, but butt joints and screws might make a stronger, stiffer system.

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Let’s play some air hockey!

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Tool Primer: How to Select & Use Jigsaws

Some tools do only one thing well.  Some tools do a lot of things well if you know how to use them.  The jigsaw (or sabersaw), in my opinion, is unique in the pantheon of modern woodworking tools as it does nearly everything with equal parts of ineptness and frustration.  So why keep it around?  It’s the only portable tool that cuts curves.  And that makes it invaluable in the shop when the project calls for it.

Skil jigsaw
D Handled Jigsaw
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This Week in the Shop: Kid’s Play Table

The finished play table I first blogged about last Friday.  If you look close you can see some screw holes on the top.  I used short 1″ #8 wood screws to get everything together…but when I put the pieces together, I found the fit snug enough that I didn’t need the screws.  I’ve included an interior shot to give you some picture of the joinery. Remember, you can pick up a Google Sketch Up Model of this project here. Make it safe & keep the rubberside down this weekend. Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Kid’s Play Table