DIY Foosball Table: How to Make It, Step by Step

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Last updatedLast updated: March 22, 2021
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Playing foosball is a great pastime. It is fast-paced, challenging and allows players to plan and execute different strategies to try to blast through their opponent’s defenses and win the game. The biggest issue with it, however, is that the tables can be prohibitively expensive, which is why some fans turn to DIY foosball tables.

While this might seem like a challenging prospect, it actually isn’t all that difficult. You can make your table as intricate or as simple as your skills and needs dictate. You can also check out professionally designed tables for great examples for your own design. Of course, there are some basic rules that you need to follow when making it so that you can play by the rules when it is finished. With some simple tools, planning, the right materials, a bit of elbow grease, and, of course, our guidance, you can easily create an exquisite foosball table of your very own. This will allow you to not only practice your skills but entertain your friends and family as well whenever they come for a visit.

How to make a foosball table out of wood

When you think of a foosball table, you probably imagine one that is made out of wood. Wood works well for any type of table game. It is easy to shape and cut, durable, and looks great as well, making wood the go-to material for your DIY foosball table.

Start with a plan

  1. Sides – The sideboards should be cut to be 48 inches in length. In the middle, drill a hole with a diameter of 2 inches. This should be 1.5 inches from the top of the board. After that, drill 1-inch diameter holes 5.5 inches apart along the rest of the board. This should allow for eight smaller holes in all. These holes should be 3 inches from the top of the board. This needs to be repeated exactly for the opposite side.

DIY Foosball Table: How to Make It, Step by Step

2. Ends – The end boards need to be 26 inches in length. Measure 10.5 inches in from each side. Create a rectangle that is 5 inches by 2.5 inches in the center of the board and cut it out. This will be the goalmouth. Repeat these cuts exactly on the opposite board.

DIY Foosball Table: How to Make It, Step by Step

3. Playing surface – The playing surface should be 48 inches in length and 24 inches in width. To create the goals, however, you need to cut a section off the end. Measure 10 inches from the long edge on all four corners. Make a rectangle on each side of the surface that is 4 inches by 0.5 inches. Using your saw, cut off the excess so that each end has this small rectangle protruding off. This is where the goal will be for your table.

DIY Foosball Table: How to Make It, Step by Step

What you’ll need

Once you have your plan in place, it is time to get the materials and tools together. Since you are trying to make something that will last for a good long time, it is best to get the highest quality materials that you can. That way, you can rest easy knowing that the finished product should stand the test of time.

  • Wood – A foosball table is, from a carpenter’s standpoint, a relatively straightforward design. It is made of two main parts, which are the sides and field/floor. For the exterior sides, you will need to get something extremely sturdy made out of ¾” boards. These boards should NOT be made with pine 2 x 4s, as these will quickly break down. You should instead opt for oak, cherry, or birch boards for extra durability. You will also need to purchase some thick and sturdy wooden legs as well to help support your table.

The field should be made with a larger piece of wood that is 1 ½” thick. This can be achieved with one solid board or stacked pieces of plywood. Either way, you need a rigid and durable surface, so buy the best wood that your budget allows.

  • Felt – The playing surface needs to be protected against wear and tear. One way to do this is with a tightly stretched felt. The felt protects the table and cushions it as well. Of course, you can always apply a thick layer of protective polyurethane and just use the wood for the playing surface.
  • Poles – While you want to make as many parts of the table on your own as possible, you should definitely buy metal poles for the table, like these from Brybelly. This will make your life easier since they are more durable, easier to maintain, and will look great as well.
  • Players, Spacers, and Ball – If you are an experienced craftsman, then you might be whip up some players and a ball using the tools in your home shop. If not, then you should probably just purchase a set online, like these from Billiard Revolution, to save yourself some time. These pieces, along with the proper spacers for the players, are relatively inexpensive, making them an excellent option.
  • Saws – As far as tools are concerned, you will need to use saws an awful lot to cut the wood to the proper angles and length. We recommend that you use a table saw, miter saw, and circular saw to make your life as easy as possible. Of course, if you only want to use one of these saws, the circular saw is the best bet, thanks to its maneuverability.
  • Drill – You will also need a drill to make the proper holes for screws and to fit the poles into place. An electric model will provide more power, while a battery-operated one is easier to move about the shop. You should use spade bits since these holes are much larger than a standard bit can produce.
  • Other tools – You will also need several other tools throughout this process, which include:
    • Rubber hammer
    • Tape measure
    • Sander (orbital or finish)
    • Screwdrivers
    • Clamps

Measure

The very first thing that you need to do is measure out the cuts for your boards. You want to be as precise as possible when you measure out all of the sides and playing surface. After all, you are trying to save money by making this foosball table for yourself. The last thing that you want is to make a mistake when you measure since that will mess up your cuts and make it, so you need to buy extra wood.

Saw the sides

Once you have your measurements finished, you can start your cuts. Using your circular saw or miter saw, cut both the pole sides and goal sides to the correct lengths. If you are using a miter saw, you can miter, or cut at an angle, the ends so that they fit together perfectly. To do this, you need to set your saw to cut at a 45-degree angle since the two boards together should add up to 90 degrees. If you want a simpler cut, just cut the boards to length straight across their face.

Make holes for the rods

After you have the boards cut to length, you need to drill out the holes for the rods. Using the measurements that we presented earlier, set out eight different 1-inch diameter holes along the side of the board starting from the center. You also need to set up a 2-inch diameter hole in the center for the ball to drop through. The rod holes should be 5.5 inches apart from each other and the center ball hole. If you have clamps, you can save yourself some time and make sure that all of the holes line up perfectly by clamping the two sides together before drilling.

Cut the goals out

Once you have the sides complete, you can move onto the end boards. These boards are 26 inches long. As such, you need to use your measurements of 10.5 inches from each side to create a rectangle that is 5 inches by 2.5 inches in the center of the board. Use your circular saw to cut this rectangle out for your goals.

The playfield

The playing surface needs to be cut to 48 inches by 24 inches. On the ends, you need to measure 10 inches from each corner. This should give you the endpoints for a rectangle that is 4 inches long and 0.5 inches wide. Once this is cut out, you will be left with a small rectangle, which is where the goals will be on your table.

The legs

When it comes to the legs for your new foosball table, you have a couple of different options. You can order a set of metal stand legs, which are highly durable. You can also buy table legs from the same location that you got your lumber from. If you go this route, you will need to add some braces for durability. No matter what you decide, you will be getting a solid base for your table.

Polishing and applying lacquer

After all of the pieces have been cut and drilled, it is time to put some finishing touches on the boards. First, you need to sand down any rough parts. This can be done by hand or with a power sander in fine grain. Next, wipe down all of the surfaces with a dust cloth. Finally, apply a coat of lacquer and allow it to dry for at least 2 hours. Lightly sand and clean the surface again before applying another coat. This should then be left to dry for 24 hours. Finally, apply some polish and shine the surface with a lint-free cloth.

Putting it all together

Once the pieces have dried, it is time to fit them all together. You should first assemble the sides. Using your drill, use screws to put one side and end together and then attach the other pieces. Next, lay this assembled box on the playing surface and attach it from the bottom with screws. This can also be accomplished with glue as well if you prefer. Finally, attach the assembled table to the legs using screws.

Get the rods, players, and other small accessories

DIY Foosball Table: How to Make It, Step by Step

Now that the bulk of the table is completed, you can put in the rods and players. Slide the players onto the rod before you put it through both sides of your table. Make sure that you have the proper plastic spacers to keep the players in place. You will also need to purchase handles and goals too, though you can easily fashion these from wood as well if you desire.

How to make a foosball table out of a shoebox

If you are looking for an easier way to entertain a younger child, you can fashion a foosball table out of a cardboard shoebox. Obviously, this will be on the smaller side but should be a great way to introduce youngsters to the game of foosball before moving up to a bigger table. All you need for this is a shoebox, some dowel rods, clothespins, scissors, and a ping pong ball. Cut holes in the side of the shoebox and insert the dowels. You can then use the scissors to cut goals on either end. From there, clip the clothespins onto the dowels for players and let your kiddos go to town, hitting the ball back and forth.

DIY Foosball Table: How to Make It, Step by Step

Final thoughts

As you can see, making a DIY foosball table can be a challenging yet rewarding exercise. Not only will it save you plenty of money, but it will also fill you with pride knowing that you created your very own foosball table. It is sure to be a hit with friends and family as well, which is always a big plus when you have big get-togethers.

Of course, you need to make sure that you measure, cut, and assemble this table as carefully as possible. Otherwise, it is liable to break down on you or not work correctly. Thankfully, with enough time and patience, you are sure to be able to create a unique DIY foosball table of your very own

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