- What a good tennis table looks like
- Choosing materials for manufacturing
- We dig in and boot the table legs
- Assembly and installation of the countertop
- Table layout
- Final table assembly
- Bonus: DIY rackets
Make yourself a tennis table and you can always play ping-pong in the fresh air. An all-weather tennis table is easy enough to make according to the instructions we have prepared for you. Such a table does not need to be given much attention, and affordable and inexpensive materials will be needed to make it..
What a good tennis table looks like
According to the Olympic regulations, the optimal table dimensions are 2740×1525 mm. It is advisable to install the table for the game permanently and carefully adjust the level. Table height – 760 mm from the floor (ground).
Such a table will be quite large and there is really a lot of space for it (taking into account the obligatory 1.5-2 m on each side). When making a table for children, for example, you can deviate from the recommended dimensions downward, in the end, it is not the final size that is important. Much more important is the proportion of the table – the ratio of length to width should be 9: 5. In addition, it is very important to apply the markings correctly. It should provide a 20 mm perimeter edging and divide the table lengthwise into two halves with a 3 mm strip for playing in pairs. Marking color – white or light contrasting with the background of the table.
Choosing materials for manufacturing
For the table to be truly all-weather, the material must calmly survive both low temperatures and heat, high humidity and wetness. Only moisture-resistant laminated birch plywood can compete with plastic in this regard. It is preferable to use it, abandoning chipboard or MDF. The thickness must be at least 16 mm, the color is dark blue or green.
The overall dimensions of the countertop for the base material should be 2740×1525 mm. A whole sheet for the entire tabletop is quite difficult to transport, so it is better to take two sheets of a standard size 1525×1525 mm as a basis. Cutting of the material can be ordered upon purchase, or the sheets can be cut with a circular saw or jigsaw to a size of 1370×1525 mm each sheet. For the rigidity of the table top and the union of the two halves, a beam of 40×50 mm is required.
To assemble the table legs, you will need a 20x40x4 mm profile pipe with a length of 6 m and a 16 m steel angle with equal shelves of 20 mm with a thickness of at least 3 mm. To give the countertop exceptional resistance to moisture, its edges must be edged with an angular aluminum profile of 20x20x1.2 mm, you will need 280 and 160 cm pieces of it – two pieces each.
We dig in and boot the table legs
The tennis table must be very stable. Its base, a metal frame, must be made conscientiously.
First, cutting the parts:
- Profile pipe: 4 pieces of 1.5 m.
- Angle steel: 4 x 1 m and 4 x 2 m.
- Divide the rest of the corner into 8 pieces of 0.5 meters.
We place two pipe sections in parallel and weld them together with two two-meter crossbars made of angle steel. The first is installed 20 cm from the upper edge of the leg, the second – 70 cm below the first.
First, we assemble the frame on millimeter tacks, align the diagonals of the rectangle formed inside, and only then seal the seams tightly. The second pair of legs is assembled in the same way..
At the place where the table is installed, you need to mark out a rectangle of 150×100 cm with pegs and lacing.With an indent of 10 cm to each side of the lace, the sod is removed and a small trench is dug out with a bayonet depth or a little more, the bottom must be carefully cleaned. At the corners of the trench, you need to dig four pits 75-80 cm deep and 50 cm wide, so that the center falls exactly on the marking peg.
Pour 10-15 cm of dry sand into each pit and stick the legs so that the upper ends are 80 cm above the ground. Align the legs horizontally using a long rule and a slatted level, the process will be more convenient if you place broken brick under the lower rungs. Connect the pairs of legs to each other with 1.5-meter pieces of a corner, offset the attachment points by welding 50-60 mm below the longitudinal bars. After assembling the base frame, you will need to get it out of the pits, from this moment you cannot do without the help of a partner.
At 100 mm from the bottom end of the legs from 50 cm of corner pieces, we weld cross-shaped embeds that will hold the table in the ground. Each welding seam on the product must be cleaned with an angle grinder from slag, if necessary, more metal must be welded on top. After the pipe is degreased with acetone and covered with a phosphating primer, then two layers of enamel of any type follow.
After drying, the frame is installed in place, but now for leveling, you need to slightly sink the legs into the sand with light blows on their upper ends to a level of 75 cm from the ground. After that, the pits are covered with broken brick mixed with soil and spilled with a bucket of water every 25 cm.
Once the legs are in place, the upper ends should be level. Laying a profile with a bubble level on the legs in pairs, the horizontal plane is checked. If necessary, the length of the legs is adjusted, grinding off the excess with an angle grinder.
On each leg from above it is necessary to weld a square or triangular plate made of sheet steel with a thickness of 2 mm. The right angle plate aligns with the outer corner of each support so that the main body faces the inside of the table.
Assembly and installation of the countertop
To begin with, a frame is assembled from a 40×50 mm bar. It is better to take the actual dimensions at the outer corners of the already installed supports from the profile pipe. If the base is made without deviations, then the dimensions of the frame along the inner perimeter should correspond to 2080×1040 mm. You will need two beams 2160 mm long and three 1120 mm long. It is advisable to dock the beams with a half-wood lining or a spike connection. The frame is assembled rectangular with a crossbar in the middle.
Instead of a crossbar, which will fall on the joint of two halves of the tabletop, you can use the remaining strips of plywood in one layer or folded in half. If the halves of the table are joined with strips of plywood, then it is advisable to put them on glue and then additionally screw them in with screws along the entire length, in two rows. To align the tabletop with the frame, the plywood strips are cut into three parts, the central part should fall between the long sides of the frame, and the short ones on the outside, not reaching the edge of the tabletop, 7-10 cm, so as not to interfere with the installation of the mesh.
The frame and tabletop halves are connected together using metal furniture corners and screws. The corners are distributed evenly along the inner and outer perimeter of the frame in increments of approximately 30 cm.
The most vulnerable place of the countertop is the ends, they should be reliably protected. Simple painting or pasting with end tape will last 2-3 years, then chips and swellings will appear. Therefore, it is better to surround the table with an aluminum corner: we precisely cut the parts according to the final dimensions of the table: 1525 and 2740 mm, we wash it down at 45 ° for the ends converging at the corners. We make holes in the centers of both shelves with a staggered offset of 3 mm, the step in each row is 60 cm.
At the bottom, at the ends of the countertop, you need to chamfer 2.5–3 mm and apply silicone hot glue to the edge, use white plastic rods. The assistant should heat the applied glue with a hair dryer until the end of the plywood is completely covered with it, then the aluminum corner is pressed tightly until protruding excess appears. Pay special attention to filling the corners.
After the glue dries:
- Drill the plywood with a 3mm drill through the holes in the corner.
- Countersink the metal 7 mm.
- Reinforce the edging with 12 mm flat head screws.
From the front side, the excess glue is cut off with a sectional knife. The corner will protrude 2–3 mm above the table top, against this side you need to abut the hacksaw blade at an angle and stretch it with an effort 5–7 times along its entire length. Along this furrow, the edge is broken off with pliers, then the butt is brought with an abrasive bar to obtain a 2 mm chamfer.
Turning the table over, stick masking tape on the front side of the strip of masking tape, separating the marking lines with them according to the exact dimensions, recall: 3 mm centerline and 20 mm along the perimeter of the table. It is better to glue over free areas for reinsurance with paper and tape. In open areas, remove the gloss with a zero-grade sandpaper, remove dust and grease, and apply white paint. At the ends, we especially diligently paint over all the places where the screws are screwed. After drying, the table must be turned over and its entire seamy side must be opened with enamel, especially carefully paint the corners and ends of the ribs. Painted on all sides and frame.
Final table assembly
The table top can now be placed on legs and the levels can be checked accurately. The tabletop can be attached to the legs in two ways:
- In each of the four plates on the legs, three holes are drilled for the screws that secure the tabletop.
- In the beams in the corners, it is enough to drill through holes with a diameter of 10–12 mm as close as possible to the table top so that the drill goes right next to the profile tube and under the base plate. In this case, the countertop will be fixed by rods of reinforcement or wooden studs inserted into the holes.
The second option will allow, if necessary, to remove the countertop without unnecessary problems, for example, for storage indoors in winter.
Bonus: DIY rackets
As a conclusion, we suggest you make a pair of tennis rackets yourself. To do this, on a sheet of 4-6 mm plywood we apply the markings:
- We draw a rectangle 20×160 mm.
- On the wide sides, add two semicircles with a radius of 80 mm.
- From the center of the figure, put aside one of the circles a rectangle 35×180 mm.
We make a small pairing at the base of the handle and cut out the blank with a jigsaw. On the handle we try on two strips of durable wood 6–7 mm thick, 35 mm wide and 100–110 mm long. We put them on PVA and squeeze with clamps, then we process the handle and sawn ends of the racket with an emery cloth until the chips are eliminated and an ergonomic shape is given.
Silicone mats (made from kitchen utensils) or cork can be used as a shock absorber. In the first case, the same hot melt glue is used for fastening, in the second, concentrated PVA can be dispensed with. First, we apply glue to the racket, then lay it on the edge of the sheet, press and cut along the edge of the plywood after drying..
Now all that remains is to fix the net and you can play.