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How to Build a Ricochet Game Table

TOH's Team Saturday shows you how to transform a door and some sewing elastic to create a tabletop twist on classic shuffleboard

Maybe you've never visited the Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. And perhaps you didn't know that the sport's rankings once occupied as much space in New York's morning papers as prize fighting and baseball. But surely you've enjoyed a match somewhere along the line and experienced the joy of knocking your opponent's puck into oblivion.

Now you can take that competitive spirit to tabletop heights with the TOH version, Ricochet, which employs an elastic band and a hollow-core door to transform the traditional playing surface into a challenging U shape. TOH's game experts, aka Team Saturday, walk you through the steps in a video tutorial. Once the surface has been buffed and the bets are placed, you'll wonder why this surprisingly rowdy game ever lost its luster.

Step 1

Overview to Build a Ricochet Game Board

Illustration by Douglas Adams

Take a hollow-core door and some foldable banquet legs, and you've got the basics for Ricochet, our portable version of shuffleboard. Instead of aiming pucks down one long surface, you have to bounce them off an elastic band at one end of the door to land in the scoring zone. Installing preprimed 1x4s around the sides of the door creates a lip to keep the pucks from flying off the table, and an elastic band (found at any sewing store) inserted into two slits near the end of the table makes a nice, taut band that'll bounce the pucks back toward the scoring lines.

Cut List

1x4 long sides: 2 at 73 ½ inches

1x4 short sides: 2 at 30 inches

1x1 center rail: 1 at 24 inches

1x4 strapping: 4 at 30 inches

Download rules and a scorecard for the game of richochet.

Step 2

Apply the Finish to the Door

Photo by Wendell Weber

Using a paintbrush, apply a clear coat of polyurethane to one side of the door. Once the coat has dried (about 4 hours), give the surface some teeth to hold the next layer with 220-grit sandpaper, rubbing until the surface is smooth and cloudy white. Wipe the surface with a damp rag until the finish is clear.

Step 3

Tape Off and Paint the Lines

Photo by Wendell Weber

Mark a 24-inch line lengthwise down the middle of the door at one end to indicate where to install the center rail. To the left of the line, mark ¼-inch-thick perpendicular lines at 7, 11, 17, and 24 inches from the end of the door. Mark another ¼-inch-thick line 18 inches from the end on the right side of the centerline. Apply painter's tape on either side of each line, and mask the surrounding areas with newspaper. Use a plastic putty knife to seal the edges and prevent paint from bleeding underneath. Then, with a can of black satin spray paint, coat the lines with light, even strokes.

Step 4

Remove the Tape

Photo by Wendell Weber

While the paint is still tacky, peel off the newspaper and, starting at one end of each line, pull away the tape at a sharp angle from the painted lines.

Step 5

Apply the Points Graphics

Photo by Wendell Weber

Cut rub-on numerals from their sheet, remove the protective backing, and place the numbers on the board, as shown. Rub each number with the applicator provided until its facing paper releases.

Step 6

Apply and Buff the Finish Coats

Photo by Wendell Weber

Coat the door with a second application of polyurethane to seal in the numbers and lines. Once the protective coat has dried (about 4 hours), lightly rub it with 220-grit sandpaper and wipe it clean, as in Step 1. Finish with a final coat of polyurethane, but let this one dry for a full day. Then buff it with 0000 steel wool. Once you wipe it clean, it will provide a slick surface for the pucks.

Step 7

Cut the Sides, Ends, and Center Rail

Photo by Wendell Weber

Using a jigsaw, cut the 1x4 sides to length according to the Cut List. Rip the 1x1 center rail from a 1x4, and cut the 1x1 to length.

Step 8

Cut the Slit for the 1-inch Elastic

Photo by Wendell Weber

Lay the long 1x4 side rails flat and parallel to each other on the work surface. Measure and make a mark 6 inches from one end of each board. From there, draw a 2-inch line starting from the top edge with a combination square. Using a jigsaw, cut the line to create a slit in each side.

Step 9

Cut the Slit for the 1-inch Elastic

Photo by Wendell Weber

On one of the short 1x4 end rails, mark off a notch where players will stand to slide their pucks. Make marks 3 and 11 inches from the right end of the board. Then, measuring from the bottom edge of the 1x4, draw a line between the vertical marks at the thickness of the door—typically 1⅜ inches—so that the bottom of the notch will install flush with the door's surface. Using a jigsaw, cut out the notch and round off the protruding corners. Apply a coat of white paint to the sides and center rail.

Step 10

Drill Holes in the Sides

Photo by Wendell Weber

Using a countersink bit, drill holes every 6 inches along each rail, ½ inch up from the bottom edge.

Step 11

Attach the Sides

Photo by Wendell Weber

Using 1 5/8-inch screws, attach the end rails to the door so that the bottom edges are flush with the bottom edge of the door and the ends are flush with the sides of the door. The notch goes on the right-hand side (foul line) at the end of the door with the graphics. Attach the long sides so that they overlap the installed short sides and the slits for the elastic band are opposite the end with the graphics.

Step 12

Attach the Center Rail

Photo by Wendell Weber

Drill four evenly spaced countersink holes through the top edge, set it in place abutting the end raid, and screw it to the door with 1 5/8-inch screws.

Step 13

Attach the Leg Supports

Photo by Wendell Weber

Flip the door over and position the legs for mounting according to the manufacturer's instructions. Lay four strapping boards across the underside of the door, lining them up beneath the legs' mounting plates. Attach the strapping to the door with two evenly spaced 1 5/8-inch screws driven in ½ inch from each end. This provides a solid layer on which to install the legs.

Step 14

Install the Legs

Photo by Wendell Weber

Fasten the legs to the support boards according to the manufacturer's instructions using the screws provided.

Step 15

Insert the Elastic

Photo by Wendell Weber

Insert the elastic band through the ladder-lock buckles to create an adjustable loop with a buckle on each end. Insert the doubled-up elastic band into the slits in the long sides so that its buckles are on the outside of the sides. Adjust the buckles until the band is taut.