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Woodworkers Challenge: Building Foosball Tables

There are a lot of great foosball tables on the market today, but some people just like to do things themselves. My husband is one of them, and once researched making a foosball table for our family.

The first thing that Jeff did was look at high quality foosball tables, play on a few of them and decide what features he liked best. This is what he came up with:

  • Center ball return on both sides of the table
  • Off center serving holes (the holes are off center to the center line, this way the serving side serves the ball slightly closer to their own men.)
  • Textured surface
  • Thick side walls
The table has to be very solid and sturdy, weighing around 350 pounds, this way the table will not move when play gets exciting. A 3/4" plywood works best, it is heavy and less expensive than solid wood (especially a heavy hard wood like maple), though even it will still need to be doubled up in areas. Besides birch plywood and particle board some other basic materials that you will need from your local hardware store include wood screws and glue, nuts and bolts to attach the legs, four adjustable table feet, a sheet of plexiglas to cover the play surface, clear spray adhesive, hinges, and some veneer strips for giving the table a finished look.

From a foosball store (easiest found online) you will need 13 foosball men each in two different colors, rods and bearings, handles, a high quality ball, and play field trim strips. The rods and handles are probably the most expensive single purchase, running up to $300 (which can double the final price of your foosball table) depending upon the quality you purchase. If you can salvage any of these parts from an old table, you can save quite a bit of money.

The dimensions of most foosball tables are very similar. Here are the basic dimensions for making your own table.
  • Table length, width and height: 55.5" x 30" x 36"
  • Play field size: 48" x 27"
  • Play field depth: 4.25"
  • Side walls: 1.5" thick
  • Back walls: 3.75" thick
  • Goals: 8.375" x 3" (with rounded top corners)
  • Rods: 6" apart from center, 3.125" up from surface
  • Goalie rod: 3" from back wall
If you are a woodworker, then most of the construction can easily be figured out. There are only two parts to the table that may need a bit of explaining. The first part is the ball return, and the second is the play field. The lower and upper halves of the foosball table are made separately and then assembled together with hinges so the the ball return can be accessed if necessary. With a ball return on both sides of the table, there is a simple "L" shaped ramp going from each goal to its respective return (the person who is scored on gets the ball).

The table top play field may take a bit more explaining. The base is 3/4" particle board with a paper playfield attached on top (either draw your own or you can find plans online). Then using the clear spray adhesive, secure the 1/8" plexiglas on top. Some people like a smooth surface, but many of the top tables have a textured surface which makes for better ball pinning. To texturize the surface, use 60 grit sandpaper to roughen up the plexiglas. This gives you a great play surface for around $30, but if money is not an issue, you can put out about $250 and purchase a play field.

Well, that is the basic information for building your own foosball tables. Jeff likes drawing up his own plans, but you can find more detailed instructions online if you do not enjoy that aspect of woodworking. Good luck!

 


How Portable Air Compressors Work

There are many portable air compressors on the market today of varying sizes and power. And though they vary by size and power, they all work on just a couple of different technologies to generate air pressure.

Most air compressors work by what's called positive displacement. This is different from compressors that use rotating impellers to generate air pressure. Instead, air pressure is increased by reducing the size of the space that contains the air. Usually, this is done with a reciprocating piston.

Like a small internal combustion engine, a conventional piston compressor has a crankshaft, a connecting rod and piston, a cylinder and a valve head. The crankshaft is driven by either an electric motor or a gas engine. While there are small models that are comprised of just the pump and motor, most portable air compressors have an air tank to hold a quantity of air within a preset pressure range. The compressed air in the tank drives the air tools, and the motor turns on and off to automatically maintain pressure in the tank.

At the top of the cylinder, there is a valve head that holds the inlet and discharge valves. Both are simply thin metal flaps, one mounted underneath and one mounted on top of the valve plate. As the piston moves down, a vacuum is created above it. This allows outside air at atmospheric pressure to push open the inlet valve and fill the area above the piston. As the piston moves up, the air above it compresses, holds the inlet valve shut and pushes the discharge valve open. The air moves from the discharge port to the tank. With each stroke, more air enters the tank and the pressure rises.

Portable air compressors use a pressure switch to stop the motor when tank pressure reaches a preset limit, about 125 psi for many single-stage models. Most of the time, though, that much pressure isn't needed. Therefore, the air line will include a regulator that is set to match the pressure requirements of the tool being used. A gauge before the regulator monitors tank pressure and a gauge after the regulator monitors air-line pressure. In addition, the tank has a safety valve that opens if the pressure switch malfunctions. The pressure switch may also incorporate an unloader valve that reduces tank pressure when the compressor is turned off.

Many articulated-piston compressors are oil lubricated. The pistons have rings that help keep the compressed air on top of the piston and keep the lubricating oil away from the air. Rings, though, are not completely effective, so some oil will enter the compressed air in aerosol form. Having oil in the air isn't necessarily a problem. Many air tools require oiling, and inline oilers are often added to increase a uniform supply to the tool.

On the negative side, these models require regular oil checks, periodic oil changes and they must be operated on a level surface. While solutions to the airborne oil problem include using an oil separator or filter in the air line, a better idea is to use an oil free portable air compressor that uses permanently lubricated bearings in place of the oil bath.

Though many portable air compressors are similar, this should help you to understand some of the mechanical differences of the various types available.

 


A Few Simple Tips To Help Your Kitchen Remodel Go Smoother

Does your kitchen floor look like it's been there for decades? Do the counter tops look like they have been trampled on by elephants and ate on by many little kids? Does your floor plan look like it was built back in time with a different decorating pattern? If this is your kitchen I would look in to updating or remodeling your kitchen. If you update your kitchen with newer appliances and cabinets you could raise the value of your house, and if you remodel your kitchen that can also raise the value of your house but it also you're your ideas and creativity you have in your head come to reality in real life. The starting of the kitchen remodeling you might need some and maybe a lot of patience and time as your kitchen is mess, but at the end of the whole project will be kitchen you can be proud of and one your can share with all your friend and family.

When remodeling your Kitchen you can just do small up grades or you can do a full out remodel with brand new everything in your kitchen. When thinking of doing a small upgrade you can replace appliances, get new handles for cabinets, or refinish the cabinets. Or you can replace your floor cause it looks like its been walked on for a hundred years or replace your counter tops. These changes will have a new effect on your kitchen and also raise the value of your house. But if you decide to do a full scale remodel of your kitchen this can have the most effect on your house and will want you to showoff your new kitchen.

To start your remodeling process of you kitchen you should make notes on what you want to do, what you are going to replace and about how much money you will or are willing to spend to remodel your kitchen. Walk through your kitchen and take notes on what works and what doesn't work and what you want to replace or keep in your current kitchen. Start by picking up magazines on kitchens and looking through them and taking notes on what you want to do and do some research on the internet also and what down notes you find on the internet.

Another thing you might want to do is make some kind of folder with all your notes and designs your wrote and picked out of what you want and like. Do not hold back this far into your early stages of your kitchen remodeling. The next thing you should do is decide on a budget or decide on how much you are willing to spend to remodel your kitchen but if I was you I would decide on a budget so you don't go over and have unexpected bills you have to pay that you cant afford. The next stage of your remodeling process is to match you creative ideas to your budget and what you can afford. By doing this you might be real surprise on how much you can get for you money and how much your creative design will cost you. By this point it would be a good idea to find and contact a designer and maybe even a space planner for your project. They will be very helpful with your design and some advice, tips and some unexpected money issues that might have came to your mind.

 




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