Like a lot of things in life, a ping pong table is something that can be bought for a lot of money at a department store or on Amazon, or it is something that you can make quite easily on your own if you are willing to invest a little bit of time and energy into the project.
Building your own ping pong table can be something that you can accomplish in one or two days, so if you start the diy project on a Saturday morning, you’ll probably have a nice new table to start using by the time Sunday afternoon comes around.
Firstly, we’d like to briefly comment on the name ping pong or the name table tennis. Essentially, there is very little difference between these two terms. It seems that “ping pong” is the most common and usual way of referring to table tennis in the USA. In 1926, the name table tennis was trademarked by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
Again, although both terms are commonly used today, the name ping pong seems to be more widely used in American circles. So with that being said, let’s just refer to your project as building a ping pong table. Projects like this allow you to be creative, while at the same time, they bring you the pleasure of the game of ping pong. Here are ten of the most interesting ways for you to do the project yourself.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 1: Making the Ping Pong Table Yourself
One of the best ideas is to simply make the table yourself “from scratch”. You will mostly need some common and simple materials like wood and paint, and only a few simple tools should be necessary for the construction. We will take a look at building a ping pong table to fully conform to international standard sizes.
This type of table is made completely of wood so it will be light and it can also be disassembled easily. We suggest starting with the ping pong table legs using four work stands that you can find at a home improvement center. If the work stands that you find are not of high enough quality, you can try to reinforce some of the joints with some extra bolts and nuts.
You’ll first need to create the slot housing for the support pins. Next, you can insert some firm bolts and nuts and add table supports such as strong wooden planks, to which you can apply the support pins with appropriate wood screws. Then, the table supports can be drilled to create the holes for the table pins.
Use two pieces of plywood cut to the international standard dimensions. The surface measurements generally range from 0.5 inches to 1 inch in thickness. To be considered official, the table must also be built out of a continuous sheet with no joints. The thickness of the surface can affect the bounce of the ball.
Thicker playing surfaces generally cause the ball to bounce higher. Next, fix the net support, using wood screws reinforced with a layer of wood glue. The net support must be prepared with the holes for the net pin inserting. Then you can fix the table pin with little metal brackets, glue, and wood screws.
Utilizing wood bars with square sections, you can build the frame, assembling the segments with metal brackets, and fixing them to the table with glue and wood screws. The frame is not mandatory, but it is a very good reinforcement for the structure.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 2: Table Tennis, Beer Pong, or Ping Pong?
Your table design kind of depends on whether you are more interested in table tennis than in beer pong and informal ping pong games. If you are thinking of becoming a professional table tennis player, we suggest just spending the money to purchase a high-quality pre-made table tennis table.
However, if all you are trying to build is a beer pong table, you can just pick some bricks or thick planks to serve as the legs and then lay a piece of plywood on the top of them for the table surface. As with most of these designs, you will probably want to paint the playing surface. You should use a primer coat as well as two layers of varnish for wooden surfaces.
It is best to select a blue or green color for your varnish because these are the colors most often found on ping pong tables. You’ll also need to mark the regulation lines with white enamel paint or polyurethane. The topcoat with the varnish gives the playing surface the necessary resistance and the hardness to ensure good performance. As for the other components of the table such as the legs, they can simply be left unpainted, or you can use enamel paint to make them look a little more attractive.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 3: Undersized Tables
Another inexpensive solution that can be even easier than making a full-size table is to build a slightly undersized table that measures 4′ x 8′, instead of the typical regulation size of 5′ x 9′. If this is something you’d be interested in doing, a single piece of particle board would probably be your best option. The bounce of the ball might be a little unpredictable, but that is a quirk that could make the game even more fun.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 4: Using Hardboard for the Tabletop
You could also use a 4′ x 8′ piece of hardboard about half an inch in width. You could simply paint the board, apply a few pieces of white tape for your line-markings, add some green trim to make it look a little better, and then install a simple net from Wal-mart and you will be all ready to go. Tables like this will generally only cost you less than $100 and they often provide a decent bounce. Another way to improve these types of tables is to also add some plywood to help support and thicken the laminate layer.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 5: Using Salvaged Table Base Parts
Another cheap and easy option for building your own table is to use some salvaged table base parts from a junkyard. You can just use some wood finish stain and apply it to the wood scraps. This type of thing should only cost you about $40. Just like when you are building the table completely on your own, it is a good idea to construct the ping pong table to standard international dimensions (see the information at the bottom of this article). You can probably even find a whole bunch of the other parts you might need in the same junkyard!
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 6: Foldable Ping Pong Table
By watching a few instructional videos on Youtube, you’ll be able to learn everything you need to know to make a functional and good-looking foldable ping pong table in no time at all. You can design these tables to fold up and so you can use them even in indoor environments that are limited in space.
These types of tables are also quite inexpensive and the entire project should probably only cost less than $100 in terms of materials and you can easily complete the work over a weekend. Once you have set the table up and enjoyed a few games, you can simply take it down again by folding it up and storing it away until you want to use it again.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 7: Upside Down Car
Youtube is a good place to learn so much stuff from all of the creative and inventive people in the world. If you have the shell of an old car rusting away in your yard, why not turn it upside down and convert it into a ping pong table? After all, this will be a very sturdy structure.
While the wheels might cause a few complications and probably affect the quality of the game considerably, you can make them into part of the game. If you happen to have an old car lying around, just take a look at these inspiring designs and then give this method a try as an outdoor ping pong table.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 8: Ping Pong Table/Door
When folded up, this structure looks just like a door, but when you flick a few switches, it magically transforms into a mini ping pong table. This type of project really takes inventiveness to a whole new level if you try to include a net in the design as well as sufficient support beams.
This project will take a little more skill than some of the other ideas, but if you are up for a challenge, then this might be the way to go. It is a practical way of getting yourself a ping pong table while making a new door as well. As with the idea of using an upside-down car, this is really a table design that you might want to use if you are considering an outdoor ping pong table.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 9: As a Functional Art Piece
Another type of table for some of the ambitious builders out there is as a functional art piece. This project can take a little more work than some of the others but if you have enough time and dedication, it can be a fun thing to do. It might require a few days to build, as well as plenty of extra materials.
As long as the table has a level playing surface and as long as you can attach a net, there really is no limit to the type of structure you can build in terms of design and color. As well as functioning as a ping pong table, it can really serve as a good conversation starter the next time you are hosting some guests at your house.
Ping Pong Table DIY Idea 10: Repurpose an Old Dining Table
As we suggested above, if you are only looking into playing some informal games with your buddies, an old dining table will work just fine. As a few other examples, if you have an old air hockey table, a foosball table, or a pool table that you have not used for a few years, why not simply use these as your base and create your own DIY ping pong table?
You’ll already have structure, so all you’ll need to do in many cases is add some paint, some line markings, and a net, and you’ll be off to the races. The net device also has the helpful function of joining and aligning the two halves of the ping pong table. For this reason, its design can appear complicated. You’ll need to prepare the bar by cutting it to the right dimensions, and then fixing the net plates with wooden screws. As for a net, you can simply use one that you can purchase in a store or on Amazon.
International Size Standards
Finally, as you are going about constructing your own ping pong table, you will need to keep in mind the size of the table. As with most sports, there is an official regulatory body called the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) that outlines the official rules and standards of all of the ping pong games. You’ll need to keep all of these numbers in mind as you go about constructing your own table. The ITTF offers the following comments about the recommended dimensions for an official game-sized ping pong table:
“The upper surface of the table, known as the playing surface, shall be rectangular, 2.74m long and 1.525m wide, and it shall lie along a horizontal plane that is 76cm above the floor.” So, in North American terms, this means that the official dimensions of a standard ping pong size table are 9 feet long (2.74m), 5 feet wide (1.525m), and 2 feet and 6 inches high (76cm).
The net is in the middle of the table and it separates the playing area into two equal parts. The ITTF has also offered some rules for the ping pong net. The net needs to be 6 feet long (1.83 meters), 6 inches high (15.25 centimeters), and there should be an overhang of 6 inches (15.25 centimeters).
The net is supported by two posts that are the same height as the net. It is important that those posts are not more than 15.25 centimeters (6 inches) away from the table’s edges. It is also important that the bottom of the net should sit as close as possible to the playing surface.
As is the case for quite a few of these designs, you can design and build sturdy leather nets using a laser-cut geometric pattern and even some custom-engineered, 3D-printed net attachments. As soon as your net is mounted, pick up your balls and ping pong paddles and simply start playing!
Get Started by Mastering The Basics
Now that you’ve got your table all set up outside or in your living room, it is time to start hitting some balls and start brushing up on a few of the most basic skills. One great piece of advice in any sport is to master the basics before you practice more advanced strategies. In fact, it is really important to just get good at some of the fundamentals like how to properly grip your ping pong paddle, how to move your feet correctly, and how to practice a few different spin effects. All of these exercises will quickly help you elevate your game to the next level.