August 03, 2007


My last few projects that I've undertaken have been pretty tech-heavy, so I was happy when I recently had an occasion that called for building a Beer Pong table. Two, even. Now, before you go and book me a vacation at Betty Ford, let me state that I'm not a Beer Pong fanatic or anything, but I've had the opportunity to play a few times in the past year or two, and I've had a good time doing so.

Just about any table can be used as a beer pong table, but ideally, it should be seven or eight feet long, and able to put up with quite a bit of spills. So our dining room set was out. I considered buying or renting a table, but to me, anything you make yourself is always cooler, and this way I'd get to keep it. However, this is Beer Pong, not Champagne Pong, so I didn't want to break the bank in the process.

So I devised a pretty cheap plan: Plywood on 2x4s on sawhorses. The wood's cheap, and the sawhorses would be re-usable. Home Depot sells 8'x4' sheets of 1/2" plywood for about $13, and eight-foot 2x4's are about $2.20 apiece. (I tried to find a source of used lumber to make this project a little eco-friendlier, but I didn't find anything in time. Sorry, environment, I'll have to get you next time) I already had access to one set of sawhorses, and I picked up some saw horse brackets and some more 2x4s for the other.

I had the Home Depot guy cut the plywood into two 8'x2' halves for me. Initially he was pretty unhelpful, but he struck me as a guy that has played Beer Pong a time or two (quite possibly on his lunch break that day, actually), so I shared my plan with him, and he was all smiles after that.

I managed to get everything home in the Prius (that little gal does a pretty good job with long material), and set to work. Construction was pretty straightforward. I just put four drywall screws through the plywood into each 2x4.

Next, I moved on to the sawhorses. The set I already had has an adjustable height setting that went down to 31". A little tall, but not bad, so I built the second set of sawhorses to this same height.

To prevent the table from sliding around on the sawhorses, Amy suggested putting a beam of wood across the 2x4s. This way, when the table is face-up, the beams would catch on the sawhorses. It was a great suggestion. I added clamps to further minimize sliding.

I was going to leave it at that, but I wasn't sure how bare plywood would hold up to spills, so I debated painting it. Then I had a great paint job idea, so it was decided.

Here's the final product:

The Pong-themed beer pong table

The tables got a lot of use, and held up great. The 2x4's under the plywood prevented the plywood from sagging, and the cross-beams prevented the table top from sliding around on the sawhorses. And it came out pretty cheap:

2x4s:$ 9
Screws:$ 4
Bare bones total:$26
Saw Horse material:$16
Primer & Paint$20
Grand Total:$62

A little high, but I feel it's a bit inflated, since I can re-use the sawhorses, and barely put a dent in the screws, primer, or paint. And besides, who am I to put a price on fun?

Posted by Kevin at August 3, 2007 08:24 AM

Seeing your friends make asses of themselves: priceless

Posted by: Katie at August 5, 2007 08:47 AM

Dude, I played champagne pong once... big mistake.

Posted by: Bill at August 7, 2007 05:44 PM

Me likey de beer pong!

Posted by: Bizz at August 13, 2007 11:43 PM
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