Building your concrete ping pong table right at home is not as complicated as it seems when you follow the step-by-step guide we prepared below. With unmatched solidity and long-lasting construction, there is no questioning the use of concrete in recreational ping pong tables. If you are interested in making one from scratch instead of paying for an outdoor ping pong table to keep the costs under control, check out our guide to building your concrete ping pong table right at home.
Is Making Your Own Ping Pong Table Out Of Concrete A Wise Idea?
The putty grey substance called concrete can easily be the staple of the whole construction field for its unrivaled strength and durability. Water cannot break down its texture, and the worst side of weather does not leave even a single scratch on its surface.
You can probably picture it now. A ping pong table molded from this very material has the ability to last for years despite what might come, making it the ideal candidate for outdoor recreational purposes.
The good news has yet to end. Consider the fact that it is neither difficult to produce nor maintain concrete, you can bring home as much as you want without putting any pressure on your limited budget.
That being said, creating a whole concrete ping pong table can be trouble-ridden as well. This is no Sunday morning project, and although the job is never complicated, plenty of tasks will be waiting for you to complete.
Another disadvantage is that concrete does not belong to the ITTF-approved list of materials for ping pong tables, so do not expect its weight and bounce rate to be anywhere near the desired level. To be frank, the ball tends to fly up somewhat higher than with MDF. And as this is concrete we are talking about, the whole thing will be totally immovable after solidifying.
At this point, you still have no regret making a concrete ping pong table, go through our guide below right now. But if any part of you has begun to reconsider the choice, perhaps you will find a mini ping pong table more to your liking. Or, if you prefer a real challenge and are eager to take the game up a notch, a professional outdoor ping pong table with excellent playability is straight up your ally.
A Step-by-step Guide on Building A Concrete Ping Pong Table
Before getting started, you have to prepare the tools and materials, then make sure to gather them around your working spot. For this project, you are going to need a melamine board (to support the concrete), cedarwood, concrete, sand, water, a rebar, and, of course, screws and wood glue.
Step 1: Build and Assemble the Base
We are going to be honest. This is probably the most demanding part of the whole process and perhaps requires some experience with electronic tools. A well-honed craftsmanship is a nice plus as it will help the process go even more smoothly.
Take out the cedarwood you have prepared and cut out 6 legs (resemble the shape of a standard ping pong table), each of which should be about 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 30″ in size.
Then, steady your hand and slice through the cedarwood to make 2 long rails, 2 short rails, 2 shorter rails that would later serve as the center support, and 1 center rail. Their size would be 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 94″, 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 47 3/4″, 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 24 1/8″, and 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 96″, following the order above.
Cut out the corner braces, edgings for the top end, top side, and top center out of the wood you have left. Their size should be around 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 6″ for the braces, 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ x 60″ for the top end edging, 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ x 33 1/2″ for the top side edging, and 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ x 34″ for the top center edging.
After that, place the short rails atop each other, and attach both their ends to the legs you have prepared earlier, and you have finished one corner.
Repeat the process with the other short rails and legs. Once they are in place, start assembling the long rails and center rails until you have successfully had a proper ping pong table frame ready to use.
Now comes the part where you reinforce your new table’s support using the braces cut out right at the beginning. Punch 6 holes into those that you would place at the outer corners and 4 holes into those standing at the center, then cover their edge with exterior wood glue and pop them into positions. Add some screws to make sure they stay where you want them to.
Step 2: Set up the frame for the playing surface
Before getting to the preparation of concrete, we will have to give it a decent frame that shapes the substance into the rectangle form of a ping pong table. Take the melamine board from earlier and proceed to slice the edges (about 4.5 cm in height each). Then position them atop the untouched part to form something resembling walls around it.
After gluing all of them in place, drill screws into the sides to keep them permanently attached to the table. It would be best if you leave one hole every 20cm (and use a 4-mm drill tip so that the melamine would not end up broken). You can apply an extra layer of silicon (if you have some at hand) where the joints are for a stronger bond between all factors.
Step 3: Mix the concrete
Your hard work is about to pay off. The only job for you to handle right now is to mix the concrete and pour the substance into the finished frame. You are going to need quite a massive amount here (approximately 150kg, following the ratio of 2.5:1 for the sand and concrete involved). If your hand cannot handle the job, seek help from a shovel.
Once you are done with that, little by little, scoop the concrete into the melamine “walls” and evenly spread it out. But do not fill the whole table right in one go since you have to place the rebar once the concrete is as deep as 2/3 the height of the sides.
When everything is in place, get on with the rest of your concrete bucket and make sure to flatten the whole surface. Or else, all you have in the end will be a low-quality playing surface nowhere as smooth as the ideal gameplay requires.
All that is left to do is to leave your new concrete ping pong table there to harden itself for three days in a row. That is all for the basic steps. For the final finishing touches, try sanding the concrete surface.
A concrete ping pong table for home use might not rival a standard ping pong table approved for professional tournaments, but it is more than sufficient for some backyard fun. If losing or winning is not that important a matter to you, and all you want is to experience the thrill, we know that our guide to building your concrete ping pong table at home has something to satisfy you.
True, you have to give the task all of your free time, and some hard work is definitely awaiting you ahead. But you are going to have a built-to-last ping pong table that you can have a blast on for years to come, so the wait is obviously worth it.