Thursday, July 15, 2010

Foosball Table rejuvenation

Today my wife calls and tells me to pickup a foosball table she bought on Craigslist for $25. Expecting a WalMart Christmas toy, I do my husbandly duty. When I arrive, I am surprised to see a rather nice looking table that hasn't been cared for.  The play surface is practically new, and the cabinet shows little sign of wear, except for some scratches.  But, the legs are loose, the top is racked, and one end comes off completely when you try and lift it. Most of the damage came from not tightening the leg bolts and letting the glue joints take the load for mechanical fasteners.  Since I'm a woodworker, I can see that she needs some TLC but is far from a lost cause.  Here's what followed over the next few hours;

Fig 1 - Taking the table apart
Notice the cabinet end laying in the floor?  No tools neccessary to remove it...

Fig 2 - The Leg Brackets
Almost all of the brackets were removed, pre-drilled for screws, glued with polyurethane glue (Gorilla Glue), and reattached. This picture shows on after reattachment.  Shortly after this picture was taken, polyurethane foam would bubble out these T-nut holes.  Messy cleanup....

Fig 3 - The playfield
The playfield was flat and supported by these MDF struts, but as designed it could easily warp in the future..  I removed them, reattaching them edgewise with with glue and screws and "clamped" them to a smooth flat surface. Once dry, this playfield will remain flat for a long time.  It was attached with drywall screws but will be reattached with proper furniture screws.

Fig 4 - The end plates
One plate (shown) required a lot of work to get right.  Brads were used for fasteners, and the glue appeared to be hot glue?!?  All joins were broken, cleaned, and reassembled with poly glue and screws.

Fig 5 - Reassembly
During reassembly, all joints were clamped to keep them flush and tight.  This will result in a cabinet that is tight with no gaps.Many bolts were completely missing and had to be replaced.

Fig 6 & 7 - The end result
Now back together the table is tight and solid.  Total costs was about $5 worth of parts and glue (all on hand) and about 3 hours time.

So was it worth it?  I think so.  For $30 and a few hours work, we got a great looking foosball table that retails for $475 new.

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