ping pong tables

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Forum topic by sausageking1 posted 01-12-2015 06:55 PM 1049 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 911 days

01-12-2015 06:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have recently been commissioned by an individual to build two custom ping pong tables that are “better looking” than she can buy. She lives the natural look of wood. Her husband and son are serious pongers and I want to deliver some beautiful tables that are friendly to the user as well. Anybody ever attempt this? I’ve seen some beautiful shuffle board tables and was thinking along those lines for the surface…but haven’t made any decisions or purchased any materials as of yet. I have a $1500 budget for both together. Any Advice Or Tips Would Be Very Welcome!

-- "The difficult I can do right away. .....the impossible will take a little longer! "

14 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3465 posts in 1191 days

#1 posted 01-12-2015 07:27 PM

Consider hardwood flooring.


View watermark's profile


482 posts in 1366 days

#2 posted 01-12-2015 07:38 PM

You might find some inspiration here

Nice looking table from Offerman Wood shop.

mrjinx flooring idea is good as long as you make the joints tight and seamless. We had a pool table with a cover to turn it into a make shift pingpong table and knowing how to play the joints on the table top was a huge home court advantage hahahah.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2799 days

#3 posted 01-12-2015 08:44 PM

I’d check with some ping pong experts about the color. Natural wood might be a distraction to a serious player if they’re used to traditional colors. Flatness is important to almost any level player….nothing worse than the ball catching the edge of a joint and bouncing unpredictably.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View MrUnix's profile


4045 posts in 1622 days

#4 posted 01-12-2015 09:15 PM

I’m pretty sure the ITTF rules have the specs for the table, and specify a continuous material with a uniform dark color in a matte finish (typically blue or green). However, If the table isn’t being used for competition, I guess it wouldn’t really matter.. natural wood, gloss finish, painted bright pink, whatever the customer wants :)


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View mahdee's profile


3465 posts in 1191 days

#5 posted 01-12-2015 11:32 PM

watermark, They sell hardwood flooring without the grooves and the ones with the groove would indeed be ping pong challenge.


View Tim_CPWD 's profile


306 posts in 668 days

#6 posted 01-12-2015 11:48 PM

How about using an exotic wood laminate? Babinga for example. Edge band the table with hardwood to match and put a satin finish on it.

-- Tim Haenisch, San Diego Ca.

View sausageking1's profile


46 posts in 911 days

#7 posted 01-13-2015 12:19 AM

Thanks for all the great comments…keep em coming! I’ll be sure to keep you jocks informed on what I decide and post pics of the finished products.

-- "The difficult I can do right away. .....the impossible will take a little longer! "

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1057 posts in 1954 days

#8 posted 01-13-2015 12:35 AM

I would think that you’d want a surface that stays flat and stable, which is hard to achieve with hardwood. Batten underneath would be necessary.

Veneer on a stable substrate (MDF or plywood) would be more stable – plus give you more affordable options for wood selection. With veneer, would be very simple to incorporate the court markings on the table, too. Downside is that veneering large panels (half a table) needs a big press or vacuum platens.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View pintodeluxe's profile


4827 posts in 2237 days

#9 posted 01-13-2015 01:29 AM

Regardless of the style I would recommend sticking with an MDF top. Ping pong balls don’t bounce as well on plywood.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 1322 days

#10 posted 01-13-2015 01:38 AM

Even the pool tables made with exotic woods or even heavy legs from tree trunks still have tops of slate and felt. I think you’ll be making a mistake if you do anything except legal and traditional for the top. Make your statement with the aprons and the legs. Make the top regulation. Don’t listen to all that chatter about flooring.

-- --Dale Page

View sausageking1's profile


46 posts in 911 days

#11 posted 01-13-2015 01:54 AM

Great input bannerpond1. I was leaning towards that myself. Now doing some research on dissecting ping pong tables.

-- "The difficult I can do right away. .....the impossible will take a little longer! "

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1448 days

#12 posted 01-13-2015 02:37 AM

If you have a building material salvage outlet near you, you might be able to find prefinished basketball court flooring that has been removed. It shows up locally quite often in big slabs. If you knew of such a project before it commences, you might be able to specify the size you would need.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View mahdee's profile


3465 posts in 1191 days

#13 posted 01-16-2015 01:21 AM

Check this out:


View Sylvain's profile


638 posts in 1923 days

#14 posted 01-18-2015 04:57 PM

If the husband and son are serious players, the table must conform to the standard.
I just had a look at the ITTF link hereabove, there is a 22 pages technical leaflet.

There are also some constraints for the feet/under carriage.

mrjinx007, very nice table.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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