How to Build the Ultimate Beer Pong Table
Beer Pong, also called Beirut, is a popular drinking game that is played by throwing a ping-pong ball into one of the oppositions beer-filled cups located on the opposite end of the table. The preferred target, plastic red Dixie/Solo cups are arranged in a pyramid formation of 10. Upon sinking a ball into the oppositions cup, your opponent must drink the cup’s contents. The first team to sink all the opponents cups wins.
It’s been a dream of mine to build a custom beer pong table. Sure, a dining room table will usually suffice for this frat-tastic drinking sport, but you must admit, there’s just something about playing on a table designed for the sole purpose of playing beer pong.
With some spare time on my hands, I set out build my own table. This three part guide will show you from start to finish how to turn a sheet of plywood into a beautiful beer pong playing field.
Today in Part 1, we’ll cover the table assembly and staining.
Time required: ~1.5 hours
- An 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood – I went with Fir wood since it’s relatively inexpensive but has a decent grain pattern.
- A set of folding table legs
- 1” flat head wood screws – you’ll need about 30
- Sand paper – coarse and medium grits
- Wood stain
- Power drill
- Paint brush for oil based paints
- Measuring tape
Step 1 – Cut your plywood in two.
Most hardware stores will offer to make large cuts in wood that you purchase in store. Conveniently, most plywood comes in 4’ x 8’ sheets, exactly the length and twice the width of an official tournament beer pong table. Have the store cut your wood in half to make two 2’ x 8’ sheets.
Step 2 – Screw the plywood together.
On their own, a single sheet of plywood is too thin and flimsy to make a decent playing surface. After lining up both sheets on top of each other, drill several pilot holes on each end of the table. Pilot holes make screwing much easier and safer. You’ll want to choose a drill bit diameter that is slightly smaller than the screws you’ll be using. Trick is, you’ll need to drill completely through the top sheet of wood and halfway through the second. I used a small piece of tape on my drill bit to mark the depth I needed to drill to. Once you’ve got your pilot holes drilled, throw on the appropriate bit for your screws onto your drill and screw through the pilot holes. After you’re all done, both pieces of wood should be stuck together nicely.
Step 3 – Sand the edges.
At this point, your table is probably pretty rough along the edges. Sand the edges of the table with course sandpaper, be careful not to get a splinter. Once the edges begin to take shape, switch over to the medium grit paper to smoothen them out. At this point, it’s not essential that your table is baby-bum smooth, we’ll do a final sand near the end of the build.
Step 4 – Attach the legs.
This part’s pretty straight forward. Line up the folding table legs on the bottom of the table (the side we’ve been screwing into), and mark the location of the screw holes. Using the same technique as before, drill pilot holes at the spots you just marked. Screw the legs into the table. Awesome, at this point you have a bare-bones beer pong table. Give yourself a pat on the back, the hard part is done.
Step 5 – Stain the table.
The way you choose to decorate your table is completely up to you. I’m a big fan wood grain patterns, so instead of painting over the lovely wood, I decided to enhance its beauty by staining it. In a well ventilated area, cover your table with the wood stain. I used a paint brush for this step. Be sure to read the application directions on the label of the stain. Give the table 24 hours to dry.
That’s it, Part 1 has come to a close. Congratulations! By now you should have a sturdy, smooth and attractive beer pong table. Tomorrow we’ll be decorating our tables, so be sure to check back in for Part 2 of ‘How to Build The Ultimate Beer Pong Table.”