Pimp My Table Hockey Game
June 28, 2010 10:56 AM   Subscribe

I am restoring/customizing an old table hockey (rods that slide players around) game. Lots of questions inside! Bring your imagination.

Cleaning out my basement, I found a bunch of old Stiga hockey players and a pair of nets. I would like to take these pieces and reconstruct them into a not only functional, but truly excellent table hockey game.

I would love to hear your ideas on how to do this! The only step I have taken so far towards my goal is to order some gears to turn the players. I know that on the classic games, they use screw gears like this, but I figured I would safe to use a miter gear and ordered some from here (part A 1M 4-Y48015). Everything else is open for discussion.

I would like to know what materials you think I should use, ideally where I could get them (Ottawa, ON, willing to buy online), and double bonus if you could tell me tricks on how to assemble it (thinking for any soldering, electronics, routing the slots for players, etc.). I would also like to know, from any of you who have experience with table hockey: how would you improve it? Could the slot pattern be altered to improve gameplay? Also, if you feel it is good as it is, is there a chance someone could take some measurements of their game so that I could reproduce it?

I'll post a comment below to explain my ideas so as not to clutter up the question any more than it already is. If this turns out, any MeFite is formally invited to come try out the ultimate table hockey game.
posted by battlebison to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
My ideas so far: I would like to make the glass at the sides out of plexiglass or Lexan as well as making a roof (removable) out of the same stuff. Knowing that the arena measures 33 1/4" x 18", I have been able to find the requisite amount of material (1/8" thick, extruded acrylic) from here for $46, no shipping included. Could I find cheaper or better? Should I increase thickness?

For any curves in the slot pattern, I thought using springs to connect two of the rods would work (the first picture on this page), but I intentionally stayed away from springs to turn the players themselves because it would lack precision. Is there a way to get around this?

I was thinking of having each net connect to a little puck dispenser underneath that player's rods, similar to getting your cue ball back in a game of pool.

Insulated drink holders will obviously be included.
posted by battlebison at 11:09 AM on June 28, 2010

I don't have significant suggestions, except to note that mcmaster is a little cheaper than your plastic vendor, and those are helical gears. The neat thing about helical gears is that the alignment of the two gears is very forgiving; not so with bevel gears.
posted by wzcx at 12:07 PM on June 28, 2010

The only suggestion I have is to beef the whole thing up some. I remember many table hockey tables being too light and fragile. Something more sturdy and heavy (akin to a pool table) would play better, imo. Sounds like a cool project.

One other thought: If you're building most of it by scratch, why not build the players and nets from scratch too...
posted by hamandcheese at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2010

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