My Plinko Board is now complete.
So, how do you make your own Plinko Board? Well, it’s easy. If a total novice at woodworking like myself can make it, anyone can. Here’s what you’ll need:
– a 1/4″ x 2′ x 3′ piece of plywood
– a 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ x 2′ wood block (I used poplar wood)
– three 1/8″ x 48″ wooden dowels
– white spray paint
– acrylic paints in the following colors: orange, purple, light blue (preferably of the fluorescent/neon variety)
– paint markers in the following colors: gold (fine tip), light green (broad tip)
– five poker chips
Now that you have your materials, let’s get cracking.
1. Cut three inches off both the length and the width of the board, so that it now has the dimensions of 21″ x 33″. (Preferably, cut the 21″ cut first – we’ll be using some of the leftover wood later.)
2. Using a pencil, draw two lines going across the width of the board, three inches from each edge. Also, draw two lines going down the length on each side, 3/8″ from each edge. This will be used as lead room for the pegs.
3. Using a bandsaw, cut the wood block into six 2 1/2″ squares. You’ll have some wood left over that you’ll use for the dividers, as well as a reference for when you mark the spots that the pegs are going to go.
4. Using that leftover woodblock, measure off a length of 2 1/4″ and mark the edge with a pencil.
5. Using the block as a reference, and starting after the 3″ of lead room, go down the length of the board, marking off each increment of 2 1/4″ as you go along. When you get to the other line, you should have a total of 12 marks going down the length of the board. Make sure you do this on the other side to, so that you’ll be able to draw a straight line all the way across the board. When you’re done with that, do the same thing going along the width of board after the 3/8″ of lead room on each side. This should give you a total of nine marks along the top and bottom.
6. Now, complete the lines going all the way across the width and length of the board. This should give you a grid of 12 x 9 squares, each square having 2 1/4″ sides.
7. As you may surmise, the places where the lines meet will be where many – but not all – of the pegs will go. Starting on either end, mark the intersections of the lines on the top row with a dot. Do this for every other row.
8. Of course, if you put the pegs at every intersection, the columns of pegs would all run parallel, and the chip would slide straight down. But the pegs on a Plinko board have a staggered pattern. To create that stagger, you mark the midpoint of the line between where the two lines intersect. If you can eyeball this, go right ahead; otherwise, mark off a 1 1/8″ length on that wood block and use that for reference instead. Each row should alternate between marks at the intersections and marks at the midpoints.
9. Using the bandsaw, cut the dowel rods into 1/8″ lengths. You’ll need a total of 98 pegs. Each dowel will give you at least 40 1″ pegs, so three should be more than enough.
10. Using a cordless drill with a 1/8″ bit, drill the holes all the way through the board where you’ve marked the pegs. BUT, do not drill the first and midpoint holes of each row. We’ll deal with those in a moment.
11. Insert the pegs into the newly-drilled holes until you can feel them from the back of the board (they shouldn’t stick out). A wooden mallet can be used to help drive the pegs in.
12. Let’s go back to those 2 1/2″ squares we cut. Using the bandsaw again, cut each square diagonally down the middle, giving you 12 triangles of equal size.
13. Glue the wood triangles on either side of the board along the very edge (ignore the leadroom), lined up with the rows of midpoint pegs.
14. Take the 2 1/2″ woodblock again and mark off a total of 10 lengths of 1/4″ each. Using the bandsaw, cut off each 1/4″ strip.
15. Glue the strips along the bottom of the board. Two will go on each end of the board; the other eight are to be placed directly below the pegs. These will be the dividers for each slot.
16. Once the glue dries on the dividers, take that leftover wood I mentioned in Step 1. Cut 1″ off the piece that’s 21″ wide, so that you have a strip of wood that’s 1″ x 21″. Glue this across the bottom on top of the dividers. This will serve to catch the chips when they hit the bottom, as well as display the amounts for each slot.
17. Now comes the fun part: painting whole thing. Using the spray paint, paint the entire board white. You might need to use two coats for an even paint job. Give it 24 hours to cure afterward.
18. Using the acrylic paints, paint the triangles in the following pattern:
– Top & 4th: Purple
– 2nd & 5th: Blue
– 3rd & Bottom: Orange
Be sure to put masking tape on the board along the edge of each triangle to prevent the paint from getting on the board.
19. Paint the bottom display strip in the following manner:
$100 and $0 spaces: Purple
$500 and $10,000 spaces: Blue
$1000 spaces: Orange
Again, use masking tape to ensure that the lines are straight.
20. Using the gold paint marker, write the dollar amounts along the bottom strip in the same fashion as the show ($100, $500, $1000, $0, $10,000, $0, $1000, $500, $100)
21. Using both paint markers, draw the “Plinko” title to the best of your ability. Use the gold marker to make the outlines and the green marker to fill it in.
22. When the paint dries, hold one poker chip flat against the board and let it go! 🙂
It should be noted that the steeper an angle you place the board on, the better the board will work since you’re less likely to have chips get frozen on a peg.