This “How to make a Plinko board” was a fun project idea from my friend Lynn. She is the head of her school’s PTA, and/or planning committee and she wanted to build some fun games for an upcoming school carnival/ school fair.
Lynn accumulated the supplies for the game from different “how to make a plinko board” plans she’d seen on Pinterest and invited me over to see if we could put something together.
We changed a few things up and I think we’ve come up with the easiest way to make a giant Plinko board in the least amount of time.
How to make a Plinko board
You will need:
- 1/4″ pegboard – 24″ by 48″ (these are usually sold in pre-cut sheets)
- 1/4″ mdf – in the same section as the pegboard – again, usually pre-cut to 24×48″
- 3 1×2″ boards
- 1/2″ finishing nails
- 4 paint sticks
- 5 dowels – sized to fit snugly inside the pegboard holes
- wood glue
- Rockwell Bladerunner X2
- random-orbit sander and sandpaper
- 1 1/2″ wood screws
- wood clamps
- Optional: clear acrylic plexiglass
(click links for my recommendations – note: I was provided a Bladerunner by Rockwell Tools, but my recommendation is honest and sincere).
First up, you’ll want to build the frame to hold your pegboard sheet;
cut two of your 1 x 2″ to 48″ long and then cut another piece at 24″.
Pre-drill, wood glue and then screw these three pieces together in a “U” shape – the small piece in between the two longer ones.
Cut another three pieces of 1×2″ at 25″ long each. These are going to be attached to the back of your U-shape to keep your frame sturdy and your boards from sagging.
Next, you’ll slide in your 1/4″ mdf board (without the peg holes) into your U frame and on top of the back boards. Nail these into place from the front of the MDF board into the back cross-frame boards.
Slide your pegboard in on top of the MDf and nail in place again.
You’ll want to figure out the spacing for your bottom slots and it’s going to depend on what you are using to “plink” – checkers, quarters or washers will all work – you could even use golf balls if you are planning on using a plexiglass cover over top of your board.
The centre section is the most difficult to land in – so the prize/points there should be the greatest and you may want to make that section the smallest.
Cut your paint sticks down to 3″ long and glue them to the base of the frame and to the pegboard. Use any leftover 1×2 wood to lay across the top and then clamp it down to make sure your sticks adhere well.
I’m showing the next step above, but really now’s the time to cut your dowels to size. For our board, Lynn figured that she wanted the pegs in every-other-hole horizontally and in every third row vertically. (Stagger the columns so you don’t have straight lines of pegs). This amounted to approximately 160 1 3/4″ dowel pieces (the extra 1/4″ is where it tucks into the pegboard.
Yup – Rockwell Bladerunner X2 to the rescue again. In fact, this entire project was made using the Bladerunner and I think Lynn was as pleased with her purchase as I am mine. Set up your steel rip fence at the 1 3/4″ mark and you can whip out those dowels in minutes – even cut every time.
We lightly sanded the dowels for a smooth top, but it’s not necessary. Just add a dab of wood glue to the bottom of each dowel and tuck into your pre-determined peg holes.
Lynn and I started this around 1pm and even with phone calls and a hungry baby we were able to finish it before school pick-up at 3:30.
Lynn went back and added adhesive vinyl lettering and numbering, and decided to add a piece of plexiglass to the top.
Lean it against a wall and plink away! Raise some money for your school or just have some backyard fun – this 4 foot Plinko board is easy to make and narrow enough to store.
How to make a Plinko board pinnable:
Have a great one!