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Magnetic foosball

Build your own mini football table
Author: Redaktion der Zeitschrift "Selbst ist der Mann", Germany
Online since: 02/10/2023, Number of visits: 12659

Some time ago, we built a foosball table with neodymium magnets and published the project in our DIY magazine 'Selbst ist der Mann'. Here, you will find a slightly shorter version of the instructions. For a detailed construction guide on the magnetic football table, please see the attached PDF document. You can find these and other instructions for wooden toys at www.selbst.de (only available in German).

Materials needed

  • Several multi-layer boards (or plywood sheets) 15 mm thick *
  • Several multi-layer boards (or plywood sheets) 6,5 mm thick *
  • Square moulding 10 x10 mm
  • 4 round dowels, 20 mm diameter
  • 4 round dowels, 27 mm diameter
  • 5 raw wood balls with a 20 mm diameter (for the game pieces and the ball)
  • Plywood sheet 5 mm thick, 570 x 370 mm *
  • Adhesive film green and transparent *
  • Application fluid and squeegee *
  • 4 neodymium disc magnets S-10-20-N
  • 4 neodymium pot magnets with countersunk hole CSN-HT-25
  • 10 pegs as scorekeepers
  • Screws
  • Glue / adhesive
  • Teflon slider
  • Lacquer (optional)

* For information on the dimensions of the different materials as well as a list of required tools, please refer to the detailed instructions in the PDF document.

Cut the individual parts to size

Use multi-layer boards or plywood sheets for building the table. Cut out the tabletop and the sides.

For more stability during games, we recommend adding ring components on both sides so the table is easier to hold. In our example, we cut the game’s baseboards at an angle using a frame mitre saw. Next, glue the baseboard, ring and sides together.

For the goals, drill two holes into the sides at the short ends of the table and connect them in a straight line with a jigsaw to create an oval recess. Use wooden pegs as scorekeepers. To do this, drill five holes in the top to the right and left of the goal.

Screw/glue the individual parts together

Sand any sharp edges on the individual parts so you don’t hurt yourself later while playing. Then screw and glue the different pieces together.

Use additional plywood or multi-layer pieces to build small goals that are slightly wider than the goal cutout at the short end of the table. Next, glue the goals to the table.

Cover the tabletop with adhesive film

Cover the playing surface of the magnetic foosball table with green film. Cut the pitch markings from white film and stick them on. Seal the entire table with transparent film to protect the magnetic football table from wear and tear during matches.

Tip: Alternatively, you could also apply lacquer to the tabletop.

Use a round dowel (here 20 mm beech) and wooden balls to make the game pieces. Sand the top to a round shape. In the example, the match is played with two game pieces per person.

Create the game pieces and hand magnets

Drill holes in the bottom of the game pieces and glue in rod magnets type S-10-20-N. Glue an unfinished wood ball on the rounded top of each game piece. Another raw wood sphere will later serve as the football.
Note from the supermagnete team: When inserting the magnets into the game pieces, make sure that the north and south poles are correctly aligned. The pot magnets that will be attached to the hand magnets always have their north pole pointing upwards. Consequently, the rod magnets must the inserted with the south pole facing downwards so that the magnets will attract each other (north to south pole). The orientation is easily established by holding the rod magnets and pot magnets together and rotating the magnet so that they attract rather than repel each other. Our FAQ page about magnetic poles also sheds light on the issue.

Create magnetic handsticks to let the game pieces slide across the pitch later. You will use these handsticks to control the game pieces from the underside of the table. Screw a CSN-HT-25 pot magnet into their top part and fit it with a Teflon slider. Now embellish your game squad to your heart’s content.

Note from the supermagnete team: Screw-on metal discs MD-23 or screw-fastened neodymium magnets such as CS-S-23-04-N, for example, are even better suited for attaching to the handsticks than the pot magnets. Due to the way they work, pot magnets lose their adhesive force exponentially when not in direct contact with their counterpart. And ideally, the counterpart should always be made of ferromagnetic metal. You can find out more on our FAQ page about the characteristics of pot magnets.

Decorate the inside of the side panels with advertising banners as desired.

Now let the fun begin with your very own magnetic football table!

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