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I have recently been commissioned by an individual to build two custom ping pong tables that are "better looking" than she can buy. She lives the natural look of wood. Her husband and son are serious pongers and I want to deliver some beautiful tables that are friendly to the user as well. Anybody ever attempt this? I've seen some beautiful shuffle board tables and was thinking along those lines for the surface…but haven't made any decisions or purchased any materials as of yet. I have a $1500 budget for both together. Any Advice Or Tips Would Be Very Welcome!
 

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You might find some inspiration here

Nice looking table from Offerman Wood shop.

mrjinx flooring idea is good as long as you make the joints tight and seamless. We had a pool table with a cover to turn it into a make shift pingpong table and knowing how to play the joints on the table top was a huge home court advantage hahahah.
 

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I'd check with some ping pong experts about the color. Natural wood might be a distraction to a serious player if they're used to traditional colors. Flatness is important to almost any level player….nothing worse than the ball catching the edge of a joint and bouncing unpredictably.
 

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I'm pretty sure the ITTF rules have the specs for the table, and specify a continuous material with a uniform dark color in a matte finish (typically blue or green). However, If the table isn't being used for competition, I guess it wouldn't really matter.. natural wood, gloss finish, painted bright pink, whatever the customer wants :)

Cheers,
Brad
 

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How about using an exotic wood laminate? Babinga for example. Edge band the table with hardwood to match and put a satin finish on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the great comments…keep em coming! I'll be sure to keep you jocks informed on what I decide and post pics of the finished products.
 

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I would think that you'd want a surface that stays flat and stable, which is hard to achieve with hardwood. Batten underneath would be necessary.

Veneer on a stable substrate (MDF or plywood) would be more stable - plus give you more affordable options for wood selection. With veneer, would be very simple to incorporate the court markings on the table, too. Downside is that veneering large panels (half a table) needs a big press or vacuum platens.
 

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Even the pool tables made with exotic woods or even heavy legs from tree trunks still have tops of slate and felt. I think you'll be making a mistake if you do anything except legal and traditional for the top. Make your statement with the aprons and the legs. Make the top regulation. Don't listen to all that chatter about flooring.
 

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If you have a building material salvage outlet near you, you might be able to find prefinished basketball court flooring that has been removed. It shows up locally quite often in big slabs. If you knew of such a project before it commences, you might be able to specify the size you would need.
 

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If the husband and son are serious players, the table must conform to the standard.
I just had a look at the ITTF link hereabove, there is a 22 pages technical leaflet.

There are also some constraints for the feet/under carriage.

mrjinx007, very nice table.
 
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