Cornhole board building

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Officially Sized Cornhole Board

This section will have very basic steps for building cornhole boards.

Once your boards are built, you may want to paint or customize them. The Cornhole Wiki has great Sanding Tips, Painting Tips, Poly and Clearcoat Tips, Logo Painting Tips, and Decal Application & Tips.

Contents

Cornhole Board Styles

4'x2' Official Size Boards

Measure 4'x2'. 12" tall in the rear, and 3.5" to 4" tall in the front. The hole is 6" centered, and 9" on center from the back.

3'x2' Tailgating Size Boards

Measure a foot shorter than the official boards ( 3'x2' ), and are commonly called travel boards due to their portable size.

Hole Only Boxes

Made for skill games and challenges. The box includes a 6" hole, but no platform around it. These are a fun way to practice your cornhole bag tossing accuracy.


Building Boards Without Power Tools (almost)

Lowe's will make your cuts for you. Well, most of your cuts.

You're going to have one major problem. You're going to have to find a way to cut the hole, because Lowe's will not do that for you. A cheap jigsaw can be bought for around $25, so that may be an option, or just try to find someone to lend a jigsaw to you. The other thing is, you are definitely going to need a drill. Now, most folks have a drill that you can borrow, or again, you can just buy a really cheap one for around $25. You may also want to consider renting the tools for Rental World or Home Depot etc etc.

This is the most simple set of instructions and design I've ever compiled.. I just came up with it off the top of my head for you. I really do hope it helps.

Tools:

  • -Drill
  • -Jig saw or 6" hole saw for drill
  • -The cheapest hand saw that Lowe's or Home Depot has. (Should be around $5.00)
  • -Tape measure or ruler

Materials:

  • -One 4 x4 sheet of plywood, 1/2" or thicker
  • -Four 2" x 4" x 8' (two by fours)
  • -56, 3" exterior screws

Directions:

Have Lowe's cut your wood like this:

  • -The 4' x 4' piece of plywood needs to be cut in half, so you are left with two pieces that are 24" x 48".

For your "two-by-fours":

  • -Four at 45"
  • -Four at 24"
  • -Four at 16"
  • -*****Keep all the scrap pieces!*****

Go home.

  • -Lay down one piece of plywood, with the side you want as your top, facing up. Grab a 24" section of wood, put it under a 24" side of your plywood, and screw it on using three screws.
  • -Take a 45" section, and screw it onto one of the sides of your plywood, using 5 screws. *****Basically, I'm sure you see where this is going. You are going to take the pieces of wood you just had cut, and make essentially a box(your frame), by attaching it to your plywood(top deck). You also want to attach each frame piece to each other with two screws.
  • -Once you have the "box" built, you need to cut your hole. Measure across the 24" section and find the center. If the guy at Lowe's did it right, it should be at 12". Then, from that mark, emasure down 9". Double check your measurements and make a mark. This is where the center of your hole is. If you're using the jigsaw, you will want to measure 3" out from this center mark, and make another mark. Repeat this and make many many marks that are 3" out from that center mark you made originally. Now play connect the dots and you should have a 6" wide circle, with the center being the mark you made first. Close to, but inside the circle you just drew, drill a hole. If you don't have a drill bit, sink a screw in it, then remove the screw, then sink another one next to it, remove that, and repeat. The goal here is to make a hole in the wood that is about 1/4" big, so you can get your jigsaw blade in there.
  • -Once you're able to get your jigsaw blade in the hole, well, cut your hole.

Now it's leg making time. Your legs are going to be made from your 16" pieces that are left. Because you don't have access to tools, we have to use an entirely different leg technique. The big picture here is to make a small sleeve(box) for your leg pieces to slide into. You're going to mount this small sleeve to the underside corners of your boards, and your legs will slide into them when you're ready to play. It's actually quite simple. You are going to need to cut one of your scrap pieces(not your 16" leg pieces) of 2 x 4 into the following sections:

  • -Four at 3 1/2"
  • -Four at 3"

You are trying to build something like the following diagram. The place where the actual leg pieces would be inserted are colored in red.


  • -So, you want to lay out your pieces and screw them into each other, and into the frame, from the outside of the frame, in towards the sleeve.

Now you have to cut your legs to the proper height. Easy stuff. Stick something, anything under your boards until the back sits at exactly 12" high. Grab your 16" leg pieces, and hold them up to where THE FRAME MEETS THE DECK, not the top of the deck itself. Make a mark, cut along that mark, insert your legs, and you're done.

Milky

References

Framing

DerrickSmash-board-framing.jpg

Boards are most commonly framed using 2x4's or 1x4's. Using 1x4's will get you much lighter boards that are just slightly less durable than the 2x4 framed boards. Many other types of framing exist, including 1x3's or 3/4" plywood.


From DerrickSmash - I think 2x4s are notorious for warping. especially in this usage in that we're trying to built relatively small products with tight tolerances. some people think otherwise. i just think 2x4's aren't the right product for this application. i'll use 2x4's as crossbraces underneath often without problems, but always frame out in 1x4.


Attaching the top deck to the frame

Using a Brad Nailer & Glue

From CGP's Milky - Clamp and wait 3 hours, then nail. You'll never have a problem. Gorilla glue does expand, but it rocks!

From CGP's Milky - I use 16 gauge nails, 3 along the top and bottom, 7 down each side, two nails connecting each frame piece, and one of my standard 3" coarse thread exterior screws in each corner of the frame. This new configuration went through my stress test, and held up like a champion! I'd recommend it to anyone.

From DerrickSmash - My brad nailers are set to almost drive flush. I have a mini 6" hammer (with a full head - it's awkward looking) that i use to tap any in before sanding them....because sometimes they don't drive as deep as they're supposed to. no putty needed. two fat coats of primer, then sanding fills everything.

The only purpose of my brads is to hold everything in place while the glue sets...nothing more, so i don't go crazy with them. Only screws used are pre-drilled in the corner of where the frame ends (butt joint) meet each other. also, those screws are driven to be flush so that putty isn't needed.

Using Screws

From CGP's Naperville Bags - Titebond Wood Glue guy, I live by the motto of "Glue and Screw". Nothing is going to separate with a screw in it.

From CGP's Milky - Screws are by far, the sturdiest way to build a board, period. For a combination of speed and strength, try a nail gun. The nail gun is efficient, fast, and does build a sturdy board.

Using a nail gun for the 2x4 frame can leave you with weak corners. For added strength, sink a screw into each frame corner(4 screws total).


Related Links

Drilling the Leg Hole

from CGP member dcrog

I take a short piece of 2x4 and figure out where I want to drill my hole with my drill press. Take the measurements from the back side of the board, since there are always slight variations in the lumber and construction. I also clip a small 45 degree angle off of the corner that will be going in the corner between the deck and the frame, in case there is a little bit of glue or whatnot in the corner. This corner keeps me oriented on how to place the guide to the board. Then take a hand drill and drill my hole through the side rail. Starting it through the 2 by keeps the drill bit square with the side rail. Since it is cut square in the miter box and drilled square with the press the hole is always exactly the same distance from the top of the board and from the inside edge of the back rail. I haven't measure a hole it a long time.

Leg-cutting-box.jpg

from CGP member Milky

Measure 4 1/4" down from the top(hole side), outside edge of the frame, and mark that. Find the center of your 3" side of your frame and mark that. Where these two marks meet up, drill your hole. You can also refer to this, and just change the "half way" measurement to reflect 2 x 3's.

Oldlures: I cut the leg about an inch longer than it needs to be,I drill the hole in the leg,I attach the leg to the cornhole board than take an empty paint can( Gal.size)or box place it in the center of the board to lift it off the table , than extend the leg. Than slide the board over so the leg is hanging off the table, but against the side of the table.mark the angle of the leg with a pencil. cut and repeat for other side.

Leg-jig-drill-press.jpg

RollinAirbrush: I made a 12 inch high wood template box to get the height. Do 1 leg at a time, Run your pencil line on the inside of the leg laying flay on your table, then flip that leg up slide the Board to the other side of the table and do the same to that leg. Remove the legs, Rip them on a Mitre saw. Perfect angle and Cut, along with the Height. Important: Make sure when you extend Your legs that they are flush and touching the Top 2x4 on the Frame ,I usually tighten the wing nut to make sure there is no slippage. This is the easiest and best way to get the legs right.


Additional Info

Tips for better legs, and the drill press jib (pictured on the right).


Cutting the Hole

Using a Jig & Router

From Louis Clarke II - Using a jig & router to cut the hole


Making a Circle Jig

From J-Hutch Cornhole - I made my own circle jig out of 1/4" birch plywood.( I cut it an inch larger than my router) I took the bottom plate off my router and marked the center hole for the bit and the 3 screw holes, I then drilled the holes for the screws and countersunk them and used a 1" spade bit to drill the hole for the bit. I attached the plywood to the base of the router and then measured 3 inches from the straight bit and marked it. I drilled a hole(counter sunk the hole because part of the screw head was going to be under the base of my router) and used a inch long 1/8" machine screw. Make sure you use a slightly smaller drill bit for the screw you use on your jig that way it stays tight when you screw it down. I just find the center of my plywood measured down 9" and use a slightly larger drill bit drill the hole in the plywood to insert the screw. My router is not a plunge router I just take my time and plunge the straight bit about a 1/4" at a time and cut my hole, it takes me 3 passes and it cuts the perfect hole. A tip I will give you is to take a scrape piece of plywood and put under your board your cutting the hole in that way when you cut all the way thru it fall or move were you could possibly mess up you perfectly cut hole. I know from experience :D . I do take a 1/8" round over bit just to take the edge off the hole after I cut and then use some 120 grit sand paper wrapped on a spray can to sand the inside of the hole. Hope this helps.

Putty

From DerrickSmash - i hate wood putty. unlike glue, wood putty is brittle. i'd rather see a small tiny brad nail divot painter over, than a 1/4" different-textured spot that will weather/age/fade differently than the rest. like, when i have a dinged corner, i'll sand it round instead of puttying it. it just becomes a weak point in my eyes. only thing i'll putty are noticeable flaws in the center of plywood tops...or those voice you'll sometimes see in the profile of ply.

Board Customization

It is very common for people to paint and/or stain their boards, then paint logos or add decals. Other additions are also possible, including hole lights, handles, cup holders, bag storage, and more. For the best information, please check out our board customization page.

Painting Tips

The best cornhole board painting tips, from the Cornhole Game Players members.

Staining Tips

The best tips for staining your cornhole boards.


Paint and Stain

A general order for painting & staining your boards is:

1. Stain entire deck.

2. Tape.

3. Paint.

4. Decals if you have any.

5. Poly


Misc Building

  • Kreg Jig - lots of people use a Kreg Jig to avoid having visible screen holes.
  • center brace - Information about adding a center brace to the boards to avoid bounce.

Misc Building

  • Kreg Jig - lots of people use a Kreg Jig to avoid having visible screen holes.
  • center brace - Information about adding a center brace to the boards to avoid bounce.
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