HomeOther Pallet ProjectsPallet Cornhole Game Board (2nd of a Pair)

Pallet Cornhole Game Board (2nd of a Pair)

  • 1 pallet

  • medium

  • 25h

  • $7

Pallet Cornhole Game Board - Who knew there were so many rules? This is the second Pallet Cornhole Game Board - the 2nd of a pair. There is a Cornhole Gaming Association, and the ass'n has pretty specific guidelines for virtually every dimension. There are also rules about the types of materials, the color, height from the ground in front and back, etc. I built this set for my friends, and they requested something "unique" that would reflect their sense of humor. I told them that I could repair their plywood game boards. Or, I would build a custom set - from pallet wood.

There were a couple of important requests that drove this build. They wanted the boards to be patterned so they'd be challenging. They also wanted them foldable so they'd fit in their camper. The additionally needed adjustable legs so they could level the gaming surfaces while camping on uneven campgrounds.

How I Started the Pallet Cornhole Game Board (2nd of a pair)

First, I built two sets of 24"x 24" frames as the basis of the two gaming boards. The ass'n defines the dimensions as 24" x 48", but I wanted these to fold. I just cut the height in half. The top half (one of the 24" x 24" frames for each board) would have a custom image painted and framed out.  I decided that I wanted to create a canyon and first sketched it out. I tried my hand at pyrography - woodburning the image in. I lightly sanded some of the raised edges along the burned-in lines. Then I applied layers of paint, starting with darkest, and ending with light colors to highlight.

3-D Wood Pattern on the Pallet Cornhole Game Board:

I made the lower halves by making pallet wood patterns. I did the first board with a chevron shape. On this second board, I wanted to create something that appeared 3-D and looked up how to draw 3-D images on YouTube. I decided the size of the squares for the 3-D pattern and then drew it out on some thin pallet plywood. I cut a template piece for each section (the center square and then the angled side pieces). Then I cut what felt like a million of these little squares out. I hand-fit them with a hand-plane and a Dremel as necessary.

I glued each piece in after dry-fitting each row, using more of that weird engineered redwood pallet wood we got. I used the redwood as the darker squares; pine, ash or poplar for the lightest sections; and oak for the medium-tone. After the glue was dried, I shimmed out as some of the wood shrunk a little, and then sanded it all down flat.

I had to fill in the remaining blank portion of the board around the painted canyon image. I decided to just make a crazy-quilt pattern with that engineered redwood more to show those cool splices & defects. Again, more hand-fitting, more gluing, and then a little more shimming here and there.

Time to Stain the Pallet Cornhole Game Board 3-D Cubes:

The main squares I stained a Sedona Redwood (Minwax). The medium tones were stained with Golden Pecan (Minwax). The light tones I used a water-based acrylic craft paint in a pearl white. It still lets the grain show through but really gives the lightest woods that bright pop I wanted. When it dried, I covered the pearl white with a glitter acrylic paint. I didn't stain the redwood pieces in the upper half since I thought it was nice looking.

Hanging the Pallet Cornhole Game Board; the legs & portability:

I used two more old brass hinges on the back side, adding blocks for mounting points after using gorilla glue & screws to secure them in. I had to chisel out a little bit for the barrel of the hinge. I outlined where the barrel needed to sit, then scored it with a utility knife and hand-chiseled it out. I did this on both boards. I mounted the legs so that they'll fold inside. This means that one leg has to mount further away from the edge of the board. I spaced it out by using two nuts on the long bolt and tightened them against one another. This held the leg out enough to clear the other leg that sits flush to the frame.

Hardware stack up if you're interested: Long bolt, gripper-tooth washer on the outside of the frame. A flat washer on the inside, then the leg, then another flat washer, a split washer, and capped off with the wing nut. Add a couple of spacer nuts for the leg further out. This will allow them to loosen/adjust the legs without needing a bunch of tools. Who wants to do that when you're camping? You just want to open it up, adjust the height, and start playing!

Misc. odds and ends: I am making a decorative 12" gauge stick that I'll then velcro inside so they'll always have a quick way to adjust the height without having to hunt for a tape measure. I've already got some heavy-duty plastic handles that I got on clearance - ten for a buck - that install with fairly large bolts. I'll install a handle on each set, and then one of those hook-and-eyes that have the spring catch mechanism for safety. Those will be installed when the last coats are done.

And finally...Lots of hand-sanding, re-leveling, repairing chips that occurred along the edges or when I was using the hand planers happened several times. I'm finishing both assemblies with a total of five coats of a water-based polyurethane for floors so it'll be durable and somewhat slippery, but not too slippery (cornhole association rules address slipperiness too - I kid you not!). I'm sanding between each coat. I'm also careful to coat in different directions to prevent the surfaces from being TOO slippery.

Decorative additions: I also did some pyrography on the sides of the boards, burning the family's surname in, and then a funny slogan from a movie they laugh about a lot. I outlined their surname with copper fouling paint. I found a font I liked, scaled it on my computer and then printed it out. I used some carbon paper and traced it onto the wood.

Fun but useless side-note - the ash used in Pallet Cornhole Game Board pair has sentimental value for the family. The family always gathered at their aunt's house for all the major holidays, and recently she requested that a partial dividing wall in her house be demolished. The family gave me the scrap 2x4's, mostly of pine and ash, and the ash has a lovely pinkish tone. It were approximately 70 years old and had an attractive grain. I used some of "Aunt Putzy's" wood, so that when she finally passes, and her house is finally gone, they'll still have a piece of the family home with them. They don't know this yet. I'll tell them when I give them the boards soon.

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HeatherStiletto
Bio: I'm a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Southern California, and enjoy woodworking with pallets. I've mad... read more

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Robert Acosta

Very cool

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