Get set for hours of entertainment with this giant version of a classic game where marbles are supported on straws. Just build a simple frame, gather a variety of plastic balls, and use pieces of dowel as straws. Standing at about 1300mm tall, it's best played outside so everyone has plenty of room to make their move.
Gather your supplies
• Top frame (4) 90 x 45 x 500mm treated pine
• Legs (4) 90 x 90 x 380mm treated pine
• Tabletop 520 x 520 x 19mm CD plywood
• Dowel (50) 600mm x 12, 16 and 19mm-dia. pine (we cut a random number of each)
• 900mm-high black plastic garden trellis mesh with 25mm square holes
You’ll also need Power saw; square; cordless drill; jigsaw; PVA adhesive; 40 and 57mm screws; 90mm batten screws; Dulux 1 Step Primer, Sealer & Undercoat; Dulux Weathershield Gloss in Citrus Hit; paintbrush; spray paint in various colours (we used Dulux Spraypak Quick Dry in Pink Flamingo, Botanic Green, Sky Blue and Carnival Yellow); black cable ties; 10mm black cable clips; plastic buckets in various colours; plastic coloured balls
Step 1 To make base, create a halving joint at ends of each top frame piece by measuring 90mm from each end of each piece and measuring down 22.5mm then, using power saw, cut most of housing. Using a hammer and chisel, clean up joint.
Step 2 Predrill then, using PVA and 40mm screws, glue and screw frame together using square to check each corner forms a true square.
Step 3 Stand legs on ends to form a 500 x 500mm square. Predrill then, using PVA and 90mm batten screws, glue and screw top frame to top of legs, offsetting screws.
Step 4 Mark a 300mm-dia. circle in centre of tabletop using a compass with a 150mm radius. Bore a starting hole, then cut out marked circle using jigsaw. Sand all edges smooth.
Step 5 Using PVA and 57mm screws, glue and screw tabletop to base, screwing from underside and allowing a 10mm overhang.
Step 6 Sand table all over, then paint with 1 coat of undercoat. When dry, paint with 2 coats of Weathershield Gloss, allowing to dry between coats.
Step 7 Sand any sharp ends on dowel. Lay down a drop sheet in a well-ventilated area. Wearing a protective mask, spray-paint dowel in various bright colours. Leave to dry.
Step 8 To calculate how long the mesh needs to be to go around the centre hole and still be supported by the table, allow for a mesh diameter of 330mm and, using the formula to calculate the circumference of a circle (pi x dia.), this gives a length about 1040mm. Allow an extra 60mm for overlapping mesh and tying together. Cut with a pair of snips.
Step 9 Make a cylinder by overlapping mesh by 2 squares and securing with black cable ties. Snip off unwanted tails.
Step 10 Put mesh cylinder over hole in tabletop allowing about 15mm between edge of hole and mesh. Secure in place using 10mm cable clips.
Step 11 Carefully position table in desired location, then set up (see How To Play The Game) using dowel, buckets and plastic balls. Let the games begin!
How to play the game
• To set up, poke all of the dowel pieces through the holes in the mesh to form a dense nest of sticks. Fill the top of the mesh cylinder with as many balls as will fit. Each player then chooses a coloured bucket.
• To play, each person places their own bucket under the hole in the table, selects a dowel and withdraws it. Choose wisely because once your hand is on a dowel, you must remove it! If any balls fall into your bucket, they count against you. Remove your bucket, then the next person places their bucket under the hole and withdraws a dowel, and so on.
• The object is to end up with as few balls in your bucket as possible. When the last ball has dropped, the winner is the person with the least amount of balls in their bucket.