Building my first foosball table: A few questions

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Building my first foosball table: A few questions
« on: January 20, 2012, 01:51:51 AM »
My first post on!

So I've been putting it off for a long time and I've finally broke down and decided to do it. I'm building my own 'delux' foosball table.

I've been an avid player for about 12 years, and have owned several tables of various makes (though all using the old standard club-toe men). I also have worked for a carpenter for five years, and though I now have different employment, still have access to his workshop and supplies.

I've been researching this project for a long time now. I've decided that I'm going to build a beefy yet elegant looking table with a few extra bells and whistles. The outside wood is going to be appear a dark-stained walnut plywood, with edging to hide any signs of the ply. I also plan on throwing a few bits of molding around to give it some extra glamor (though nothing that would interfere with play). I'm also going to put four levels (as in the bubbled-vessels used in carpentry) in the center of each side so that it will be easy to, well, you get it. I'm also toying with the idea of adding a very small drawer for storing extra balls, spare bolts and screws, silicone, and whatnot.

I feel confident about many of the plans and measurements I have personally taken, and yet, here is where a few dilemmas come into play. I've consistently played with nothing but standard foosball tables, and have only played tornado at a few tournaments and random locales. The same can be said for all my companion players. We like the tornado, but then again, it has a completely different feel; Better control and overall quality to be sure, but still different. It's not the foosball table I've grown to love all these years.

I'm torn between building my table fit to tornado standards or standard, uh, standards. I'd like this to be my 'dream table' and want it to be as high quality and lasting as possible. Here is where my questions begin:

1. Is the upgrade to tornado worth it? I guess I'm torn between nostalgia and functionality. Do most tournaments use tornado tables only?

2. Most of the plans I have use tornado specifications. How big of a difference is there between the rod sizes for standard vs tornado?

3. Will tornado bearings work with standard (5/8") rods? I was thinking of specifically getting the Cyclone II bearings. Are these the best bearings?

4. I'm having trouble finding playtops, though I was considering making one myself out of stained cherry plywood with a finish (and painted with lines to appear much like a basketball court). What would you guys recommend: Bought or custom built? If I did build one myself, what would be the best top coat to achieve the real tabletop feel?

5. I prefer tables with single-man goalies, though, due to the shady construction and eventual breakdown of most of the corner ramps I've used, was thinking about building them out more in a solid manner. Beings that I don't have access to a table with a ramp now, does anyone have recommendations or dimensions for said ramps?

I suppose that's all for now... I'll make sure to post pictures once I start the project!

« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 01:55:29 AM by pyle1999 »