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Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

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Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby jswilson64 on Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:34 am

First off, howdy everyone! I've been lurking for a couple of weeks, reading and learning. Let me start off by saying I've never played Cornhole, or even seen it played. I did see some guys playing a washer-toss game on boards that looked like Cornhole boards covered with Astro-turf, about 10 years ago...

Anyway, my daughter is away at college in Tennessee, and has decided that when she comes home for the summer, she and I are going to build a set of Cornhole boards for her to take back. She has played it and thinks it's "awesome"! :-) I wonder how much of this is going to wind up "my" project, rather than "our" project. But, new project = excuse to buy new tools, and there's a router I've had my eye on...

So I've been reading up on what the boards are supposed to look like, building techniques, etc. I think I'd like to build a set of the ACO-style boards, for the weight savings (her dorm room is on the 4th floor, with no elevator). And use Kreg pocket-hole screws to put everything together BUT, I can't find 5/8 birch (or any other 5/8" hardwood) plywood around here (Dallas, TX), at least not yet. I have found 1/2" birch, though.

The first question is, would the boards be too bouncy if I used 1/2" plywood, or could I combat that by adding an additional brace "long-ways" down the center of the board, and/or using 2 cross-braces instead of 1? Or I could use 1x4 poplar for the frame instead of 1x3 - that might increase the rigidity of the boards, too. Or I could go with 5/8 (19/32") softwood plywood that some Home Depots around here carry.

Second question is, does anyone ever radius the corners of the board? I've seen folks on here rout the edges with a round-over bit (and I plan on doing that), but I think a 1/2" radius on the corners would make loading them into the car, carrying up stairs, etc., easier and safer.

I'm still gathering ideas, so any input y'all can provide would be welcome!
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby J2K66 on Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:44 am

I use 1/2" plywood almost exclusively. I'll use 3/4" if it's requested, but it's not usually worth the extra weight. You can use 1x4's with a cross brace (or 2 I suppose, if you really want to) and the boards will be very solid. I also generally round off my corners, usually with just a sander, but the next set of boards I do I'll be using a 1/8" roundover bit on all edges.

Here's a few pictures of a set done with 1/2" birch, 1x4" select pine, and the Kreg Jig.

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby TednWV on Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:27 am

jswilson64 wrote: The first question is, would the boards be too bouncy if I used 1/2" plywood, or could I combat that by adding an additional brace "long-ways" down the center of the board, and/or using 2 cross-braces instead of 1? Or I could use 1x4 poplar for the frame instead of 1x3 - that might increase the rigidity of the boards, too.


Welcome to the forum Wilson! (I like the avatar you used too!)

From my experience so far, if you use 1/2" BIRCH plywood, there is less bounce to the boards than using 1/2" soft plywood or whatever you want to call it. Birch is pretty solid all the way through. Hardly any voids in the plywood at all. I don't know if Home Depot sells it in your area or not but look for the birch made by Columbia Hardwood. It's called Pure Bond. It's made right here in the U.S. and that stuff is ridgid! I do know that Home Depot and maybe some local lumber yards are the only ones carrying this product.

If you want to use a cheaper plywood, I'd definately cross brace them. Get yourself some pine 1x3's or 1x4's and double brace from underneath. Cut 2 pieces and space them apart 16" on each board. That should do the trick for sure! Still wouldn't hurt to cross brace the birch tops either.

I just started using a 1/8" round over bit on all my boards. I don't know why I never used it before? Makes the boards look like a million bucks!

Please remember, no question is a dumb question on this forum. We were all in your shoes at one point too. The group of guys on this forum have a ton of knowledge when it comes to building boards. Someone will help you for sure!


Another thing....please post pictures when you and your daughter are done building them. We love pictures around here!
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby jswilson64 on Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:52 am

Thanks for the answers! 1/2" ply it is. Those are some nice looking boards, too.
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby Milky on Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:45 pm

Welcome, Wilson! Have fun building those boards, and let us know if you run into any issues. You'll be fine with 1/2". Set up one cross brace underneath, at about the center mark. Solid as a rock.

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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby rucraz2 on Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:40 am

I dont even waste the board for the center. Been using 1x4's for the frame and 1/2 ply for yrs and have used the center brace and have not really noticed much of a difference is bounce. Just adds a little support incase you get a 350lb guy standing on them. I also router the edges/hole with 1/4R bit.
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby Milky on Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:46 am

See, I respectfully disagree with you. The two sets I’ve built with the 1” frame and the pocket jig technique, I’ve put a center brace in. I do see a difference. I get no “springboard” effect. If you drop it in front of the hole, it’s going in the hole. The boards are solid as rock. Just my observations. I do see what you’re saying though. To be honest, there’s not much of a bounce on any of my regular sets(without the brace), but I definitely notice a difference in play between the two styles.

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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby Falcon28 on Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:34 pm

As far as the plywood is concerned - I have used 1/2" plywood most of the time with no problems. It makes the boards lighter and easier to transport. I've also made boards with 3/4" and the weight increase was significant. I personally believe 3/4" plywood is overkill. But, I suppose if you plan on beating your boards into the ground by playing everyday - and don't plan on transporting them very often - then 3/4" is acceptable.

What's more important is the type of plywood. Remember, OSB board is NOT plywood. Stay away from OSB board and other cheap substrates like the plague. I like to buy plywood with a minimum 6-7 ply thickness. Birch wood preferable.

Routing edges may help protect a paint job as well as reducing the chance of wood chipping off if bumped. Routing can definitely add a nice touch to your boards.
Head on over to CornholeGalaxy.com for cornhole bags and other cornhole accessories.
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby milodog on Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:40 am

What did you use for the screw length and what about your leg configuration? Are the legs fixed or foldable and is there any visible hardware on the outside of the board, i.e carriage bolts.

I love the clean look of the pocket holes and just got a kreg jig (which is money well spent).

Your boards look amazing.

Thanks
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby garetcgarner on Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:05 am

I don't want to be a jerk and jump in line here, but I use the Kreg Jig too, and I'm not sure if jswilson is a regular on here and will be able to answer in a timely manner for you.

Of course there are several ways of doing things. None of them is more "right" than another. Each to his own.

But I use 1x4s and 1/2" plywood. I join the frames with the 1-1/4" screws and join the deck to the frame with 1" screws. There is a chart online (I think I've actually seen it on here) that tells you which screws to use for what thickness of wood with the Kreg Jig.

And I use 3/8 carriage bolts for my collapsible legs which you can see from the outside of course. But they look neat and clean.
Chris Garner - Morganton, NC
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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby Cornpone on Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:44 am

I use a “T” brace on my 1/2 sanded plywood. 24” long in the middle from the bottom and connect it to a 22 1/2” cross piece.
Seems to work well.
However, I’m going to try a birch 1/2” top deck next time. Last 1/2 sanded I got did not finish well. $5 more each in cost but I’m hoping it’s worth an improved surface.
As the previous poster said.... “each to their own”

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Re: Half-inch plywood anyone? and other Noob questions

Postby JMYBFFT on Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:54 pm

I am in the 3/4" camp myself and now build my sets completely from 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood. It does make for a heavier set, but if you want your boards to be ACO compliant then each board must with a minimum of 25 pounds. (ACO Rules. 1.2 ACO approved equipment #3)

I have played on both and agree that a well built set with 1/2" tops and a center brace plays great. Either thickness of top works well as long as the boards are built properly. Good luck on your build.
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