May 27, 2004

Box Hockey - 2

I talked about Box Hockey back in March, but things got hectic and that became low priority. Now is a good time, so let's get started.

If you've never followed the Rocket Jones Build It series, I do some project online over a series of posts and hopefully by following my directions you can complete the same project. Our first project was a model rocket.

As usual, the meat of the post is in the extended entry, and y'all are invited to ask questions and leave comments.

Building a Box Hockey game is about as simple as it gets. As I said in the original post, the woodworking skills are basic and power tools are helpful but not necessary.

Here's what you'll need from the hardware store:
(3) 1"x4"x6' pine -or- (2) 1"x4"x8' pine
(1) 2'x4' hardboard (1 smooth side)
(16) 1.5"x#6 flathead wood screws
(1) pkg mixed grit sandpaper (we'll use medium and fine)
(1) box small flathead brads (~5/8" long)
(1) small can of polyurethane
(1) 1" paintbrush

Tools and supplies needed:
Drill and 1/16" or 3/32" bit (this will make things so much easier)
Elmers white or yellow glue or equivalent (optional but recommended)
Ruler, yardstick or measuring tape

Buying wood
Look for straight pieces without splits or chewed up edges. A few knots are ok, as long as they're tight and won't readily fall out. It's ok to pick through the rack of lumber to find just the right pieces, so be picky.

When you're looking at a piece, rest one end on the ground and sight down the length of it as if you were aiming a rifle. This will make obvious any warping, bowing, or twisting in the wood. You don't want that, get the straightest pieces possible. Look at it on edge, then swap the board end-for-end and look again. It may be necessary to buy an extra piece or two in order to get enough straight wood, since some boards might be perfect for half or two-thirds their length and then get funky. Since the boards should only be a few bucks each, it's worth the money to get good wood right up front.

Measurements - Frame
The frame of the Box Hockey game is made of 1"x4" pine. You'll need to cut 2 sides (42.5" long), 2 ends (22" long), and 2 goal boards (20.5" long). Cutting rabbets and dados will make the frame stronger, and if you know what that means then you can adjust the measurements on your own.
box hockey plans3.JPG
The goal boards have three goal openings cut into them. The outer two are 3" wide and start 3" from the ends, the middle one is 2.5" wide and sits 3" from the side goals. Make them tall enough to let a checker slide through (at least 1/2"), ours are 1" tall. You can see what I'm talking about on the diagram above (it's not to scale).

In the next day or two I'll talk about constructing the frame and what to do with the hardboard.

(Update: click here for part 3 of the series)

Posted by Ted at May 27, 2004 12:01 PM | TrackBack
Category: Build It

If you're looking for a Box Hockey set that is ready to go and virtually indestructible check out

Posted by: Andy Brody at June 20, 2004 03:07 PM

do you have instructions for constructing the frame at this point and what to do with the hardboard?

Posted by: Beth Dixon at July 10, 2004 11:33 AM

Where is Box Hockey 3?

Posted by: Jennifer Lamb at December 5, 2004 07:40 PM


I'll dig through the archives and find the final part too.

Posted by: Ted at December 5, 2004 08:16 PM

Did you ever find Box Hockey 3?

Posted by: nancy at February 22, 2005 10:26 AM

part three of the series is here.

Posted by: Ted at February 22, 2005 01:05 PM

The Bloomington (Minnesota) Park and Rec dept during the 1960s opened all the gradeschool playground and (winter) skating warminghouse playgrounds for summer and supplied them with many games and activities including box hockey. Starting at age five I would take on the bigger kids usually going to Humboldt Heights Elementary or Bryant Park. Kids would be just lined up to play on several of these games. And they were all durably constructed, painted, 2x8 boards, about 3 feet by 8 feet long and played with a real hockey puck and sawed off hockey sticks. It had a slightly larger than hockey puck slot on each end for the goal and a middle divider with a slot on each side and one on top used for the face-off. And a heavy sheet metal bottom (we would sprinkle sand on to make the puck glide) Now the challenger would always get to call the game or slow, and whether the game allowed each player to have one or two consecutive shots. Usually two if you were only allowed to push the puck (not allowing your stick touch the sides of the box.) Unless topping was allowed then making it so you could push, turn, and manipulate your stick in any way to shoot, up untill your stick lifted from off the puck. And that was the end of your turn. Then there was the game called 'two-shot-follow' where you took turns just bringing the puck on your side of the center to the slot on the side and took careful aim, and then slammed it through the slot toward the opposiing goal! What fun!

Posted by: Danny at February 25, 2005 10:42 PM

(Second thought regarding the above..they were 2x6 boards.)

Posted by: Danny at February 25, 2005 10:56 PM

i too played Box hockey in Minnesota, back in the 70 's as akid, I remember the wood frame and the slow and fast game. It was nice to be a TOM boy back then and to beat the boys in this hockey game.
Please send me the rules and info on how to make the box frame. I am hopeing our woodshop at the school can make them and we can have some fun games for the kids again.
Thanks Gretchen

Posted by: Gretchen at July 24, 2005 12:01 AM

The summers of my youth in the early 70's were spent playing box hockey at our neighborhood school. We couldn't get enough of the game!!! Each year the Parks and Rec Dept. in Ferndale, Michigan would sponsor summer activities at our local schools. Along with crafts, talent shows, and various other games, the highlight was box hockey. Recently, I have been longing to introduce the game to my own children, and maybe slap that little black puck around myself! Having come across this site, I was both excited and disappointed. The game I had grown up with is a little different than those mentioned. Ours was made of, literally, two box frames of ?2x6s, nailed together. The two ends had cut outs in the middle of the frame just higher than a hockey puck. The middle boards had slots cut in the outside quarters. The sticks were cut-down hockey sticks that looked like little oars. We used to sharpen our sticks on the concrete. The box's bottom was the sidewalk. Does anyone know this version and how to make it? Longing in North Carolina

Posted by: Dana (Dystant) Senior at July 24, 2005 10:41 PM

I am looking for instructions to build a box hockey with just one middle board with 2 holes. I played this gane in the 70's. I also would like to have the rules to this style. Thanks!

Posted by: Kathy at September 2, 2005 10:16 PM
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