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how to make cornhole boards

If you have the proper tools, making a set of cornhole boards isn't as hard as you might think. However, take your time when building your boards as you will want to measure everything out so you make a perfect set.

1. Supplies for the cornhole boards set
- 1/2" sheet of plywood (You can either purchase One 4'4' sheet or two 2'4's)
- (4) - 8' long 2X4's
- (4) - 4 1/2" long 3/8" diameter carriage bolts
- (4) - 3/8" flat washers
- (4) - 3/8" wing nuts
- Box of 2 1/2" wood screws

2. Tools for the cornhole boards set
- Circular Saw (or table or hand saw)
- Measuring Tap
- Power Drill
- Sandpaper
- Hammer
- Jigsaw

Luckily standard dimensions of lumber that you can get at most stores are the same dimensions needed to build a cornhole board. For this reason, if you have more than one cornhole set to make, buy in bulk. The more you buy, typically the less expensive it will be. When choosing lumber for your boards, take all the time you need. Look for wood that isn't warped, split, chewed up, etc... Also when looking at plywood, find pieces that have a few blemishes as possible. The smoother you can find one, the better cornhole board you will make.

3. Making the cornhole boards set
a) Cutting the Wood - For 2 cornhole boards, you will need the following lengths from the 2X4's:
- (4) 4 Feet pieces
- (4) 21 Inch pieces
- (4) 16 Inch pieces

You will want to cut the 2X4's with a Mitre or hand saw. Please make sure you measure, cut, measure, cut, etc... so you can get all your pieces with the 4 2X4's your purchased. Once completed, your 4 pieces for the cornhole boards should look as followed.

Constructing the boards - You first will want to put the frame together using the wood screws. When screwing the wood together, make sure all edges are flush. A recommendation would be to drill holes in the wood first just a bit smaller than the actual screw as this will prevent splitting the wood.

Once the frame is completed, the next step is to lay the plywood on the surface of the frame and screw it down. I would recommend using 10 to 12 screws. When drilling the holes, make sure the screws are sunk below the wood to allow to put some putty on top of the boards to keep the surface smooth.

Cornhole Board Hole
Now that you have a basic form of your cornhole board constructed, the next step will be to create the hole. You will mark the center of the hole 9 inches from the top and 1 foot from either side. Using a compass or even a pencil with a string on it, draw a circle 6 inches in diameter. Once you have the outline, insert the blade of your jig saw and cut out the hole as carefully as you can. The slower you go, the more accurate you make it. Once the hole is cut out, use some sandpaper to clean it up.

Cornhole Leg
With the cornhole board now constructed, the remaining step will be creating the legs for the board. Most will say this is the trickiest part as you don't want your board collapsing every time you toss a bag. First we need to make some pencil marks on the legs. You will want to first draw a line halfway from the side of your leg. Make another line the same distance from the end and perpendicular to the first. These two lines will create a point where you will want to pivot your compass. (See picture below)

Next turn your cornhole board over so that the plywood is face down. Take one of your leg pieces and set it in place. You will now want to mark the hole for your bolt. Find the legs midpoint line that you create before and tranfer it onto the frame. Measure the midpoint of teh frame which should be around 1 3/4 inces. Where the two lines cross is where the bolt where go.

Drill a 3/8" inch hole through the side of the frame and leg. Clamping down the set of boards to hold them together is always a good idea as you it will help reduce splintering. Once you create the hole, you will want to remove the leg and start to round out the end of the board set so it can rotate within the frame. You can clean up the edging with sandpaper if you like, but it isn't necessary.

With the legs now ready to be attached, slide the carriage bolt through the hole in the frame and leg. On the other end, add the washer and nut to keep the leg secure. (Don't tighten it just yet.) Make sure the leg is freely moveable. It should be able to move withought difficulty from the folded position inside the board to standing up right.

The last step needed will be to cut the legs so the cornhole board stands 1 foot off the ground. In order to do this, you will need to find something exactly 1 ft tall and prop the backside of the board on it. Position the cornhole boards so the legs are full extended into playing position and dangling from a table. You can then take a pencil and make a line that runs flush with the table. Remove the leg and take it back off for sawing.

Using a mitre saw, cut a perfect line with the marking you made just previously. You should end up with a cut pretty close to 45 degrees. Re-attach the legs and double check that you have cut everything correctly. The cornhole board should measure 12 inces from the ground across the entire back edge.

You are ready to now play cornhole, assuming you have some bags. You can take this one step farther and paint your set of boards and even add your favorite team's decals. But that is for another conversation.


Happy Cornholing!