Fun-loving MOTHER-readers will, no doubt, remember down-easter Glenn Willett's ten-minute cure for cabin fever: the nickel hockey game featured in MOTHER NO. 72 (page 70). Well, a couple of MOM's researchers—after they knocked together their own hockey board just to see how it worked-figured they could take the whole boredom-beating concept one step further and work up a game that'd just flat keep the whole household busy through those long winter evenings . . . and probably right into the following cold season as well.
They decided, basing their choice on both practicality and potentially low cost, to produce a plaything similar to the popular Foosball game . . . which, as any devotee of table sports can attest, is great for developing eye-hand coordination, strengthening wrists, and-let's face itjust having a good old time.
COLLECT YOUR MATERIALS . . .
A bit of snooping on the part of our staffers revealed that professionally built table-soccer games range in price from $359 to more than $600 . . . but our crew wrapped this version up for just over $100. (And that's a real bargain, considering the fact that the shop-made specimen is a nearclone of the typical arcade models . . . and uses mostly new materials, some of which you could probably replace with scrap.)
To put together your own indoor soccer field, you're going to need  the materials specified in the accompanying illustrations,  tools . . . including a circular or table saw, a drill with an assortment of bits, a coping saw, a hammer, a screwdriver, some finish-grade sandpaper, a pair of wire cutters, a hacksaw, a compass, and a tape measure, and  the better part of a weekend ... plus an evening or two beyond that, perhaps, depending on how handy a woodworker you are.
The major components of the project can be cut from a 33" X 48" sheet of 3/8" plywood . . . a 40" X 48" sheet of 3/4" plywood (or, better yet, one 10-foot and two 8-foot lengths of 1 X 6) . . . a pair of 12-foot 2 X 4's . . . three 3-foot lengths of 1" dowel . . . four 10-foot sections of 1/2" electrical metallic tubing ... a 36" X 66" section of white Formica (or some other) plastic laminate and a 30" X 89" piece with a wood-grain surface. (The wood-grain veneer, which we used to cover the outer walls of the playing box and its support frame, is optional .. . by omitting it, and simply staining those surfaces instead, you can probably slice the cost of your project by as much as one-quarter.)
Our game, as the illustration indicates, is little more than a box centered on a tablelike frame. After constructing the lower chassis (and fastening its four corner braces and three horizontal supports as shown, setting these components flush with the upper surface of the frame), you can shape and mount the legs . . . unless you've chosen to use the wood-grain veneer, in which case you should contactcement that "skin" on the box before attaching the four uprights. Once the legs are fastened, finish up the game's underpinnings by installing the two cross braces between the vertical supports, as shown in the illustration.