No Nails Required


I was helping out at the Millvale Community Library last school through our Mobile MAKESHOP initiative. During one of my “Maker Thursdays” I was introduced to a really simple woodworking project by two boys who regularly visited the library. They called the game “penny hockey” and explained that they had built the game during their Tech-Ed class at school. The board is comprised of two holes at either end of a long flat board. There are several dowel rods positioned a few inches apart all along the board. The object of the game is to flick a penny (or any flat, coined shaped object) from one side of the board to the other; trying to get the coin in your opponents hole/goal.


Each player gets two shots to the flick the coin down the board and then the second player gets two turns to flick the coin back in the opposite direction. The coin is flicked back and forth until someone scores. The game is a little tricky to describe in words but it is a blast to play.


Since my experience with this project at the Millvale Community Library I have wanted to make my own version of “coin hockey.” I decided to make mine using no hardware at all; no nails or screws. Instead, my colleague, Derek, taught me how to use a mortise and tenon to attach the legs. The dowel rods fit snuggly into the holes that I drilled. The sides of the board are pegged on using wooden biscuits and a little bit of glue.


It was a lot of fun and really rewarding to try out some of these woodworking techniques. I typically would have used screws to hold all of the parts and pieces together. Sometimes it is better to use less hardware or none at all when working with wood. It can be a nice challenge for someone like me who usually relies on nuts and bolts and screws to hold everything together. It is also fun to build your own games to play. I am already thinking about what my next project will be.




Kevin is a teacher by trade. He loves dinosaurs, sloths and magnets.

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