When we attended Finkstonball at the start of the summer one of the things we really enjoyed about the tournament was learning about how much attention and love went into the details. Every one of the trophies for the competition was handmade by a member of the team. We first learned this when we asked about the bat-inspired table being used to display them all. The table's creator, Martin Libiseller - infielder for the Attnang-Puchheim Athletics - offered to author a DIY piece showing you how to make your own table at home.
- 10 Wooden bats (broken are fine)
- 49 pieces of baseballs (old or broken)
- Wooden Panel 60 x 60 cm (pressed wood is fine, at least 8 mm thick)
- Wood Glue
- Hot Glue Gun
- Saw (Circular saw works best)
- 4 mm Drill
- 4 Screws (70 mm)
- Cordless screwdriver with cross bit attachment
- Plexi-glass or tempered glass plate 60 x 60 cm
Step 1: Bat preparation
Cut the bats into equally long pieces. 7.5 cm length (3 inches) is optimal, since the baseballs are about 7 cm high (2 ¾ inches).
Step 2: Mark on the wood panel where the baseballs will be glued.
Draw an edge of about 4cm on all four sides of the wooden panel. Then draw the dots for the 49 baseballs. Measure 3.5cm from the edge and draw a dot every 7cm.
Step 3: Mark the wood panel for table legs
In each corner of the wood panel drill a hole for the table legs. Using a 4mm drill, place each leg at least 2cm in from the edge on either side.
Four of the 7.5 cm long pieces are needed for the corners. They will serve as part of the table legs. Make sure they are cut 7.7cm when you measure because the sawing will reduce them by around .2cm. If they are a bit higher than the rest that’s fine.
Saw the four corner parts into 2cm pieces and 5.5 cm pieces. The 2cm pieces need a hole. Use a 4mm drillbit to make the hole. The hole should align with the holes in the table legs. They will be the base for the top of the table.
After you glue the 2cm piece onto the wooden base of the table top you can place the screw through both pieces and into the table leg.
Don’t forget to countersink the holes.
Step 4: Table Legs
Select four bat handles for the table legs and cut them all equally long. To use the piece as a coffee table the legs should be cut to a height of about 30-35cm as the tabletop is approximately 9 cm high.
Into these four table legs, on the smoothly cut surface, drill a hole using the 4mm bit. Each hole should be about 4cm deep.
This part will then be screwed into the base of the wood panel to create the underside of the tabletop.
Step 5: Prep the panel for legs
Using the wood glue, adhere the 7.5cm long bat pieces on the surface of the tabletop. If you place them just a tiny bit over the edge, and keep them aligned, then the finished look will be that of a wood bat only table because they will hide the wooden base.
At the four corners of the wood panel, glue the 2cm long pieces so that the hole in the bat piece is exactly above the hole of the tabletop.
Step 6: Countersink the hole
Using a countersink drill head, increase the hole in the 2cm long bat piece so that the head of the 70mm long cross head screw disappears.
Step 7: Attach the legs
Hold the table leg with the hole on the underside of the tabletop, so that both holes line up along with the hole of the 2cm beater part over the corner.
At each corner, turn the screw as far as it will go into the table leg to attach the leg to the top.
Step 8: Creating the table’s edge
Attach the 5.5cm long beater parts with glue at the corner points of the 2cm long beater parts so that a square frame with equally high parts on the tabletop arises.
When you are done you should have a frame around the sides in which to place your baseballs.
Step 9: Attaching the baseballs
Using a hot glue gun, stick the baseballs onto their previously marked spots.
Alternative Top: You can also leave the balls behind and continue using cut bat pieces to make your top. To do this, cut an additional 8 to 10 bats into 3 cm thick pieces and attach them to your wood panel using wood glue.
Step 10: Optional Glass Top
A glass plate can be made with the dimensions of 60x60cm. Place transparent bumpers on the four corners of the underside of the glass plate. These keep the wood from making direct contact with the glass and help absorb the movement of the table top to keep the glass from becoming scratched.
For a more durable top, you can also use a piece of plexiglass. Select a colored glass for a more personalized finish. Again, make sure to use those bumpers to ensure a scratch-free finish.