Mini Skee Ball Table

Has anyone tried the Mini Skee Ball table from CIC?

I bought the file and the Bamcore material from him and did a couple of test cuts this weekend.

His depth per pass is way more aggressive than I am used to using. In fact he does the majority of it with a 1/4" downcut bit and is going .315 or more in some places. I did one test and it seemed OK albeit noisy and I wasn’t really happy with the edge finish.

Then I tried another test with a more complex profile and my bit pulled down and chewed into my recently smoothed spoilboard. Then I did a third test with #201 and a more conservative .125 depth per pass. That one produced much better edge finish results but of course didn’t look as good on the top surface.

I just reworked the file splitting each of his 1/4" downcut toolpaths into two. One is still using the downcut but only goes .14" deep (top layer thickness on the material) and then the second uses #201 with a .125 depth per pass up until the various required depths.

Naturally that takes runtime on the job from 38 minutes the CIC way and 1:45 my way. Hopefully I can give it a go this weekend. Curious if anyone else in the group has tried it.

4 Likes

I have been considering it and will be following to see how it works out for you!

1 Like

This is cool, i might have to look into it.

He’s using industrial machines, so that is probably why.

Yes, he has beefier machines for sure. I can’t remember which one he used in this video and can’t check it now.

I did just order the 1/8” drill bit from IDC to avoid the smoke he creates :blush:

I will get back to it on Friday afternoon or Saturday and let you guys know how it goes.

When I bought the file I figured I would source the plywood locally but I was not happy with what I could get so ordered the panels from CIC. The multi color layers give it an interesting appearance.

One of the tests I did was a back plate with an outline of a horse carved into it. That one was acceptable so I at least have one piece done.

1 Like

I got all the pieces for the first one cut out. I had to stop the job a couple of times and make changes to correct something but those were all BEFORE I screwed something up not after.

The tabs for those long pieces with the holes were not thick enough and there was not enough surface area for the tape to hold good so as it was doing the Final Cut out on them I would pause and remove the piece.

There is one piece that I see some chipping on but it will not be visible in the final product. I need to pull the rest of the pieces apart, cleanup, glue, assemble, sand and finish. Tomorrow is another day.

4 Likes

I had time this weekend to glue up the subassemblies, finish and then final glue up.

It turned out pretty good. There are a few lessons learned and things I would change.

The 1/8” holes that are used for alignment for gluing the subassemblies are too small for the bamboo skewers that were linked in the YouTube video. I enlarged the holes manually but that added some slop and in the end I didn’t use them. I just bought a mini Rockler panel clamp a few days ago so I put it to use here. I did use one skewer until I had the panel clamp tightened up.

The backplate (thing with the horse) is a little too narrow for it to be glued in place so I let it be removeable. When I make another I will have it slightly wider.

It would be nice if there was a covered compartment to store the balls. Something else for V2.

The ball bearings are kind of heavy and have a tendency to jump from one score slot to another on occasion. I am not sure there is a good solution for that.

The material is nice (and heavy) but there were some discolored spots that are apparent on the main deck. Since that’s edge grain from the plywood you can’t see the issue until the cuts are done. I rolled with it this time. The 2x2 sheet has enough space to cut a couple of spares so maybe next time I will try that.

The plans didn’t call for a roundover on the edges, but I put one on manually in all the places that seemed like it made sense.

I bought Odies oil to finish it but decided to use wipe on poly instead. I have not tried odies before and I was concerned about being able to properly buff off the oil given all the nooks on that piece with the rings. I would have liked to sand that piece a little better but it’s tough getting in there.

All in all it was a fairly quick project that I am sure my kids will enjoy. I mean fight over until I get more built.


7 Likes

I would redesign to use marbles, but one should compare the weights involved between this small version and the real thing. Seems like a good proportion could be attained.

It needs a much higher backboard to protect the wall from overzealous competitors. :smiley:

I was thinking that. I will have to see if there are small marbles. I don’t know if there is enough available real estate on the 2x2 sheet to accommodate much of an increase in size. And the height of the channels right now is bounded by the thickness of the material minus a little for the bottom plate. That could all be adjusted but like I said would probably drive to a larger piece of material.

The 2x2 sheet is $39 and a 2x3 is $59. It could certainly be done in other materials but the multi color effect here is pretty cool.

As for the backplate, once my 9 year olds get going on it I will see what adjustment can be made. I could have the backplate taller and spread out on the sides a bit. However likely there is nothing that can be done to keep them from flinging the balls around the room :joy:

1 Like

… OIC! Well you won’t be surprised if there’s a Hot-Wheels double loop track to the ceiling involved, either! :smiley:

Marbles are generally either 14mm or 16mm, but there are other variations. The original specs were for “12mm Steel Balls”, so yeah, there’s some slots to be adjusted.

Looks good! I was going to get one cut out of hardwood, i have plenty of scraps laying around for it.

Yes, it would be fine out of hardwood as well. I thought about that originally but I did like the multi color look. You would either need to do a large glue up or break the toolpaths apart to fit the pieces on your random scrap.

I did find and order some 12mm marbles BTW.

I figured i’d have to break up the pieces into separate sheets and redo all the code based on what i saw on the video when he showed it in Vectric.

1 Like

OK, I would like to know how to purchase the file so I can load in my shapeoko. I must have mossed that info.

If you watch the video above he has a link in the comments.

But, here is a direct link:
Mini Skeeball Table Digital File — CIC Workshop

The download contains files in VCarve Pro .CRV file, SVG, PNG, DXF, PDF formats. The .CRV file has all the toolpathing, but as mentioned above I had make some adjustments.

I also bought his bamcore material for this project.

1 Like