Texas washers, also known as Texas horseshoes, is an indoor or outdoor game where participants toss washers at holes in washer boards. The boards are set up 10-feet apart using a connecting rope that's attached to each board. As a do-it-yourselfer, you can make your own boards and save the cost of a manufactured set. The job requires basic carpentry skills, a few tools and materials that you find at lumber stores and home centers.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- 1/2-inch plywood
- Chalk line
- Circular saw
- 100-grit sanding block
- One-by-four pine
- Wood glue
- Cordless drill with screw-tip attachment
- 1 1/2-inch wood screws
- 1-quart can
- 1/2-inch drill bit
- Indoor-outdoor carpet
- Utility knife
- Water-base contact cement
- Utility paintbrush
- 1/2-inch screw-eyes
- 1/4-inch nylon rope
Making the Boards
Determine the size of the boards, such as 24 inches square for a single hole, or 24-by-48 inches for two or more holes. Measure and mark two pieces of 1/2-inch plywood to size, and snap chalk lines between the marks as cutting guides.
Cut the boards at the lines with a circular saw. Remove burrs at the edges of each board with a 100-grit sanding block.
Make a four-sided base for each board using one-by-four pine. For square boards, cut two pieces 24 inches long for each. For 48-inch boards, cut two pieces 48 inches long for the sides of each. Deduct the combined thickness of the sides, or 1 1/2 inches, and cut a pair of pieces this length as the ends of each base.
Position the four pieces for each base on edge, with the end pieces between the sides at each end. Apply wood glue on the ends of the end pieces and align the outer faces with the ends of the side pieces. Using a cordless drill with a screw-tip attachment, drive a pair of 1 1/2-inch wood screws through the ends of the side pieces and into the glued ends of the end pieces.
Position the bases on a flat surface and apply wood glue on the upper edges of the sides and ends of each. Align the plywood boards on the bases, and attach them to the bases by driving screws at 6-inch intervals near the outer edges of the boards.
Cutting the Holes and Finishing Up
Mark the cutout for the holes, using the base of a 1-quart can. Position the can at the middle of a square board, and mark the outline on the board. Alternatively, mark outlines for two holes on the 48-inch boards as if the boards were two 24-inch squares.
Install a 1/2-inch drill bit in the drill, and drill a starter hole for a jigsaw blade inside of each circular outline. Insert the blade in a starter hole, and cut the circular hole. Repeat this at the remaining marked outlines. Remove burrs at the cut edges with the sanding block.
Apply a generous amount of water-based contact cement on each board, using a utility paintbrush, and allow the cement to dry to the touch. Measure and cut two pieces of indoor-outdoor carpet the same measurements as the boards, using a utility knife.
Place the pieces of carpet on the boards, align the outer edges of each, and press the carpet onto the boards. Run your hands firmly over the carpet to stick it to the boards. Allow the cement to cure for 10 minutes, and run your hands over the carpet again.
Put a fresh blade in the utility knife. Insert the blade into the carpet at one of the holes, and use the cut edge of the hole as a guide to cut out the carpet at the hole. Repeat this at the remaining holes on the boards.
Determine the direction the boards will face each other when playing the game. Install a 1/2-inch screw-eye in the side of the bases that face each other, centered from end to end and top to bottom on the base. To do this, position the threaded tip of the eye at the side of the base, and screw it in using a screwdriver through the eye.
Position the boards 10 feet apart with the screw-eyes facing each other. Fasten one end of a 1/4-inch nylon rope to one of the eyes using two, tightly-made half-hitches. Insert the other end of the rope through the other screw-eye, secure it two half hitches, and cut off the excess rope with the knife.
Tips & Warnings
- Wrap a few layers of electrical tape around the half-hitches on the ropes to prevent then from loosening when the boards are moved.
- Trim the edges of the boards and carpet with 1/2-inch-by-1/2-inch vinyl cornering that attaches with contact cement. Miter the corners of the pieces, similar to a picture frame, using a miter box and a hacksaw, and remove burrs at the mitered ends with the sanding block.
- Paint the circular cutouts and use them as tossing washers.
- Always wear eye protection when using a power saw.
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