DIY

How to Build Regulation Cornhole Set in Your Garden

This bean-bag toss game is fun and easy for the whole family. Building a set is a fairly easy woodworking project that you can tackle in a day.

TOOLS

  • jigsaw
  • measuring tape
  • compass
  • drill with drill bit and Phillips-head screw bit
  • 1/2″ drill bit
  • clamps
  • circular saw
  • random orbit sander
  • paint roller

MATERIALS

  • (2) 24″ x 48″ pieces of 1/2″ plywood for the surface
  • (4) 2×4 x 48″ for the frame
  • (4) 2×4 x 21″ for the frame
  • (4) 2×4 x 11-1/2″ for the legs
  • 1-lb. box of 1-5/8″ deck screws
  • 1-lb. box of 3″ deck screws
  • (4) 1/2″ x 4″ carriage bolts with (4) washers and (4) wing nuts
  • wood putty
  • exterior-grade paint
  • primer

Game Time

The American Cornhole Association requires platforms be a 48″ x 24″ rectangle made from 1/2-inch plywood. The front of the platform stands 2-1/2 to 4 inches tall and the back of the platform sits 12 inches off the ground. The plans for this project follow those requirements. 

Regulation corn bags need to be 6-inches square, made from duck canvas and be filled with two cups of corn feed. A set of eight can be purchased online for $25 to $30. You can also purchase corn bags made with a plastic filling; these are less expensive than the corn-filled bags and are weatherproof. Corn-filled bags can easily get ruined if left in the rain.

Project Cut List and Plans
Project Cut List and Plans

Project Cut List and Plans

You will need two 24″ x 48″ sections of 1/2″ plywood; four 2×4 x 48″ for the frame; four 2×4 x 21″ for the frame; and four 2×4 x 11-1/2″ for the legs.

Construct the Platform Box
Construct the Platform Box

Construct the Platform Box

Cut the plywood into two 2’ x 4’ sections. Cut the 2x4s to the length specified in the cut list for the frame. Use 3″ screws to fasten the 2x4s into a box with the 21-inch pieces inside the 48-inch pieces to form a 2’ x 4’ box. Lay the plywood on top of the box, use the plywood to square up the 2×4 frame. Fasten the plywood onto the frame with 1-5/8” screws. Repeat for the second platform box.

Cut Legs and Fit
Cut Legs and Fit

Cut Legs and Fit

Cut a 2×4 to 11-1/2” for the four legs. Make a full 3-1/2″ radius cut on one end of each leg. To make the cut, measure 1-3/4″ down the length of the 2×4 and draw a line across it. Place a compass point centered on that line then draw the arc. Use a jigsaw to make the cut. 
Turn the box upside down; lay a leg parallel, flush up against one of the top corners with the radius side in the corner. Clamp into place.
From the inside of the box, make a mark in the center of the 2×4 vertically inside the radius. Drill a 1/2″ hole through the side of the box and through the support leg.

Attach Legs
Attach Legs

Attach Legs

Install the carriage bolt through both holes and attach with a washer and a wing nut. Check for operation; see if the legs can fold up and down inside of the platform. You may have to adjust the radius top if it is contacting anywhere, use a sander to do this. Repeat the process for the other legs.

Cut the Leg Ends
Cut the Leg Ends

Cut the Leg Ends

To cut the angle on bottom of the leg, turn the box right-side up and set it on a worktable with the legs tucked under. Place a block (or anything that will hold it up, we used a bucket) under the box so that the back of the platform is 12 inches off the tabletop. Slide the box to the edge of the table, pull down the leg closest to the edge so that it hangs just over the table edge. Using the tabletop as a guide, draw a straight line across the bottom of the 2×4. Repeat for the opposite side. Cut the ends off using a circular saw.

Cut Hole in Platform
Cut Hole in Platform

Cut Hole in Platform

To find the center point for the hole, make a mark 9″ down from the top and 12″ in from each side.

Create a Circle

Use a compass to mark a 6″ diameter circle around the spot that you marked.

Drill Hole
Drill Hole

Drill Hole

Pre-drill a hole along the edge of the circle large enough to accept the jigsaw blade. Remove the drill and use a jigsaw to cut out the circle. Sand the edges of the hole smooth.

Prime Time

Prime the entire box. When primer dries, re-sand the entire box. Wipe clean with light, damp cloth, and paint with an exterior-grade paint (we used a high-gloss).

Decorate

We painted standard triangles on our boards. To do this, stretch blue painter’s tape in the shape you want, and paint the desired area.

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