Home / CNC / Making Custom Epoxy Resin Cornhole Boards

Making Custom Epoxy Resin Cornhole Boards

Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well. Hope you had a great 2020 Memorial Day. Well the first days of summer are finally here and though its been a crazy year so far its time to start getting outdoors and having fun with friends and family. Every one or at least most people have heard of yard darts, and badminton and horseshoes. These games are really popular and mainstream there are a ton of others like washers, lawn yahtzee and our focus today Cornhole. 

The game of cornhole is a game played in teams of 2 using two boards with a hole in the board. The goal is to be the first team to reach 21 points exactly. This means you cannot go over or you go back down to 15 points and this continues to one team wins. Sounds easy I know but it can be a bit more challenging than you would think if you have never played. The boards are 48 inches long by 24 inches wide with a 6 inch hole centered at 12 inch from each side and 9 inches from the top if the board. The boards are also 12 high at the top once set up. Then each board is set 27 feet from each other and let the game play begin. To score the teams of two with one player from each team standing at one of the boards. Then throwing weighted bags previously filled with corn (ie. the name cornhole) at the boards to get points. The players from each board throw the bags alternating between the players of each team. To score a point the bag must land and stay on the board or go into the hole on the board. Landing the bag on the board is 1 point and in the hole is 3 points. The trick is that once the player from the opposite team scores the player from the opposing team can then match there points canceling them out. EX. On the last throw each the first player gets 3 points by making the bag into the hole, the opposing team player then lands their last bag on the board but not into the hole. This cancles one of the points out of the first player’s throw, giving the first player 2 points. The points only count to the team total when you win that round. So the first player would add 2 points to the total team score. 

This is a very fun game and as its popularity grows more and more people are making the cornhole boards and the boards are getting more and more customized with decals and designs. This is where I come in ha ha. While I had family visiting we played cornhole in the yard and once the family got together I began being hounded by my mother (who had never played before) to make her a custom set of boards. Me being the awesome son that I am lol set out to to make here the coolest cornhole boards that I could. 

I started by using some of the Thermory USA cladding that I had left over from finishing the interior wall of the shop ( Click HERE to see that video). The cool silver with a hint of blue color I thought would be a really interesting color. I also loved the gain of the cladding. These boards would need to be glued into a panel to create the top of the cornhole board. I started by cutting 4 boards of equal length but over sized to create the panels.

 I recently added a flip up extension to the miter saw station and it made cutting these boards with the Dewalt Miter Saw so much easier. I set the length to around 50 inches so the panels would be 2 inches over the final required length. Simple flick of the wrist and sliding the stop in place on the Rockler T Track and easy peasy. 

With the width of these boards I would need 4 boards to make one panel. This would also make the panel a tad bit oversized and allow me to later on cut the panel down to the correct dimensions. For a corn hole board the outer dimensions of the top are 24” wide and 48” long. There is no specific thickness needed but I would not suggest anything smaller than ½” material as there will be a weighted bag repeatedly hitting the top with a good bit of force at times.

Blowing up the panels on these particular boards is pretty straightforward. As it’s simple panel making that’s actually made a little bit easier considering that these pieces of cladding are tongue and groove. With a simple test fit before applying the glue to make sure that all of the tongue-and-groove scenes lineup well I can then add some Titebond wood glue and tighten down the clamps and let the glue dry. One thing I will say is that if you are using tongue and groove to make the panel you will likely have to add some stabilization on the top to ensure that the panel is flat once the glue is dry. I achieved this by clamping down on a piece of c channel to the top of the panel and the panel came out good and flat. 

I didn’t remove the panel from the clamps making sure to keep an eye on all of the scenes to see if there was any movement which ugly there was not. I had to let the glue dry overnight to ensure that the panels were completely solid. Before removing the clams. once the clamps were removed I also made it a point to inspect a panel for any damage or open seams before moving on.

 Once I was happy with how the panels came out I didn’t use the DeWalt Track Saw to cut the panels down to their final dimensions. I do have to say that the DeWalt Track Saw has quickly become one of my favorite tools to use in my shop as it takes up little space and is extremely accurate. It also has very quick to set up which is nice for projects like this we’re bouncing back and forth setting up the table saw is a little bit cumbersome. 

 Now that I had the panel precisely cut to a 2 foot by 4 foot rectangle I can now move the panel over to the I2r-8 UCCNC.  this is also the point where I would like to mention that if you were interested in a  CNC go check out i2rcnc.com and check at their machines. I love my I2r-8 and you will too. If you’re interested in one of these machines if you use code Jpayne10  at checkout you can receive up to $200 off of the I2R-8. Once the panel was securely clamped to the bed of the CNC I was in the ready to start prepping the machine to make the first cut.

For the first cut I would be using a quarter inch endmill setting the Z axis height off of the material. this will be the main flat area clearance cut for the design going into the boards. 

Once the clearance cut has been made I then switch to a 90 degree V bit and proceed with the second cut. The reason this is important is that the V bit will clean up the edges along the clearance cut as well as create sharp points and Corners within the letters and design giving it a  very realistic and deep look with a lot of detail. 

While CNC was cutting in the second board I then moved on to  building the base frame that would support the top panels currently being cut on the CNC. it was a bit more math in these then what would be standard on cornhole boards. The reason for this is that basic cornhole boards the frame is aligned with the outer perimeter of the board.  In this particular case though I wanted to cover the frame with a different style wood to add some contrast to the look of the boards. This meant that all measurements had to be done with the understanding that there would be a ¾” thick layer around the outside of the frame. The frame would be made of simple  1×4 Pine boards.

 To assemble the frame I broke out the Kreg Foreman To cut pocket holes into the inner side of the frame. This would allow me to assemble the frame as well as attach the top of the cornhole boards to the frame. If you have never used a Kreg Foreman before and plan on doing any jobs whatsoever with pocket holes this is a machine you will absolutely love. Is extremely fast to setup and use it makes repeatable pocket holes an absolute walk in the park. 

Once I had all of the frame boards prep I sent them to the side and now that the engraving was done on both panels I was able to start sealing the panels using some shellac.The reason for this is that with the open wood grain not only would it see what he would but will also help to prevent excess air bubbles from being drawn out of the wood grains into the epoxy flood coat once applied. Applying the shellac was extremely easy just using a brush and brushing with the grain and dabbing the epoxy into the small crevices inside of the engraved design. Once applied I didn’t let the shellac completely dry.

For the top coat of the boards I was going to be using some total boat top coat epoxy resin. you guys have seen me use this before. If not I will leave Links at the bottom of the article to some of the previous articles showing how to do flood codes. Essentially this is just a flood coat covering engravings. Just like with any other epoxy poor air bubbles are the enemy. So while mixing the epoxy make sure to try to inject as little air as possible into the mixture and once poured use a torch or heat gun to remove surface bubbles. This might need to be done repeatedly depending on how much air was impregnated into the epoxy during the mixing process. Start by pouring the epoxy at a center point on the board and use a spreader or brush to hold the epoxy toward the edges then use the brush to paint the epoxy on to the edges of the board to coat the edges themselves. The total boat top coat epoxy is self-leveling so it will flatten out itself. and leave a nice flat  high gloss coat. Also don’t be afraid to do pores like this in two stages the first being a ceiling coat that will allow for any trapped air in the wood to surface and if any bubbles arise they can be sanded out and then filled in with the second coat.  Also while doing pores like this where you are cutting edges once the epoxy and dried there will be small drips on the bottom side of the board.

I allowed the epoxy to harden for at least 24 hours before moving or touching them. To address these small drips on the bottom size of the board I use the DeWalt trim router and a flush trim bit quickly remove the drips from the underside and leave a smooth edge.

I didn’t moved on to assembling the frame. this wound up being a mistake and a blessing in disguise all at the same time. I skipped one crucial step which was putting the whole into the board but I’ll get back to that in just a second. I use the pocket holes and pocket hole screws to attach the frame to the board and then assemble the frame to itself. Once I realized I had skipped an order of operation for the whole I didn’t remove the frame as one solid piece. this became beneficial in that it made assembling at the outer shell of the frame that I spoke of earlier much easier than if it was still attached to the top of the board.

After the prematurely assembled frame had been removed from the top panel I then placed the panel epoxy side up back onto the CNC. The hole in the Board needs to be a 6” hole in diameter with the center of the hole placed 9”  from the top of the board and centered 12” from each side. The CNC made quick work of this but I would like to note that for these cuts I used a shallower depth of cut this would allow the bit to bite less into the top layers of the epoxy and ensure there was less chip out.

I then did all of the prep work cutting the boards that would be attached to the outside of the frame to Links. These boards were cut oversized so I could miter the ends and allow for a good seal and seam at the corners allowing for a nice look to the edges of the board.

However before moving on to assembling the outside of the frame I first sanded and then polished the top of the board. This would remove any slight imperfections in the epoxy as well as give it a nice smooth surface for the cornhole bags to slide on. One thing to keep in mind that I figured out after playing on these boards for the first time is that the first few times you play on the board that they will be extremely slick and the bags will slide a good bit. But want played on for a while the surface will gain a tad bit more texture and the bags will start to grip more and more as the boards are used to.

To assemble the outer shell of the frame and mitered the corners lining them up at a 45 degree angle then applied some Titebond wood glue to the back of the outer board before using the DeWalt brad nailer to fasten them into place on each board. This would allow the frame to be disassembled if needed but the miters still lineup once reassembled.

I Then placed the top of the board epoxy side down onto the workbench and was able to  attach the finished frame for the final time.

 To make the legs of the cornhole board I used more of the 1×4  Pine that was used for the frame and cut them to a  10¼”length.One thing to keep in mind is that the top of the corn hole board with your legs down needs to be 12” from the ground. This means that the links of your legs will change slightly depending on the thickness of the material you are using for the top of your board.

 To attach the legs I first use the bandsaw to round one end of the board then aligned it with the end of the board standing vertical and drilled a hole allowing for a ⅜” bolt and washer with a wing nut that allows the leg to be loosened and turned down into the bottom of the board for storing the boards. Once the legs were attached simply test the legs to make sure for proper fitment and you are ready to enjoy. 

 This is one of those type of projects that fits a novice woodworker as well as can be customized to be something really amazing for a more skilled worker as well. You can make them as simple or as crazy as you would like. I wanted to go a little bit overboard as this was a gift for a family member so I wanted something is super unique and special. That being said this was a really fun build and I enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes the builds that seemed to be a little simpler are the type of wins that you need in the shop. We all do this because we love it and sometimes it’s easy to forget that just having some fun and making something unique outlays the fact of making something really insanely difficult. With that being said I am happy with how these come out I am extremely proud of the design that that is on them as it is something that I created myself and I love getting to design and Engineering things.  If you are interested in being able to cut this design into a set of cornhole boards or anything else you would like I will leave a link HERE  where you can purchase a vcarve  files and cut these out yourself  as well as modify them to make them a bit more personal if you are making them for a customer are gift.

 Thank you guys so much for reading this I hope you found this article helpful make sure you go subscribe on YouTube as well as follow me on @jpaynewoodworking on Instagram  as well as make sure to sign up for the newsletter so you receive notification every time there is a new post product or video. There’s lots more cool stuff coming. If you want to show your support go over to the shop here on the website where you can purchase plans gear some of my products and more. That’s a great way to show your support and help me to  keep making these videos and articles. If you have any questions make sure to comment on the YouTube video or even come in here I will answer them the best I can. I hope you had fun and I will see you on the next one. 

Check Also

Try Something New!! How To Make A Beautiful Shou Sugi Ban (Burned Wood) Desk

If you are like me and love trying new things or if you have been …