TWO USEFUL PING PONG TOOLS Plans with pictures for building ball picker-uppers and ball holders
I apologize to anyone offended by the use of the term "ping pong" in reference to the game more correctly referred to as table tennis. The more common expression is used so that visitors to this site will know to what I am referring.
Most hardware stores sell 1 and 1/2-inch diameter by 4-foot long transparent plastic tubes in the lighting department. These tubes fit around florescent bulbs to contain the glass if the tubes break. The ball holder shown above is simply one-half of one of those tubes mounted on the wall by my ping pong table at a comfortable height for grabbing ping pong balls. Two, 1-inch tall channels are cut on each side of the bottom of the tube and the plastic bent in slightly to retain the balls. Once filled with 13 balls, as shown here, new balls can be quickly and easily pulled from the bottom and play resumed.
This is a close-up of the end of a 4-foot length of the same type of tubing used to make the ball holders. Four 1/2-inch slits are cut in the bottom and a rubber band is strung through the slits as shown. This device is used to make picking up balls easier. The rubber band flexes out of the way as the tube is pressed down over a ball allowing it to enter the tube. Once inside, the rubber band springs back and has enough tension to prevent the ball from falling out. Without bending, a player can quickly walk around the room picking up balls without having to bend over.
Instead of using a rubber band, which can come loose and breaks in time, you can snip a small cut into the pick-up end of the tube and fold it inward to create a barb that'll let balls be pushed into the tube while preventing them from falling out.
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