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Weekend Workshop: Play the ultimate skill game with this one-hole elliptical pool table

Elliptical Pool Table - Numberphile
Need something to keep you busy this weekend? Look no further. The Weekend Workshop is our weekly column where we showcase a badass DIY project that you can complete with minimal skills and expertise. We’ve dug through all the online tutorials on the web, and gone the extra mile to pinpoint projects that are equal parts easy, affordable, and fun. So put on your work pants, grab your tool belt, and head to the garage — it’s time to start building!

Walk into nearly any bar or pub in the country and what are you most likely to see? Aside from your standard-issue bartender, the correct answer is a colorfully felted billiards table. Be it the coin-operated variety that tends to work roughly 75 percent of the time or one from the free pocket class, you’re certain to see one while out enjoying an ice-cold (adult) beverage of choice. Regardless of its payment model, most (if not all) of these tavern tables typically boast six holes: four corner pockets and two smack dab in the middle of each long side. But have you ever seen a one-pocket pool table?

Officially dubbed an elliptical pool table, this lesser-known billiards variety isn’t just a skill game for those looking for a challenge but is also an incredibly easy weekend project you can build entirely on your own. Thanks to a comprehensive understanding of ellipses, and some handy work with power tools, an Instructables user that goes by the name OXANBC_WPDHNW devised an incredibly brilliant way to construct one of these unique tables in a matter of hours.

To help you get a head start on building your own elliptical pool table, we pieced together all the tools, materials, and otherwise required for construction. As is the case with any project involving a table saw or circular saw, we highly recommend having a moderate to advanced understanding of how to use such machinery. Also, it doesn’t hurt to put on a pair of safety goggles when operating said machinery; always better to be safe than sorry. With that said, here’s everything you’ll need before starting:


  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Disc sander
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Cue stick and pool balls


  • At least 1,600 square inches of medium-density fibreboard (1.5″ thick)
  • 124″ of foam, rubber, or wood siding
  • 124″ of vinyl wall base molding
  • Box of 17-gauge 3/4″ stainless steel wire nails
  • Small bag of 2″ screws

After gathering the necessary tools and materials, it’s now time to start constructing your own unique elliptical pool table. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions laid out by Instructables user OXANBC_WPDHNW, and before long, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered playing pool with a six-hole billiards table. Happy building!

The entire step-by-step walkthrough for building an elliptical pool table can be found here.

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