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

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.


Huawei Nova 4 has a hole in the screen, and a 48-megapixel camera on the back

Huawei has launched the Nova 4, a new smartphone that has abandoned the screen notch and adopted a punch hole alternative, and also has a massive 48-megapixel camera. Here's what you need to know about the Nova 4.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.

Forget painting-style transfers, this A.I. creates realistic portraits of fake people

Do these images look computer-generated? Nvidia researchers recently published a paper on a new variation on style transfer artificial intelligence that's able to generate entirely new portraits.