How to Build a Texas Horseshoes Washer Game

Written by michele m. howard
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How to Build a Texas Horseshoes Washer Game
Metal washers are used to play Texas horseshoes. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The history of the Texas horseshoes washer game is not clear, however, some believe it started in the early 1900s in the oilfields of Texas or earlier when settlers moved West. The popularity of the game has grown in the United States with variations in rules and equipment. Unlike some versions that use carpeted boards with one to three holes, Texans build dirt pits with a cup recessed into the ground.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Stakes
  • 2 PVC pipes, 4 inch diameter by 4 1/2 inches
  • Weedeater
  • 2 bags dirt
  • Tamper
  • 4 sections of 2-by-4-by-8 treated lumber
  • Circular saw
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Drill
  • Spade
  • 8 washers, 2-1/2-inch diameter with an inner hole measuring 1 inch in diameter
  • Paint

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Instructions

    Square Pit Instructions

  1. 1

    Find a location where the ground is level. Measure and stake out a distance of 21 feet. This will be the distance between the PVC cups. Work one piece of PVC into the ground at each stake. Leave the PVC pipe sticking above the ground about 1 inch.

  2. 2

    Weed eat an area measuring 36 inches around each cup. Cut down the grass as close as possible to the ground.

  3. 3

    Pour one bag of dirt around each PVC cup. Tamp the dirt flat around the cup. The edge of the cup should be flush with the dirt. Make any adjustments to raise or lower the cup until it is flush. Dig out the dirt from inside the cup.

  4. 4

    Cut eight sections of 2-by-4-inch treated lumber that measure 4 feet each. Attach the pieces together with wood screws to make two 4-foot square frames.

  5. 5

    Work each frame into the ground around each cup so that it is flush with the ground and the cup is centred. This involves digging narrow trenches in the ground using a small spade.

  6. 6

    Paint four washers one colour and another four another colour. This helps to identify each player's washers.

    Rectangular Pit Instructions

  1. 1

    Repeat Steps 1 through 3, but make the distance between PVC cups 25 feet.

  2. 2

    Cut four 5-foot sections of the treated lumber and four 3-foot sections. Attach the pieces together with wood screws to make two 5-foot-by-3-foot rectangular frames.

  3. 3

    Work each frame into the ground around each cup so that it is flush with the ground. This involves digging narrow trenches in the ground using a small spade. The frames should be positioned so that the cup is 31 inches from the front of the pit. This allows players room to toss their washers into the pit and slide them up to the cup.

  4. 4

    Paint four washers one colour and another four another colour. This helps to identify each player's washers.

Tips and warnings

  • Landscaping timbers can be used in place of 2-by-4 treated lumber.

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