How to build a mallet fairground game

mallet image by e-pyton from <a href=''></a>

Many fairground-style mallet games can be built at home. However, the most popular is the one where you strike a platform to ring a bell. Also known as a test-of-strength game, it is officially called "High Striker." Building a high striker is not very difficult if you have woodworking experience. If you don't, it will be a trickier task, but not impossible. Get a clear work space ready -- some high strikers are up to 4.5 m (15 feet) tall -- and follow simple steps to make your own high striker for a school fair or birthday party.

Buy a 2.5 by 15 cm (1 by 6 inch) wooden board and cut it down to approximately 8.7 cm (3 1/2 inches) wide. Use a standard table saw to do this or ask the timber merchants you purchase it from to do it for you. Take a 30 by 6.2 cm (12 by 2.5 inch) board and nail it to the first board with strong wood nails so the tall board stands vertically and the smaller board is horizontal.

Paint the longer vertical board white, yellow or any bright colour where writing can still be seen. Make marks in 30 cm (1 foot) increments from bottom to top. Red is usually a good colour to paint these measurements. Paint the entire board with a clear gloss once the paint is dry.

Fasten metal eyelets to the top and bottom end of the tall board. These will hold the wire in place. Thread the spool through the wire before attaching at both ends. When the spool is attached, attach the wire so it is secure. You can attach the wire with small nails or metal clamps, using a hammer or drill.

Construct a base using a square of 1.8 to 2.5 cm (3/4 to 1 inch) thick piece of plywood. The "striker" will be a narrow board, approximately 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inches). Place wooden blocks beneath the base to support it. You may opt to cover these with rubber for added strength and durability. Glue these on with a strong wood glue so they do not peel off with use. Attach a bowl-shaped bell to the wire using another piece of strong wire, or a plastic electrical cord fastener. Try out the game by striking the striker board with a mallet.

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