Seeking advice on material & construction choices (ply & angle)

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Established Member
16 Oct 2009
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I'm looking for advice on construction and materials for a 'pickleball practice board'. Pickleball is a bit like tennis, or giant table tennis, played with a plastic ball.

My initial thoughts were something like this, with two sheets of marine ply, held together with some angle. Two of the pieces extend to allow attachment to angle fence posts. The lower edge will sit directly on the ground (hard tennis court)


My questions are

1. The force of the ball hit should be quite low, what would you think is the minimum ply thickness for good structural rigidity?
2. Is the angle framing suitable/sufficient (assuming the correct material and size)?
3. I have looked into angle a little and am not sure what would be the best type, I'm looking for the cheapest that would provide the necessary strength and longevity (all weathers, but might come inside in winter). Recommendations for angle type and width/thickness?
4. I shall be epoxying the ply, is there any further benefit to lipping all the edges, if so what material, or at least putting a cap of some sort on the top edge?
5. I was planning to screw the angle to the ply, what would be the best treatment for the screw holes? More epoxy, or adding some glue on fitting?

Any other thoughts or comments appreciated

Many thanks
Well as nobody else has replied.
My thoughts are.
I think I would use timber instead of the angle, this allows you to screw though the ply into the wood - a much stronger solution.
The middle cross brace (which is where most of the balls will hit) should go right across.
The ply is going to act as a soundboard, It’s going to be noisy!
The last time I looked Marine ply was £90 a sheet and thickness should be 18mm minimum.
Two sheets will be both heavy and unwealdy, and where would you store such a large thing when you bring it in in the winter? I know it’s Marine ply but nowadays I wouldn’t give it 2 years left out all the time.
Bottom edge should be raised of the floor or resting on something that won’t wick moisture, plastic blocks?
Sorry to be a bit negative.
Ian, many thanks for the reply. Sorry, I didn't get any notification and have only just noticed it.

All useful comments, thanks.

My reason for thinking of angle was rigidity and resilience to weather. I had planned to drill the angle to affix it, but unsure if this then defeats the benefit of galvanisation, with no way to replicate that on the drill holes. What dimension, and what wood would you suggest? Perhaps a treated fence post? Yes it is going to be unwieldy and I had intended to leave it out in all weathers, and was going to treat the ply with epoxy. Perhaps lay it flat and cover with a tarp in winter, not least so it doesn't act as a wind sail and stress the posts it's going to be attached to.

It's such a light ball, with very little force that I think the smaller brace will be fine.

Yes it will be noisy, but then the sport itself (plastic ball and bat... sorry, paddle) is noisy. It's for my other half, she can placate the neighbours.

I have some thin rubber flooring mat, and was going to fix a strip to the bottom. In fact I might test to see if covering the ply with that suppresses the noise somewhat but still gives a good bounce.
Haha, almost forgotten this, on looking now I wonder if one sheet of ply in Landscape would do? After all I don’t suppose it needs to be 8’ High? Timber size for fastening yes you could use a treated fence post or CLS 2 x4 in old money.