I have a long, loving relationship with croquet. We played it as kids, I was croquet chairman of my eating club (it’s a Princeton thing), and we had croquet at our wedding. I love the game, probably because it’s about as non-sporty as a sport can get...plus you get to wear snazzy clothes. That being said, there does come a time with the old croquet set needs to be replaced. So, instead of tossing it in the rubbish heap, why not make a table. You only need 4 mallets, so the fact that your brother broke 2 of the original ones trying to use them as stilts doesn’t even matter!
MATERIALS4 croquet mallets2 croquet stakes18” to 24” wood table round (it should be slightly wider than your stakes are tall)Craft paintMasking tapePolyurethaneJigsawPower drillWood glue
Cut the tips off of your stakes so you’ve got two even poles.
Measure the diameter of your stakes. Now cut a notch out of the center of each stake that is the same width. It should be half the depth of the stake.Do the same with the mallets cutting the notch half way up and on the side (so it lines up with the flat side of the mallet).
Take the stakes, add some wood glue and interlock the notches. Take a small drill bit and pre-drill a hole, then use a screw to attach them.
Take each mallet, add wood glue, and attach the notch to an end of the stakes. Again, pre-drill first to prevent cracking the wood. If you want to get fancy, you can even countersink the screw!
Do the same for the other mallets.
Lay the table top on top of the legs and with a pencil mark where each mallet hits the table. Use a paddle bit the same diameter as your mallets and drill half way down into the table. To keep from going too far, put a piece of masking tape on the bit to remind you where to stop.
I wanted a little pizzaz, so I used masking tape to tape off four stripes and painted them the same color as the mallets. A clear coat of polyurethane on top once they’re dry will keep them looking good.
Put a little wood glue in each of the table top holes, flip it over and fit it onto the mallets. Put a few heavy books or bricks on top while it dries. That gives you plenty of time to change into your snazzy clothes, make some gin and tonics and play a quick round of croquet.