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Picture of Vintage Skittles Tabletop Game
vintage-merdel-skittles-401-exciting_1_82dfcd60e88c7e56260468caa5e7f565.jpg

I remember as a child going to my grandparents home and playing a vintage game called Skittles made by the company Merdel. As it says on the box it is "The Exciting Spin Top Bowling Game." I got a quick simple history of this game from vintageprojects.com where they describe this game as an old English pub game. They do have plans for a version of this game but it is not quite the one I grew up with. As I have mentioned earlier, the one I played was done by Merdel.

As a side note, Merdel started in1961 from a few employees leaving another game company called Carrom. This company I believe had the original design for this game.

Despite a long search I was unable to find any plans for Merdel's/Carrom's design. I ended up using software that allowed me to calibrate a known distance on a picture then measure everything else. I knew even these measurements weren't going to be 100% accurate so I used the plans from vintageproject.com and my measurements to come up with what I believe to be fairly accurate dimensions which I have as a .pdf in step 2.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

Materials:

  • 3/4" MDF 4'x4' sheet or (Hardwood Plywood)
  • 3/8" dia Oak wood dowel
  • 7/8" dia. Oak wood dowel
  • Oak Board 2-1/2" wide min.
  • String
  • Clear Shellac
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Clear Enamel
  • Paste Wax
  • Clean Rags
  • 400 Grit Sand Paper
  • Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue (optional)
  • Brad Nails (optional)

Tools:

  • Table saw/Circular Saw
  • Dado Stack
  • Band saw/Jigsaw/Scroll saw
  • Drill press
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Buffing wheel for drill
  • Clamps
  • Lathe
  • Brad nailer
  • Measuring tape
  • Spray adhesive

krieglers17 days ago
Very nice project, very well executed I think.

Another way to get a super slippery finish on MDF is spray the raw MDF with Automotive 2K paint. This is then wetted flat, It takes 3 to 4 coats. giving a super flat and slippery surface. Its then get polished with G6 polishing compound and one coat of ram Wax.
I use this method for making splinter plates for molds.
20131202_191805.jpg
velokenneth (author)  krieglers17 days ago
Thank you, I'll have to give your method a try if I make another one.
Thanks for posting this. I've been looking for a good set of plans for this game for quite a while. My uncle had one of these games some 55 or 60 years ago. He and my father would play for hours while I watched. One evening I was a little too close when my uncle let loose with a he man pull and got hit upside the head with the follow through. It sent me flying across the room and gave me quite a bruise. The two players waited till the top was finished spinning then my dad told me to watch from the side from now on. Ah, parenting in the 60's.
I sort of remember this game, but in the 60s I was in my teens and might've been into other things than games. ;)
zakbobdop28 days ago
Looks like a fun game :) I may attempt to replicate this with different materials!