The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Steel ball and 2 bar game called "Shoot the Moon" game

The Dec/Jan 2021 issue of Woodcraft magazine has plans for making this game.


I think I will build my game from Maple wood, with a polyurethane finish.

I have felt in my shop inventory, so I don't have to order that.

I ordered the 7/8" steel ball(s) and 2 aluminum 1/4" dia. rods 24 inches long from McMaster-Carr.  The plans call for 20" long 1/4" diameter rods.

The plans call for 2 plastic caps to put on the ends of the 1/4" rods.  I will check at my local Ace hardware and see if they have any before ordering from mcmaster-carr.  Our Ace store had black ones, so I bought those.

Sketchup Design

I always put plans into Sketchup because I can check for errors in the plan, and I get a better feel for building the item.

The original plan has sharp corners, and when I make stuff for my grandkids, I always round the edges and avoid sharp corners.


Construction was straight forwards. In hard woods, I first use 1-1/2 steel screws with paraffin wax. After I have screwed the steel screws to full depth, and the finish has been applied, I replace the steel screws with brass screws.  I made a template out of 3/16" thick Luan plywood with 1/8" holes to mark the location of the 1-1/2" holes for the balls.  If I make 10 of these, I will also make a template for the front piece with the groove.  In larger quantities, I would also make a length of end pieces with the rabbet groove, then saw off the lengths I need.

Felt and Numbers

I have both green and red felt.  Unfortunately, a black permanent marker did not show up well on either color.  I decided just to hand write the numbers besides each hole with a black permanent marker.  If I make more of these, I will buy stick on numbers from Hobby Lobby or Amazon, which would look better than my hand writing.

Another option would be to use light colored felt, like yellow or gold, and hand letter in black.

Cutting out the round 1.5" diameter felt discs

1. cut out 1.5" diameter piece of paper

2. roll up short length of blue masking tape to hold paper pattern to felt

3. Cut circle using scissors

4.Apply Titebond II glue to the hole

5. Spread glue using artists brush

6. Lay in round felt piece, use short piece of 1/2" dowel to press down the felt into the glue all the way around the circle.

Finished Game

Weak Points of Design

I have made a lot of toys for my grandkids and other children to play with.  One thing I always do is remove all sharp edges, which I did on this 1st build.

The 2nd weak point is the thin cross-section, 1/4" wide, on the end piece that secures the 2 aluminum rods to the game. If the game is dropped, or stressed, this block is likely to split. If I build some more of these, I would make the end piece more beefier as shown below.

Video of game in action

You can watch the game in action using this link.

Secret of Playing This Game

A gentleman on Youtube shows how to win this game. You can watch his video using this link.

Closing Thoughts on This Project

This was an easy project to build, except for figuring out how to do the numbers. I may build some more of these for a non-profit to sell as a fund-raiser.