A decade or so back our neighbor offered us an old ping pong table. Modern ones are made of cheap fiber board but this was solid half inch plywood. And such a pleasing dark green paint job.
It seemed to us to be the ideal things for "projects".
Over the years we have carved up pieces of this for a wide array of robotics undertakings. It has become something of a tradition. Or a good luck talisman.
In our current FIRST robotics project I am encouraging the kids to build in some small good luck charms. Maybe a box inside somewhere with four leaf clovers or something like that. But for myself I only want to make sure that one of the last little bits of the ping pong table makes it in. Because I thought I was down to the last few square inches of it.
But as I looked around I saw it surviving in various places.
In this photo from the middle school "Robot Dragster" project of a few years back no fewer than three pieces of "Pong" can be seen. The frame of this is still jammed under a workbench in my shop.
Below is a reinforced wheel from a demo bot that dates back to my "Robot Carny" days. It was designed to be rapidly assembled and disassembled by kids. See the green paint peeking out?
Various slabs of the table are hanging around as base supports for tools. This is a metal shear. I seem to recall several previous uses for this piece of wood as suggested by the random holes in it.
So if it comes to it I guess I can salvage enough bits and bobs of the old Ping Pong table to keep sneaking parts into robotic projects for a while now. As to our FIRST robot one of the kids used a small, sturdy green square to mount our "power on" indicator.