Picnic-Perfect Croquet Set

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Turn the mallets and stakes; then build the bonus storage box.

Designed and built by Tom Whalley

Overall dimensions: Mallet 23⁄4" dia. × 9"w × 37"l; Stake 13⁄8" dia. × 18" long; Box 145⁄16"w × 16"h × 475⁄8"l

It’s unclear if the lawn game paille-maille or pall mall, which evolved into croquet, originated in France or Ireland, or stemmed from related games dating back to Roman times. Regardless, in the 1860s, the game as we know it took England by storm and later spread overseas. Today, whether played for fun or competition, croquet has become a welcomed friends and family activity.

While mass-produced croquet sets are available, it’s not likely you’ll find a deluxe set on par with this one. Lathe-turned mallet heads, held fast to the handles with wedge-pin joinery, include alignment strips for aiming ball strikes. And, like the mallet heads, shaping the simple stakes serves as an exercise in duplicate turning. I did both using a roughing gouge and Easy Wood turning tools, which have carbide cutters that don’t require sharpening. I purchased the hard plastic colored balls and metal wickets that complement the set from our Convenience-PLUS Buying Guide sources. And as a bonus, I offer plans for a croquet set storage box. Its handle and wheels let you cart the set around the yard or from a vehicle to the playing field.

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