How Can I Make a Carnival Strong Man Game?

A game to test your strength at the carnival can come in several forms. The most famous of the carnival strength games is probably the High Striker. The High Striker is a game in which you use a large mallet to hit a lever that shoots an object upwards in an attempt to ring a bell at the top. The harder you hit the lever, the higher the object flies. You can make your own version of the High Striker to use for entertainment purposes.

Building A High Striker

Use a 10-foot length of pine board that is ¾-inches thick for the main column of your High Striker, according to Cut the board with a table saw so that it is 3 ½ inches wide. Screw the board to the other piece of the pine board with the 3-½ inch on the front and the wider piece centered behind it for support.

Use markers and stencils to color in the scores up the 10-foot length of the column. Begin with "100" at the bottom of the board and go up by 100 for every foot you climb. This will award more points for harder hits. Lightly varnish the wood after the scores are finished.

Run a length of polished brass wire between two screw eyes attached four inches from the bottom of the long board and six inches from the top. Use a counter weight, a cylindrical piece of wood (such as a spool), with a hole in the middle slightly larger than the wire so it can easily slide up and down the wire. Run the wire through the wooden counter weight before connecting it at the bottom. The wire must be connected to the bottom screw in a way that allows it to be tightened and loosened by turning the screw slightly.

Construct the striking board (base) by using a heavy wood that is a foot wide and 2 ½ feet long. With the 10-foot board standing upright and stabilized by spikes driven into the ground, slide the striking board under the bottom screw eye in the long board and insert screws to hold the two together.

Make a striking arm (this is the lever that you hit) out of a narrow board set up like a see saw supported on each side by two small blocks of wood attached to the striking board with one narrow board between them so the striking arm will rock on top of it when struck. One end of the striking arm should be carved out to fit around the screw and wire, but it should strike the bottom of the counter weight when it is hot from the other end with a mallet. The opposite end of the striking arm should be covered with a piece of durable rubber to prevent damage.

Bolt a bell such as those used ringside at boxing matches to the top of the 10-foot column so that the bell will ring if the counter weight reaches the top. You may adjust the tension on the brass wire to determine how much strength will be needed to ring the bell. The tighter the wire, the easier the game will be.