There have been a lot of woodworking projects over the years that I have enjoyed building and making, however building this Classic NES Console and putting a wooden version of the Classic NES Duck Hunt game inside has been my favorite and longest build ever! It all started with an idea and a love for the vintage classic NES console and games. Classic video games are making a comeback and even LEGO is jumping onboard. Check out their Classic NES LEGO Console. My game however is made of wood and much larger. It opens up into the classic Duck Hunt arcade shooting game.

What You Need to Know

The very first thing I had to figure out was what size I wanted my game to be. I decided to base the dimensions on another game I had made, Carnival Ring Toss in a box. The design of the box was rather simple however the wooden lever and mechanics of the game took me a very long time to figure out. I did a lot of sketches and testing of prototypes. I went back and forth between using motors and to just simple weight and levers. I ended up using weights and levers because I wanted to keep this game as simple as possible, however simple is very hard achieve. Now that I look back on the project, I wonder why it took me so long to figure it out! I think it has to do with the creative process and building.

Woodworking Plans for a Classic NES Console and Wooden Duck Hunt Game

I spent a lot of time building these plans and loved making this project. I spend about 2 months designing the game and about a month building in my spare time. The plans are in a PDF format and come with a 3D SketchUp model that you can download and modify as well as the artwork that I illustrated.

🧰 Tools

📝 Materials



Step 1 | Watch My Build Video

Start by first watching my build video.

Step 2 | Cut Your Plywood

Next, you want to cut your sheets of plywood down to size using a table saw. If you don’t have a large table saw and out-feed table. You can use a track saw…there are many different track saw versions on the market from very expensive to reasonably priced. I recommend just going with a cheep version for this project, unless you have other needs for a track saw there is no need to make a big investment.

cutting sheets of plywood on a table saw    cutting sheet of plywood down

Step 3 | Build The NES Console

You want to first build the NES box that the duck hunt game is going to fit into. You will want to start by cutting your base and sides. Be sure to check your angles before you cut everything on your table saw. Once you have cut the bottom, top and 4 sides it is now time to glue and brad nail the sides. You will want to place the top to the side for step 4.

assembling an Nintendo NES console out of wood.    assembling Nintendo NES console box out of wood

Step 4 | Build The NES Console Top and Details

Take the top board that you cut out for the top of box and mark out where you need to cut out the vents. Reference the build plans for exact measurements. I recommend using a stacked dado blade to cut out the channel and take out a little at a time…try not to cut it all out at once. This will ensure that your wood doesn’t chip or tear out. Next you will want to build and assemble the controller plugs.

cutting dado grooves for air vent.    Controler Plugs for Giant Nintendo NES Console

After you install your controller plugs you need to make and assemble the Nintendo Power Button. I made the button completely out of wood and used a sprint and latch system to hold the top of the box when closed.

Nintendo Power Button out of wood     Making NES Power Button.   

Take your time in cutting out the hole for the button and the latch. I used plexiglass for my latch hook. You can pick plexiglass up at your local hardware store. You will need a small saw to cut out the hole in the plexiglass…I used a coping saw.

Fitting a NES Power button made of wood    Installing NES Latch

Step 5 | Building And Assembling The Mechanics

Assembling the mechanics of the game was really satisfying. I had tested a few prototypes out to make sure it would work before I committed to assembling everything into the finished box. This gave me the confidence I needed not to mess anything up on the actual Giant Nintendo Duck Hunt Arcade Game. I first had to start by cutting out the gaming screen. I actually illustrated the classic Nintendo Duck Hunt game based on screen shots I captured. I then reached out to a buddy of mine who was able to print the illustrations directly on my plywood sheet, here is a link to his company. I then cut out the blades of grass, ducks and dog for the game. I assembled all the mechanics to the bottom top of the box and enclosed the mechanics behind the wooden Duck Hunt screen.

routing holes for duck hunt NES game     cutting out grass with scroll saw

Nintendo NES Duck hunt Mechanics     Duck Hunt Dog Illustrated on Wood

Step 6 | Painting

Painting the Nintendo Console box was a lot of fun. I wasn’t able to match the Nintendo gray exactly but I got close. I also used some masking tape to tape off the sections that needed to be painted black. Here are a few pictures of the process.

Painting a wooden NES console.    Painting Black Stripe on NES Console

Painting a NES.    Painted Nintendo Top

Conclusion And Final Thoughts

This was my favorite woodworking project I have ever made. I think I spent about 3 months designing and building the project. It was stressful at times but I love the end result. It is also a really fun game to play. It brought me back to my childhood play that classic Nintendo Duck Hunt game and for the most part I feel I have re-created it just in a wooden mechanical version. I would love to know what you think about the project, be sure to leave comments and ask me any questions you have about this build.

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