Project Throwback – Giant Jenga

Sometimes you see things while your out and about in the world and think, “I should make me one of those”. That’s how I decided to start my Giant Jenga build.

Overview

Project Goals
– Feels “Jenga” like
– Is GIANT
– Ready for summer BBQ season

Retro
– I should referring to this thing as “Kujenga”
– Sanding suuucks!
– I should add another color

There are a lot of Jenga projects on Pinterest.

My first step is generally some type of research. As I started looking for DIY instructions, I found an article that mentioned that the original version if Jenga used different types of wood so that the pull of individual pieces was different. That sounded awesome but expensive. I decided that could duplicate this varied friction effect by using different sanding and finishing techniques in the pieces. This was also an excuse to use up random stuff in my garage.

It also became evident that the was some variation in just how big the game should be. The regular version has blocks that are about one by 2/3 of an inch, and stack up to around 10 inches. There were instruction that used everything from 1×2 on up. The most common outdoor version I had seen was made with 2x4s and I already had some at the house, so that is what I used.

Cutting

I made a video for the cutting part.

Sanding

Cutting went fairly smoothly, sanding did not. I don’t have a dedicated sanded or finishing space set up so I had to try some things…

Belt sander + clamp. I’m just glad I still have all my fingers.

The first thing I tried was a belt sander clamped to the work surface so I could easily smooth the ends if my Jenga pieces. I had forgotten all about this until I pulled pics for this post.

This picture makes the whole thing more organized and stable than I remember.

Most of the pieces, and therefore most of the sanding, was done with a palm sander and some guides. It was tedious, took way longer than expected, and pieces moved around was more than I predicted. I still sand the pieces this way again because it was faster than sanding 54 wooden blocks one by one.

Color

Yup, that’s the stain.

Looking at the pile of colored, sanded, and stacked 2x4s, I decided “wood color” wasn’t good enough. I also had some leftover stain. So, a third of the blocks (I think) were stained. The added some color and changed the texture of those blocks just enough to make people think while playing.

Final Thoughts

I made a thing. It gives me something to do outside. People seem to dig it. What more could a person ask for?

Project Goals
– Feels “Jenga” like
– Is GIANT
– Ready for summer BBQ season

Retro
– I should referring to this thing as “Kujenga”
– Sanding suuucks!
– I should add another color

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