Posted on October 27 2017
Simple wooden blocks. Late nights with good friends. Beer and whiskey. Light from propane and headlamps. These are the things I think of when I think of Jenga.
I don’t know how long Jenga has been around or who invented it – I could look it up, but I won’t.
The important part of this post is my fond memories of playing Jenga and how easy it is to build a giant set of your own.
I don’t remember playing Jenga as a child – in fact I don’t remember much from those early heady days of being a little kid. It wasn’t until I started going to our cottage with my friends or going to my friends Vermont cabin that I really started playing.
Jenga is a game perfectly suited for a cabin on a cold late fall night. A table with access from all sides, a strong drink and hands steady as steel. The rush of anticipation when it is your turn and you have reached an all-time new high. I love it. Simple, basic and fun.
Building your own giant set is extremely simple as it is time consuming. First part – go to your local hardware store and pick out the best 2 X4s they sell. This may require stepping up a few levels and buying their premium 2 X 4s – but it will be worth it.
Buy about 6 of the 8 footers, load em up, take em home.
Cut them in to 10.5” lengths – then start sandings. Then sand some more. The some more. Sand until the boards are smooth as silk. I used three different grits as I was getting crunched for time, but feel free to go even more. The key is you want to get all sharp edges off , as well as splintered pieces you get after cutting.
I built a box to hold them in, that doubles as a stand to play off of – this can be done with any scrap plywood or laminate board you may have lying around or what is cheap at the store.
The multiple sand jobs should create a Smoove enough surface that pulling out pieces does not make the whole thing tumble down but atmospheric conditions could play a role in how well they slide out.