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Giant Jenga

Michael Giacopassi

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.

giant wooden jenga

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.

giant jenga carrying box

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.


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