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Thread: Giant Jenga

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021

    Default Giant Jenga

    I'm planning to create a giant jenga set.

    60 rectangular blocks of 70mm x 45mm x 285mm

    Any recommendations on wood?

    Any tips?

    Ideally for outdoor use, sliding against each other.

    Was going to go for a 70x45 timber and cut into pieces.

    Then sand (orbital) and paint/vanish.

    I've got limited tools, so could be hand sawing the pieces and sanding with sander.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018


    Hi dmuk,

    I made a set of these in Dec and i found that a mix of wood looked more better. It also made the game a little more fun due to the different densities of timber.

    The set was made from offcuts from around the garage, plus a pine 2×4 to get to the right number. Mostly made with hand tools, but i used a palm router to round the edges so they don't break when the towers tumble.

    Be careful with what finish you use. THe blocks were sliding nice after sanding to 400 grit but varnishing them with Poly increased the friction quite a bit.



  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


    I've seen a set that had two different wood finishes and it looked good. May save needing to paint them.

    2x4 is 38 x 89 mm. Similar dimensions to my plans.

    How can I avoid the friction issue?

    I don't have a router. Could I sand edges for similar effect or best sourcing a hand tool?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by taz01 View Post
    ... Be careful with what finish you use. THe blocks were sliding nice after sanding to 400 grit but varnishing them with Poly increased the friction quite a bit. ...

    Adam has raised a really good point, dmuk. I have never made jenga blocks but I think you need a very servicable finish to protect the surface from dings and dirt, for aesthetic purposes, and which allows individual blocks to be removed. A "silky smooth finish".

    I would recommend a wipe on polyethylene as it soaks into and essentially resides below and on the surface, as opposed to sitting ontop of the wood surface.

    My suggested approach is:
    • sand to about 200 or 230 grit,
    • brush on one coat of wipe on poly (store bought, or equal parts of turps and poly.)
    • wait ten minutes, then rub off poly with lint-free rag (This fills the grain in the wood)
    • next day, sand with 400 grit then repeat above two steps,
    • next day, dip 400 grit into WOP and simultaneously apply WIP and wet sand surface,
    • next day, repeat with 600 grit wet sanding,
    • continue up through the grits - 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000, 4000 ... until you get the finish you want.
    • Finally, a very thin coat of furniture polish.

    This wet sanding is a surprisingly fast process. It only takes about four strokes of the sandpaper as you go through each grit. The finish is very smooth and sensual.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019


    is it for a constant use or just once off?

    timber wise I would just use the untreated framing pine. some of the bigger bunnings carry it but its knot free timber and not rough like the treated stuff. and if its not going to be used regularly just leave it untreated.

    also buy your self a cheap as circular saw and a quick square. trying to do 60+ cuts with a hand saw.... and have them be nice and square and flush is just silly.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2021



    Think I'll go visit the green shed and pick out two types (for colour contrast). Then cut and see how the work together.

    If they need treatment, I'll try the steps above. I've seen treated and untreated sets.

    I think a circular saw may be an efficient option given the volume.

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