Giant backyard jenga set

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Project by ayryq posted 07-28-2012 02:58 AM 10347 views 26 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a one-evening project my wife asked me to do. It’s 2×4 studs planed in both dimensions and chamfered on the edges. No finish; I didn’t even sand them. The planed boards work quite well for the game. They aren’t treated lumber so I have to bring them in when they aren’t used. I haven’t figured out where to store it all yet.

The table is one I made to fit over the sticking-out bit of the Bosch Gravity-Rise stand that’s under my tablesaw.

14 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7685 posts in 4269 days

#1 posted 07-28-2012 04:22 AM

Very cool! But better have your running shoes on and yell timber when it goes over!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Hawaiilad's profile


3375 posts in 3937 days

#2 posted 07-28-2012 06:00 AM

Much better for all over computer games…

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3772 days

#3 posted 07-28-2012 10:57 AM

That is great.

I think my kids (34&36) would

get great fun out of this.

There was a design on LJ’s recently

that had a box to stack and unload the

Jenga blocks?

Steel toe caps all round. :)

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3428 days

#4 posted 07-28-2012 12:27 PM

That looks like it would be something great and fun for any type of gathering young or old.

Jamie might have something there, certainly not in sandals. LOL

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View doninvegas's profile


334 posts in 3823 days

#5 posted 07-28-2012 06:56 PM

I make these all the time. I use 2×3 studs, sand them to 180 and a couple of coats of water based poly. I sold 6 last Xmas.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3609 days

#6 posted 07-28-2012 07:12 PM

That is uncommonly cool. What a blast. I hope your party patrons aren’t big drinkers like mine, lol. Oh…up….op….crash! :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 3920 days

#7 posted 07-28-2012 08:21 PM

Now that is my size of toy. Wonderful job, thanks for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View ayryq's profile


95 posts in 3107 days

#8 posted 07-28-2012 11:32 PM

I’ll have to look into some contraption for setting up the blocks more quickly (and storing them more easily as well).

Re: Bertha
As this was a one-year-old birthday party, those SOLO cups were filled with soda (or pop, depending on where you live).

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4873 days

#9 posted 07-29-2012 05:49 PM

I would like to make one of these sets..what was your finished dimensions when you were done planing? No finish? Not even wax? they are slippery enough to be pulled out? Very cool…

You could make a simple two sided holder out of 1/2” ply at a 90 degree angle and a single bottom..


View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4636 days

#10 posted 07-30-2012 02:18 AM

This is great, I really love the idea of super Jenga.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View ayryq's profile


95 posts in 3107 days

#11 posted 07-30-2012 02:50 AM

I uploaded pictures before- and after-chamfering.

I didn’t measure or anything, just ran them all through the planer until they were nice and smooth and uniform. I ran chunks of 3 or 4 studs through on edge together so they were more stable. The dimensions wound up being about 1-7/16×1-3/8×10-1/8. The important thing is that the length is exactly three times the width. I didn’t measure this either; I just lined up three of them and clamped a stop block on my mitre saw.

I have a DW735 with the slow-speed “finishing” planing so they were very smooth after planing. I looked at them and how many there were, and thought about how long I’d have to sand them to get them to be as smooth as they already were, and I decided to forget it.

I stacked them and tried it out before deciding to use no finish. Remember, the end grain doesn’t matter, only the face and edge grain. I think if they slid better, it’d be too easy. The first people to play (in the pictures above) didn’t ever knock it over before they ran out of moves (they took too many “middle” blocks, I guess) and they got to 34 levels. (Jenga official rules suggest an expert player can get 36)

They did get knocked over eventually, and many blocks now have dings and dents in them. Some sort of finish may help with longevity, and also weatherfastness. Or you could make them out of teak or swamp cypress, I guess.

For the case, it can’t have a bottom or you couldn’t get it out to play, or the sides would have to fold down, I guess. “Real” Jenga has a three sided case which is used upside-down – it has a top and two sides.

My wife found a picture some place where someone had spray-paint stencilled a Jenga™ logo on both edges of every block and it looked really slick.

Has so much ever been written about so little? Probably.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4873 days

#12 posted 07-30-2012 03:46 AM

Thanks for the info..I went and bought some K/D doug fir studs..I want to make one of these..just trying to decide if and what kind of a finish to put on them..I have a Steel City helical head planer and the wood comes out of it pretty smooth..but I also have a drum sander so it would be pretty easy to sand them also..


View Luddite's profile


241 posts in 2154 days

#13 posted 06-25-2015 12:44 AM

Sounded like a good idea at the time?

I love it.

-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View ajw1978's profile


165 posts in 2337 days

#14 posted 09-01-2015 05:59 AM

As usual, I should have checked LJs BEFORE starting (measure twice, check LJ’s, measure again, check LJs a second time, start over … repeat). Just finished my first giant jenga set and the sanding is driving me up the damn wall. Thinking I’m going to plane and then trim the rounded edges tomorrow, hoping that’ll cut down on some damn sanding, then a 1/8 roundover on the edges.

Nice work!

-- May the good Lord help me if I ever actually have a shop, garage or basement.

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