Giant backyard jenga set

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Project by ayryq posted 716 days ago 4735 views 24 times favorited 12 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.

12 comments so far

View woodshaver's profile


2717 posts in 1940 days

#1 posted 715 days ago

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

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Hawaiilad's profile


1851 posts in 1607 days

#2 posted 715 days ago

Much better for all over computer games…

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4070 posts in 1443 days

#3 posted 715 days ago

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


3258 posts in 1099 days

#4 posted 715 days ago

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


332 posts in 1494 days

#5 posted 715 days ago

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


12951 posts in 1280 days

#6 posted 715 days ago

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


3957 posts in 1590 days

#7 posted 715 days ago

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

-- Norman

View ayryq's profile


70 posts in 778 days

#8 posted 715 days ago

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


2531 posts in 2544 days

#9 posted 714 days ago

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


775 posts in 2306 days

#10 posted 714 days ago

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

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View ayryq's profile


70 posts in 778 days

#11 posted 714 days ago

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


2531 posts in 2544 days

#12 posted 714 days ago

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..


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