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Posted: July 1, 2020

This Yard Game Really Stacks Up

Giant Jenga — the perfect yard game for all ages! It’s also a great beginner woodworking project and pretty affordable too. All it takes is six 2" x 4" x 8' boards, a few simple tools and two to three hours to build. By the way, here’s a fun fact: Jenga means “build” in Swahili.
 
Now watch how we did it, then scroll down for the plans, materials, tools and step-by-step instructions.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

Materials
*Board Dimensions are "nominal". Actual dimensions are smaller due to lumber industry standards. Cuts are actual length. 

**Starting grit will depend on board surface condition, a rough surface will require starting with a coarse grit first. 
 
Finished Dimensions: 10-1/2" x 27" x 10-1/2"
We recommend wearing safety glasses when operating power tools.

ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1: CUT

Cut all (54) pieces out of the (6) 2"x 4" x 8' boards using the Lumber & Sheet Layout Guide.

STEP 2: SAND

Sand each piece to remove any imperfections. Sanding the 54 game pieces will make them slide out from between other pieces so much easier. Boards should stack evenly on top of each other.
PRO-TIP: Sanding not only makes the pieces slide easier, but also helps you avoid splinters. 
  • Rougher finish: Use 60-80 grit sandpaper to hand sand with the grain of the wood
  • Smoother finish: Use 60-80 grit sandpaper to remove scratches and imperfections, followed by 120-220 grit to smooth
  • Finish sanding: Use 320-400 grit sandpaper
  • Super fine sanding: Use 600+ grit sandpaper

STEP 3: BUILD

Start with the wooden crate as your foundation. To build the tower, place layers of (3) wooden boards at alternating right angles. When you’re finished, you’ll have a solid 18-story tower. 
PRO-TIP: Use a fine wood paste wax to protect and prolong the life of the boards.
Play Jenga the traditional way or to mix things up, play it backwards. Build the tower with the center pieces missing, so only two blocks per level. Then, using one hand, insert the blocks into the tower. Or instead of stacking the blocks as straight as you can, build a leaning tower of Jenga—talk about challenging! Another fun twist is to write different trivia questions on each block with permanent markers. If the player answers the question correctly, they can remove another piece. If not, they forfeit their turn to the person to their left.

When you're done playing, stack your pieces in these wooden crates from Walmart for compact storage.
No matter how you play, watch your toes—it hurts to have a game piece hit your foot. If you build one, post your project pics and tag us at #DoItWithHART.
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