The oversize Stacking blocks based on the popular game (I cannot say the name due to copyright reasons) game is almost essential for outdoor fun. Why huddle around a short stack when you can have 27 inches of play-room.
Once again I did this then found that there are others who have already done so... it appears that originality is becoming rare.
You will need 5 of the 2X3 studs(96 inches long). I used studs since this was all that was available at the local big box.
You will need 54 blocks and the cut studs will provide you with 60. I used construction grade material and the 6 extra did come in handy.
You will also need a wood saw and some sort of sanding implement. I used my trusty stationary belt sander and an 80 grit belt.
You may need wood glue or wood filler later.
The studs cost $1.99 each
Wood filler was $4
Total build time was less than 2 hours
Step 1: Make a Cutting Jig
The best way to cut the blocks is to use some sort of jig. I did not have access to a miter saw so I built a jig from some scrap lumber.
The green base is a 2X8 and the sides are a couple of pieces of 2X4. The thickness of the the cutting section is another scrap 2X4.
There is a hole beneath the cut section to allow the cut blocks to fall to the ground. The jig build time was 5 minutes.
You will need to determine the width of 3 sections of your block material. This was measured to be slightly over 7.5 inches. This was marked as the cut line on the jig. The shoe of my saw was measured and another piece of scrap wood was placed at the shoe edge and screwed into place. This allows of cut repeatability,
I initially started cutting 2 at a time but found that the saw would bind so I went back to single cuts.
A single stud gave 12 blocks with only about 5 inches of waste.
A quick calculation shows that there will be 6 extra blocks. these may be needed later.
Step 2: Cut the Blocks
Use the jig to cut the blocks.
The cut blocks will fall to the ground when cut then the 2X3 is pushed to the stop for the next cut.
Be sure to run the saw shoe against the guide so a straight even cut.
Use a finishing blade or a fine pitch blade for best results.
Set the depth of the saw blade at slightly more than the width of the 2X3 for an optimum cut and jig safety.
Cut all 5 studs and discard the left over material..
Step 3: Sand the Blocks
Take a block from the pile... Sand it ... put it on top...
Seriously sanding without a belt sander takes forever... The belt still takes 30 seconds to 1 min each to sand.
I used 80 grit for smoothing and finishing. You may want to follow up with a smaller grit but I was under a time limit.
Sand the ends first then the contoured corners of the mill pre-cuts, then the faces of the blocks. be sure to keep the shape of the rough blocks and only remove as much material as necessary to give a smooth finish.
Step 4: Fix the Blocks
Since the material was construction grade, there were a lot of imperfections in the wood.
Most did not matter for the game but if you choose to you can fix the rough spots with wood filler.
You can use a 1 to 1 mixture of white glue and sanding dust or commercially available wood filler.
I used the wood filler to fix the deep spots then re-sanded the blocks as needed.
Step 5: Play
Stack the blocks and play as you normally would.
You have 18 layers of 3 blocks each. Spares are available and you should be able to have 20 rows, but what fun is that???
A poorly guarded milk crate is an adequate storage place.
Do not play this on a glass table... don't ask me how I know this.
The stack is approximately 27 inches high and weighs somewhere around 20 pounds depending on the type and moisture content of the wood.
Custom laser etching of the blocks will have to wait... for now... ;-)