Instructables
Picture of Wooden Laser Cut Jenga Pistol
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Jenga, the classic wooden game of skill, luck and balance, where players take turns to prod, poke and pull a block from the stack without toppling it.

Now, what could be more fun than Jenga? Jenga with guns!

This laser cut Jenga pistol contains a rubber band powered captive bolt which allows you to knock the blocks from the tower at never before seen speed and allowing you to perform feats that'll amaze your friends. Originally seen at Woodgears, this version's designed to be cut on a laser cutter and is an upgrade on the acrylic version that I previously made. It's easier to put together and requires fewer nuts and bolts.

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Step 1: Design

The jenga pistol was designed in a trial version of Alibre Design, my favoured CAD package.

I went through several iterations to get to this stage with various attempts at getting the plunger, trigger and plunger guides correct. While designing it I wanted to keep it as simple to build as possible, with minimal screws and bolts holding it together. The trigger was designed so that it was its own spring, I didn't want to have to use a spring or a rubber band like in the acrylic jenga pistol that I made last year. The joints holding the pistol together are all interference fit, designed to either fit together tightly with no modification or after a very light sanding.

A laser cutter would be the tool of choice for this project, but it could easily be made with a paper template glued to 1/4" ply and then cut out with a scroll saw or a coping saw.

The files for either method are attached in this step. I've included:
1) The DXF files for laser cutting or for printing 1:1 scale to glue to wood
2) An EPS file, converted from the DXF files. Some laser cutters prefer this.
3) A PDF of the Alibre model. You can open this, click it and then use the controls to rotate it and look around the model.
4) A zipped copy of all of the Alibre files for opening, viewing and modifying.
Poikid7 months ago

This was such a great idea, I wanted to make my own design! I thinned out the amount of material needed, made the spring rubber band powered to allow for cheaper materials used, and made the sliding "knocker" thin in profile so it can be better aimed.

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Jayefuu (author)  Poikid7 months ago

Nice! It looks great. I like your trigger much more than mine. How does it spring back?

Poikid Jayefuu7 months ago

A rubber band wraps around the middle chip in the handle. I had masonite on hand which isn't exactly a springy material, so I couldn't do your sweet finger spring.

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CobyUnger Poikid7 months ago

Also the trigger is shaped like a squirrel running with his arms out stretched to catch acorns.

Poikid7 months ago
noahw2 years ago
This is very nice work James. Have you ever thought about making a Giant Jenga Pistol for a Giant Jenga Set?
CobyUnger noahw8 months ago

I was thinking about doing a giant jenga version next week. If I do I'll post photos.

Jayefuu (author)  noahw2 years ago
What a good idea! :p If only I knew someone with a shop in which to build one....
CobyUnger8 months ago

You should move the files to the first step. I didn't see them until just now. Made the Acrylic version last night but I like this one better. Nice instructions. Great project.

Spaceorb2 years ago
That's really awesome! Not sure if that counts as cheating, though ;D
Here's my effort. Just have to dig out the kids jenga now!
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Jayefuu (author)  the Bruce13222 years ago
Nice! Easy enough to follow my instructions?
Yeah no problem. Just that the dxf file didnt import to Techsoft 2D very well so I copied it into Corel and had to add some lines. Didnt need to use any glue in the construction.
I use 2D design - fancy sharing the file and allowing me to access it easily? I can swap with files for cutting the t-shaped joint below
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Jayefuu (author)  sioux gardner2 years ago
The files are in step 2 if you want to have a play with them. I've seen that joint construction on Ooomlout before, it's great for boxes/robots etc.
Jayefuu (author)  the Bruce13222 years ago
Excellent! Nice work.
love it! Cannot wait to get back to work and play with 'my' educational issue laser cutter. How do I get around my self imposed rule of 'nothing violent/rude/offensive' when making designs?!
poofrabbit2 years ago
OMG I so wish I had a laser cutter! I clearly need one of these.....time to try to find a new best friend with the tools I need. Great 'able!
duh, wheres the trigger? I downloaded the Corel file but the trigger's not there. I see it made from acrylic, is it in a different file?
The dxf file doesnt work.
tqwerty2 years ago
Great design!
If only I had a laser cutter.. although I think I'm actually going to attempt this with a coping saw this summer.
rperrin tqwerty2 years ago
One made with a saw rather than laser cutter is probably best done following the simpler plans from Matthias Wandel at woodgears: http://woodgears.ca/jenga_pistol/plans/index.html
Jayefuu (author)  rperrin2 years ago
Agreed, it's linked to in the into as well :D
tqwerty Jayefuu2 years ago
Why, thank you!
Sadly, it doesn't look nearly as awesome as your version.
Honestly, this is pretty awesome!

But the temptation to turn it on opponents would be so great that I shouldn't ever get one.  :P
Jayefuu (author)  AngryRedhead2 years ago
Oh, nothing fires out the end, so they'd be safe. The thing that moves is captive. Thanks!
LOL!  I thought it shot Jenga pieces at the Jenga tower, and I was all like, "Damn, Jaye's got some mad shootin' skillz!" 

But maybe...  you could make a gun that shoots Jenga pieces...  you know...  for the evil.
Jayefuu (author)  AngryRedhead2 years ago
Ha ha, I'll put it on the list of things to make :p
Also, nice intro shot!
lushboobs2 years ago
excellent
MattJoeP2 years ago
Brilliant and simple, I especially like the trigger design. Now, if only I had a lazer cutter...
XOIIO2 years ago
This makes me want to start playing jenga XD
freeza362 years ago
this is really cool
notalis19702 years ago
This is great...I just bought Jenga for my daughter last week, now she wants me to build the gun...as if! I was laughing and thinking about if a person was sitting on the opposite side...bam! Jenga mark on the forehead...
rimar20002 years ago
Marvelous!

Can I envy you a bit?
JohnsonJ2 years ago
This has to be the coolest thing I've seen on here yet!
kelseymh2 years ago
That's extremely awesome!

I'm surprised that no one noticed the rather subtle bit of insensitivity a few months ago... Did you guys really mean to talk about knocking down towers in the September 11th newsletter?
ouch!
iceng2 years ago
Very good wood working design ;-)
SICK DUDE!