Introduction: DIY Kubb Set
Kubb(aka Viking Chess) is a fun outdoor game in which you throw batons at blocks of wood:
It can be played on any surface - grass, sand, snow, dirt, whatever. Making a set is easy if you have some 4×4 lumber and dowels around, and one of the first projects I followed on this site was fungus amungus's instructions for doing exactly that. I've made a couple of sets for friends since and I wanted to make another, but had no 4×4 lumber or dowels and was disinclined to buy some when I had a lot of other wood lying around. This instructable will show you how to make an entire Kubb set with very little waste from 4.2 m of 2×4 construction lumber (~$4) and some wood glue, assuming you have access to a table saw. If not, buy the dowels and 4×4 you need, or pick up one of the many commercial sets (~$50) available. Or just use some firewood!
Step 1: Kubbs
Glue together two 1540 mm long 2×4s using plenty of wood glue. I used my garage door as a clamp (more examples of improvised clamps here). Rip away the edges to provide one square 70×70×1540 mm length. Cut into ten 150 mm lengths.
Step 2: Batons
Cut a 910 mm length of 2×4 and rip into 38×38 mm lengths. Rip again to an octagonal cross-section. There is an easy way to do this without measuring - just set the distance as shown in the second photo. For a square of side length 1, this generates a perfect octagon of side length √2-1 (0.4142...). Crosscut into six 300 mm lengths.
Step 3: King
Trim two 45° corners off a 1255 mm long 2×4 to give a trapezoidal cross-section. Cut into four 310 mm lengths. Glue together to form a square with 88 mm sides. I used some rubber surgical tubing as a "clamp". If the small hole in the middle bothers you, glue a piece of wood trimmed to the right dimensions inside. Trim the whole thing to exactly 300 mm, then carve additional decorations to make it as kingly as you see fit. I continued with the octagonal vibe and made some bevels with the table saw, and made a cross motif on the top to echo a chess king.
Step 4: Corner Markers
Use the 45° offcuts from ripping the king. Trim the edges and sharpen one end (I used a miter saw). You'll have enough to mark the corners and the center line and have spares. I made mine 350 mm long, cut out the knots, and got seven (1 spare). Use them to mark out a playing area 5 paces wide by 8 paces long, with center markers half way along the longer side. If you're feeling in a making mood, why not make a mallet to pound in the stakes?
Step 5: Finish
Coat with whatever you see fit. I put a clear coat on this set. It's going to take a battering so I can't recommend putting in too much effort into a softwood version.