Tower Tug of War

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Introduction: Tower Tug of War

About: Hi! My name is Hans, I live in Scandinavia where I build whatever pops up in my head, out on to my sketchbook and finally into my hands. My projects here are my favorites and I hope some might inspire you. R...

I first tried this at a party in Norway and fell in love with the game. It's super simple but has some surprising details. Tug of war is most often played with several participants and muscle power is the winner. This version, however, is done by two opponents and requires balance and tactics over muscles. Revenge of the nerds!

You divide the rope with equal lengths for the players, then you go!

You win if your opponent:

  • falls off the stump
  • lets go of the rope
  • has no rope left

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Supplies:

  • Wood
  • Rope
  • Wooden dowels
  • Glue
  • Paint

Tools

  • Table saw (for accurate cuts, jigsaw with patience:-)
  • Wood lathe (optional, makes for round finish)
  • A bandsaw (or regular saw with a steady hand)

Step 1: You Could Just…

use a tree stump, but what's the fun in that?

Of course, I wanted to design and build a pair myself… with some added features!

Step 2: Cut Up, Glue Up!

For this project, I could use leftover scraps. Cut them to same length and give each a 30° angle on each side. I placed all the pieces and used tape to align them and added glue to the sides. Then I could roll it up and add some wooden dowels for more strength. The piece of wood in the middle was cut from plywood, I just put the wooden cylinder over the plate of wood and marked the right fit, then some quick cuts on the band saw. I let it dry overnight before I prepared for the next step.

Step 3: Refining the Stumps

To add some details and a tower aesthetic I gave the piece a go on the lathe. I rounded it off in the middle. Next, I split it in half on the band saw and sanded it for a smooth surface. Now I had two exact same stumps that were hollow, each 30 cm tall.

Step 4: Rope As Handle

One reason for doing this project was so I could easily carry this game with me, all parts in one compact package. This I could do by adding a wooden piece in one end, with a hole for the rope to attach as a handle.

Step 5: Ready… Set… Paint

Some distinctive colors and a base of coffee paint gave the stumps a vibrant feel.

I love bringing this game to gatherings, people find it fun and challenging. The strongest does not win this game, the cleverest do. So who's left on top of the tower is often a surprise:-)

PS if you want to test this game, find something to stand on and a rope, next you can go all fancy with the making. I'd love to see other takes on this design.

You can follow this and a whole bunch of other projects over at instagram.com/smogdog

Toys and Games Challenge

First Prize in the
Toys and Games Challenge

1 Person Made This Project!

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11 Discussions

1
pcmckee
pcmckee

15 days ago

So I made them. I don't have a lathe so I modified the design.I used 2"x6" pine boards and cut them to 12" long. I am not much of a carpenter so didn't feel comfortable with the doweling of something we would stand on. My miter saw had trouble with the 30 degree angles for some reason so I had to change angles on the last board and use a plane to correct my mistakes prior to final assembly to get them to meet. I also changed it to put a piece of 1/2" plywood on top to stand on. I used 2@2.5" exterior screws , which I countersunk, and exterior glue on each board to hold it together to the next board rather than dowels.I used 6 of the same screws on the top to affix the plywood top. I sanded the assembled box with my orbital sander which made it look so much better. It is very solid. I used yellow parachute cord (found at Walmart Sports dept) to match the paint scheme for handles. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the sides 90 degrees from the cartoon images and then tied the parachute cord ends together inside the tower. The kids can easily carry them around by the handle. I decided to go with some fun colors so went with purple and yellow which was a little cartoonish. Since I was making this mostly for kids, I found images online of Sonic and Goofy so we could form Sonic and Goofy teams. I printed the images, trimmed them and decoupaged the images on. Found the 8 oz container of decoupage at Walmart. It is the only dept store open in our area due to Covid. I used exterior/primer spray paint which I wouldn't do again. I would paint with regular exterior paint. After three coats, I still wasn't happy. Spray paint is just a little too thin. I used a 5/8" boat docking line 25' long for the tug of war rope. The kids love this and don't seem to mind losing. And, yes, it is not the strongest person who will win.
We have also found the kids enjoy sitting on them around the campfire.
Thanks for sharing the design of this.


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0
smogdog
smogdog

Reply 1 day ago

Yesssss! This is great, made my day:-D
Love the adjustments you have done and thanks for giving such a detailed description. I'm bringing mine to a bbq later today:-)
Cheers from Norway!

0
smogdog
smogdog

Reply 14 days ago

There… I just updated the plans for this build, hope you can work form this:-D
Hg
Hi and thanks!
I’m away traveling, I’ll check for the correct measurements over the weekend. Looking forward to seeing your take on this:-D
Cheers
TowerTugofWar.jpg
0
Marve48
Marve48

11 days ago on Step 5

What a cool game. Thanks for sharing.

0
smogdog
smogdog

Reply 11 days ago

Thank you! Yessss, this is really fun for everyone:-D

0
tdrapp
tdrapp

Question 14 days ago

Smogdog. It is probably my eyes, but I don't see many dimensions...? Can you tell me the "wide" width of the 6 slats, the diameter of of the rounded base, and the length and diameter of the rope you used. Looks like fun, and since anybody can challenge any body, I look forward to a battle-royal with my grandchildren! Thanks!

0
smogdog
smogdog

Answer 11 days ago

Hey, since this is your first comment since joining in 2007 I'm sorry you had to wait 3 days:-) Been off traveling for the weekend!
I updated the drawings since I had left out some important measures. The rounded base was around 20 cm, I turned it on the lathe and stopped when I had a complete circle.
I hope these clarifications make sense and that you will make this and show your grandchildren who's the champ:-D
I'd love to see a photo!
Cheers from Norway

TowerTugofWar.jpg
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Pricklysauce
Pricklysauce

16 days ago

Brilliant...I have never seen this game before 👏👏👏

0
smogdog
smogdog

Reply 16 days ago

Thanks Rob!
Yeah I haven't seen this much around. It's so simple and fun:-D

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

17 days ago

This looks like a lot of fun! And I love the design of it :D

0
smogdog
smogdog

Reply 16 days ago

Thanks Jessy!
It is so much fun, go have a try:-D