As a first in what is hopefully a series of “Giant Board Games to Play in the Park”, here is my take on that well known wooden-block-stacking-game.
I got all my inspiration from this Instructables Post.
Materials Used :
6 – 8′ x 2″ x 4″ SPF (your standard 2×4)
1 can of MinWax Paste wax.
Shop Tools Used :
15″ Thickness Planer
BenchTop Belt Sander
First I set the right end stop of the Chop saw so that it was 10 1/2″ from the blade. This will allow me to make repeated cuts that are all the same length. I then positioned a roller stand to the left of the Chop saw and adjusted the height so it can support the weight of the 2×4 on the left in-feed side. This is needed as the 8 foot 2×4 is much too long to hold by hand safely on the Chop Saw.
Now it is just a matter of aligning the 2×4 on the stand and Chop Saw and pushing it up against the stop; make your cut; wait for the blade to stop and then clear the cut piece. You will be able to cut 9 ‘blocks’ out of one 2×4 (with a tiny bit left over.)
When you are finished cutting all 6 of the 2×4’s in to 10 1/2″ blocks you will need to smooth the top and bottom. A smooth top and bottom will make the game much easier as the blocks won’t catch on each other as then are removed from the stack.
You can smooth it with a sander. But I opted for using the Thickness Planer which will give you a very smooth surface very quickly.
I set the Thickness Planer to take off about 1/8″ off the top of the block and then ran all the blocks through once. I then set the Planer to take off 1/8″ the bottom and ran all the blocks through a second time. This left a mirror like finish on the blocks, as I had just replaced the blades the day before.
You will notice that the Thickness Planer has ‘sharpened’ the four edges and corners on both ends of the block. For safety I used the BenchTop Belt Sander to round over the edges and corners.
After sanding the edges the final step is to seal the wood. I chose to use a Paste Wax. It not only penetrates the wood but also creates a slippery surface which gives you just the right slip when trying to remove the blocks from a stack. I have not tried but I would think that varnish or shellac would be too “grippy” as surface and make removing the blocks much more difficult.
The only thing you need now is a bag or box to carry the blocks to the park and a level surface to play on. Oh, and a bunch of friends to play with!