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What are Jenga blocks made of and how?

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Jenga’s simplicity and it’s fulfilling qualities as a game makes it legendary. A British national, Leslie Scott invented the game while growing up in Ghana, in the Eastern part of Africa.

It started merely as a family game where Lelie came up with the idea when they used their 5-year-old brother’s wooden blocks. That’s where the ingenuity of Leslie began. She had a vision.

In Jenga, the players would take their turns from removing the blocks from a tower and balancing them on top thus making it taller but it becomes more unstable as the game progresses.  The game is up when a player pulls out a final block and the whole structure collapses in a room that could be filled with cheering and screams.

When you buy a set of Jenga you’ll feel that the wood feels very good, it's light, very clear, very little pores that you might assume that it’s maple, hickory or beech wood.

But what are Jenga blocks made of and how?

Jenga is made of wood from the Adler tress which comes from the West side of the Cascade Mountains in the states of Washington and Oregon. Alder trees were once classified as weeds and only recommended to be used as firewoods.

Until the day came that it was found that it’s a good source f hardwood that can be used for furniture and as building materials for houses, and for the Jenga blocks.

A classic Jenga game consists of 54 precision-crafted, specially finished hardwood blocks.

It didn’t start to be made from woods from the Alder trees in the beginning. At some point in its early years in the ’80s, it was made from Beechwood. The blocks were also deliberately made to random sizes for the game to work. But nothing much is said about what finish they used on which versions of the game.

How can you make your Jenga?

Jenga is mass-produced in factories using machines but you can do and make your Jenga at home.

You would be needing a wooden beam and its size should be calculated according to the proportions of the size you would like to make. Then a roulette,  calipers, wood hacksaw, sandpaper with a 100-grain size for the primary wood processing and 320 for the final, and a brush if you want to varnish the bars or to paint it in different colors.

How to make Jenga blocks?

  • The first is to set your wood for cutting and it is recommended to tightly bind the bars with a scotch-tape.
  • Then you need to mark with a pencil the wood and the cutting size where you are going to saw off the bars. This would avoid mistakes and would make it faster to cut the wood.
  • You would need 54 bars and it’s better to make an allowance.
  • After the blocks are sawn-off they all need to be polished you should polish each to avoid splinters and scratches from it.
  • The next is to sand each wooden block using large-grain sandpaper that would eliminate all sawing and sizing errors in the blocks.
  • Use a caliper to make your measurement more precise to ensure that the blocks are maximally identical. This will allow the tower to be more stable.
  • Final sanding is needed using the finer sandpaper that would make the blocks smoother. 
  • You could ensure that the blocks would last longer by varnishing or painting them.
  • Lastly, you would be needing to make a box for storing the wooden blocks to be able to preserve their condition for a long time.

Making a Jenga is quite easy and simple to do as simple as how it should be played. All you need in a game of Jenga are these 54 wooden blocks and winning drive and spirit to beat your opponent!

After Thoughts

Life is likened to a box of Jenga. You’ll never know what you’ll be dealt with. It teaches about getting through all different situations, and every move should be thought of thoroughly. One wrong move and everything could collapse.

Jenga is truly your ultimate play challenge and the perfect way to spend time with your family and friends.

Enjoy this great game that’s great for everyone!

You can find Jenga on Amazon.

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