Finishing Jenga

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Grgramps

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Roy Hatch
Jenga may sound like an exotic wood, but some of you probably know what it is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenga
I made a set of these blocks for my daughter-in-law who is youth director for her church and I am at the stage of finishing. I used hickory and chose 2" by 6" for the size, so it makes a fairly large stack.
I'm considering shellac or BLO and I am wondered if anyone had a better idea. I don't have spray equipment so that's not an option, although it certainly would speed things along. Shellac may be my best choice since it drys so fast. Any ideas?
By the way, if you've been working on a project that's got you stressed, try this. You can shift your brain into neutral and breeze through it. Finishing may prove tedious, but that's woodworking.
Roy
 

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Monty

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Monty
Wow - I never heard of that game, but it makes me nervous just thinking about it! I should try that sometime. For the finish I would just wipe on some General Finishes Seal-A-Cell. It's a tung oil/urethane blend that will pretty well preserve the light color and wood texture while sealing the wood.
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
I'll second Monty's suggestion, or use shellac. I often spray the Zinnser shellac in the rattle cans with great results. What ever you do, make sure that the pieces have a very smooth surface so that they'll side out from each other easily.
BTW, I love that game, never thought about making it myself.

Dave:)
 

striker

Stephen
Corporate Member
Roy..

Have you considered a water based finish? I don't claim any expertise in the finishing area but from my experience they are easy to apply, dry hard, and do not yellow like an oil based product. I don't know if these will come in contact with small children but you may want to make sure the finish is non toxic and washable.

**I believe I would be good at the game...I saw nothing in the rules about toenailing.:)
 

Travis Porter

Travis
Corporate Member
As noted, a wipe on oil would be easy, but shellac does dry extremely fast.

Been awhile since I played jenga. How many pieces are there total?
 

Grgramps

New User
Roy Hatch
I appreciate all of your suggestions and decided on shellac. I have found it so convenient to buy flakes and mix as needed. There are 54 blocks in the set and I wiped shellac on 5 sides of a block and put it down to dry and moved to the next. As some of you know, shellac dries so fast that by the time I had done 10 blocks, I could have gone to the first and finished the remaining side. I do find it tedious to have so many of the same thing to do, but I suppose it's worth it.
Last night we were invited to friend's house for dinner and I mentioned that I had made a set of Jenga blocks. They retrieved their Milton Bradley game of Jenga and I got to play for the first time. I suppose it's one of those games that would be fun for all ages - anyway I liked it.
There are some listed on Ebay, but it appears you pay more for shipping than for the game: http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&satitle=jenga+milton
Roy
 

Grgramps

New User
Roy Hatch
Jenga - Final Episode

As mentioned previously, I finished the blocks with 2 coats of shellac. The blocks looked pretty good and they felt OK. Then I tried putting Briwax on 2 of them to see how they felt when rubbed against one another. Back to the shop and wax all of them. Felt sort of like rubbing 2 ice cubes together - really slick. When stacked it will be easier to slide a block out of the stack, but you guessed it, the stack is not as stable. Haven't had more fun since I was a kid, and that was long time ago. Picture to prove it. :roll: (We got 2 more levels, for a total of 32, before the stack collapsed.)
 

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