Kubb is a fun Swedish yard game for 2-12 players that is similar to horseshoes or bocce. It always attracts a crowd when we play the game on the beach, and I’ve yet to meet a player that doesn’t want a set of their own after a couple of rounds.
The Kubb set that I am presenting here is not exactly standard, but the Kubb Governance Committee rarely travels all the way to a tiny beach town in Massachusetts to harass me about it. My king is 4″ taller than normal simply because I think it looks better. It makes no difference in game play. If someone is at the point that they’re knocking down the king, four inches of height is not going to matter much. Also, my throwing batons are 2″ longer than is generally accepted, but they have a little more weight and feel better than the standard ones. If you fear the rules committee, you can shorten the batons and king to the 12″ standard, but I’m telling you that the odds of getting caught in an international kubb scandal are pretty low.
Also, this requires a saw, so don’t cut your friggin’ fingers off.
Materials and Tools
All the materials can be found at your local lumber yard or home center for less than $20. You’ll need:
- 6’5″ of 4×4 non-pressure treated lumber (there are a lot of chemicals in pressure treated that I didn’t think would be as safe as using regular lumber.)
- 7′ of 1.5″ wooden closet pole
- masking tape (optional)
- a saw (preferably a table or chop saw)
- a table router (optional)
Building the Set
This shouldn’t take more than an hour.
- Create the King
Cut 16″ off of the 4×4. This is your king. Hail him. If you want, you can rout a line 4″ from the top to dress him up. If you really want to get fancy you can make the top look like a crown. I’m a minimalist. And lazy. And I love my fingers. So my monarch got a line routed all the way around, but no crown.
- Make 10 Kubbs
Rip 1/2″ off of two adjacent sides of the remaining five feet of 4×4 to create a solid 3″ x 3″ beam. If you’re doing the math and this doesn’t add up, a 4×4 is really only 3.5″ x 3.5″.
Cut the beam you just made every 6 1/8 inches to create the kubbs. The extra 1/8″ is to account for the wood lost by a standard saw blade.
- Make 6 throwing batons
Cut the 7′ of closet pole every 13.9″ (you’ll lose 5/8″ to your cuts, and if you don’t account for it at the start, your last baton will be a 1/2″ short). Wrapping a piece of masking tape around the pole and cutting through it will minimize the number of splinters that break off the ends of the batons when you make your cuts.
And that’s it. Clean up all the sawdust, load the set into a strong bag, and head out to your next BBQ or beach party to spread the love.
Get a Copy of the Rules
Check my Illustrated Rules of Kubb for complete rules.
And that’s all there is to it. Now you can take your set, throw on your viking helmet, and go forth to conquer the yards of America this fall.
So what do you think? Are you going to make a set?