Make Your Own Kubb Set For Dirt Cheap

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.

my home made kubb set

Warnings

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.

    Kubb king
  1. 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.

  2. Make 10 Kubbs
    A kubbRip 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.

  3. A kubb throwing baton

  4. 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?

28 thoughts on “Make Your Own Kubb Set For Dirt Cheap

  1. Actually, the fact that it’s “similar” and not “exactly like” horseshoes means that the word “fun” probably does belong in that sentence, or at least the phrase “more fun”, cause honestly, horseshoes can be pretty fun depending on who you’re playing them with.

    I’m gonna have to check this out and see if I can’t get a kubb set made.

    Not sure where I’d play it, but it’d be nice to have.

  2. Oh it’s fun. Let me tell you. It’s huge, viking helmet wearing, village plundering fun. I wish one of the guys from work that made a set would drop a comment to prove it.

  3. When will we see the DIY Jarts directions? Now that’s wholesome family fun.

    I have to admit that while playing Kubb, I had to urge to sidearm one of the baton at the legs of one of the strangers walking by on the beach to see if I could knock them over a-la TJ Hooker.

  4. Hey I just stumbled across your site while looking for a place to buy Kubb. I’ve already got a set that I bought in Denmark, but now my sister wants a set for Christmas because she had so much fun playing it at my other sister’s wedding this summer.

    We didn’t actually play Kubb during the wedding, although that may have made the ceremony more enjoyable…

    Anyway, nice site. I’m going to forward it on to my Dad.

  5. Thanks for easy instructions, my son is going to make and present the game for a scouting badge,he even suggested we paint medieval motifs on the kubbs and king…thaks again

  6. This is a great game I’ve played both in Sweden and here in the US. My husband is currently making a set for the coming summer. Try playing it with experienced players at first, and you’ll get the rules down (that they play with anyway), and you’ll want to teach someone else so you can play wherever you are.

  7. I’ve just bought a Kubb set but I want to make it slightly heavier and to prevent too many dents. Would you use wax or oil to treat the wood? This is a great game and addictive too. I’m praying for sunshine to get out and have a go!

  8. I think the only way you could reduce dents is to buy a hardwood like oak or fur (bamboo maybe?), but that might up the cost of your set quite a bit. Considering it’s a wooden version of a smash up derby, the less you spend on the set, the less you’ll be worry about it when it gets a little banged up.

    I’ve had a set for years and it has a little bit of wear, but it’s really not as bad as you’d think, considering I usually play on sand and I’ve never treated a set with anything. If you treat the wood, remember that whatever is on the wood is probably going to end up on your hands and clothes by the time you’re finished…

  9. Thanks, Jon. Think I’ll just give it a good old hammering and see how it fairs! Way I see it, a few dents will give it character.

  10. hey
    so I built my kubb set as well. Thanks so much! But your sizes don’t quite match the real sizes. Don’t know why you did that. In inches it’s hard to get them at the exact size as they have it in Sweden, but I thought maybe some people care…
    the king and the throwing batons are only 12 inches long, they are twice as long as the blocks. And the blocks are 2.75 X 2.75 X 6. The rest works! :)

  11. @Maja: Awesome! I mentioned that the batons are 2 inches longer than standard because they feel better to me, and the king is 4 inches taller because I thought it looked better. It’s all mentioned in the Warnings section, although there’s little chance of a Kubb Governance Committee dropping in to this part of the world. :)

  12. Is there such a thing as a ‘standard set’ ? Different woods weigh different amounts so I think your approach to longer lengths is a good way of increasing the weight. The only pieces to have the ‘correct’ size, in my opinion, must be the Kubbs themselves.

  13. AWESOME- We have been playing this game for years at Campgrounds all over the Northeast.. Great when drinking beers.

  14. I played this once in Portland, Ore. Very fun. It adds depth and maybe a little strategy to games like horse shoe and corn hole. I can’t wait to make my own set! We had a friend in Sweden that was going to bring us a set, but it was going to weigh too much to lug around and pay for now with the new airline baggage weight restrictions. If you’ve got grass, this is a great game to play!

  15. My wife and I happened to see Kubb being played in a park in Basel and I immediately knew that I had to have this game. We bought an inexpensive set from a location in Germany and immediately started having fun. I’ll soon order a regulation set in hardwood and encourage others to play.

    I have a friend with a sawmill and 90 acres of hardwood property. I’ll need to make certain that he plays and enjoys the game.

  16. I wish i had a table saw. i have no room put a saw at my townhouse. Im now looking for someone by me who will help me out. Thanks for the instructions.

  17. Re: Erik

    You can make one with a 12″ chop saw too. That is how I made my set. Just be sure to build some sort of rig to hold the kubbs (I used 2x4s and C-clamps) so you don’t cut your fingers off when cutting down the sides.

    It only took a couple of hours to build, and then some sanding. I haven’t found 1-3/4″ closet pole for the batons yet, but I am still looking. I am stuck with 1-1/4 for now, but the Scouts don’t care.

  18. I would love to see a DIY jart set.
    I have 2 sets of Jarts and love playing.
    I was introduced to Kubb at a party this week and was blown away at how much fun it is.
    we even broke out the Holy Wine bottle for the winners.

  19. We were just in Denmark and played this game many times. We all loved it and will definitely be making a few sets. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

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