Making a Kubb set


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Kubb set Kubb set, painted with red and white barn paint

Though the origins of Kubb are uncertain, I can attest that it is a fun game to play, either at your next back yard barbecue or at your next Renaissance fair. The pieces are fairly simple, so a set is relatively cheap and easy to make with the help of a few power tools. It can be made with only hand tools, it will just take longer and might make you break a sweat.

First, a little history. Kubb was popularized in the 1990s when a mass produced version appeared in Sweden. The accompanying rule book made a sensational claim of Viking Age origins and ancient play with the bones of slain enemies. I suspect the game was actually invented in the period of romantic nationalism, around the late 19th century, though it may have been inspired by some cryptic description…

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