Monthly Archives: September 2013

Making a Rubik’s Kubb

Recently we have been continuing to work on improving our game and getting better at Kubb. I have been watching many tournament videos and thinking about our past losses and what we need to do to improve. For quite some time I thought that we just needed to learn to hit better, return more consistently and accurately, and generally just practice and keep our calm.

But no longer. I have figured out the real secret. After thinking about our losses, and watching many videos, I have concluded one simple problem–we don’t have a “thing”. At Appleton every team in our opening pool had their thing. My nemesis Blazel always has his white shorts and blue tank. Steve Feathers has his overalls. King Kung has a giant stuffed gorilla. There clearly was something going on here. Observing other things at the tournament, I realized there was a large wooden man, whom I have determined must be Kubbin’ Karl. Clearly another example of a powerful artifact that our team would need if we were to ever win.

And so I needed to figure out what to make. But the answer was of course obvious. I needed to make an actual Rubik’s Kubb. A kubb shaped object that would turn and twist just like a Rubik’s Cube, properly colored, completely solvable. I figured that it would be possible to make it, just difficult. I found one of my old Rubik’s Cube’s, and found an extra kubb, and got to work.

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The plan was to cut the kubb into the 27 blocks I would need, and then start gluing them on to each of the pieces of the cube. I would have to ensure that every piece of the kubb getting glued on wasn’t larger than the piece of the kubb and get in the way of the action of the cube. Utilizing a band saw and some hand sanding, with some careful measurment, yielded the middle layer of pieces without too much work. It was coming along well, but the top and bottom layers would be much harder given that they would be sticking up a few inches.

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I had to carefully make sure that I labeled each side with the proper color otherwise I risked messing it up and making an unsolvable cube. (Which surely would have completely ruined the process and ensured we never won a kubb game again) With that firmly in mind I continued working, getting the next part figured out, which was a bit more tricky. But with the proper cuts, some good sanding, and some good old super glue, the Rubik’s Kubb began to take shape.

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It sure looked pretty good! It didn’t line up quite perfectly, but given the project, it came out pretty well shape wise. Very close to a real kubb (I should have taken a picture for comparison, maybe I will get around to adding on soon), and overall looked right. But now I had to make sure it would spin on each axis.

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All good! A bit sticky on some of the turns, but nothing too bad. It certainly would work and function similarly to a Rubik’s Cube. It could be turned, messed, up and solved again. Now it just needed the right colors.

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And there it was! It came out pretty darn well. Unfortunately I didn’t quite feel any power emanating off of it. So for those who already have their “things”, what is the proper protocol? Do you need some witche’s brew of the Basta Inkastere’s blood and the national champion’s hair? Or does it require a christening at a kubb tournament? A pilgrimage to Gotland? Or does it need the ritual sacrifice of batons, kubbs, and kungs? Or is it possible that I’m just a bit crazy?