Back in my prime (a whole six years ago at this point), I really enjoyed playing ultimate frisbee. I played the game as much as humanly possible. All through college I was the team’s co-captain, and I had a blast traveling to other universities and competing in tournaments. After college, I managed to find some pick-up games, but that didn’t last long. Life took over, and I didn’t have time to play.
Remember the old saying, “If you can’t play, teach”? Well forget that.
If you enjoy ultimate frisbee or frisbee golf as much as I do, but can’t find the time to play, I’ve got the game for you.
It’s called Kan Jam, and it’s a ton of fun. The basic gist of the game is that two teams compete to throw frisbees into cylinders (called “kans”) separated by about 50 feet. One person from each team stands at each “kan”. The person at one kan throws the frisbee to the opposite kan while the teammate standing at that kan attempts to direct the frisbee without actually grabbing the disc. Here’s the marketing graphic from Kan Jam’s web site.
I liked Kan Jam so much I decided to make a set of cylinders for myself. The game costs about $50 online after shipping, or you may be able to find it locally for about $25. The materials I chose for this job cost about $50, but the cylinders I constructed are sturdier than the original Kan Jam kit’s.
I also wanted to share this project with you, which was one motivation for shelling out the extra money. We think the original Kan Jam is a great buy if you don’t have the time/motivation to build your own. It’s great for parties and an all-around good time.
I didn’t have much of a plan for this project before heading out to the store. I knew I wanted a sheet of flexible plastic that I could bend into a cylinder and some means of attaching the two sides of the plastic. Chatting with a Lowe’s employees didn’t help much–they couldn’t catch the vision. Undeterred, I began roaming the aisles. In the “Windows & Doors” section, I came across exactly what I needed: clear, flexible sheets of plastic that people normally use on storm doors, garage windows and things like that. I purchased two 2′ x 4′ x 0.80″ sheets, the perfect dimensions for my Kan Jam look-alike. I couldn’t find a good latch, so I did the next best thing to fasten the sides – rivets and a metal plate.
This is the plastic I purchased.
Editors update: Turns out this is not the best choice for materials. The thinner, more flexible plastic is better for absorbing hits from the frisbee while the thicker plastic (like the one below) tend to crack.
Here’s the metal plates. I found them with the deck-ties.
Here’s a picture of the riveter. We didn’t have a riveter in our shop, and I figured this one might come in handy for future jobs as well.
Assembling the Kan Jam Look-Alike
I took everything back home and grabbed a drill, bit set, circular saw and a rasp. I started by marking holes where I would place rivets. My marker is giant and you should use a smaller one.
Next, I drilled out the holes.
I used two metal plates per can and a total of six 1/8″ rivets for each metal plate. I placed the metal plate on what would be the inside of the goal, and the smooth side of the rivet on the outside of the goal.
Views of Placing the Rivets
Inside of the goal.
Outside of the goal.
Next I cut the “instant win” slot. I’m not sure what the official Kan Jam measurements are but I cut a 16″ x 3″ hole centered on the plastic and 4″ from the top. That’s small enough to be a real challenge.
I used my handy twin-blade circular saw from Ridgid. It worked perfectly, but many saws can achieve this cut if you don’t have a twin blade.
Bending the plastic, and adding the rivets can be a real challenge by yourself, so grab a buddy. You can see I left the protective plastic on until I was finished wrangling everything in place.
If you’re following along, grab your rasp and use it to smooth out the edges of your “instant win” slot.
Clear goals will be really difficult to see so I picked up some spray paint and went to town.
I decided these goals needed a name. After much deliberation, I decided to call them BAHA. I know you’re going to ask why, and I don’t have a good answer. It just sounded good.
I think they turned out really nice!
You may be wondering if all this is really cost effective, and the answer is no…. no it is not. Here’s the cost breakdown (assuming you already own a riveter):
- (2) Optix 4′ x 2′ sheets = $40
- (4) Wood to wood tie plate = $3.36
- Pack of 1/8″ aluminum rivets = $5.28
- (2) Cans of spray paint = $8.00
Keep in mind that these goals can’t be disassembled, however they should withstand a beating.
Are you going to attempt this project? Ever played Kan Jam before? What other games do you enjoy?