Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One Sheet Plywood Boat into Kids' Airplane

 As you recall, we made the one sheet plywood boat this summer.  We had a lot of fun with it in the swimming pool, then ran into a couple of problems.

One problem with the boat was that it was a little hard to see over the keel and be careful of fellow swimmers. Another problem with the boat was the window.  Though extremely cool (as an add-on feature), it let in water.  So we took it off and then attached and sealed it with silicon caulk (I used a disposable latex glove this time- that stuff is HARD to get off your hands!).

The boat was working great until the two issues collided to form problem number three.  There were too many swimmers one hot Indian Summer afternoon in the pool.  So we took the boat out and Little Brother started to climb on and in and around it.  Then he stepped on the window and it popped right out.

So it went back to dry dock.

And there it sat.

Until Big Brother had an Idea.  He wanted to make an airplane.  I spent my usual two days trying to get him to explain and plan his idea and he spent that time trying to get us to Home Depot and drawing a blueprint.

Then we walked past the boat in dry dock and a plan was formed.

First we added wheels.  One wheel on each corner.  One set swivels, and the other set doesn't (that's why they are dragging it backwards all the time).  If I would do this again, I would use larger wheels (these are 2" casters) and have them all swivel.

Then we used the leftover angle pieces from the bow side pieces and made them into a tail (yes, the angle is odd, but that's how we got it to attach and be stable).

Then came the wing, which is a 1x2 drilled into the boat in the middle.  The boys sanded the edges and decorated it.  They later added jets underneath using a dowel cut into four pieces, but it fell off fairly quickly.

We used the circular piece of plywood that had been taken out for the original boat window and attached it onto the boat using a bolt so it would spin as the steering wheel.  We made another for a co-pilot.

They attached a hook to the end, and clipped a rope from the tricycle onto the hook.

They drew a runway on the street with sidewalk chalk and were on their way.

They kept adding and modifying.  On the tail is an exhaust pipe (old juice bottle with PVC fitted in and kept in place with a steel band like you use to attach a water heater to the wall).  On the back is a sink (steel bowl which fits into another piece of plywood with a hole sized for it to sit into).  They took a little cool box (igloo like this but blue) and stocked it with cheese sticks and kept it on board.  They kept talking about pretzels.

Big Brother then changed his blueprint to match the design and got some other ideas. He wanted a top of the fuselage.

So we made a second boat, but didn't waterproof it or paint it, or add a back piece.  We also made the window larger -- to be used as a door.

Other additions have been a back window (plexiglass), and a hatch door for the window-- also of plexiglass.

The kids have made microphones out of PVC scraps.

They need someone to push from behind often, because it is a heavy load (especially with two sheets of plywood now) and the wheels are small.

Another new addition, in green below, are the parachutes.  You stand on top of the airplane, hold out the parachute, and then jump down.

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