Things That Go


Rideable Hovercraft

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2 Hours

TO COMPLETE

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WHAT WILL YOU MAKE?

A leaf blower powered hovercraft that you can ride on. This is a more difficult project for the more experienced makers in your Camp.
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WHAT WILL YOU NEED?

STEP 1

Find the center

Find the center of the sheet of plywood. This should be 2 feet from the edges for a 4×4 sheet.

STEP 2

Draw a circle

Drive a screw into the center of the circle, about halfway in. Tie a string to it and measure a 2-foot length of string. Tie a pencil to the string there. Pull the string taught and use it to draw a 2-foot radius circle around the center of the sheet.

STEP 3

Trace the leaf blower

Place the output nozzle of the leaf blower against your circle about halfway between the center and the outer edge of your circle. Trace around the leaf blower with a pencil.

STEP 4

Drill and cut

Raise your sheet up off the ground (I used a trashcan) and get a friend to help you hold the sheet to keep it stable. Drill a hole slightly larger than your jigsaw blade in the center of the shape you traced from the leaf blower. Now use your jigsaw to cut out the shape.

STEP 5

Cut the outer circle

Use the jigsaw to cut the outer circle from the sheet. Make sure to hold it down to keep it from jumping around.

STEP 6

Add the lid

Put your tarp down on top of your cut circle, covering it evenly. Find the center again and place the bucket lid in the center of the circle. Screw down the bucket lid with the 1/2 inch screws in a circular pattern about halfway between the center of the lid and its outer edge.

STEP 7

Secure the tarp

Flip the circle over and pull the tarp over the top. Staple down the tarp along the edge, making sure to not pull the tarp tight — you need a little extra to billow out on the bottom when inflated.

STEP 8

Trim the tarp

Trim away the extra tarp, leaving about an inch between your cut and the staples so the tarp wont rip out.

STEP 9

Tape down the edges

Tape down the edges of the tarp to seal them tightly. Don’t spare the tape, I made two rings around to ensure it was down tightly.

STEP 10

Cut air escapes

Cut six Xs evenly spaced around the center of the tarp. They should be about 3 inches away from the edge of the bucket lid.

STEP 11

Secure the blower

Place the leaf blower in the hole that you’ve cut for it. Use tape to secure it in place and seal it so air cannot escape.

STEP 12

Go for a ride

Sit in the center of the disk and turn on the leaf blower. The tarp should inflate with air, raising up off the ground with the escaping air from the cuts creating a thin layer of air below you. Have a friend push you and you will go flying away!

WHAT'S NEXT?

Try stacking up plastic cups in a pyramid and have a friend push you into them. Now you’re playing hovercraft bowling!

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Please Note

Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.

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