Homemade Boats for Kids – The toy motor-boat shown in Figs. 48 and 49 is propelled by a tin propeller run by a rubber-band motor. A handful of rubber-bands will cost only a few cents, and the rest of the working material can be picked up at home.
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Excerpt from: HOME-MADE TOYS FOR GIRLS AND BOYS BOOKS BY A. NEELY HALL
LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO., BOSTON Published, August, 1915
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Fig. 49.—The Completed Motor-boat.
Prepare the Bottom of the Hull out of a piece of wood 1 inch thick, making it of the shape and dimensions shown in Fig. 51.
Be careful to curve the side edges the same.
Use a saw for cutting out the piece, then smooth up the edges with a plane and sandpaper. The stern should be sawed off on a bevel as shown in Fig. 52.
Fig. 50.—Stern, with Motor in Place.
The Sides of the hull (B, Figs. 52 and 53) are thin strips 2½ inches wide. Nail one to one edge of the bottom block, then saw off the bow end on a line with the bow of the bottom block, and the stern end on the same slant as the bevel cut on the stern of the bottom block.
With one piece in position, nail on the second side and trim off its ends. If you have any difficulty in making a neat joint between the bow ends of sides B, take a piece of tin from a can, bend it around the bow, and tack it in place as shown in Fig. 48.
The stern piece (C, Figs. 53 and 54) should be cut next, to fit the slanted ends of the sides.
Figs. 52 and 53.—How the Hull, Sides, Stern and Deck Pieces are Assembled.
The Deck (D) extends from the bow almost to the center of the boat. Its top surface should taper in its length and curve from side to side. The piece may be whittled or planed to this shape. Fasten it with brads to the top edges of the sides of the boat.
Fig. 48.—Launching the Toy Motor-boat.
To Complete the Boat, go over the work carefully, trim off all projecting edges, drive nail heads beneath the surfaces, putty nail holes and cracks, and give the wood two coats of paint of whatever color you want to have the motor-boat.
The Propeller (E, Fig. 54) is cut from the side of a tin can. Cut a piece 3 inches long and ¾ inch wide, round its ends, and with the point of a nail pierce a hole through it each side of the center of the length of the piece (Fig. 55). To finish the propeller, it is only necessary to take hold of the two ends and twist the piece into the shape shown in Fig. 56.
The Propeller-shaft requires a short piece of wire with one end bent into a hook (F, Fig. 56). Stick the straight end of this shaft through one hole in the propeller, and the hooked end through the other hole, then twist the hooked end over on to the main part of the shaft, as shown in Fig. 57. Make a tight twist so the propeller will be held perfectly rigid on the shaft.
The Bearing Plate G (Figs. 54 and 58) supports the propeller. Cut it out of a piece of tin 1½ inches wide by 3 inches long, bend it in half crosswise to give it stiffness, and then bend it lengthwise to the angle shown so it will fit over the slanted stern of the boat. Punch two holes through the upper end for nailing the plate to the stern, and a hole at the lower end for the propeller-shaft to run through.
For a Thrust Bearing, slip a couple of beads over the propeller-shaft, between the propeller and bearing plate G. Probably you can find glass beads in your mother’s button bag.
Fig. 54.—Longitudinal Section of Assembled Motor-boat.
Figs. 55-59.—Details of Propeller.
Fig. 60.—Rubber-band Motor.
After slipping the beads on to the shaft, and sticking the shaft through the hole in bearing plate G, bend the end of the shaft into a hook; then screw a small screw-hook into the bottom of the hull, at the bow end (I, Fig. 54), and you will be ready for
The Rubber-band Motor. Rubber-bands about 1½ inches in length are best for the purpose. Loop these together end to end (Fig. 60) to form a strand that will reach from hook I to the hook on the propeller-shaft; then form three more strands of this same length, and slip the end loops of all four strands over the hooks.
To Wind the Motor, give the propeller about one hundred turns with your finger; then, keep hold of the propeller until you launch the boat.
There are many ways of elaborating upon the design and construction of this toy motor-boat, but, having given the necessary instructions for building a simple model, I am going to leave further development for you to work out. Here is an opportunity for you to use your ingenuity. Devise an adjustable rudder, add a keel, finish off the cockpit with a coaming, install a headlight made from a pocket flashlight—in fact, see just how complete a motor-boat model you can build.