On the Pontoon




Introduction: On the Pontoon

A simple project to be used on a local lake, pool, or very large bathtub. This pontoon uses 55 gallon drums for flotation and a piece of plywood as a deck.

Step 1: Materials

1. 4x8 sheet of plywood (thickness is based on how much weight you have on the boat and the waters you take it in)

2. 2x4s (get a couple, use scraps, whatever)

3. 55 gallon drums x6

4. Modern furnishings such as slide or a plush chair

Step 2: Tools

1. Miter Saw, Circular saw, Space Age cutting device

2. Tape Measure

3. Drill or Hammer if nailing

4. Screws or Nails

5. Square

Step 3: Clean Em' Out

If in their first life, your barrels had formaldehyde you should probably clean them out. Be careful, it may burn your lungs. Then make sure the caps are tight. If you have the tool use that or you can use two screwdrivers.

Step 4: Frame Em' Up

I measured 3 barrels end to end. It was 104.5 inches which is probably standard. So I added 3 inches to account for the two end 2x4s and came out with 107.5. You will need 4 pieces this length, 2 for the main frame and 2 for the side braces. You will also need end pieces. I want to keep the final width 4 ft. so I don't have to cut the plywood. So in your measurement account for the sides pieces (3 in) and subtract that from 48 in. It should be 45 in. You'll need two pieces this length. You'll also need two inner braces, these will be the length of the 3 barrels. Two of these are required.

Once everything is cut you can begin framing. First get two of the side pieces and both of the end pieces. Square them up and screw them together. Then put in the inner braces. I did mine 17 in. from the side brace. This area is what the barrels will sit on. You should have 2 pieces of wood remaining.

Step 5: Screw on the Barrels

When the frame is done, you can slide the barrels in their preset grooves and screw them in at an angle. Make sure both caps are above the waterline. Four screws is good for each barrel. When all barrels are on, screw the remaining two boards on the outside.

Step 6: Screw on the Deck

Lay the deck down on the frame and use drywall screw every few inches. There will be a few inches that won't be covered at one end. You can get more plywood or you can tell yourself that's where the motor will go.

Step 7: Put on Your Furnishings

Bolt on some chairs and a cooler and take her for a float.

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    7 years ago

    why didn't you raise the outermost 2x4 a ½" to make it flush?


    Reply 7 years ago

    It is flush, must be how the picture is taken.


    7 years ago

    Just for everyone's info each drum has a buoyancy of about 450 lbs (about 205 kg), so for stability you may want to go to with four drums or a bigger deck. Glad to see this ible!


    Reply 7 years ago

    Thank you!