Recycled Pop-Pop Boat

Introduction: Recycled Pop-Pop Boat

The pop-pop boat is a small toy boat, powered by steam. The twin-pipe boiler design allows the boat to propel itself with the water that it sits on as well as a candle or other small heat source. This design requires few bought materials, and is an entertaining small project.


Tin can

Copper Tubing


Boat Base

Small Candle

Tin Snips

Exact O Knife

Needle Nose Pliers


Step 1: Separate Can Into Top, Midsection, and Bottom With Exact O Knife

Using the exact o knife, remove the top and bottom of the can. The top can be discarded, but retain the bottom to serve as the bottom of the boiler. The midsection will be cut into the top of the boiler.

Step 2: Make Metal Sheet From Can Midsection

Using the exact o knife, make a cut down the length of the can. Next, bend the midsection until it is a singular sheet.

Step 3: Create Boiler Top and Bottom.

Using the tin snips, remove the exterior of the can bottom, leaving only the bowl-shaped piece. Trace this piece onto the metal sheet, and cut. This should create a bowl-shaped boiler bottom, and a flat boiler top.

Step 4: Assemble Main Boiler.

Using pliers, bend the flat boiler top so that it sits in the boiler, with a slight lip. Bend the lip over, using the pliers. This fold secures the pieces so that they can create a secure seal. Apply epoxy to the seam between the two boiler pieces, and allow to dry.

Step 5: Attach Tubing

Trace the ends of the copper tubing onto the bottom of the boiler, near to the edge. Drill the holes through the tracings, and insert tubing. Finally, epoxy around the holes to seal.

Step 6: Attach Boiler to Boat.

Trace and drill two holes for the boiler tubes. Insert the tubes so that the boiler remains level, and slightly above the boat itself. Bend the tube ends so that they face the back of the boat. Secure in place with epoxy, and let dry. Place the candle under the boiler and your boat should be seaworthy.

Step 7: Common Problem Troubleshooting

Problem: Boat sinks or is unbalanced.

Solution: Re position boiler, or replace boat hull.

Problem: Boiler leaks.

Solution: Apply more epoxy, or ensure that the epoxy is heat and water resistant.

Problem: Boiler doesn't heat enough.

Solution: Decrease boiler height over heat source.

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    3 years ago

    that's so neat! What a cool little project