Intro: 40-Gallon Raft
Step 1: Purpose/Audience
To repurpose 5 gallon buckets and construct a raft able to float one person up to two-hundred pounds keeping them relatively dry.
This project is designed for survival enthusiasts, adults, or children with adult supervision.
Step 2: Disclaimer
This raft is only designed for one person.
Wear a life jacket, use caution at all times, and only use in calm water.
Step 3: Materials
9, 5-gallon buckets with lids
7, 8’ 2”x4” boards
1 pound of 3” screws
3, 1 ½” screws
1 tube of all-weather silicon
60’ duct tape
Step 4: Tools
Step 5: Blueprints
Cut five 2x4 boards to 5’4”
Cut two 2x4 boards to 5’
Using two 5’ boards and two 5’4” boards, screw together so the ends overlap each other to create the 5’ by 5’4” frame, with the 5’4” boards on top. Make sure to use five screws in each corner.
Position a 5 gallon bucket without the lid attached near the corner of the 5’ board, make sure the bucket is lying on its side and oriented parallel to the 5’ board. (Note: Have the open-end of the bucket facing outward)
Attach the 5-gallon bucket to the 5’ board by screwing into the top of the board downward into the bucket. Make sure to use at least three screws along the whole length of the bucket.
To better secure the bucket, apply duct tape around the bucket and 5’ board until secure.
Repeat steps 3-5 to each corner of the frame. (Note: All buckets must have open-end facing out for lids to be attached)
Apply silicon around the inner edge of four lids then apply to the mouth of the buckets that are attached to the frame.
Measure 18 ¼” from the front of the raft, then take a 5’4” board and lay it perpendicular to the 5’ boards (sides of the raft).
Screw the ends of the 5’4” boards into the sides of the raft with at least 3 screws in triangular pattern to create the foot rest.
Measure 36” from the front of the raft, then take remaining 5’4” boards and place them next to each other, marking the 36” to be in between of the two boards.
Lay the boards perpendicular to the 5’ boards (sides of the raft)
Screw from the top of the 5’4” boards into the sides of the raft with at least three screws in each board at each end to create the seating platform.
Step 15: Previous Step Cont.
The back of the raft is the end at the shop door and the front at the opposite end for further assistance of the previous step.
Take one bucket with the lid attached and then secure the bucket to the center of the 5’ board (sides of the raft) by screwing from the top of the board down into the bucket with at least three screws along the length of the bucket. (Note: Make sure closed bucket has the lid facing to the front of the raft)
Repeat this process to the other side of the raft.
Take remaining scrap pieces from the already 2x4 boards and cut one of them to 18” and the other to 24”.
Take the 18” board and center it in the middle of the front raft and the footrest.
Attach underneath to the frame of the raft using three screws on each side in triangular pattern.
Take the 24” board and center it in the middle of the back of the raft and the seating platform.
Attach underneath to the frame of the raft with three screws on each end in same triangular pattern just as you did with the 18” board.
Position a bucket underneath and parallel to the 24” board then screw from the top of the board down into the bucket with three screws along the length of the bucket.
Repeat process with the 18" board.
Apply silicon to the inner edge of two lids and apply them to the mouth of the two buckets that you have just attached to the raft.
Wrap duct tape around the buckets that you have just attached until secure.
Position the last bucket, right side up, centered in the middle of the seated platform.
With three 1 ½” screws, screw from the inside of the bucket downward into the wood to fasten the bucket.
Apply lid to bucket without silicon.
Step 23: Finished Project
After each use, inspect the raft and make any repairs, if needed.