Our kids are in marching band, and this year the band director wanted a boat prop to move across the field during the performance. I volunteered to make some of the boat accessories to spruce up the overall appearance. In this instructable I show how I made a simple boat anchor for the front of the ship.
I made this at TechShop www.techshop.ws
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Step 1: Materials & Equipment
Vector drawing software (I used CorelDRAW)
Laser Cutter (my TechShop has a Trotec Speedy 300)
16"x16" corrugated cardboard (varies with size of anchor)
Glue (white or wood)
Thickening additive (happened to have West Systems 407)
Plastic black chain
Wire with black insulation
This instructable assumes some basic familiarity with CorelDRAW and a laser cutter.
Step 2: Convert Clip Art to Vectors
Browse the web for anchor clip art until you find a style that you like. Using the Quick Trace function, create a vector outline of the anchor image. Make sure you have the line setting to hairline so that the laser cutter will know that these vectors are to be cut and not engraved. Delete the original image from the project (leaving behind just the vector version). Size the vector image to your needs. I made mine just large enough to fit on one side of a medium U-Haul box.
Step 3: Efficient Cardboard Use
An anchor cut from a single piece of cardboard will look like, well, an anchor cut from a thin and flimsy piece of cardboard. So you will be cutting out multiple anchors and gluing them together in order to make a sturdy and better looking anchor. Cutting out multiple complete anchors wastes a lot of cardboard, so now you will add anchor segments packed in around the complete piece. This will give you two segmented anchors per solid anchor. Six layers of cardboard provides for a nice look. Make a copy of the anchor next to the original vector image. Using the 2-Point Line tool, add lines to split the anchor into six segments. Then make copies of each segment and pack them in around the complete piece.
Step 4: Laser Cut the Pieces
Cut out the first sheet of anchor parts. Rotate the second sheet of cardboard before cutting (so the corrugation is running 90 degrees from the first sheet). This will add a little more strength to the anchor when you glue it all together.
Step 5: Glue the Parts Together
Start with one of the complete anchor pieces. Start gluing down the smaller segments, then top it off with the other complete piece. Add some weight on top of the anchor while it dries to make a better bond between the layers.
Step 6: Fill the Corrugated Gaps
Make a glue paste by adding some filler to the glue. Keep adding filler until the glue gets thicker and closer to a thin putty. Spread the putty along the sides of the anchor to fill in the gaps in the corrugation. Let dry overnight.
Step 7: Final Touches
Use whatever color you feel appropriate, for our boat I went with a basic black. I joined the plastic chain to the anchor with a short piece of wire (wire with black insulation). Hang from your boat and step back to admire your work!