This is a project that displays both written and visual references to building a working and functioning Hovercraft. The Hovercraft(board) pictured was able to easily support about 40 pounds of evenly distributed weight. All photographs are original.
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Step 1: Supply Overview
Listed are the supplies necessary.
Feel free to modify as necessary. You can paint, add various components as fit. The options range to mechanical and technical skills.
Tape- recommended Duct tape but any tape that can stick to wood or cardboard is suitable. (Strong adhesive glues are not recommended as they can spring leaks more frequently.)
Scissors- any sharp cutting device works. Scissors obviously won't work on Plywood or anything thicker than cardboard.
Plywood/Cardboard- Either will do. You can use other hard surfaces, especially a light weight composite such as a plastic snow sled or a trash can lid.
Vacuum/leaf blower- This Hovercraft runs off the water displacement concept so if you can find another alternative that can displace enough "water" to lift objects than feel free.
Plastic bag- I used a trash bag that was about 2.3 MILs thick. Anything between 2 - 4+ MIL is acceptable.
Step 2: Step 1
You want to trace the circumference of the hose or shape of the device that will be pushing air into the aforementioned Hovercraft. Use a pencil, sharpie, or any device that will make a legible mark.
Now you want to cut that hole so the device will fit. Do not worry about if you cut too wide as you can use tape to patch it up.
Step 3: Step 2
Now lay the base of the Hovercraft in training down so the side you want to be on is facing the sky. Lay the plastic bag/sheet flat on the ground. Make sure every side is evenly spread so not one side has too much plastic.
Step 4: Step 3
The Hovercraft will leak no matter what so use one layer of tape at first to attach the plastic to the base.
Place the air device in its place and use tape if their is a gap present. Invisible tape makes it a little harder to see on cardboard and doesn't work on wood so plan accordingly.
Step 5: Step 3.5
Tape, tape tape. Make sure that tape is applied. If a section has a gap, it will blow air out, potentially ripping the plastic and pulling the rest of the tape. Very annoying.
Step 6: Step 4
Poke holes in the bottom before turning on vacuum/device. It will explode in your face if you do not have any holes and it's very loud and potentially dangerous.
Safe bet is cut four (4), two inch slits on each corner on the bottom. These won't stop it from exploding overall, but will allow air to escape and prevent an immediate explosion. This will give you time to poke more holes as necessary.
The number of holes is very hard to give a definitive answer. Depending on peoples height and weight. Their are formulas, but since vacuums/leaf blowers/ air devices range in power and blowing capacity, there is only trial and error with this.
Step 7: Pièce De Résistance
Enjoy your new Hovercraft.
Float around, take a nap on the air, show your neighbors, etc. The picture cost me zero dollars and less than 20 minutes of my time. Be safe and have fun. This is customizable to any creative extent and with a gas powered leaf blower, it's able to be take on the road, but maneuverability is the key issue.
Step 8: Clean Up/storage
Depending on the size, this can be stored in a crevice or against a wall in the garage. If Cardboard, you have the luxury of being able to fold and make smaller. The vacuum/leaf blower can be deattached and used for normal uses. It's very convenient and very portable.