Laser Cut Miniature Sailboats

About: Hi! We are a year long program based in the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio. We develop curriculum for kindergartners to 8th graders, and teach camps for 6th through 9th grade. We teach every o...

This instructable was made for a K-1 summer camp activity, however, it is versatile enough to make work for K-5. The project itself took a total of about ten minutes to make. It can be easily personalized with felt and stickers, as well as paint and markers. The campers really enjoyed this activity, and we hope you do too!

Step 1: THE DESIGN & THE PIECES YOU'LL NEED

For all our campers, we pre-cut the pieces (see attached file) to take up less time. Besides the file and the wood, you will also need hot glue, school glue, and some cloth to make the sails. The assembly is very simple, and does not take a lot of time.

Step 2: THE ASSEMBLY

The first thing we did was to hot glue the cloth triangles to the t-shape mast. Make sure to keep a close eye on the kids, as hot glue can easily burn! We spread the hot glue on the mast, then put the cloth into the glue. It only needs to be held for a couple of seconds as it cools down.

We used school glue to assemble all the pieces together, starting with the top flat piece and working our way down. Hot glue can be used for this, we found that both are effective. We used a clamp to hold down the wooden pieces as they dried, but you can always just hold them down with your hands.

After the flat boat pieces dried, we glued the sail to the boat, putting glue in the slot on the top piece. We let it dry, and voila! Your very own laser cut boat!

Step 3: TEACHER NOTES/PROBLEMS TO WATCH FOR

Be wary of excessive glue use. Because you smoosh the pieces together, a dot of glue goes a lonnnggg way. The kids really wanted to play with their boats before the glue dried (glue takes about 10 minutes to be dry.)

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    3 Discussions

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    TomK32

    1 year ago

    Yes it know, children toy, but the sailor in me can't resist commenting. sorry.

    Interesting choice for the keel, gives the whole flat bottom sailboats a new idea. I'd have gone for a twin keel to get the stability, requires 45 degree cuts and some slots but looks awesome if you beach your boat.
    That bowsprit is too long and usually the headsail extends right to the front of the bowsprit.
    Lift the main sail a bit to have space for the cockpit.

    1 reply
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    Swansong

    1 year ago

    That's a fun way to make one, I'm sure the kids loved it!