The Motorized Altoids Tin Boat is a relatively simple and cheap project that just about anyone should be able to make. It takes an ordinary Altoids tin and turns it into a miniature motorized toy boat. All of the parts should be found at Radio shack, which makes it even easier.
Step 1: Parts
1. "AA" battery holder, cost = Around $1.00 (99 cents at Radio Shack)
2. Push On/Push Off Switch (should come with a nut and washer to help attach it), cost = Around $2.00 ($2.19 at Radio Shack)
3. 3V Motor, cost = Around $3.00 ($3.69 at Radio Shack)
4. Something to make it float, styrofoam was used but anything else would be fine
5. Altoids tin
6. Propellor blade
7. "AA" battery
8. Spray paint (optional)
1. Hot glue gun
2. Soldering iron/ electrical tape
3. Wire strippers
Total Cost = About $7-$10
Step 2: Drilling
Drill a hole in the back for the motor to stick out.
Drill a hole in the side for the switch.
Step 3: Installing the Switch
Put hot glue around the outside of the hole that was drilled for the switch and push the switch throught the hole. Push firmly on the switch for about 30 seconds, or until the hot glue dries. Apply hot glue on the inside of the hole and push the nut and washer up against it until the glue dries. Remember, you want the boat to be watertight so that it doesn't short-circuit, so try to make the best seal as possible.
Step 4: Installing the Motor
Put hot glue around the motor, making sure that it can stil turn. Push the motor through the hole and apply pressure to it until the hot glue dries.
Step 5: Wiring
Hot glue the battery pack in the center of the Altoids tin. Wire the motor, switch, and battery using the schematic as a reference.
Step 6: Adding the Propellor
Hot glue the propellor onto the end of the motor.
Step 7: Making It Float
Hot glue whatever material you are using to the bottom of the boat, making sure that it is enough to make the boat float. For the styrofoam, I rolled it up into tubes and taped them onto the bottom of the Altoids tin.
Step 8: Balancing the Boat
I had to add some weight to the opposite side of the Altoids tin as the button, because it would tip over on that side. For my boat, I found that one penny and one dime worked just about perfectly, but the weight needed to balance out the boat could vary.
Step 9: Customization
You could even add spray paint to your boat, or drill holes in the front and put LED lights in. For the spray paint, I put tape down the middle covering the Altoids logo and spray painted the top neon green. After the green dried a layer of Krylon Glowz on top of it. Once the Krylon Glowz dried, tape was added to cover the top and the sides were painted red. After, everything finished drying It was sprayed with clear enamel over the top for protection.