Noodle Raft




Introduction: Noodle Raft

I have taught math for 30 plus years. I am one of the crazy ones who actually think math is fun....

My father kept trying to make a raft that he could use in his pool out of pool noodles. I think that the reason that he never succeeded was because he was unwilling to cut the noodles.

I love to relax on a raft that is tethered to the dock or the shore. I find that the gentle waves calm me and help me wind down.

Step 1: Materials:

Pool noodles
Nylon cord
Tape measure
Scissors or knife
Candle or lighter
Cutting tool--see step 2
Hole making tool--see step 3

The number of noodles that you need depends on the size of raft that you want to end up with. I used 12 noodles.

I used a nylon cord that was about a quarter inch wide.

Step 2: Cutting the Noodles

I started out with a much larger saw but found that this tiny one was perfect. I measured and marked my noodles every 11 inches. This left me with a 5 inch piece at the end which was perfect for the small pieces I needed at the ends of my raft.

If anyone recognizes this saw, I would love to know it's intended use. My husband always thought it was hilarious that I never knew the proper use of each tool. He was rather insistent that there was a proper knife for every job. I was always using the wrong one.

Step 3: Drilling the Holes

At first, I drilled my holes with my husband's power drill. For whatever reason, the battery died before I got very far. I then figured out that a Phillips head screwdriver worked just as well. I just pushed it through.

I measured and marked the 11 inch pieces at 1 inch, 4 inches, 7 inches, and 10 inches. The small pieces were marked at 1 and 4 inches. Then I just pushed the screwdriver all the way through the noodle--it made 2 holes across from each other.

Step 4: Stringing the Raft Together

This took some trial and error. I had a bit of trouble getting the cord through both walls of the noodle. After several different attempts, I came up with the bamboo skewer method. Once I figured out this method, the raft came together rather quickly.

Since my rope was nylon and was stuffed with more nylon, I had to melt the cut ends to keep it from fraying. This gave me a place to cram the point of a bamboo skewer into. Once the skewer was in place, it was easy to press it all the way through the noodle.

I put a knot in the end of my rope. I pulled the cord all the way through the noodle until the knot was up against the noodle. I tied another knot after each noodle was added. Trim any excess rope after the last noodle piece and knot.

Step 5: The Pattern of the Noodles

I cut lengths of rope that were about a foot too long. This gave me a bit of extra cord to tie into my knots. I melted the ends in a candle flame.

I started with just the large pieces and alternated them left and right using the 2 holes on the end of each piece. This used 2 pieces of cord.

The second row of pieces were the small ends--I went through the large noodle, then the small one, then through the next large one.

You just repeat this process until you have the length that you want. End with the small pieces filling in the other end.

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    17 Discussions

    I wonder how the knots will stand up over time. I think I would try puting a length of pvc or 1x2 lumber down each side and tying my knots outside of that. Cool 'ible. good job.

    2 replies

    I haven't had a problem yet but will keep your suggestion in mind in case one occurs later.

    I had the same thought about the knots, I think I will try some big washers to reduce the chance of knot pull-through. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    You should make a large one, and provision it out with everything for a 5 week trip. Also, make a mast with a piece of pvc and a sail form a blue tarp. Call the news agencies and have them see you off from Cape Cod or someplace.

    Have a friend pick you up, and don't go home. Don't shave. Get a tan. Fly to Europe (with your raft in the luggage), perhaps Portugal.

    Set the raft in the ocean off the Portuguese coast and call the news agencies again. Make sure your friend records your landing for Youtube.

    You'll be famous! And Noodle corporation will give you free noodles for life!

    1 reply

    Sounds like an adventure that my son would love.

    Quais as dimensões totais da jangada? Não seria uma boa alternativa juntar as pontas do macarrão de ambos os lados para ficar com o formato de uma canoa?

    1 reply

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had to translate your Portuguese.

    My raft is almost a meter wide and about 2 meters long but you can make one any size you want--you are not limited by the length of the noodles.

    I will have to try the canoe idea when I get the chance. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Why can't you use full-length noodles? I realize you still would need to cut the ends if you wanted them all even, but I don't understand why your father failed.

    3 replies

    depends if he joined them in similar places or just at the ends :)

    He claimed it was terribly uncomfortable. It was very rigid and tended to break in the middle. This one is a bit more flexible.

    That saw looks like a jab saw. They are used for cutting holes in drywall for things like electrical boxes. You can stab it right into the wall and just start cutting.

    1 reply

    Thanks. Now that you mention it, I think he did use it when he was working on drywall.