Pirate Ship With Holodeck




About: If you like simple solutions then here you can find some of my crazy ideas.

Inspired by the "instructable" of Frank-Gish 3D hologram pyramid I had the idea to build a pirate ship with a Holodeck. But instead of a screen up pyramid, I made a screen down pyramid. So you can not immediately see where the light comes from.

It was a Christmas Gift for my son.

Step 1: Plan, Tools and Material

I never work with a plan, I made only a drawing how it should looks like


  • table saw
  • jigsaw
  • scroll saw
  • angle grinder
  • belt sander
  • random orbit sander
  • cordless drill
  • drill press
  • scissors
  • stapler


  • 3 layer pine 3/4" (base and Intermediate deck)
  • 4mm plywood for the decks
  • 2mm Balsa wood
  • walnut for the poles


  • black card board
  • black cord
  • water stain
  • linseed oil
  • wood glue
  • super glue + accelerator

Step 2: The Base

I started with a board, made one line with a strip of wood and then I made a mirror image of this line with a try square and a compass and cut it out with a jigsaw.

Step 3: Bow and Stern

The bow was made from 3 pieces I glued together, I shaped it with an angle grinder.

The stern is only a board I screwed on and after that I shaped it also with a angle grinder.

Step 4: Intermediate Deck

In the front I glued a piece of wood with the same height as the stern on the bow.

The intermediate deck has a notch which fits into the bow.

I put the boat upside down and marked the shape of the intermediate deck.

After I had it cut with a jigsaw I drilled a hole for the mast.

I screwed it on and shaped it with a angle grinder.

Step 5: The Boat Skin

The boat skin is made of black card board.

I glued it on and fixed it with staples. Later I removed all the staples

Step 6: The Bow-Nose

I glued a piece of wood on the top of the bow and after the glue was dry I shaped it with a belt sander.

Then I drilled a hole for the front pole and one for the first mast.

Step 7: The Poles

The poles are made of walnut.

I cut square rods and with a thread cutter I made them round on one end.

Then I marked and drilled the holes for the rope.

Step 8: The Rope Holder

The rope holder are little boards with wooden pins.

I am sure these have a special name but I don't know it, If you know it please let me know in the comment section below.

Step 9: The Stairs

I slit two little pieces of walnut on the table saw for the steps.

One for the right side of the stair and one for the left.

I divided them so I got 4 pieces for two stairs.

I also cut the steps on the table saw and then I glued all together.

Step 10: The Ladders

I drilled holes, all in the same distance in a bigger piece of walnut and then I cut it in stripes.

In this way all holes fits together.

The ladder rungs are made from 2 mm wooden rods, I cut them with a chisel.

Step 11: The Windows

For the windows I used black paper and balsa wood (2mm thick).

The advantage using black paper is, nobody will see a mistake when you later paint the wood. Balsa wood is awesome! You can cut it in strips easier than paper. And it sticks perfect with wood glue. The trick is: Glue a strip of balsa wood on the paper. Glue a second strip parallel to the first ( depending how width your window should be) It need not be exact parallel.

You don't need to cut the cross strips in length and handle all these tiny parts! Cover a long strip with glue, lay it cross over your length strips and then cut it with a sharp knife in position. This will push the piece down and it glues on immediately in the right position.

Step 12: Balsa Wood Skin

The upper part of the ship hull got a skin of balsa wood, which I glued on.

Step 13: The Bridge

The upper deck got a extra layer of 4 mm plywood.

I drilled 4 bigger holes for poles in it and many small holes for the railing poles.
Then I glued it on the boat.

The 4 bigger poles got a hole in the middle
I glued the 4 poles onto the deck and the small ones on the board except the 4 in the corners. These are longer and with them I pinned the deck on the poles.

Step 14: The Rudder and the Mast Basket

For the rudder I slit two little boards on the table saw. Then I put a wire into the slot and glued a little strip into the slot. after the glue was dry I removed the wire and I cut finger joints on the scroll saw. I put the two parts together with a wire, painted it with water stain and glued it on the stern.

The mask basket is only a little board with holes, where I put wooden rods in and a rope around these poles.

Step 15: Stain an Oil

I painted all parts with water stain. The advantage is you can furthermore use wood glue after the stain is dry.

All the hardwood pieces got a layer of linseed oil.

Step 16: Last Correction

Over all the holes of the staples I glued a strip of black card board.

The openings on the deck got a little wall of plywood.

These walls are not fixed so you can remove them and store same little parts inside.

Step 17: The Ship's Wheel and the Anchor

I printed a picture from a ship's wheel and and from an anchor, found in the internet, with my printer.

I glued them on a piece of plywood and cut them out with a scroll saw.

Step 18: The Masts and the Sails

The masts are only wooden rods put in a hole on the deck. They are not glued and can remove.

The crossbars are only fixed with a rubber band.

The sails are a piece of cotton. They are only fixed with a rope and not glued.

Every mast has only one rope. It goes from one pin form the rope holder over the mast top to the other side around a pin and back to the first side.

Step 19: The Holodeck

The Holodeck is only a little board with two bars, where you can put a smart phone on with the screen down.

How the little pyramid is made, can you find here Frank-Gish 3D hologram pyramid

So put the little pyramid on the Holodeck, find a video for hologram pyramids on YouTube. There are two different types videos, some for screen-up and some for screen-down. I my case I need screen-down-videos.

Start a video on the smartphone, put the smartphone on the Holodeck and the Holodeck under the bridge. Turn the light of and enjoy the show.

Step 20: All Steps in One Video

Instead of thousand words, please watch the video

If you use a mobile device, use this link.

If you like it, I am glad if you vote for it.

If you want to see more of my work, subscribe to my Youtube-channel

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    12 Discussions


    2 years ago

    when you say holodeck do you mean there are little people walking around the top deck?


    2 years ago

    Very nice and I enjoy seen your excellent woodworking techniques as well.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Could you make this float? If so, could you make space for a smallish camera?

    2 replies

    2 years ago

    Amazing work! I'd like to make this for my son


    2 years ago

    Meister Holzarbeiter Poehnlein,

    I hope this finds you in good spirits and health, friend. I wanted to say "Thank you" for sharing your works with us and wish you a very merry holidays. We can call you 'talented', certainly; but you truly are inspirational and that does many of us well. So easy these days to have not enough of something - time, energy, supplies, ideas even - so it is good to visit a project of Master Poehnlein and see what can be done with a little materials and a bit more initiative and thought.

    I wish you the best in all things this coming year, and again I thank you for sharing with us.

    with respect,


    1 reply