Pirate Ship With Holodeck




Introduction: 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

Remix Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Remix Contest 2016

Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

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    12 Discussions


    3 years ago

    So hard


    3 years ago

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


    3 years ago

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


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you!


    3 years ago

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


    Reply 3 years ago

    No, sorry. It is intended only for indoor playing.


    3 years ago

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


    3 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,



    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you very much for your nice comment.


    3 years ago

    Such great details in this project! You have my vote


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you!