Plastic Milk Jug Raft




I thought it would be fun to make a raft out of recycled milk jugs. It was pretty straightforward, just plywood and jugs. It contains 62 bottles, and I used two pieces of 8x10' plywood for the body, and chicken wire for the bottom. Sorry I only have a couple photos, I didn't think to make a step by step guide. Maybe I will someday.

Anyway, I think the whole thing cost about $30, which was just wood and screws. Works pretty well, if I do say so myself.

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    12 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Gallon water jugs would work better because milk jugs are designed to degrade over a period of time so small holes in some could be formed in them and add extra weight and decrease the amount of weight the raft could hold but good design i want to make a raft with 5 gallon buckets and have a fire pit on the back of the deck

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That would be cool! How would you insulate the plastic jugs from the heat of the fire? That would be the tricky part, to me. :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You schould put the empty bottles without the screw thing on top (sorry for my engrish ;) ) in a deep freezer for a night and put the screw thingy back on the moment you get them out. You wil have more volume to float once they get there normal temperature.

    2 replies

    I'm making a raft with milk jugs too! Different design - making pontoons then attaching those underneath the plywood - I have been wondering if the jugs will hold up to the pressure of being used as flotation so Im very happy to see that this is working for someone else! That gives me hope that I can use the raft as a floating dock once the raft race is over :) Thanks!

    an easy way to figure out capacity is to convert to metric. 1 Liter of air will displace 1 kg of weight so 62 gallons = 234 Liters = 234 Kg = 515 lb. you probably don't want to go over 75% of your displacement (including the weight of the boat) so 75% of 485 lb would be about 360 lbs. you might be able to go up to around 400 but much more will put the deck under water.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Really cool idea I have been thinking about as our town does not recycle and we have LOTS of the gallon jugs.  Another idea/variation on the theme could be to construct it with WOOD PALLETs as the base and from there find some scrap pieces of plywood for the plateform (or more pallet wood).

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hate to be picky but,what you are using is not plywood it is OSB(oriented strand board).Being a carpenter for around thirty years experience tells me this won't stand up very well in wet conditions.It will start to delaminate.Coating it with some sort of sealer would really help.Your best bet would be marine grade plywood,it is a bit more expensive(about 50 bucks for a 4 x 8 sheet)but it would last longer.That being said you did a great job! looks like a great project for me and my grandson,we all drink alot of milk.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, I found that out the first time I used it. I just went for the cheapest wood I could get, and didn't really think about how it would hold up. I will look into some sort of sealer though.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    no pictures of the raft in action? How many people (weight) can it hold? How heavy is it? Looks like fun. Where did you find all the jugs? don't tell me you drank 62 jugs of milk?!

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It weighs probably about 40 pounds, and can hold two people. And yes, my family did in fact drink all that milk. It took a while to collect, though. I'll also try and find some action shots to put up.