The Ocean Beach Pier

About: I am a 7th grade teacher at High Tech Middle Media Arts in San Diego! All of the Instructables are published by my students.

By Emma Schooner, Jackson Ohle-Kot, and Ben Frost

My seventh grade class is making a float for the Ocean Beach parade. My group is making the O.B. pier for our float element. My school is called HTMMA or High Tech Middle Media Arts. We are located in San Diego, California. The non-profit organization that we are making the float for is called The Animal Pad. The Animal Pad adopts, fosters dogs and gives them a forever home. They also rescue dogs from high kill shelters and the streets of Mexico. This float element was difficult to make, especially transporting it since it’s so big.

What you need:

  • Two 9 ft 4x4 beams, I found this at Home Depot for a total of $37.96
  • One large piece of plywood, ½ inch which will be cut 4 ft by 1.5 ft I found this for $17.55
  • One 4 ft 2x4 beam. I found this for $5.98 (but you should ask them to cut it down since we only need 4 fast)
  • Gray paint (a mixture of white and black) for a total of $30.66 I used a 3 to 1 ratio of white to black

Pit falls

Overall our element has been difficult throughout the process. Here are some changes we made, so it’s easier for you. At first we made the cafe 2 ft. in length, width and height, but that was too big for our other components. So we scaled it down to 1 ft. (in every direction as well). That worked really well with the measurements we had already made. We also tried using foam to make the roof, but that didn’t fit or hold up well. We switched the roof to be cardboard and it looks a lot better. Our group decided to use cardboard instead of wood for the cafe because we wanted to make sure it wouldn’t fall over. The final adjustment was using hot glue instead of duct tape. This makes it look a lot neater and hold better together.

Step 1: Step 1: Measuring and Cutting the Wood

For this step you will need your plywood, your 2x4s and your 4x4s.

Your first cut should be to cut your ten foot 4x4s at the nine foot mark and the 4 ft 6 in mark. That should leave you with two 4.5 ft 4x4s. Do this again on your other beam. Next, cut your plywood into a rectangle, so that one side 1 ft 5 in and the other is 4 ft. Lastly, cut your 2x4s so that you have two 2ft beams, then cut all their hands at 45 degrees, like the above picture.

Step 2: Step 2: Assembly

This step is for putting all the cut pieces together. Take all the parts for the cafe, line up the edges for the roof and the box and hot glue it. Then take the roof panels and glue them to fit the angle needed. About ½ inches should hang off the side.

At this point we decided we wanted to cut a window and a door. For the door we placed it half an inch from the side and cut a 7 inch by 3 inch rectangle. We cut 3 sides and scored the left side so it can open all the way. We glued a simple handle out of a scrap in a rectangle shape. For the window we made a 4x4 square and drew two lines. Those lines go from the half point (2 inches) to the other half point so it is in the middle. What did that horizontally and vertically. Then we made those lines half an inch thick by marking around it. Put those together and you get a basic window shape in pencil. Cut out everything but except the half inch thick frame. You should now have a window you can see through!

For the pier we simply cut and screwed the pillars to the bottom of the pillar. The railing was screwed in as well and lined up with the edge. Then you can attach the support beams, one on each pillar. That should meet at about the middle of the underside.

Step 3: Step 3: Painting

The colors we chose, light or lime green, black and white, also represent The Animal Pad. The door is painted black, while the handle, frame and window are white. The roof and all other sides or portions are a lime green. We also painted the words “The Animal Pad” on the back to break up the space. The pier and pillars are painted grey to look like concrete.

You can now glue the cafe on the pillar and do any last minute paint or glue touch ups. Finally, screw the two halves together to make the full pier.

Step 4: Conclusion

In conclusion I think our float element stood out because its very big and there are lots of colors. The mixed elements will appeal to all. Finally, it will spread the word about The Animal Pad and will hopefully get some people to help the cause.

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    3 Discussions

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    DIY Hacks and How TosGinaW50

    Reply 3 months ago

    It's pretty good as it is. But the more pictures and the more details you can provide the better.