The Uncommon River Raft

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Intro: The Uncommon River Raft

This is a fun way to build a "cheap" raft.  It is a fun and easy project and will be a buttload of fun once you are finished with it.  You will need materials, though, and they don't come cheaply (namely a dollar).  Instead, each item can cost anywhere from 1$ to 20$.  Anyway you will need:
                
                      4straight poles, 6-10 ft. long and 3-4 inches in diameter
                      3 shorter poles of the same diameter
                      At least 200 ft. of 3/16 of an inch rope (or 100 8-10 inch bolts and nuts)
                      At least 9 five-twenty gallon size buckets
                      Planks or boards for the deck
                      Hammer, nails and a pair of scissors

 And have lots of fun!!

(P.S. This is a very, very confusing instructable, so feel free to ask questions.  Oh, and the idea for the raft is to have the length double the size of the width.)
                   



 



Step 1: Building the Frame

Lay the end of one of the shorter poles over the end of a longer one and at the right angles and lash them together with the nylon cord or with the bolts (if you don't know what lashing is, look it up on google). Then lay the other end of the shorter pole over the end of  a second long pole, and lash them together.  Then lash the free ends of the long poles to the shorter ones.  In other words, you're going to want to make a rectangle for the frame.

Step 2: The Frame for the Deck

Lash each end of the third shorter pole pole across and over the middle of the two longer poles.  Then lash the third and forth long poles between the middle of the three shorter ones cross-ways poles.  The distance between these two long poles should be just wider then the narrowest side of one of the empty containers.  You should now have a rectangle consisting of four long poles crossed by three shorter ones laid on top of them.

Step 3: Putting the Containers ON

Now lash three of the empty containers at even intervals along the outside of one of  the outer long poles.  Repeat along the outside of the other long pole, and then again between the two center long poles (you should have used up most of your bolts or rope now).

Step 4: Attach Boards to the Deck

Doesn't the title speak for itself? Do what it says!

Step 5: Test Launch

Launch the raft in shallow water and test its buoyancy - ideally the level of the deck should be 6 inches above the surface of the water when a person is on the raft.  If necessary, lash more containers to the long poles.  You can get 4-6 containers along each pole, depending if it isn't buoyant enough or if you want more people than yourself on it.

Step 6: Fix and Have Fun

Once you get your raft to the right buoyancy, you are now ready to enjoy it

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    18 Discussions

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    milesnorth

    3 years ago on Step 6

    This is great. Have every intention of working on a raft myself. I have been saving up buckets all winter. Nice job.

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    None

    This seems like a acceptable idea. I would do afew changes to it myself and plan to build one soon. I just want to know... wouldn't it have been easier to bolt the wood together than waste your time with all of the knot stuff???

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    None

    This seems like a acceptable idea. I would do afew changes to it myself and plan to build one soon. I just want to know... wouldn't it have been easier to bolt the wood together than waste your time with all of the knot stuff???

    0
    None

    This seems like a acceptable idea. I would do afew changes to it myself and plan to build one soon. I just want to know... wouldn't it have been easier to bolt the wood together than waste your time with all of the knot stuff???

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    lostlimey

    6 years ago on Introduction

    i belive this pic has been ripped off another site about 3 friends who built this using inner tubes, the fact that you are trying to take creit here is appaling to me.
    http://www.raftplan.com/raftadventures.aspx is the original site.

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    We made rafts in the late 70's with inner tubes, big C130 innertubes. Did not work realy well for holding up the weight of a wooden frame. What does work good are those 55gal plastic drums. U must use a very surdy maerial for he rudder though. elecrical conduit is a no go.

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    cbowser

    7 years ago on Introduction

    so is this you? http://raftplan.com/innertuberaft.aspx

    just wondered where I should look at the plans really.

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    buddha704

    7 years ago on Introduction

    wouldn't the roof act as a sail and drag you around the water backwards ?

    i had an idea like this except i used 5 gallon buckets and lids filled them with expending foam and bolted them to a 4x8 sheet of plywood and it would be loke a pontoon boat

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    l8nite

    8 years ago on Introduction

    You said to use 5gal buckets but one drawing looks like innertubes and one looks like 55gal drums, a photograph would be so much clearer

    1 reply
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    l8nite

    8 years ago on Introduction

    You said to use 5gal buckets but one drawing looks like innertubes and one looks like 55gal drums, a photograph would be so much clearer

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    Tallgus

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Can u just put the pictures on next one you do.(DON'T NEED TO PUT YOUR SELF IN IT)
     
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    Kiteman

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Is this just a design concept, or do you have photos of the real thing?