How to Make Toy Paddle Wheel Boats

Written by daisy peasblossom fernchild Google
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How to Make Toy Paddle Wheel Boats
Large paddle boat use foot pedal power. (rent a boat image by robert mobley from

Toy paddlewheel boats can be used almost anywhere there is water, whether it is a lake, river edge, puddle left by a rainstorm or a bathtub. They can range in size from small boats suitable to a puddles left after a storm or an ordinary bathtub up to models capable of carrying a person.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Wood block, 2 by 4 by 8 inches
  • Sabre saw
  • Drill
  • Large rubber band
  • Spool
  • Balsa or other thin wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Golf pencils or sticks golf pencil size
  • Super glue

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  1. 1

    Draw a sloping point (like the bow of a boat) on the flat side of one end of the 2 by 4 by 8 inch block of wood. Center an empty cotton spool on edge of the other end of the block, and mark the location of both ends as well as how far in it will go. Use these marks to draw a rectangular shape on the edge of that end. Make another set of lines 1/8 inch wider on each side, and 1 inch deeper into the block of wood.

  2. 2

    Position the spools round end against the narrow side of the block of wood on the same end where you drew the rectangle. Use a slender pencil or large nail to drop through the centre hole and mark its location on the side of the wood. Remove the spool, and drill a hole through from one narrow side to the other.

  3. 3

    Cut 6 pieces of thin wood (balsa or veneer bits) the same length as the spool and 1/2 inch wide. Glue the wood pieces to the spool using super glue or other non-water soluble glue.

  4. 4

    Place the spool between the two projections at the back of the boat. Thread a large rubber band through the wood and the spool, with a rubber band end sticking out each side. Put a golf pencil or small stick through the loop of the rubber band on each outside end.

Tips and warnings

  • If using super glue, make sure the spool is wood or hard plastic. Styrofoam spools will melt on contact with super glue.
  • Always ask permission before playing in water. Parks and private property have rules and restrictions for use.

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