Friday, 10 December 2010

Radios and put putts!

We knew from the start that the radio control systems where going to be a little costly and it’s only the fact that we only need four that made this project possible. We thought that some kind of a fundraiser might help us on our way and the church very kindly offered to pay the short fall. So last Sunday after the Sunday service we sold home made cakes, I know that, ideally these would have been made by the youth group members them selves but it was easier to ask the Mums! We filled a table with cakes and displayed the part completed boats at one end with some photos of finished Footys so they could see how they should turn out and also told them of our plans for a regatta day.. People were so generous! Can you believe that we raise £140! ($220) People where so keen to support the boys project that they where handing over Tenners! Not only that but we where donated two second hand 27 Mhz systems! One looks unused and is still packed in its polystyrene packaging! I have ordered the other new (40 Mhz) systems and we should have enough money over for a future project!
So a big thank you to all of you!

Over the last few weeks I have been playing with something that might become that next project: Putt putt boats! A vintage steamboat that has no moving parts! Theses used to be a popular tin plate toy before the Second World War but fell out of favour because of the new electric and plastic models. A schoolteacher in the US has devised a method of making a boiler using just an aluminium drink can and two drinking straws! Just as amazing is that it is glued together rather than soldered! The hull is made from an unfolded waxed card fruit juice carton. Fired by a birthday cake candle it chugs along emitting a putt putt sound. Sending out jets of water as the water cycles in and out of the flash steam boiler expanding then condensing making the bottom of it snap in and out acting as a diaphragm. I have scaled the design up a little to a 12”long (Footy) hull made from an empty chocolate tins, it seems to work’ just as well if not better though I’m a bit concerned that the lager boiler flexes a lot and may be prone to springing leaks. Time will tell. I am going to finish it off by making it an oil burner to replace th candle and some super structure including a funnel to make it lake worthy. It should look cute putt putting along out there.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Finally an update!

Les with his boat.

border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5543533366019318338" />

After a long break from blogging I have lots of progress to report and photos to upload! There are now eight boat builders as we have been joined by two rather more mature builders who didn't want to miss out on the fun! At the top is Les who's home we meet in and kitchen table we build on. We are finished until the new year now but are almost ready for the decks to be fitted and the hulls to be painted! As for the four sets of radio control gear for the youths boats we are doing a cake bake sale and the church is making up the short fall!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Good progress and photos soon!

Just an update to reassure you that despite a lack of blog updates we are making steady progress and it won't be long before we have something worth uploading photos of. So far we have cut out the sides (port an’ starboard!) the transom (stern) and the little wedge shaped bit that will be glued to the nose block. This week we will make the bulkhead that sits amidships and next week we'll glue all these items together, then just we just need to add a sheet of balsa to the bottom and we'll have the hulls! Meanwhile I've been busy making stands, (lead free) keel ballast weights and have found some old plastic draws that fit perfectly in the hull and will house all radio control equipment. The group are thinking about colour schemes, themes and names for their vessels.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Be Prepared!

Iv'e prepared for our next meeting next Wednesday by making up cardboard templates for the sides, bow and stern so they can be drawn round and cut from 1.5mm balsa which I ordered today.
Also because cutting plywood is not exactly something we can do at a kitchen table I have cut out all the plywood parts for nine yachts ; Keel. rudder and mast support all they need is a little final shaping with a file and sand paper. I am gradually making up a tool kit and have a large board form an old compumpter bench that we can work on. I think I'll start off with a short lesson on cutting balsa (ie grain direction etc) and we can get started!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Something's a foot!

(Pic from internet I hope the owner doesn't mind me posting it)

Last year I got involved with leading our church's older teenage youth group which my son Jake is a member of ,it's only a small group, there are far more in the younger group (Yo-yos) but it's just the way it is and soon they will be joining us. Apart from bible study we try to mix in other interests but even though endless volley ball is fine in the summer we wanted something for the winter months so I suggested the idea of building some kind of craft project, the kind of thing I enjoyed doing at their age long before kids spent hours on computer screens, we could complete a small step week by week. A rocket was suggested but we couldn't see that would be involving enough and I wanted something more traditional using wood so something radio control seemed to fit the bill. Aircraft are a little delicate and a crash could end up with a bin liner full of scrap balsa wood so boats it was. I did a little research on the web and discovered Footys!

The Footy is...

... a very small radio-control sailboat whose length is a mere 12 inches (30.5 cm). The hull can be made from a fiberglass mold or simply with thin sheets of plywood fitted together. Two servos are used, one to control the sail and one for the rudder.To keep competition keen, the Footy designers have proposed a set of rules to keep all the boats similar to a certain degree.There is an active and growing community of Footy sailors in New Zealand, the U.K. and the USA, where it has just been added as the newest official AMYA class

I settled on the Papaya 3 design because the plans were free and the easy to follow step by step instructions.
We must stick to the design but I'm going to encourage them to customise their individual boats with creative colour schemes and find they're own sail material.
We do need to raise some funds for the radio control systems but we don't need them for a while and that's part of the fun

Also we have invited church members to come and talk to us about their hobbies, we have a radio control aircraft maker/flyer and a wood carver so far.

I reveled the idea last night to huge enthusiasm but I'm hoping from what they said that not EVERY yacht will be made to look like a pirate ship! (and cannons and such weapons are unsports man like!) We have six youths signed up and three adults! well we can't miss out on the fun!
Hopefully next spring we'll learn how to sail them and can invite the church and villages to a race day on a local lake and kind of miniature yacht regatta.

Anyhow I'll keep you updated with reports and photos of our progress.