Building raft

Categories Tech

Building raft

Some time ago I have stumbled on one article in portal. It was about one guy building simple raft using 4 used 200l oil barrels and some scrap wood. You can find this article here

I really liked the idea and thought – why not build something similar. Other reason to build it, is that, after long winter it will be good opportunity to spend some time outside and have fun with friends.

As this is my first attempt to build such thing I have decided to use scrap wood and did not had any blueprints how I will do this.

So started building.

Construction is still in progress, but hare are steps so far:

  1. Then I have started looking for barrel dimensions I quickly figured out that in most cases those barrels are called drums. I have bought four 200l used car oil drums for 5EUR each. Ones I have bought are not clean and this is my mistake. Should opted for clean ones spending extra 4EUR per drum. Nominally 200l drum measure just under 880 millimeters (35 in) tall with a diameter just under 610 millimeters (24 in).
  2. Rented FESTOOL HKC55 cordless portable circular saw for about 12EUR + 6EUR cutting disk. It is really useful high performance tool. The place where we build raft did not have electricity at the time so, compered to handsaw, this was game changer.
  3. Sifted scrap wood for useful material. Taking in to consideration what we have found, I sketched simple blueprint and used it only as basic idea.

  4. Laid out the wood and started cutting and nailing.

    es it is spring :)
  5. Woohoo – basic structure is complete.
  6. As wood is old and rough it requires some finishing. The last thing what I want is to get splinters into bare feet. First idea was just to sand it using angle grinder with grinder pads. But this idea was dismissed because it would make surface slippery. I have checked what are other tools available for renting. Found Makita 9741 Wheel Sander. This tool eats out soft wood and makes it appear old and same time makes it rough but splinter free.
  7. Sanding time.
  8. Now raft requires protection from elements and wear and tear. Went to local hardware store and asked what should I use. I was advised to use Valtti Kaluste wood oil – 23EUR for 2.7l. I know that this sounds overkill for such project but still not so much more expensive than other treatment.  Hope it will protect as promised. Only time will tell.

We are almost done.

I will update this post as soon as complete other steps.

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