...understand that this is not a slop-it-together project. You have to follow directions exactly and, from the feedback I get, most people need to build a second one before it works. I like this e-mail from Jordan:
Mr Slater Harrison,
My name is Jordan and I'm from Greece. I'm 14 years old and I must say that I'm not very good at physics! But, I wanted to makesomething like a wooden construction so I serched on youtube and I came up with your video about putt-putt boat! I thought that it was excactly what I wanted to do! Then, I saw all the videos of this boat. It looked so simple but when I started I realized that it wasn't! My first try was a failure... well, I think it was a disaster because in the end my desk was full of epoxy!! My second try wasa success! (I have one photo attached) When I saw it working I was very proud of my self!! I must say that your site is fantastic and I'm planning to build a plane next time! (I hope that I won't break anything!) ( I will inform you!)
Jordan has just the right attitude: keep trying!
Revised instructions are in video format only. If you want everything--includingintroduction, materials, building the engine and a simple flat boat--in one video click here (GoogleVideo, 1 hr. 14 min.) Alternately, below the same presentation broken down into short videos --one for eash step--with thumbnail pictures to help keep track of where you are in the building process.
The patterns you will need (PDF) follow. Do not shrink or expand the patterns, and check the scale.The engine boiler pattern--first needed in Step 7--is here and the foam boat pattern is here. A print-friendly list of materials and tools you will need is here
In this new page I am listing smart innovations that people have developed to make pop pops better/easier.
Part 1 Introduction to pop pop (aka putt putt) boats. Part 1 shows my students testing their boats and gives an overview ofthe steps involved in making the engine out an aluminum beverage can. I relate where I first encountered pop pops (in South Asia in the 1980's). Then on to a little history: of steam power in general and putt putt boats specifically. Next I show some commercial boats I bought. If YouTube is blocked at your school try this equivalent SchoolTube link
Part 2 continues the introduction. Istart off relating my efforts to create an easy enough for my students to make, inexpensive steam engine that used common materials that could be found anywhere. Then I make my plea that people follow the directions carefully for the first engine, then experiment. If YouTube is blocked, try this equivelent SchoolTube video for Part 2
Part 3 goes through all the materials you will need,including an aluminum can for the engine, flexible plastic drinking straws for the jets, and epoxy glue to hold everything together and make a pressure-tight seal. If YouTube is blocked, try this equivalent SchoolTube video for Part 3 A print-friendly list of materials and tools is here. Note that if you would rather use an oil lamp instead of a candle, excellent oil lamp instructions are here.
Part4 is Step 1 of the actual building instructions. Are you confused enough? Sorry! The steps are small. This Step 1 is just cutting off the top of an aluminum beverage can. If YouTube is blocked, try this equivalent SchoolTube video for Part 4 plus a little aluminum history (yes, that's Napoleon).
Part 5 is Step 2, cutting and trimming the middle part of the can so you have a sheet ofaluminum to build the engine with. If YouTube is blocked, try this equivalent SchoolTube video for Part 5
Part 6 is Step 3, folding the aluminum sheet in half, with a thin sliver of the inside of the can showing so it's easier to separate in a later step. If YouTube is blocked, try this equivalent SchoolTube video for Part 6
Part 7 is Step 4, printing out the pattern to print actual size...