Hovercraft Jousting

My son and I were at Bush Gardens on a field trip with his science class, and watched some science presentation. The guy had a board on which he sat, then took a leaf blower and turned it into a hovercraft. People pushed him all around the stage. I thought it was sweet.

Yesterday at work, my buddy showed me a site called Instructables.com. While browsing through it, I found instructions on how to make this hovercraft thingy. I don't take any credit for anything about this, except actually making it. The idea wasn't mine, nor the design....

So I told the guys at work I was totally going to make one, so we're all talking and kicking around ideas, and I figured what I'd do, is make two. Power them with car batteries and inverters to avoid the cords, and figure out some way to give it thrust... (via a second blower or fan attached to the back possibly). After that, take to the streets, for some Hovercraft Jousting!!!

Anyways, heres how I did it:

First fire up the PC that's in your garage....

Login and go to XM and play Top Tracks....

Take your 4' x 4' x 1/2" plywood, and find the center.

Mark it, then drive a small nail into it.

Take the metal ruler you cut a notch in when you made your Poker Table, as it just so happens that it also has a hole drilled at the 2 foot mark as well! Butt it up against the nail, and draw you a circle!

Safety first! Put on your goggles, so you can cut!

Now cut off all the corners, so you're just left with a circle.

You need to measure in 1 foot and mark. This is where the blower will go.

Trace the blower, then cut out the hole.

Now lay the circle on your tarp. Take the electric stapler you bought after blistering your hands up when you made the poker table, and stapled the tarp on. Don't pull it and make it super tight. Just fold it up and staple. Trim the excess.

Now flip it over and find the center again. Screw on a center piece. I used the lid of an old paint can.

Now take something (I used Great Stuff - that stuff really is great!) and mark you some circles around the center piece. Cut them out with a utility knife.

You're done!

Flip it over, put in the blower and fire it up!!!


- I cut 7 holes on the bottom. I think that was too much. I ended up duct taping a couple of them closed. The instructions said 6, I think 5 may even be good.

- My intent was to use a car battery to power the blower. I thought I had bought an inverter - apparently, I bought a smoke machine.... as when I turned on the blower, all that happened was a shitload of smoke rolled out of the inverter. At least I can use it when my hair band plays our next show.

- I also intended to use a second blower to provide thrust, but it just doesn't work. I need to figure out a way to get thrust.

Anyway, heres a video of it in action.... I'm off to make the second one now, and once I find a way to make them cordless, the jousting shall begin! I also need thrust, but I suppose for now we can just have a few bystanders give a running shove to the jousters.

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