About Zach Bell

First of all welcome to my website and thanks for showing interest in my projects!

My name is Zach Bell, I live in a small town in Central IL with my wife, who I've been married to since Oct. 2006.

This website was origonally started from my hovercrafting hobby back in 1999 there were very few hovercraft websites out there so I decided to share the project to help others out who might have a simular project. The documentation of the hovercraft build was very popular and has since expanded to the other hovercrafts that I've built, some of my wood working, my hot rod V8 VW beetle project, and some of my other hobbies, interests, projects, vactions etc.........

As I mentioned above I got into hovercrafting back in 1999, when I was 14 years old. My dad was always facinated by them so we decided to build one as a father son project, and I've been hooked ever since! Over the years I have built the 5 hovercraft along with many hovercraft parts and pieces.

Zach Bells UH-10f in 2000

The first hovercraft was an UH-10f, a 10 foot long 10hp foam and plywood hovercraft with a top speed around 35mph, which I raced a couple times while I was in high school.

Zach Bells UH-18sp in 2003

The UH-10f was sold to build an EA-82 4 cyl Subaru powered UH-18sp which would do 75+ MPH and carry up to 6 people. It was a very fun and eye catching hovercraft but was a bit of a pain to load and unload when just my dad and I wanted to go out.

Zach Bells 1/2 Scale radio control Hovercraft Mini Manta

The summer after high school I was board and had some extra building materials laying around so I designed my first hovercraft, a 1/2 scale radio controlled hovercraft I call Mini Manta. I designed and build everything including the foam and glass prop used for lift and thrust

We later sold the UH-18sp to start a hovercraft company called ZB Hover Creations and build a couple prototype hovercraft and sold parts. We sold parts for a couple of years, but later we had little time to dedicate to building parts and developing plans so the hovercraft business has since been shut down, I hope to offer some hovercraft plans some day.....

We still have and operate the two prototype hovercraft that we built.

Zach Bells ZBHC Sport Cruiser hovercraft

The first one being our Sport Cruiser, a sporty and simple 2 person cruiser. It is 12.5' long 6.5' wide semi pointed, powered by a 10hp Tecumseh lift engine, and a 27hp Kohler thrust engine. I designed and built everything except the engines include both the prop and lift fan. The Sport Cruiser is an open cockpit Hovercraft that is a sporty, yet simple and practical and gives the pilot enough power to reach speeds of 55mph + and is also able to cruise with everyone else! The Thrust engine cover and front hood/engine cover are molded fiberglass.

Zach Bells ZBHC X-10 entry level hovercraft

The X-10 is a 10 foot long entry level hovercraft on which I designed and built every part of these hovercraft from props/fans and up.... It is powered by a 14hp tecumseh engine driving a seperate lift fan and thrust prop. Both the prop and fan are a fiberglass over foam construction to conserve weight on this small hover. The x10 is also a semi pointed open cockpit design with simplicity in mind, top speed is estimated to be 35-40mph with a lifting capacity of around 250lbs.

Besides Hovercraft I have also done a lot of wood working. Wood Working is actually one of the few hobbies I have been doing longer than Hovercrafting! My dad is also a woodworker and I spent lots of time in the garage with him when I was young. When I was around 12 (1997 or so) I really got into wood turning, and ended up selling enough stuff that I was able to buy my own Jet Mini Lathe. In fact, the lathe (along with making and selling hovercraft parts) is how I made money through highschool and college until I got a job at the currenty company I work for, Alcast Company, during college.

I have turned lots of pens on my lathe (so many in fact I may be burn out on making pens for life LOL) but I also got into other turnings. I did lots of segmented turnings, both open segmented such as candle holders, and closed segmented stuff such as lamps and vases. I really got into the segmented stuff for a while because it was cheap, and you could make some really neat looking stuff. I haven't had time to do much segmented work lately mostly because it can be very time consuming. I also got into making more useful stuff such as wooden v belt pulleys idler pulleys, plastic bushings, etc on my lathe.

Besides wood turning I have also done lots of more common woodworking such as shelves, tables, cabinets, desks, etc, etc, etc.............

More updates and pictures coming to this pages soon!

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