jgbrown

My favorite boat repair tools.

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Would there be any interest in a thread of the best tools for boat repair that I've found?  Some are obvious, some I've never seen anyone else using.  Since my shop was robbed I'm buying all new tools, so I can post my favorites here at the same time, some will have to be assembled/modified and I can show that a bit too.   I'll include links to places that sell them in the US, I'm in Canada so linking to the stores I shop at probably doesn't help.  We do a variety of work in house from fiberglass and gelcoat to mechanical, electrical, electronics, plumbing etc so the tools will mostly cover those areas, stuff like welding/canvas work is contracted out. 

 

Adjustable Wrenches

  Many people hate on adjustable wrenches, but a lot of the time in boats they're essential, and when you're on the back side holding nuts while someone else removes bolts, it's a lot easier to adjust instead of crawling out to grab a solid wrench, though when possible you should use a solid wrench or 6 point socket.  I have three favorite adjustable wrenches, each covers a range of use, if I had to pick one to buy first it would be the British right angle, because most of the tasks for the other two can be handled with tools you can easily buy locally or borrow.

Quick tip for using this tool: always turn towards the solid jaw(if you are looking at the wrench with the adjustable jaw to your left, solid to the right, then turn it clockwise).  This reduces them getting loose on the nut during a job, as well as getting sloppy over time because the load is pushing the moveable jaw down against the slide instead of pulling it up and away.

 

The British right angle adjustable spanner.

ddb1227bae84c13c5c24b89a657193da--wrench-tool-old-antiques.jpg

Link to buy: Find on ebay, not available new

  I like the 4" model best.  They are antiques now, but you can still get one for under 20$.  No modification required, but disassembly, cleaning, lubricating and reassembling is a good idea since I've never found one less than 50 years old.  While they are apart clean the sliding area with steel wool and apply a thin grease rather than oil.  I usually sand the outer edges of the jaws if there is any distortion and clean up the faces with a little 600 grit sandpaper on a flat piece of aluminium scrap.

Reasons I use them:

1.  They are very sturdy for their size, my 4" one has been used on some shockingly large fasteners and can be driven with a drift and 3lb bash hammer without failure.

2.  Because they have so much thread engagement on the adjustment nut, and it's so far from the load on the jaws they do not back off over time like a standard adjustable.

3.  They have a large jaw capacity for their size, my 4" one opened 1.5"

4.  The moveable jaw is also the outermost part of the wrench, so they can get into smaller spaces and turn farther per rotation than a standard adjustable.

5.  The jaws are very wide and very square for their size, so engagement on the nut is good.

6. Because of their right angle design, they can be rotated 90 degrees and put on the nut with the tips of the jaws facing whatever the nut or bolt is in.  This is a little hard on them, but lets you grip nuts like a socket and ratchet where getting one is isn't possible.

 

The Snap-on adjustable wrench.

  s-l300.jpg

link to buy:  https://store.snapon.com/Wide-Mouth-Adjustable-Cushion-Handle-6-Wide-Mouth-Adjustable-Wrench-P884662.aspx

I like the 6" wide mouth size the best, with smooth jaws to avoid damaging faces.  The "flank drive" option seems good but will mess up plating.  It seems to be the best balance of size/jaw capacity/leverage for getting into awkward places, the rubber grip is tough and doesn't fail, can withstand cleaning with solvents too, and the chrome plating is of reasonably good quality, they are fairly precise in their adjustment although not as precise as the Milwaukee adjustable wrench or the british right angle spanner, the edges of the jaws are sharp instead of rounded which I prefer. The only failure I've had on one was the chrome flaking near the jaw edge after a few years of use but they warrantied it and replaced it with a brand new wrench.  They are the best compromise I have found in the 6" size, different brands have different advantages, Milwaukee has the best most precise adjustment that doesn't back off(but the handles are not comfortable and jaw capacity is lower, plus the whole wrench is thicker where you don't want it to be, Crescent Wideazz wrenches open wider but their rubber handles suck and the heads are too big, Dewalts are crappy in this size, Craftsman ones just suck all around in comparison. 

Modification: Put a bit of red heat adhesive heat shrink as used on battery cables over the exposed end of the handle below the rubber grip, this prevents accidental shorts if you are foolish enough to drop one across the terminals of a battery, or are working around live circuits such as a starter.  Both are things you should avoid when possible, by disconnecting battery grounds before working on anything, but mistakes happen and it's cheap insurance.    Also gives you a 50% chance that when dropped it will land on the rubber instead of metal and avoid damaging wood finishes/gelcoat/paint.

Reasons I use them:

1.  Best compromise between jaw capacity and size.

2.  They are thin for their size but not too thin.

3.  The handle is very comfortable even at high load.

4.  They are well built with an excellent warranty.

 

Dewalt adjustable spud wrench:

3125XLYWYCL._SY463_.jpg

link to buy: http://www.toolup.com/DeWalt-DWHT70295-16-Spud-Wrench

I use the 16" size.  These are the wrench equivalent of a BFH(big fucking hammer).  You don't need it often, but when you do, there isn't any substitute.   Other brands don't have the aggressive knurling or have additional gimmicks/loose adjustment on the jaws.  They are mostly used by ironworkers for lining up beams and holding nuts.   Big enough to double as a small hammer that you can sneak in through small spaces when you need to tap on something. Some even have hammer faces on the side but this makes them tricky to use on a boat.

Modification: None.  spray them with a corrosion protectant like Boeshield T-9 because they are bare steel and throw in toolbox until needed.

Reasons I use them:

1.  Big ugly tool for big ugly jobs, like the right angle spanner they have a large capacity versus length, and the very thin tip can squeak between things when clearance is an issue, but is tough enough to put a lot of leverage on.

2. They have very wide jaws, and can be cranked down very tight when dealing with a damaged or rusted nut/bolt when a standard box end wrench won't work.

3.  The spud end is designed for lining up iron beams, but it works for the same purpose in boats, because of the tapered style you can put it in a hole in two things(usually something like an engine bed+stringer, big heavy brackets, driveshaft coupling) and use it to line things up, while you slide in a bolt in another mounting hole to hold it. 

4.  The spud end can act as a very long punch/crude chisel because of the tip grind or to poke holes in things like stubborn cans.

5. Where a hammer won't fit the wrench will, like a skinny ball pein.   Some people will hate this idea, but they are fully hardened and frequently used for this purpose. 

 

 

 

 

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Here's one that just arrived so I'll add it while I'm assembling.

20180302_155456.thumb.jpg.f4c28b5cf8d39cb6c26e8953ce17e591.jpg

https://www.kmstools.com/metabo-5-angle-grinder-119520

Fiberglass grinding and cutting with disks:

The right tool for this job has 3 parts.  I have tested many brands of each part over the years, and this is the best combination.

Grinder:

We had over a dozen different grinders, but the workhorses are the 5" and 7" corded grinders.  If it's for only one job, even a fairly big one and the budget isn't there to get two, get a good quality 5" variable speed, the variable speed is invaluable, electronic clutch is also strongly recommended, this will save your disk and reduce chance of serious injury if it catches on something. Rat tail handle with lockable finger trigger is the best for glasswork, easiest to control(less fairing later) less tiring to use than paddle or slide on with a fat body.  Best quality you can afford and no 4.5" ones, unless you are buying an extra small bodied one as an additional grinder for light duty/small space work.     A 5" grinder will run 4-1/2" or 5" discs safely and will do almost anything the 7 will do, a little slower and a little less fair, but one high quality grinder will last you a lifetime of personal use, our previous one lasted 8 years of heavy use and abuse.  Plus even though it is not recommended by the manufacturer(and so of course you should never do such a thing), some people have been known to run a 7" disk on them with appropriate guard staying within the RPM limit set by the manufacturer of the disk in a pinch.  This has also been seen used on overhead work where the weight savings is significant.   In order of purchasing I would first buy a 5", then a 7"(doesn't need to be variable speed), then a Milwaukee m12 cordless 2" roloc grinder+buffer , then a 5" brushless and cordless grinder, and last of all a 4.5" small bodied one, a cheap 50$ bosch is my favorite there. 

The Metabo pictured above is the only currently manufactured one that fits all the requirements and doesn't cost an arm and a leg(175$USD) (Fein also makes one but it's a lot more money). 

Disks:

3M Cubitron II 36+ grit ceramic disk  These are easy to spot, they are purple and the grit is sharp and pointed.  3M imperial disks are also purple but the abrasive grain shape is poor and the cut is almost as slow as a cheap aluminum oxide. 

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-us/all-3m-products/~/3M-Cubitron-II-Abrasive-Fibre-Discs/?N=5002385+3293079009&rt=rud

Many people seem to start with flap disks or spin on single use disks of various types.  For fiberglass they suck.  They don't grind flat well, they cut slow, they cost too much and wear too quickly and don't allow you to feather your grind as nicely.  Great for specific uses, working edges and metal mostly.   I have tried out many variations of these, as well as mesh abrasives.   The general purpose setup is a fiber backed disk, and a flat backing plate.

I have tested out 5 brands of disks and the three most common abrasives in each (aluminum oxide, silicon carbide and ceramic) as well as oddballs like boron carbide concrete disks, and diamond grit in a soft resin(hard resin won't wear away fast enough to refresh the abrasive)in grits from 16 to 80.     Hands down winner is the 3M ceramic, and the optimal grit is the 36+ for general purpose and repair work.  80s and 120s are nice to have for finer shaping but if you can only get one pack it should be 36.  Some other brands sell ceramic as well but they either don't cut as well because of the grit shape(Norton) or they have a anti-clogging wax on the surface for working with steel(Wurth) that may affect the adhesion of the resin(manufacturer was unsure). 

The 3m ceramic disks are advertised as faster cutting, cooler cutting and longer lasting and they aren't joking.  Even if cost is your only concern they are actually cheaper to use.   We burn through roughly 1 3m ceramic to do the same amount of work as 4 aluminium oxide disks.  The grits are like little sharp tipped pyramids, if you are in the habit of spinning disks on by hand to tighten the nut, you learn very quickly not to let them slip when putting these on, the grit is so sharp.  I keep a stack of cheap disks for messy work that wrecks disks such as getting the first layer of adhesive off, dealing with improperly catalysed resin(depressingly common to run into on old powerboats at least) around sharp corners that are likely to damage the disk etc.  They cut incredibly fast, often they remove glass in larger particles instead of fine dust when new, and the profile(the pattern of gouges) they leave is better for bonding too.  They put less wear on your tool, and you get done faster. 

  The one oddball disk that has proved its worth is the 16 grit Boron Carbide concrete prep disk.  It is extremely aggressive, and the grit is formed in ridges radiating out from the center of the disk so it runs cool and expels cut material well, these are used when dealing with very thick glass(over 1") or major fuckups only, like an inflatable we had in last year where the stringers had been redone previously, and they had left areas of up to 2" thick of mostly cured glass full of air.  The best guess between my fiberglass tech and I was that they had huge strips of already wet out material start kicking and just threw it in alongside the stringers and squished it into place instead of throwing it in the garbage, cleaning up and starting over like sensible people. 

 

Shroud:

Dustless polycarbonate 5" grinding shroud. 

http://www.dustlesstools.com/productdetails/D1835/GrindingShrouds.php

If you look at any job today(other than on a boat) most people are using dust collection of some sort, fiberglass dust is extremely dangerous, especially long term.   Either because you can't see what you are doing with most shrouds or because of laziness, I've yet to see another shop nearby with them.    Most boat repairs seem to be done with bare grinders, no guard at all or sometimes a vacuum hose taped to the side of the grinder.  Not using a shroud costs more: Even with good respirators and suits you are still getting exposure to the dust even if just when taking a break and undressing, you are wearing the grinder's motor with the dust, and you have to mask a lot more and do a lot more cleanup at the end.  Although it isn't recommended I ground off 40 years of old paint, gelcoat and bad tabbing from the inside of a 36' hull in half mask, t-shirt and shorts one summer when it was too hot to wear the suit and full face, this filled 2 full bags in my dust extractor.   My fiberglass tech decided to be sick until the grinding was done because it was such a miserable job and he didn't believe that the shroud I went off to buy would work.  With the shroud on I barely got itchy and could work longer and harder between breaks.  While there are still some jobs that need to be done without the shroud, they are pretty much always small jobs requiring the 4.5" or 2" grinders and produce a lot less dust. 

These polycarbonate shrouds have long bristles, they are designed for concrete prep diamond wheels and so they don't have the right height for fiber disks.  They have a collar that goes on your grinder and then a set of bolts with springs over them that allow the shroud to "float" over changes in angle and height, the closest thing to working without a shroud you can get, and this lets you feather in edges on repairs.  They also have a small removeable section so you can expose a portion of the disk for grinding right up to an adjoining surface while still getting most of the dust.   The last generation was better, it had threaded bolts and nylocks and so I could use shorter bolts and trim the bristles slightly to get it to line up perfectly on a grinding disk, the new generation uses C clips and smooth posts so it required shimming and a different backing plate for the disk.  I may yet convert it back to the old style and epoxy some nuts in. 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, See Level said:

Duct Tape

If it  moves and it shouldn't.

If it doesn't move and it should.

Big Hammer.

:lol: Not even the West Marine version of either?

Joke aside, there are very useful tapes out there, but I HATE duct tape.  Second only to tuck tape for how much I hate it on a boat.   A cheap roll of Dr Shrink preservation tape does everything you'd use duct tape for, and it comes off for at least 60 days without leaving residue, and sticks better while it's on.       Big hammer is always useful, what's your favorite and why?

4 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

image.png.301c43a0c7048f460804b1ab13c2e5d3.png

I have never seen a snapon one, cool!!  I liked the newer Makitas with the mesh guards over the air intake to keep the fuzz out.  How does the snapon one compare to the Makitas?  I tried a new Dewalt one, and after 3 free replacements in 2 weeks I went back to Makita.   What pads do you like best?  I have always used the double sided rather than stick on, do you like the stick on ones better and why?

 

39 minutes ago, Moonduster said:

Chainsaw.thumb.jpg.3133ac65f177846525cb841d87a69e6e.jpg

 

Did you cover the handles in tape to keep the resin off? :P  I have actually never used a chainsaw on a boat, what size/brand/chain do you like best, for what work and why?

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Chainsaw: step 1

mark%20with%20chainsaw.jpg

Step 2: - chainsaws are useful for glass boat renovation but the chains do wear quickly.

A carbide grit jigsaw is better for straight glass/foam but the inside of the boat had a lot of plywood lining and some plywood core inserts. That just burns up a carbide grit blade and the chainsaw goes through it o.k.

CIMG0893.jpg

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I have actually been thinking about adding a (small) chainsaw to the shop tools, I'd like to pick someone's brain who has used many to get the right bar size, I'm thinking a narrow bar and relatively short?  In most cases here though, the cost of labour for a job big enough to require a chainsaw is high enough that it is more economical to sell the boat and find a different one, or for insurance to write it off if it was damaged, as most are <20'.  I would like to use one on a boat just for the entertainment value.  Would have been nice on a zodiac last year, the cut around the deck(26 boat) would have been nice, but it was only 1/4" thick and a big diamond wheel went through it like butter, with a little touch up from the reciprocating saw at the bow, and easy to keep a constant depth of cut.  The cost of a gas powered tool for a one off job didn't make sense, cheaper for me to cover a couple hours extra labour myself for a one off job.  Circular saw with thin kerf triple chip blade, carbide tipped reciprocating and carbide jigsaw blades and diamond zip disks are fast and clean as long as they are on the right tool(Festool carvex for the jigsaw blades, I've cut through 4" of glass/foam/glass/ply/glass mess to cut out an engine well with that, and it did it in under 20 min, figure a couple hours with a couple packs of standard blades and bosch jigsaw). 

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29 minutes ago, overdraft said:

picquic mariner.... a non-corroding multi bit screwdriver that manages the bits well

 

E08DC489-2622-4B57-A666-399464A9E467.jpeg

I was actually thinking of screwdrivers for a later post, and this was one of them!  Accept no substitute.  The mariner bits also seem slightly longer wearing too, and work nicely in an impact driver.   I used to keep one of those in combination with a ratcheting one from another brand, converted to Milwaukee ratcheting with plated bits It seemed to combine the functions of the picquic with the bonus of longer and slightly better quality plated bits and the ratcheting one but they made two mistakes in it's construction that got it relegated to a backup kit, while the original pair got returned to service. 

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Chainsaws are pretty handy in a boat yard. 12 or 14" top handle stihl if you can, or hire one for the job. 

Chopped the wings off my boat, and the cockpit out

chopped the Skeg off mates one tonner, he is in a pic of my boat being reckless. 

Chopped the keel off the alloy keel fin, goes through lead easier than wood and through alloy pretty easy as well

 

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My favourite tools however are my Bosch random/planetary sander and rupes delta sander. Sanding takes so much time that good tools are such a relief. 

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6 hours ago, mowgli said:

My Mirka  Deros 650 sander, weights less dan 1 kg

http://f32thriller.blogspot.nl/search?q=mirka

mirka.JPG

Yes x100 to the Mirkas, I prefer the older Ceros model for overhead work.  The transformer is annoying, but the overall height is shorter, the balance better and the weight lower, feels exactly like their air sanders.  I ran both models, and miss the now unavailable larger orbit one the most for fairing work.   Best bought new under warranty , I had 5 in various sizes and orbits but like my dad used to tell me about owning old sports cars, for every one you use it's best to own two(one out for repairs, one in use), the Deros stayed true to that and went for warranty the second day I owned it but has been excellent since.  Nice blog!  Those trimarans are so cool, and your version looks even more interesting.  That reminded me that about 6? years ago a friend and I were considering building a smaller one, then found out that he stopped selling plans just before we decided we really wanted to do it, and hatched a plan to see if we could talk him into selling one last set.  Never went anywhere with it, she's off in a monohull somewhere on the east coast, and I'm just fixing the damn things. 

 

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11 hours ago, jgbrown said:

I have never seen a snapon one, cool!!  I liked the newer Makitas with the mesh guards over the air intake to keep the fuzz out.  How does the snapon one compare to the Makitas?  I tried a new Dewalt one, and after 3 free replacements in 2 weeks I went back to Makita.   What pads do you like best?  I have always used the double sided rather than stick on, do you like the stick on ones better and why?

Never used a Makita but I imagine they're similar - about the same weight.

I use only Velcro disks & pads - never even considered stickum. I have a 1" thick, softish foam pad disk that is great for fairing - never digs in. I'll have to make it last though - haven't seen one for a long time.

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The Mirka is great for a da sander, however nothing beats a planetary sander for boat work. I had no idea about them or how good they were till I got one, I'll never go back, just amazing.  

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15 minutes ago, Alcatraz5768 said:

The Mirka is great for a da sander, however nothing beats a planetary sander for boat work. I had no idea about them or how good they were till I got one, I'll never go back, just amazing.  

It depends what you're doing I think, I don't find I can get a nice even finish with a planetary sander the way I can with a Mirka, and it's heavy for overhead work.    For roughing though nothing beats it.  If weight isn't an issue, and you can only afford one sander the Festool Rotex does both.  Not quite as nice a RO as the Mirka but it will do both functions. 

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3 minutes ago, jgbrown said:

 you can only afford one sander the Festool Rotex does both. 

Buying a Festool pretty well ensures that you'll only be able to afford one sander. :D

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1 minute ago, SloopJonB said:

Buying a Festool pretty well ensures that you'll only be able to afford one sander. :D

Yes, I am shocked at the cost of replacement with them, but the Mirka is not really much cheaper(a couple hundred bucks less?)   Almost everything Festool has doubled in price, hell the systainers I liked for sorting bolts have gone up 500% if you can even find them.  That being said, used is always an option, the Rotex(unlike the Mirka) is built TOUGH and do come up used fairly regularly because they last so well.   As a benefit of this, they sell quickly used as well, so you can treat it like a big deposit on a rental ;-)

Refurbished with a 1 year(vs 3 year) warranty is also an option, especially if you're only going to use it on one boat then sell it.   A refurb rotex gets very close to the Mirka, and at the cost of weight and balance gives you both planetary and RO sanding, as well as a buffer for areas you can't squeeze a big polisher into. 

By the time you factor in dust collection, and the speed and longevity of either of them with a good ceramic abrasive, it's cheaper to buy the better tool and resell even if it's for a single big personal project. 

 

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I have a Bosch gex150 which does both, and has been pretty good, just back after getting a gear replaced but I have given it an absolute hiding. 

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That sucks your shop was robbed.

(And I'm blown away that Moonduster actually made a (somewhat) intelligent / relevant post.)

My favorite tools (that don't float) are under my boat, so here are some other ideas:

BoatTools.thumb.JPG.5d823a8c970052a2bca2d3aee67c2d33.JPG

Probably should have included aspirin too.

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Festool dust collector with a variety of Sanders: Rotex, & DA round, trim, and linear for finishing. 

Makita brushless  Lithium battery powertools:

Klein electricians tools.  

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Dust extractor

Dust extraction and debris cleanup is one of the most important things on any boat.  I never cease being amazed at the number of boats that come in with failed bilge pumps or even toilets that are caused by simple scraps for a DIY project that got jammed up in a pump somewhere.  A good dust extractor will double as a vacuum for cleanup, but the reverse is not always true.  We use one expensive dust extractor for 90% of the jobs, with a few cheap ones around, if I could have back all the money I've spent on cheap ones, and filters for them I could probably have a couple of the expensive ones by now and they'd still have been working. 

My preferred dust extractor for boat use is the Festool CT26.  HEPA filtration matters, especially when dealing with fiberglass dust.  While expensive to purchase initially, before mine got stolen it was the most valuable tool in the shop, and we have literally sucked up over a metric ton(2200lbs) of dust and debris with it.  The idea of replaceable bags that cost 10$ each may not appeal to many but they are so well designed that they will pack so full of dust that they feel like sacks of concrete before needing to be changed that you get a huge amount of value, and don't expose yourself or others to dust emptying the vacuum.  When I first started the renovations on our current shop location the concrete slab was rough screed, impossible to wheel carts across and painful on the knees.  I rented a floor grinder and equally expensive supposedly self cleaning dust extractor(the rental place later told me they spent 2000$ per extractor, and I couldn't get it to run longer than a half hour before it would clog so badly I had to use the festool to clean the filter.  I got fed up and hooked up the ct26 directly and found at that at a quarter of the size and a third of the price it did a better job.  Over the next week we removed 30 bags of dust, I weighed the first one at 38lbs.  In all the years I've used it I've replaced the main filter only once. 

Reasons I use this one. 

1. High suction and moves a large volume of air the very end of the bag capacity.

2.  No exposure to hazardous dusts during emptying, and it's faster to empty as well, no need to clean the main filter.

3.  Durability, it lasted at least 8 years of constant use, in the same time we killed: 4 Ridgid vacs, and two shop vacs and I stopped how many filters I'd put in them.

4. It's the smallest big dust extractor in the festool lineup, not too heavy when full, short enough to lift onto a swim grid easily.  The smaller ones use hose connections and you lose a lot of capacity for only a small weight reduction.

5.  Big wheels, it rolls over debris without getting stuck and will go in a straight line.

6.  Built in brake, kick the front brake down and it won't roll away even on a sloping deck.

7.  good bumpers prevent scuffing and damage to customer boats even if dragged accidentally against a wall panel.

8.  onboard power for tools with auto vac start when tool is started.

9.  Reduceable suction.  People often run DA sanders with too much suction, which reduces pad life, is hard on the motor in both the vacuum and the sander and it can lead to deeper scratches on your finish. 

 

Backup/secondary vacuum. 

Ridid Propack with the better quality washable filter.  

Reasons I use this one

1. Ridgid vacuums have the best filter attachment system of any of the cheap ones, not little locking bits to lose in the bottom of a nasty pile of dirt, the filters just push on and stay put. 

2.  It doesn't have wheels.  The cheap casters on shopvacks and similar round vacuums are worse than useless.

3.  It's very portable, stacks on top of a rolling toolbag, doubles as a seat or step stool for anyone under 180lbs.

4.  Has onboard storage for a hose and nozzles and power cable, perfect for mobile jobs or keeping on a boat out of the way. 

5.  Filter replacement, I found with other vacuums it was easy to forget where I got them from, the store would be out of stock or I would get the inevitable phone call that someone sucked water into the vacuum and buggered the filter.  With either of the better ridgid filters this isn't a problem.

 

 

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JGBrown,

Re;

The photo of your adjustable wrench/shifting spanner. That is the second one I have ever seen. The other is in my garage. Dad left it to me. It was made circa 1940 and still has no slop in the jaws. (no it is not for sale). 

You said it was British. Appearently during world war 2 Australia suspended copyright due to inability to get a lot of imported goods. Dad always said it was a King Dick brand most likely made in USA. He also said many tools in that era were made at Mount Isa Mines in Queensland.so I am not sure of it's pedigree. Either way it is a great tool. treasure it.

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1 hour ago, Gutterblack said:

The No1 boat building tool is a 5" angle grinder with a sanding disc. 

The best tool is knowing what the fuck you are doing

 

Grinder with skill saw blade. We used to call that setup a 'meat axe' to remind us. Awesome on alloy. 

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4 minutes ago, ardie said:

JGBrown,

Re;

The photo of your adjustable wrench/shifting spanner. That is the second one I have ever seen. The other is in my garage. Dad left it to me. It was made circa 1940 and still has no slop in the jaws. (no it is not for sale). 

You said it was British. Appearently during world war 2 Australia suspended copyright due to inability to get a lot of imported goods. Dad always said it was a King Dick brand most likely made in USA. He also said many tools in that era were made at Mount Isa Mines in Queensland.so I am not sure of it's pedigree. Either way it is a great tool. treasure it.

Mine was stolen.  I wish I still had pictures of my toolbag, it's stupid but I've been using that same damn bag since the second week I started working on boats, it's seen a lot of revisions and some modifications over the years, and I didn't realize how much I relied on that.  A solid 75% of the jobs we do could be done out of my simple setup, but had to have tens of thousands in tools for that other 25%.  Never found a bag I liked better and I had a whole shelf full of one I've tried.  Trying to get used to a new Milwaukee technicans bag now, on paper it was better but so far I just can't get used to it and it's always a mess.  If I had to pick the things I'm saddest about losing that toolbag full of tools still comes second to that stupid wrench, it's been thousands of miles with me, and on every boat I've ever worked on.   Thankfully they are available for under 20(usually under 10$) on the UK Ebay, but it's not the same. 

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1 hour ago, Gutterblack said:

The No1 boat building tool is a 5" angle grinder with a sanding disc. 

The best tool is knowing what the fuck you are doing

 

Agreed, I covered that one in as much detail as I could a couple posts up, a brand new copy of the best combination I've ever come up with for a 5" grinder.  The quality difference between an uncomfortable lower quality grinder with a pad you got from the auto parts shop and the setup I posted is worlds apart.  It's literally the difference between an 8 hour grind and cleanup and a 4 hour one.  Each part of that setup(from grinder to shroud to backing pad to disk) has had at least 4-5 different brands/materials over the years before I settled on that one, even the backing pad saves you time and effort.  The only negative on the Metabo is not having the filter screens on the air intake that many come with now.  Even those simple mesh screen keeps an amazing amount of dust out of the motor.  My brushless Milwaukee lasted years without service or any issue until a guy ran it for a day with the filter screen off, and no shroud(clearance was too tight).  After that it screeched as badly as any cheap grinder, I  had planned to send it in for repairs after Christmas.   I am working on a nicer solution but for now a couple strips of masking tape and a 3m N95 prefilter peeled in half(they are pressed together, split them in half and they make a half decent air intake filter with low resistance) is doing the trick.  

 

I have serious respect for the guy with the circular saw modifed one, wood boat guys are a whole other level of crazy, and that's amazing amount of talent and knowledge there.  However a rat tail like the Metabo gives you a lot more control and leverage, your hands and back will thank you, and that extra leverage and electronic clutch gives you additional protection if you screw up and get a kickback.

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On 3/2/2018 at 2:48 PM, See Level said:

downloadfile.png

If it  moves and it shouldn't.

If it doesn't move and it should.

pr30.jpg

Great answer!

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12 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

Festool dust collector with a variety of Sanders: Rotex, & DA round, trim, and linear for finishing. 

Makita brushless  Lithium battery powertools:

Klein Fluke electricians tools.  

FIFY

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Here is an odd one, but something I've found very useful:  a set of dental tools.  My father in law is a retired dentist and gave me a set of old tools.  They are great for getting into tiny spots to remove old caulking or other sealant.  

 

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A locking crescent wrench like this:

41s-XgSjppL._SX425_.jpg

Lets you tighten or loosen through bolted fittings single handed that would be impossible otherwise.  It will stay on a nut or bolt, even overhead, while you go the other side to turn.  Just need arrange for the handle to hit something so it stops turning, but there is rarely a shortage of protrusions and cramped spaces on a boat.

The clamping action generates quite a bit of pressure.  It also works as a makeshift vice.  For instance to hold a bolt when cutting it to length or to camp sheet or rod to bend it.  Can press in roll pins.

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Interesting, I've never seen that before. That's basically a Vise Grip, except that the jaws are parallel. Is there enough of an advantage to parallel jaws to justify the weight of the additional tool?

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5 hours ago, IStream said:

FIFY

Knipex electrical tools.   FIFYB.  :P

 

1 hour ago, Plumbean said:

Here is an odd one, but something I've found very useful:  a set of dental tools.  My father in law is a retired dentist and gave me a set of old tools.  They are great for getting into tiny spots to remove old caulking or other sealant.  

 

Yes!  Did you know many dentists shops will give them away for free?  After a certain number of uses they are no longer usable.  This is going away now that they are going with replaceable tips and modular handles(so said my dentist) but he still gave me a big bag of the worn out(but sterilized anyways) ones that has lasted for years.  The oldest skinny ones with brass handles make good little tools as well.

1 hour ago, Plumbean said:

As for screwdrivers, I recently picked up a Megapro Ratcheting screwdriver like this one:  https://www.amazon.com/Megapro-211R1C36RD-1-Inch-Ratcheting-Automotive/dp/B004VJY1FQ

Much nicer than the crappy Craftsman one I used to have.

My favorite one :-) Did you know you can order custom bit loads for them?  A very nice upgrade for the boat one is to order the plated bit set for the non racheting marine one, and if you're in canada the #1/#2 Robertson(green and red) to replace the square drive so the screws actually stay on the bit. 

 

Rather than the crescent plier I like the Knipex plier wrench where I don't want to damage a fitting or a good pair of locking pliers(Proto/Grip on being the best) when I want it to bite and don't care about the surface. 

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26 minutes ago, tenders said:

Interesting, I've never seen that before. That's basically a Vise Grip, except that the jaws are parallel. Is there enough of an advantage to parallel jaws to justify the weight of the additional tool?

No extra weight if you replace a similarly-sized crescent wrench. 

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27 minutes ago, jgbrown said:
6 hours ago, IStream said:

FIFY

Knipex electrical tools.   FIFYB.  :P

I like my Knipex adjustable pliers and parallel-jaw wrenches but I'll still take a Fluke meter over anything else. 

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15 hours ago, Gutterblack said:

The No1 boat building tool is a 5" angle grinder with a sanding disc. 

The best tool is knowing what the fuck you are doing

 

This guys good.  Worth watching a few. 

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54 minutes ago, xyzzy said:

A locking crescent wrench like this:

41s-XgSjppL._SX425_.jpg

Lets you tighten or loosen through bolted fittings single handed that would be impossible otherwise.  It will stay on a nut or bolt, even overhead, while you go the other side to turn.  Just need arrange for the handle to hit something so it stops turning, but there is rarely a shortage of protrusions and cramped spaces on a boat.

The clamping action generates quite a bit of pressure.  It also works as a makeshift vice.  For instance to hold a bolt when cutting it to length or to camp sheet or rod to bend it.  Can press in roll pins.

That is what we used to call a 'Puerto Rican Socket Set'. Comes in  both metric and Imperial sizes.

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34 minutes ago, IStream said:

I like my Knipex adjustable pliers and parallel-jaw wrenches but I'll still take a Fluke meter over anything else. 

Ah I thought we were talking hand tools, and the knipex dikes and automatic strippers beat everything else(including the snapon on one, though just barely).  I really like the Milwaukee meters, I find the white on black screen backlit screen easier to read at awkward angles. 

 

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On 04/03/2018 at 8:25 PM, jgbrown said:

Mine was stolen.  I wish I still had pictures of my toolbag, it's stupid but I've been using that same damn bag since the second week I started working on boats, it's seen a lot of revisions and some modifications over the years, and I didn't realize how much I relied on that.  A solid 75% of the jobs we do could be done out of my simple setup, but had to have tens of thousands in tools for that other 25%.  Never found a bag I liked better and I had a whole shelf full of one I've tried.  Trying to get used to a new Milwaukee technicans bag now, on paper it was better but so far I just can't get used to it and it's always a mess.  If I had to pick the things I'm saddest about losing that toolbag full of tools still comes second to that stupid wrench, it's been thousands of miles with me, and on every boat I've ever worked on.   Thankfully they are available for under 20(usually under 10$) on the UK Ebay, but it's not the same. 

If you are talking about the first wrench pic in the first post, they are called apprentice spammers round here, story goes they were made as part of the training program for apprentice toolmakers.

I have one somewhere I never use,  pm me if you want one all the way from Tasmania.

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12 hours ago, Plumbean said:

Here is an odd one, but something I've found very useful:  a set of dental tools.  My father in law is a retired dentist and gave me a set of old tools.  They are great for getting into tiny spots to remove old caulking or other sealant.  

 

Speaking of unusual tools, these are normally used for taking a cervical sample in a Pap smear.

they are awesome for coating the insides of deck holes in a wood deck with epoxy before through bolting.

https://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&hl=en-au&ei=VRSdWo_4McSb8QXe_4nIDg&q=cervical+brush&oq=cervical+brush&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3..0l5.3859.7737..8433...0....478.2844.2-8j0j2..........1..mobile-gws-wiz-serp.......41j0i71j0i131i67j0i67j0i10.USa0xyFFs0g%3D#imgrc=CuOibT_56FJ-JM:

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12 hours ago, olaf hart said:

Speaking of unusual tools, these are normally used for taking a cervical sample in a Pap smear.

they are awesome for coating the insides of deck holes in a wood deck with epoxy before through bolting.

 

Olaf, I find that bent Q-Tips to be just as effective and Jen doesn't charge much for them.

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On 3/4/2018 at 7:27 AM, Max Rockatansky said:

The+Checkbook.jpg

That's for wooden boat owners. 

credit-cards.jpg

That's for plastic boat owners

Bitcoin-696x438.jpg

That's for the cigarette crowd.

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On 3/5/2018 at 3:22 PM, Rasputin22 said:

 

Image result for BENT q-TIPS

Nice hat, Jen. (We've been wondering where you had got off to.)

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Sorry I can’t answer this thread by naming a single tool. I do carry an air blower in my pocket. 

Mostly?? I have been collecting tools for fifty years. If I see a tool and it seems to be something I might use, I generally buynit. 

I am always sorta surprised when I buy a specific tool we haven’t ever had before   for a specific job and that tool becomes one we use quite regularly. .. 

The favorite “tool” is probably a big organized place to store lots of tools. 

The most commonly used tools in my shop??

The DA... we have a bunch of Hutchins Air tools. I like them. I very much like dealing with the company. In fact I like the way the folks at the company respond so well, I don’t much care if there are better tools. I am a very happy customer. 

Vice Grips... we probably have a hundred of their tools. The deep throated clamps that are about 18 inches long can be so very useful but the medium sized locking pliers  that are about 7 inches long get used all over the place. 

Ratcheting combination wrenches . We have the Craftsman sets with the same angle as a standard  non ratcheting combination wrench and tiny little levers  that change the direction.  The 7/16  seems to be innuse constantly 

 3/4 and 15/16 combination wrenches... they fit the pinch bolts on our trailers 

battery operated drills and drivers. They get used and used until they die. It seems the various companies have no interest in settling on universal batteries.  We have had makings, Porter Cable, dewalt, Milwaukee, and seem to be starting a new round of Porter cable.

tge tools and chargers and batteries all seem to start dying about the time there are new improved tools and batteries. If I had spent big bucks on really durable stuff, I am Not  certain the old tools would be as good as the modern stuff. 

 

We have four of these  utility lights. They are bright and last all day inside a boat. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005I19A4I/ref=asc_df_B005I19A4I5409468/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B005I19A4I&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167155426463&hvpos=1o30&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11105295027175785861&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9028300&hvtargid=pla-309379957393

 

The shop wouldn’t be the Shop without the hoist. We have great spreader bars and the indoor hoists are on trolleys. 

My fleet of trailers took me fifty years to assemble and I am almost happy enough to stop buying more. You can’t work on Sailboats if you can’t move them around. Every single one of the trailers has acme thread screw jacks. 

I give up

 

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On 3/5/2018 at 1:27 AM, Max Rockatansky said:

The+Checkbook.jpg

WINNER :D

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1 hour ago, Mid said:

WINNER :D

I was kinda hoping that with all the smart posters here someone might post tools that not everyone is familiar with, since I'm buying new ones it's always nice to come across new ones I haven't heard of too.  :P 

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2 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Sorry I can’t answer this thread by naming a single tool. I do carry an air blower in my pocket. 

Mostly?? I have been collecting tools for fifty years. If I see a tool and it seems to be something I might use, I generally buynit. 

I am always sorta surprised when I buy a specific tool we haven’t ever had before   for a specific job and that tool becomes one we use quite regularly. .. 

The favorite “tool” is probably a big organized place to store lots of tools. 

The most commonly used tools in my shop??

The DA... we have a bunch of Hutchins Air tools. I like them. I very much like dealing with the company. In fact I like the way the folks at the company respond so well, I don’t much care if there are better tools. I am a very happy customer. 

Vice Grips... we probably have a hundred of their tools. The deep throated clamps that are about 18 inches long can be so very useful but the medium sized locking pliers  that are about 7 inches long get used all over the place. 

Ratcheting combination wrenches . We have the Craftsman sets with the same angle as a standard  non ratcheting combination wrench and tiny little levers  that change the direction.  The 7/16  seems to be innuse constantly 

 3/4 and 15/16 combination wrenches... they fit the pinch bolts on our trailers 

battery operated drills and drivers. They get used and used until they die. It seems the various companies have no interest in settling on universal batteries.  We have had makings, Porter Cable, dewalt, Milwaukee, and seem to be starting a new round of Porter cable.

tge tools and chargers and batteries all seem to start dying about the time there are new improved tools and batteries. If I had spent big bucks on really durable stuff, I am Not  certain the old tools would be as good as the modern stuff. 

 

We have four of these  utility lights. They are bright and last all day inside a boat. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005I19A4I/ref=asc_df_B005I19A4I5409468/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B005I19A4I&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167155426463&hvpos=1o30&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11105295027175785861&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9028300&hvtargid=pla-309379957393

 

The shop wouldn’t be the Shop without the hoist. We have great spreader bars and the indoor hoists are on trolleys. 

My fleet of trailers took me fifty years to assemble and I am almost happy enough to stop buying more. You can’t work on Sailboats if you can’t move them around. Every single one of the trailers has acme thread screw jacks. 

I give up

 

Fantastic post.  I was actually hoping for more exactly like what you're posting, don't stop now if you have more!  Do you have any photos of your sets of pliers?? Listing anything that is your favorite for a given task/function and why you like it is great.  It's exactly that I've never seen this before but bought it for one job and now everyone wants it tool moment I'm looking for!

 

I like the combo trailer wrenches too(and that reminded me to get the one that fits most sizes of trailer ball again as well, thanks). 

Have you tried Grip-on/Proto pliers? I have not been happy with the newer vice grips, and find these much better, they have one jaw profile in particular that's fantastic on rusted/broken fasteners.  

 

I'm going to make a better list of what tools and why later but:  When I was setting up the shop I wanted to start fresh and not have the usual giant table of chargers and always a dead battery for the tool you want problem, plus I thought I might get to switch brands and buy new toys.  Every time I go to another shop and see people climbing off boats to distract a second person to borrow a battery for xyz tool I am happy I stuck with Milwaukee for everything.

I spent a weeks worth of evenings and created a spreadsheet with all the functions desired, and then sorted by brand to see who covered the most bases.   Milwaukee won on the spreadsheet, and then had more features to boot in the most used tools, and their battery is the chosen platform for a lot of aftermarket/custom tools as well.   I compared warranties(Home Depot Ridgid won, Milwaukee second on paper, since then I've returned dozens of tools for warranty, and even when I noted I've owned them longer than the warranty period they've fixed them free of charge, even for obvious abuse, I have yet to throw out a single Milwaukee cordless tool, but we have killed many).   Then I looked at innovation and time from new corded tool or new technology coming out to release date, Milwaukee won again.   Then I compared battery platforms, Milwaukee has stated they are not going to change the connection on the lithium packs anytime soon and will always support legacy packs even if they do, instead they keep adding bigger capacity every year.  The 9AH 18V will run a circular saw for a day of pretty solid use.   I have enforced a one battery pack rule, and as they release new tools it's only solidified the conclusion I reached.  Stuff like the cordless heat guns, cordless pumps with auto shutoff and tough impellers, cordless hepa vacs, the new 3000+lumen high CRI lights, we use area lights, lanterns and flashlights with them, much easier on the eyes.  Cordless PEX expanders, brushless grinders, die grinders, 12v brushless drills with 1/2" chucks  even the 12/18V heated jackets makes people more efficient in the cold, 12v socket connections for battery chargers etc...  Just the new cordless inflator with auto target pressure shut off will be a time saver.  Stick it on a tire, go do something else.  New cordless rivet gun coming next month with adjustable pull up to 2000lbs for doing rub rails, no more compressor for that.   

  Even better TTI (owns both Ryobi and Milwaukee) will release a consumer grade version under Ryobi first, take feedback for a couple years, then release a Milwaukee version so a lot of tools you get to see before they are available and know what's next and if you have to have it now you can chuck an adapter in the Ryobi and it will run Milwaukee batteries.

 I've been running milwaukee cordless since before I started working on boats(granted that isn't 50 years, yet) and still had the original batteries and drill I bought then until I got robbed.

   I bought a brushless one in 2012, and it was still the most popular drill in the shop until I got robbed, I bought a new one back in December and did a side by side test of the chuck on the drill, and speeds for both drill and impact.  They were identical with a brand new one and with a 1/2" steel chuck on a 12v drill, they've been abused for everything from mixing filler in a pinch to driving big holesaws until the back of the drill was too hot to touch.   They just released a new version this year, same torque specs, same RPM, just a bit smaller and lighter.   To me that's a sign of good design.  When I upgraded to M18 brushless that m12 set became the most popular in the shop, I don't know how many hundreds of hours it's got but I'm impressed.  The brushless tools survive bilge water baths better too.  While it might not be a perfect test, the lithium ion is likely to be around for a long time, already brands are starting to change to bigger cells(26500 instead of 18650) in the packs, and Milwaukee is likely to do the same, all without changing the connector.  

 

Only tool I don't like on your list is a blower nozzle.  :lol:  I hate the fucking things.  Nothing more aggravating than a guy blowing shit all over the shop with one(or all through a boat) instead of vacuuming up his mess and being done with it.   I tolerate them in the fiberglass tent/wood room areas.  I also watched a very good mechanic friend of mine in California blow the skin on his hand up like a balloon with one once with a split second screw up(put a cut finger on the end trying to angle the air flow).   That was unpleasant.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Pocket  blower....

we have a 36 inch chicken coop fan that runs mostbif the time as an exhaust fan. It has a box in front of the intake with ten, 20” X 20” filters. 

Most of our dust ends up on the floor between the job and the fan or in the  filters. 

Part of stopping for lunch, the end of the day, or even a break is to blow all the dust toward the fan filters and sweep up the pile on the floor. 

We blow the dust off all the lights at least daily  because ifbit sits on the bulbs it has to be sanded off.

that sticking dust problem may change as we have switched msnynif our fifty )four foot(  Shop lights to LED. 

We have substituted 16 LED tubes (15 watt 6500 K)   for T-8 (32 watt 6500k) and love the light and saved power but we are waiting to see if the plastic tubes covering those lights will get dirty and be impossible to clean 

Lights of America makes four foot LED Shop lights in 34 and 40 watt versions that are very bright and we have switched 20 of our old T-12 fixtures to the 40 watt Lights of America Shop lights

 

mikwaulkee... all four of our buffers are the. big old  heavy duty Milwaukee beasts. None is newer than 1985

we also have two of their 15 amp beastly fisc grinders. My “new one” from the nineties isn’t as nice as the old one I bought used in about 1980 but nobody local has parts for the old one so I bought the new one. Now that there is an Internet, parts for the old beast are available 

the post above sold me on Milwaukee battery powered stuff. When my dewalt stuff finishes dying I will probably go to Milwaukee 

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On 3/3/2018 at 11:58 PM, Gutterblack said:

The best tool is knowing what the fuck you are doing

Bingo!!  We have a winner here.

I still (barely) have all 8 fingers and 2 thumbs.

I consider myself fortunate...

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That sort of falls into the "Every day above ground is a good day" school of philosophy. ;)

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Pocket  blower....

we have a 36 inch chicken coop fan that runs mostbif the time as an exhaust fan. It has a box in front of the intake with ten, 20” X 20” filters. 

Most of our dust ends up on the floor between the job and the fan or in the  filters. 

Part of stopping for lunch, the end of the day, or even a break is to blow all the dust toward the fan filters and sweep up the pile on the floor. 

We blow the dust off all the lights at least daily  because ifbit sits on the bulbs it has to be sanded off.

that sticking dust problem may change as we have switched msnynif our fifty )four foot(  Shop lights to LED. 

We have substituted 16 LED tubes (15 watt 6500 K)   for T-8 (32 watt 6500k) and love the light and saved power but we are waiting to see if the plastic tubes covering those lights will get dirty and be impossible to clean 

Lights of America makes four foot LED Shop lights in 34 and 40 watt versions that are very bright and we have switched 20 of our old T-12 fixtures to the 40 watt Lights of America Shop lights

 

mikwaulkee... all four of our buffers are the. big old  heavy duty Milwaukee beasts. None is newer than 1985

we also have two of their 15 amp beastly fisc grinders. My “new one” from the nineties isn’t as nice as the old one I bought used in about 1980 but nobody local has parts for the old one so I bought the new one. Now that there is an Internet, parts for the old beast are available 

the post above sold me on Milwaukee battery powered stuff. When my dewalt stuff finishes dying I will probably go to Milwaukee 

Yeah I think it is something to do with the high voltage, almost like a static charge on the surface.  I waxed mine with mold release spray(PTFE high temp one).  LED's don't seem to do the same.    However I still waxed the fronts of the LED lights to make splatters easier to clean.   Ceiling light fixtures have covers so I didn't fuss with those much, but I have fixtures with angled blocks on one side to use under boats.  

 

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Flexzilla air hose.  Or any of the super flexible no memory air hoses.  

https://www.amazon.com/Flexzilla-Fittings-Lightweight-Hybrid-ZillaGreen/dp/B001C6NC7O

quick tip for using this tool:  Add a swivel at the front end, and use high flow connectors.  

Reasons I use this:  

  It works better in every way, lighter, tougher, no memory means no fighting to uncoil it or having loops sticking up off the floor as a tripping hazard.  The extra flexibility means no load on the spray gun or tool, and no accidental brushing of a loop against a just sprayed surface because you twisted the gun to an angle.

I forgot how bad regular air hoses were until I got a cheap one with a rented compressor.  Horrible.  

 

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Speaking of unusual tools, these are normally used for taking a cervical sample in a Pap smear.

they are awesome for coating the insides of deck holes in a wood deck with epoxy before through bolting.

https://www.google.com.au/search?client=safari&hl=en-au&ei=VRSdWo_4McSb8QXe_4nIDg&q=cervical+brush&oq=cervical+brush&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3..0l5.3859.7737..8433...0....478.2844.2-8j0j2..........1..mobile-gws-wiz-serp.......41j0i71j0i131i67j0i67j0i10.USa0xyFFs0g%3D#imgrc=CuOibT_56FJ-JM:

Pretty cool tool, but for this purpose as well as prior to potting undercut holes in cored decks  I prefer to tape the bottom of the hole, then fill with neat epoxy with a syringe, let it soak in for as long as I can,top up if necessary, then either syringe out or pull the tape and drain, then, if I'm potting the hole, re tape and fill with the thickened epoxy. Nothing beats gravity and time to allow the epoxy to migrate to where it may, giving the absolute best possible protection to the core or to soak into the end grain in wood. Just trying to paint the epoxy around with a Q- tip, while better than nothing really does not give it the opportunity to soak in imho.

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I tend to buy more and more tools at the pawn shops as it allows me to have multiples of tools I use a lot without breaking the bank as well as the odd find of an expensive tool that ive always coverted but have not been willing to spring for because I know I would not use enough to justify the cost new.   Examples of the latter would be my Crain undercut saw ($60), my Milwaukee electric die grinder, heavy duty right angle hole shooter drill, bosch in line jigsaw, Ridgid ergonomic one handed sawzall  and tile cutting wet saw (for G10) and the list goes on and on. Examples of the former would be my 6 or more (ive lost count) bosch  jigsaws ,the  last of which I bought 2 weeks ago for $28 and the damned thing looks and works like new. I first started buying these when I dropped my then current one and broke the cast aluminum base and it cost me $40 + for a new base, then I found a much less used identical saw for $60 at the local pawn. Iv'e since been picking them up for about the same or less and always lightly used. Makita sander polishers are another tool I have multiples of with all but the first one purchased for short money at the pawn shop. These with the addition of an 8"  3M hook & loop soft pad are a staple in our shop for sanding large areas with 36 grit so its good to have more than one with a couple set up for buffing too.

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Flexzilla air hose.  Or any of the super flexible no memory air hoses.  

https://www.amazon.com/Flexzilla-Fittings-Lightweight-Hybrid-ZillaGreen/dp/B001C6NC7O

quick tip for using this tool:  Add a swivel at the front end, and use high flow connectors.  

Reasons I use this:  

  It works better in every way, lighter, tougher, no memory means no fighting to uncoil it or having loops sticking up off the floor as a tripping hazard.  The extra flexibility means no load on the spray gun or tool, and no accidental brushing of a loop against a just sprayed surface because you twisted the gun to an angle.

I forgot how bad regular air hoses were until I got a cheap one with a rented compressor.  Horrible.  

 

Yup. After years of cursing I switched to a Goodyear rubber hose and it is like night and day.  Also got some Milton couplers and now there is no more hissing.  Those two things make a huge difference -- something about that hissing really drives me nuts!

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I tend to buy more and more tools at the pawn shops as it allows me to have multiples of tools I use a lot without breaking the bank as well as the odd find of an expensive tool that ive always coverted but have not been willing to spring for because I know I would not use enough to justify the cost new.   Examples of the latter would be my Crain undercut saw ($60), my Milwaukee electric die grinder, heavy duty right angle hole shooter drill, bosch in line jigsaw, Ridgid ergonomic one handed sawzall  and tile cutting wet saw (for G10) and the list goes on and on. Examples of the former would be my 6 or more (ive lost count) bosch  jigsaws ,the  last of which I bought 2 weeks ago for $28 and the damned thing looks and works like new. I first started buying these when I dropped my then current one and broke the cast aluminum base and it cost me $40 + for a new base, then I found a much less used identical saw for $60 at the local pawn. Iv'e since been picking them up for about the same or less and always lightly used. Makita sander polishers are another tool I have multiples of with all but the first one purchased for short money at the pawn shop. These with the addition of an 8"  3M hook & loop soft pad are a staple in our shop for sanding large areas with 36 grit so its good to have more than one with a couple set up for buffing too.

As far as the $$$$$$$$$$ go I like the pawn shop idea, I have had tools go "missing" overnight and imagine that some of them have had their next stop be a pawn shop. Therefore I am not as eager to go purchase tools that someone else would still like to have. Don't mind trolling through Kijiji and craigslist when looking for stuff too.

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I found an old guy who used to sell 'antique tools' at the big Sunday Flea Market down by Jackson Sq in New Orleans. I had gone on a wild escapade with Bill Seemann of C-Flex and SCRIMP fame to the Yucatan and I some how was relieved of my handtool box while on a brief return to New Orleans. I had gotten a new job working as an interior joiner at Halter Marines Yacht Division down on the Canal right inside the old Coast Guard building on the Lake. Southern Yacht Club was right across the canal. I had to buy the whole spectrum on goodies that a cabinet maker needs to ply his craft. I went into a hardware store and before I even had the basics I would expect a raw apprentice to show up for a new job with and I was over $350 and that was in 1978! I then remembered hearing a couple of the older carpenters snicker at the 'new kid' with a bright new shiny hammer. Stuff like 'din't that boy have a Daddy or Grandaddy to give him a real hammer'. I remembered the 'tool man' in his overalls and Uncle Sam hat and put the new stuff down and figured I might be better off starting with him. 

    A craftsman buddy of mine and I went down on Sunday and I was picking up old hand planes and dividers and chisels. He did a pretty good job cleaning the worst of the rust off  without totally disturbing the 'patina' of a tool. But the chisels were dull and the plane blades were nicked or the mechanism was sloppy and the guy came over and told me, 'out that crap down, that's for ladies to buy and put on a shelf in their kitchens.'  I told him how my tool box had never made it back from Mexico and he said the old steel in his tools was better that the handyman stuff they sold in the stores.  He gave me his card and told me how to get to his warehouse in his backyard. I had ridden down with my friend on his big Honda and the old guy looked over at it and told me to come the next day in something that could carry the haul I was going to get.

    I was expecting a nice well equipped shop but he led us to an aluminum storage building about 54' x 36' and he just opened the door and reached in and handed me a milkcrate and told me to pick out what I wanted and there were more milkcrates inside. He left and my friend and I were like kids in Santa's workshop.  We argued about who saw what first a couple of times but there was so much tool and jigs and clamps and such that we soon had filled our boxes. The old guy finally came back and I was holding a handful of socket handle chisels and was thumbing the long dead edges. He had yet to do the surface finish treatment so I would have to spend a good bit of time cleaning things up but he pointed to a nice big grinding wheel and invited me to have a go at those chisels. They took a edge nicely and the plane soles were next. He looked close at what I had in the crate and then he went and pulled down some other trays and boxes and told me to replace some of my goodies from the 'really good stuff'. I finally figured that I would have to borrow money from my friend for the stuff I had chosen and I called it quits and asked for La Cuenta, the bill. He dumped the whole pile out of the wooden floor and sort of toed things around mumbling to himself and finally stopped and said, 'You going to actually use this stuff by the way you are looking at it right?' I told him I was lucky to get the yacht interior job and how embarrassing to show up at a job with nothing. A had a few $100 bills in my had and he said 'give me a hundred' and grabbed the top bill. I could believe it and tried to get him to take more but he wouldn't. My friend got some really nice obscure pattern maker tools for a fifty or so. As we gathered up out treasures he asked me if I had my grandfathers hammer. I said no but had seen a nice Estwing down and the old family run hardware store around the corner from my house that I had an eye on. He asked me how much they wanted for that new shiny hammer and I was embarrassed to say. He reached in one mild case and pull out a 14 ounce hammer head and then into a basket and grabbed a hickory hammer handle that was little more that a blank. He then dug around in a drawer and found his stash of hammer wedges and gave me a couple. He then said 'put these together and tell the old farts that this is your Grandfathers Hammer!'

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Another favorite of mine is a simple remote, less than $10, that I use to turn the vacuum cleaner on and off. I leave it on the ground and run a longer hose into the boat and use the remote to operate it. We use Fein vacuums and they weigh a ton, even empty and humping the damn things into a boat risks causing damage so a cheap remote works great.

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Late to this thread. I have two very similar, the other one is on the boat. Wonderful tools.

RI0SVIz.jpg

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Late to this thread. I have two very similar, the other one is on the boat. Wonderful tools.

RI0SVIz.jpg

A monkey wrench? You're letting your English heritage get the best of you Ish - I inherited one from my pattern maker grandfather and it is possibly the most horrible, un-ergonomic tool I have ever used. Those fuckers eat knuckles like nothing else I've ever used.

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A monkey wrench? You're letting your English heritage get the best of you Ish - I inherited one from my pattern maker grandfather and it is possibly the most horrible, un-ergonomic tool I have ever used. Those fuckers eat knuckles like nothing else I've ever used.

:o These things save my knuckles often.  That was in my favorite tool(and now 3 other poster's lists) as well.  My knuckles are all bruised to fuck, I miss that wrench.    Different angles to use em without buggering your fingers, but they save a lot of grief and stress.  

 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 1:35 AM, jgbrown said:

I was kinda hoping that with all the smart posters here someone might post tools that not everyone is familiar with, since I'm buying new ones it's always nice to come across new ones I haven't heard of too.  :P 

I don't know if you are familiar with Makitas  little 1 1/8" x 21" belt sander. I've owned one of these things for 30 years but strangely I only know one other guy who has one , sad story though, I lost my last one ( along with my Mac 36 cat) and lots of other tools when my shop burned down in 07. I replaced most of my tools fairly quickly but not the Makita because its pretty spendy, more than any of their big belt sanders but I did need to replace it because I had about 170 belts for it sitting at home which I had picked up for cheap at an auction but worth more than the sander itself if I had to buy them from the distributor and besides, I missed it, so, I finally went out a few years later and spent the $270 or whatever it was but when I went to use it all the belts I had flew apart at the splice, they were the omnidirectional type with the butt joint and tape strip and apparently the glue fails over time so now I have to buy them at something like $25 for a box of 10 while I have all these others that are only any good for hand sanding. Lesson learned don't inventory more than you may use in a reasonable time frame. Actually the ones I get from Makita are of the type that are overlapped and glued and are directional so I feel they would not have that problem.

Also look at the Crain undercut saw I mentioned earlier.and the cheapo remote for the vacuum.

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6 hours ago, toecutter said:

10.8v impact driver best thing ever for screws and small bolts. Say goodbye to galling!

bosch-10-8v-ec-gdr-brushless-cordless-impact-driver-mypowertools-1603-27-MYPOWERTOOLS@35.jpg

Its funny, i have 2 impact drivers myself and we have way too many of them at work as we always seem to get them in a kit with the drills but I really hardly ever use them preferring to just use the regular variable speed battery drills. I have just never grown to like them. Lots of others do though.

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On ‎3‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 1:17 PM, SloopJonB said:

Buying a Festool pretty well ensures that you'll only be able to afford one sander. :D

Yeah but my son and I each just bought those Mirka Deros sanders last week and they are not exactly giving them away either. I think it was about $1200 for the 2 when the dust settled. I already have a 6" Metabo , 3 1/8" Metabo, 6" Bosch, 6" Milwaukee with a huge orbit and a 5" bosch  in the electric as well as air but ive never been impressed by any of them and I wanted something more ergonomic like the air one. One of our customers recently bought the Festool equivalent to the Mirka and we did a sand off head to head test with the Mirka they gave us to try, to be honest we felt they were pretty equal but with the nod going to the Mirk for its ergonomics and general operation like an air sander so that's what we bought.  when I was boatbuilding in New Zealand we always used the Italian line of Rupes sander which I was always very impressed with and is probably why I've never been happy with anything i've owned in the US. Its always struck me as strange that we have not had Rupes available here although I think it may be now.

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44 minutes ago, Steve said:

I don't know if you are familiar with Makitas  little 1 1/8" x 21" belt sander. I've owned one of these things for 30 years but strangely I only know one other guy who has one ,

I had one of those Makita Baby Sanders for nearly 30 years and in all that time I never found a single baby that needed sanding.

Seriously, a friend gave it to me because he never used it and I never used it once. I think auto body guys like them.

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