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Old 20-06-2008, 21:24   #1
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The floating work shop.

Hi guys,

I'm a tool whore, with a tendency to build them from scratch/modify existing ones for the job at hand.

How have you gear heads out there settled on what to have on board? I've been stocking up on hand tools, braces, and the like. But lately have been dreaming of a hand cranked post drill bolted to a bulkhead... (Why think out of the box when you can think over the top... )

I've been spending a lot of time lately pondering how to fit all my tools on board, and will probably end up devoting my V-berth to a shop.

Anyone have an oxygen/acetylene torch on board? I've got it in my mind to build a vented locker in the lazarette just for it. Heating, welding, brazing... and soldering capability. A decent sized vice, piece of steel plate and a few fire bricks...

Building a regulator to use my scuba tanks to run some air tools: SCUBA Air Tools

What are you guys doing to keep precision stuff in shape with the constant vibration and salt air? Micrometers, dial indicators and the like? Pelican cases seem attractive, but on a 28 foot boat I don't have the room to really use them. Pressure gauges, and what have you.

Try as I may, I haven't figured out a justification for my sheet metal working goodies...

I know a few of you guys out there have to work on the same brainwave... Hot Rodders and gear heads that ponder foam/epoxy bulkheads to offset the weight of tools...
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Old 20-06-2008, 22:39   #2
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Try as I may, I haven't figured out a justification for my sheet metal working goodies...
What? Surely you couldn't possibly be thinking of going off shore without a good 48" brake! <gr>
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Old 20-06-2008, 22:49   #3
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You kid...
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Old 20-06-2008, 23:06   #4
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I never leave the dock without my 25ton iron worker in the lazerette.

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Old 20-06-2008, 23:10   #5
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On a more serious note... I think the weight and maintenance would outweigh the use and benefit.

I think maybe you should own a steel boat, then you might be able to justify carrying metal working tools.
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Old 21-06-2008, 01:42   #6
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Obviously, weight is a factor. But I carry a lot tools and a lot of broken crap... just for bits and pieces.

...basically, the less money you have the more tools you should bring.

I almost never go to a marine supply store...

Fatty, anchored between Singapore and Malaysia... off Johor Bahru
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Old 21-06-2008, 05:15   #7
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Hi, Fatty.

Welcome to Cruisers Forum--great to have you here! Your articles crack me up! We can use a little humor around here, from time to time when things get too serious.
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Old 21-06-2008, 06:24   #8
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You must not have a woman on that boat Zach. Because I don't get that much of the boat for storing my stuff!!! Where do you put all the shoes and linens?


On a more serious note, you don't need anything special to run your air tools off of a scuba tank. Just use any old diaphragm first stage regulator. I like the old U.S. Divers SEA regs. The flat-head screw adjustment on the exterior can adjust your pressure from approx. 60-150# I have a setup I use that I can spraypaint with a scubatank. I found I get about 12 minutes of spraying with an aluminum 80. Not the cheapest way to do things, but it's all portable and no 110V needed.
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Old 21-06-2008, 07:01   #9
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Hi, Fatty.

Welcome to Cruisers Forum--great to have you here! Your articles crack me up! We can use a little humor around here, from time to time when things get too serious.
I agree. But I think your article, The Downside of Circumnavigating is one of the best pieces of travel writing I've read.
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Old 21-06-2008, 20:36   #10
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Let me second that welcome Fatty. Good to have you here. Love your sense of humor.
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Old 21-06-2008, 21:25   #11
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You must not have a woman on that boat Zach. Because I don't get that much of the boat for storing my stuff!!! Where do you put all the shoes and linens?


On a more serious note, you don't need anything special to run your air tools off of a scuba tank. Just use any old diaphragm first stage regulator. I like the old U.S. Divers SEA regs. The flat-head screw adjustment on the exterior can adjust your pressure from approx. 60-150# I have a setup I use that I can spraypaint with a scubatank. I found I get about 12 minutes of spraying with an aluminum 80. Not the cheapest way to do things, but it's all portable and no 110V needed.
No woman on board... yet. Hope she likes the smell of cutting oil.

I'll track down a regulator like that. At the moment all I have are the tanks. Are you using a HVLP cup gun?

Fatty, Welcome! Cash is the reason why I have them in the first place. When you want something you can't afford to buy new or in good condition... its cheaper to buy the tools and raw materials to make it all work. The next logical progression is to make it work better and faster than it should...
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Old 21-06-2008, 22:41   #12
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Hi guys,

I'm a tool whore, with a tendency to build them from scratch/modify existing ones for the job at hand.

How have you gear heads out there settled on what to have on board? I've been stocking up on hand tools, braces, and the like. But lately have been dreaming of a hand cranked post drill bolted to a bulkhead... (Why think out of the box when you can think over the top... )
One of these is nice!

Milling Machine Index

But seriously, I keep every HAND tool on board that I have used to work on the boat. Plus a battery powered drill motor (with torque setting) and an extra battery. Especially, the special tools one needs to work on the motor, like special sized sockets and even for adjusting the lifters or dialing in the prop shaft.

I do keep a 115V AC 1/2" high torque drill motor with a set of holes saws on board. You never know when you may want to let the water out
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Old 21-06-2008, 22:48   #13
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Welcome Fatty:
I really enjoy your articles and your snippets on NPR. they are great. Please introduce yourself on the Meets and Greets.


Sorry to drift Zach:

I am building a step for my boat where I hope to keep my heavier tools. It is at the base of the mast and there is currently a 12" step down. I would like to build a 6 or 8" deep step thata is 24" long and 15" wide. I think that a vice is a great tool to have on the boat. Where I'd like to store mine is in the bilge but I'd have to figure some sort of waterproof container for it.

Sounds like you have more tools than I know how to use.
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Old 23-06-2008, 11:29   #14
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Wow Delmarrey! A kindred spirit! 20-30kg... 66lbs. But, does it have a quick change tool post? (Grin) I'm sad to say, I've pondered/fantasized about buying the little CNC desktop mill thats gathering dust at work, but if that thing can thread... I may need a few more batteries on board... We need more power!

Charlie, I wonder if a little work grinding any sharp corners would let you use a dry bag? Though a little more work, one could glass in a box in the bilge up to the sole level with space under it for water to flow under. I'll have to ask around some of the plating guys to see if they'll black chrome a vice to keep it from rusting. I'm thinking powder coating would bugger up the rack gear.

I'm holding off on building is a set of leads to a clamp to weld stick off a battery bank, as I don't know how hard that would be on the plates. Anyone done it?
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Old 23-06-2008, 13:09   #15
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Hooked up a 100 amp dodge alternator to my engine for DC welding. It was incredibly simple. Cost me $25 from the autowrecker. I have made a few cruising bucks welding on other boats over the last two years, With it and my Hu Flung Poo portable generator , I can build any fitting out of scrap stainless on the spot.
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