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Old 15-09-2010, 15:56   #1
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Let's See Your Boat's Workbench, Tool Shed, Tool Box . . .

How do you keep your tools and spare parts organized?

Post some pics.

Not sure if I wanna do a Crafts Man tool box, or keep everything in a few blow molded plastic boxes. Seams after a few bumps and bangs, the sockets in the plastic boxes explode all over the deck when I open them.


Post some pics.
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Old 15-09-2010, 15:59   #2
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Zippered bags are better than hard boxes for most items. They store more efficiently. They won't spill or explode. But lube the zippers often.

No workbench here. A nice mounted vise would be valuable.
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Old 15-09-2010, 16:53   #3
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A well timed thread as have not quite decided what I am doing yet

Initially thinking of some dedicated built in storage (some things I do like organised ), but now thinking towards simply having a small day to day / light use toolbag (or toolroll?) and a larger tool bag (or 2) for larger / more involved jobs. and for the more rarely used but damned useful stuff

FWIW sockets are now on socket rails. a lot less storage than cases.

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Old 15-09-2010, 17:02   #4
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Zippered bags are better than hard boxes for most items. They store more efficiently. They won't spill or explode. But lube the zippers often.

No workbench here. A nice mounted vise would be valuable.
Any really strong zippered bags with nylon zippers?
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Old 15-09-2010, 17:58   #5
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Any really strong zippered bags with nylon zippers?
Stanley and others make them. I recall finding them at Target, even. Bigger ones I found somewhere online...Amazon maybe.

They are heavy nylon with heavy nylon zippers. You will not break them. But the zippers will stick unless lubed regularly....like any seagoing zipper.
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Old 15-09-2010, 18:37   #6
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I thought this was going to be photos of the master cabin.
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Old 15-09-2010, 18:53   #7
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Stanley and others make them. I recall finding them at Target, even. Bigger ones I found somewhere online...Amazon maybe.

They are heavy nylon with heavy nylon zippers. You will not break them. But the zippers will stick unless lubed regularly....like any seagoing zipper.
If you're in the U.S. you should check out Sears. here in Northern California at least they sell pretty rugged nylon cloth tool bags with nylon zippers. I have several in different colors and use one for a set of general hand tools, another for the wrench sets (SAE and metric) and misc things like allen wrenches, another for "drill related stuff" (cordless drill, a box of bits, another of misc screwdriver bits, etc). It's pretty easy to grab the one I need for a job and when I pile them all into the storage bin they don't take a lot of space.
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Old 15-09-2010, 18:54   #8
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How about these? Some of my guys use the "Bucket Boss 56" along with "Super parachute bag". I always thought they would work good because you can remove from the bucket and roll them up with the tools in them. And you can even put that in a bag if you can find big enough.

Just take it out of the bag, un-roll it, put in the bucket and fix stuff!

Bucket Tool Organizers by Bucket Boss
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Old 15-09-2010, 19:11   #9
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Zippered bags are better than hard boxes for most items. They store more efficiently. They won't spill or explode. But lube the zippers often.

No workbench here. A nice mounted vise would be valuable.
Not my idea (I cannot remember what book I read it in), but you can mount a vice on a lazarette lid. Mount it with bolts and wing nuts. When not in use the vice is bolted to the inside of the lid. When you want to use it, undo the nuts and mount it to the outside of the lid.

I too use nylon bags. A small bag for screwdrivers and other small tools. a large one for larger tools. They are amazingly convenient and store easily.
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Old 15-09-2010, 19:25   #10
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My system requires five toolboxes, starting with a riggers bag and dwindling down to an electrical kit. This way I can measure the size of any boat project by the number of toolboxes that have been deployed.

I've promised Wonderblond that if she'll let me mount a bench vice on the edge of the corian galley counter, I'll oil it at least once a month so that it won't get rusty. No response yet.
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Old 15-09-2010, 19:41   #11
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In the Gulf Star 51 I sail on the stbd bunk room is called the "tool shed".

Each bunk has Rubber Maid boxes on it will all sorts of tools and spare parts. Rope keeps everything in place at sea, well sometimes...

In the head of the cabin there is peg board on the bulk head with more tools hanging up.

Not organized too great, but just about everything you could need.

My next boat that will be all mine will be under 40' later this year.

I have been a heavy equipment and diesel mechanic for years, so I have a 3'x6'x4' Snap On box of tools in the garage.

Every draw organized to a T. Every tool has its place, one look in a draw and you can tell what tools is missing.

I know I am gonna down size a lot, but I have to keep it organized, it's my pride and joy.

Thinking a small to mid sized toll chest box in the cabin, but hidden with some paneling for the bulk of the tools. And then a Rubber Maid or two with special use and larger tools tucked away under something.

Gonna make a vice mount either to a winch, or to the radar arch.

Plan is to move on the boat in Dec. or Jan., then two years to get her ready and perfect my toll shed.
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Old 15-09-2010, 19:52   #12
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I decided about a month into our boat that I needed somewhere for the normal tools that i take out every day or so. On our boat, there was 3 lg drawers under the steps that was a gunk drawers/catch all. After cleaning them out for the 3rd time, made 8 drawers in the area, each about 3 in or so high, so worked out 16x14x3.

Yup initial reaction was will this look ok? will it work? Dovetail joints, teak drawer fronts, nice handles worked out quite well. And no, they dont fly open, been out in rough weather and not a problem.

Dividers, took a larger plastic plano parts box with dividers, that fit fairly well, dremel out a few not needed, and worked well.

No, didnt use fancy drawer glides and pullouts, didnt need them for the normal tools.
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Old 16-09-2010, 04:28   #13
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Speaking of tools I used to have a wood shop many years ago with a compressor and air tools. While I don't want to switch to air tools, even compressed air could come in handy for many "cleaning" tasks on a boat.

Any comments or experiences or suggestions for small portable compressors?

How about a vise? Do you have one aboard, fixed or portable? Holding material is essential to work it and this has always been a challenge on board. Any solutions?

My main tool box is a large "satchel" style which came as a collection of tools with some orgainizer pockets and two large bins below it which I have added all sorts of heavy and larger items. It's quite heavy now and fits in a bin under the V berth and is hauled out onto the salon table when I need to work. In addition I have a canvas bag (West Marine) which is the working tool kit and that too is quite heavy now and can handle most projects, aside from wrenches and sockets which have their own separate boxes.
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Old 16-09-2010, 08:22   #14
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The last boat I had a tool drawer in the galley, and the most-used tools were there. I also have a rigging bag, and a portable vise that I could bolt to the table. I also have an assortment of military tool bags (regular and 'tanker' extra large) that I use for moving tools from the house, as needed. BTW, I have two bucket bosses at the house, one with electrical repair stuff (outlets, cover plates, wire nuts, the like) and one with plumbing supplies (pvc/cpvc parts, glue, copper parts, torch, etc). Both have seats, so I have a place to sit while working.

The next boat will have a workshop, with storage, and a mounted vise. I like the idea of an air compressor, and have already decided (based on other threads here) to mount a shop vac in a locker and run the hose everywhere in the boat. The workshop may be a side cabin, or the forward cabin (depending) but it won't be a dual-purpose cabin/workshop. Having a dedicated place for all the big tools, electrical tools, etc will be great.
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Old 16-09-2010, 10:09   #15
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Like Bash, I have a number of tool boxes, each for a specific task (electrical, plumbing, sail/marlinspike, general, engine and transmission). They're soft bags with hard bottoms, zipper enclosures, and strong handles. I don't have the space for big tool boxes and in the past seemed to be transferring tools from a big location to a carry bag.

I carry larger tools (saw, pry bar, big hammers, etc) in a specific location. I carry 12V power tools (drill, circular saw, jigsaw, etc) in their dedicated case in a dry location.

Parts are carried in plastic boxes or heavy duty plastic bags. I label the boxes/sections with a permanent marking pen so I can quickly identify what I'm looking for. I also tend to group parts by size (all #10 SS screws, bolts, washers, nuts, etc), function (bilge pump rebuild kits, raw water impeller kit, toilet repair/rebuild), or spares. The more common items are in an easy access drawer as are the general and electrical tool kits.

I have a small 5" vise bolted to a 2"x6"x4' board, a small workmate workbench, and a small 100psi compressor that I use when I clean boat bottoms, change zincs or have to dive for that errant knife or tool.

I've avoided any metal tool boxes as they tend to require a lot of maintenance to prolong their life. I spend enough time keeping the rust off the tools.
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