Preview: Best Boat Building Tools, Part 3 – Industrial Handheld

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In this video on boat building tools, master builder Eric Blake takes us inside the Brooklin Boat Yard again to look at the industrial grade hand tools he used to rip a hole for an anchor through the bow of the 68′ sloop ISOBEL. Like most of’s videos, this was not staged. We just stopped by at the end of a day’s work and these were the tools on the job. It came out looking like an ad for Milwaukee power tools, but so be it, they make great tools for this kind of job. Every tool manufacturer has their sweet spot, and this is Milwaukee’s for sure.

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9 Responses So Far to “Best Boat Building Tools, Part 3 – Industrial Handheld

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    Dana Carini says:

    The magnum is a wrist buster for a girl like me. I sweat every time Julien hands me that tool. But the Milwaukee chainsaw has become my baby ever since I bought him a Husqui gas. The Milwaukee is our Sunday tool when removing core planks in the tiger Maru. Thanks for the brut tool video!,!

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    Robert Chan says:

    Videos are excellent. Thanks. Personal preference in hand/power tools not withstanding, I have found the Rockwell/PorterCable Tiger Saw features preferable to the Milwaukee Sawzall in that the blade action can be selected as either straight reciprocating or orbital. There is no bounce to the blade in straight (metal) mode making the saw very controllable for fine or close work. The orbital (wood) mode allows the teeth to release the chips on the backstroke. The Sawzall, on the other hand, has a choice of models, either reciprocating or orbital action. Although the Sawzall is a little smaller than the Tiger Saw the ability to select the action of the blade is invaluable when one is wedged between frames or in the middle of the shop floor and not wishing to chase back to the tool room for the other tool. My saw, branded Rockwell (Porter Cable has been sold and re-branded several times), has been in service over 30 years and still going strong. I cannot attest to the newest Porter Cable products as they have been purchases by B&D and their manufacturing moved off-shore.

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    David MacLean says:

    What have you found to be the best detail sander on the market for those hard to reach crevices?

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      Eric Blake says:

      Sticky paper on the end of a putty knife works well. As for power sanders All we have at the boat yard are Fein brand triangular sanders, the kit with blades included is great as well. Most of the finish sanding being done at the boat yard is done by hand. Check it out, it is called a Multi Master.

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    Hi Eric,

    Could you please reply with a source for the large grinder with dust collector cover that I have seen used at the BBY to rough fair hull exteriors. It appeared to be a grinder polisher with a 10-12 ” pad and was able to be used in conjection with a vacum. Can it be bought stock or was it a BBY fabrication?


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      Steve Stone says:

      Hi Richard. I’m sure you’ll hear from Eric also, but check out the ‘Fairing and Painting Topsides’ video if you haven’t, as Nat Bryant gives some thoughts on this in that video.

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      Steve Stone says:

      Hi Richard. I’m sure you’ll hear from Eric also, but if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the ‘Fairing and Painting Topsides” video, as Nat Bryant shows the grinders they use.

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      Eric Blake says:

      The two grinders we use at the yard are made by Dewalt and Makita, both excellent tools. Typically we use a 8″ soft pad and the hoods are aftermarket for both made by an independent company. Getting the correct diameter clamp attachment is key because they are different diameters on each model. I believe a company makes a hood with an adjustable collar. I’ll look into it for you. Eric

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        Eric Blake says:
        I think this is where we get the ones at the boatyard. Be sure of the diameter of the bearing housing that the hood clamps to. They sell one that is adjustable. They work great. You need a good shop vac and a longer hose to do some real grinding.


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