Category Archives: Tools to Make or Modify

Sandpaper Tricks for Random Orbital Sanders

By Tom Pawlak

I recently ran out of sandpaper for my 5″ diameter random orbital sander, and needed only a few more sanding disks to finish the project. While my sander is equipped for the hook-and-loop style sanding disks, I had only PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) style sanding disks. These did not stick well to the pad on the sander, and within a minute or two they would fly off, leaving me frustrated. I finished my project by gluing the PSA disks to worn out hook-and-loop disks with contact cement. This actually worked quite well. Continue reading

Fiberglass Application Tools

By Joe Parker

When two or more fiberglass laminators meet, the discussion always turns to resin application and hand wet out tools. In some respects, this is much like a political or religious debate. I thought it might be helpful to describe some of these tools, and identify (as I see it) the best tools for laminating. Continue reading

Edge Gluing Fixtures

By Brian Knight

Rectangular or square edge strips tend to get out of alignment between mold stations, especially where the bend is tight and the planks have to be forced into position. You can build intermediate mold stations in these areas to support the planks in more places. Continue reading

Simple Shop Tools to Make

By the Gougeon Technical Staff

Making a hole-locating tool

When replacing planking, often you have to drill a new hole through the wood and “hit” the existing hole on the frame (so as not to riddle the frame with new holes). This tool will help you properly locate the new hole. You can either modify a set of barbecue tongs to make this tool, or fashion one from strips of aluminum. Drill a hole in the blades. Attach a pointed stud to the lower blade. Continue reading

Specialty Tools for Fairing

By Tom Pawlak

The Fairing File

My son Matt and I recently built a small stitch-and-glue boat. While fairing the bottom we discovered that hacksaw blades can be modified and used for fairing.

The buildup of fiberglass tape along the chine and keel had caused a low spot in the hull all along the edge of the fiberglass buildup. Filling the low spot with low-density filler was easy, but sanding the cured epoxy with sanding boards was slow work. Experimenting with a new hacksaw blade, we found it easily cut through the low-density filler and occasional high spots in the fiberglass. Continue reading

A Gadget for Easy Syringe Filling

by Brian Knight

WEST SYSTEM® 807 Syringes are handy for injecting epoxy into hard to reach areas, but it’s difficult to load the syringe with thickened mixtures that won’t pour into the syringe body. With this gadget, loading non-sag mixtures is easy. It consists of a flat plastic disc with a short length of PVC pipe bonded over a hole cut in the center of the disc. Push the disc down in a container of thickened epoxy and epoxy is forced out through the hole in the disc, through the PVC tubing, and into the syringe. Continue reading

A Build-It-Yourself Drill Guide

by Brian Knight

Bud Hauschild, from Hastings, Michigan, sent us this idea for a drill guide used to accurately drill holes through irregularly shaped surfaces. Additionally, you can use this guide to drill from both sides of a thick beam and have the holes line up. Orthopedic surgeons use a similar device to drill holes in bone for screws or pins. Continue reading

Flat Washer Scribe

by Brian Knight

Most woodworkers, at one time or another, have to scribe a piece of wood to fit closely to an irregular surface. Here is an old boat builder’s method to scribe a line to a gently curved surface. The only equipment necessary is a collection of different size flat washers and a sharp pencil. Continue reading