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Tools, tips and tricks

Shop Techniques | May 1, 2019 | By:

These are submissions to the 2018 and 2019 Marine Fabricators Conference Tools, Tips and Tricks contest.

Tip 1 

Use color coding to track job progress

I purchase multicolor job folders from our local office supply company and coordinate my Outlook calendar using category colors that correspond with the folders.

—Joni Johnstone, Lakeside Marine Canvas Inc.

Tip 2  

Make your own weight bags

Using Textilene® 90 percent mesh solar fabric, sew together small bags, leaving one end open. Fill the bags with lead shot from a local sporting goods store. Sew them closed and you have weight bags that are perfect to place on enclosures that have been folded up for the season after customers find out the enclosures need to be repaired!

—Joni Johnstone, Lakeside Marine Canvas Inc.

Tip 3 

Use a flame spreader to seal edges 

We use an inexpensive flame spreader attached to a trigger-activated torch to heat seal raw fabric edges. It’s very quick and produces less smoke than cutting or sealing with an electric hot knife. This tool is very portable and can be done anywhere without dragging cords around. When finished it cools quickly. The stainless steel flame spreader is available at hardware stores for under $10. Add a small hose clamp to ensure that you can use whatever pressure you need without the tip changing positions or falling off.  

—Jeffry Hare, Adaptive Marine Solutions LLC

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