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Tools, tips and tricks

Shop Techniques | January 1, 2020 | By:

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

Tip 1: Smooth, indestructible tabletop

A combination of wood and 12-gauge sheet metal creates a smooth tabletop surface that is indestructible and isn’t damaged by a hot knife. Combine three adjustable wheeled tables with 12-gauge steel (8’ x 13’, 6’ x 12’ and 6’ x 8’), and one wall (12’ x 8’). Sheets can be ordered 6’ 6” x 20’. The 12-gauge steel is thin, yet withstands dimpling when being struck, punched or hammered. The use of rare earth magnets provides more than enough holding power to stretch material and patterns, and the surface isn’t punctured from pins or heavy weight bags. You can make notes or markings as needed directly to the surface, with a changeable paper cover. 

Ryon Figgins, Sea2Sky Upholstery/Rainier IndustriesTPlywood drawer vehicle storage

Tip 2: Plywood drawer vehicle storage

Make a convenient storage platform in your van or truck out of common lumber that is as useful as the expensive specialty platforms with drawers available commercially. Measure your vehicle floor space, then use three 2 x 8’s stood vertically as walls, and 3” deck screws to attach a 3/4” plywood deck on top. Then cover it with a Berber carpet scrap. Make one slot large enough for a 6′ ladder and roll of patterning plastic. The other slot should accommodate several plastic bins filled with tools and spare fasteners. Place them on a 12” wide x 72” strip of scrap polycarbonate with a roll of nonskid on top to keep things from sliding around.

Mike Johnson, Mike’s Marine Custom Canvas 

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