As a serious gardener, I think a lot about tools. Gardening in Minnesota is not for the faint of heart. Preparing the beds, pruning, weeding, planting and harvesting all happen in a relatively short period, so choosing the right tools, using them properly and keeping them in peak condition is critical to a successful harvest. The same is true of tools in marine fabrication.
This issue is all about selecting, maintaining and managing the tools necessary for building your business as well as your boat projects. “Keeping it Together” discusses the adhesives and fasteners required for durable and high-quality projects. “Focused on the Future” explores the digital tools Kyle Van Damme, MFC, Marine Tops Unlimited Inc., uses in his commitment to continuous improvement. “Managing Tools in the Shop and on the Go” presents efficient tool-management strategies to keep organization headaches at bay and projects moving forward.
Jess Flegel, Oyster Creek Canvas, presents a comprehensive list of small yet significant processes and production improvements that will take your shop to the next level. Russ Griffin, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, offers a step-by-step guide to the basics of fitting a bimini top, and our business column discusses the important differences between being a manager and being a leader, and why your shop needs both.
Having the right tools at hand and keeping them honed makes a big difference in business and in the garden. This year’s heavy snow (and #%^&^% rabbits!) caused terrible tree and shrub damage, so my outside chores have required many hours with long-handled pruners and a chainsaw. I have treated these tools with respect and my garden is starting to show the results. As Confucius once said, “If a craftsman wants to do good work, he must first sharpen his tools.”