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Minimum Tools

Guest Gordy Hill

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Guest Gordy Hill

When I built my boat I had far fewer tools than now.

I was thinking that if I had to do it again, what would I consider minimum, and which tools would I add and in what order.

1. A cordless drill. Nothing can be built without a cordless drill. Quality: medium or better.

2. A saber saw. This is one place where quality counts. A cheap one isn't worth having.

3. A circular saw. Quality is nice, but not so important here. If you have to save money, do it here.

4. A good hand plane. Stanley makes a good one and it's not really that expensive. Actually this might be listed first. When you order your plans, buy a hand plane and sharpen it...and sharpen it....then sharpen it again.

5. A quality random orbital sander. I had a finish sander that just hummed very loud. A random orbital sander would have saved about four weeks in the building of my boat. Buy the large packages of 60, 100 or 150 and 220 grit disks. I now have a Porter Cable. It's wonderful.

6. As soon as the decision is made to build a boat, buy clamps. Any clamps. All you can get your hands on. Graham Byrnes showed me how to make really handy clamps by sawing 4" PVC into 1" lenghts and then cutting through once.

Although it's not absolutely nessary, I'd hate to build anything else without a table saw.

I'm sure others have opinions about this list and what comes next.


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Guest capt jake

I agree with most. Only a few exceptions (of course, I have darned near any tool you can name).

1- Circular saw? If you buy one, buy quality. I have PC's little 6" sidewinder. Very true and yet light!

2- Planes? a block plane, a hand plane and a spokeshave.

3- Tablesaw? A must!

4- Clamps? Can't have too many of those I have about 40, in various sizes, and still don't have enough.

5- You didn't mention a router! Must have!! I have three.

6- RO sander, I too have the PC! I love it!

Nice to have, but not required; planer, jointer, router table, OH yes Must have a drill press! :)

Tools!! ARR ARR!! :D ARR!


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Guest T. Nelson Surbrook

With a heading like Minimum tools I am thinking the least amount of tools that could do the job. OK, let's see...

1.Saber saw

2.Draw knife




6.Lots of time and guts

This is a "minimum list of tools"

Maybe we are spoiled with all the tools we have to use. Many a boat has been built with less and been put to hard use. Of course they weren't a pretty as our boats are!


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Guest Gordy Hill

I think you're right "T" but I think a plane would be on the minimum list.

Maybe it would be best to start a new thread with the concept of an empty garage (well nearly) and a set of plans.

What would you consider absolutely essential before starting the project and what would you add, and in what order, as you could afford it?


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Guest John Burritt

Just to throw in a couple of other ideas - Scrapers, both the 2"-2 1/2" carbide blade "paint" scraper and cabinet scrapers. Both do an excellent job of removing those epoxy/glue drops/messes most of us seem to get ourselves into from time to time. Much quicker and less dusty than sanding, and reduces the risk of digging a hole as can happen with the sander. Also, many times you can put a better finish on wood with a cabinet scraper than by sanding.

Saying that, a half-sheet sander is a great tool for fairing a hull - almost as good as a long board with a lot less work.


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Guest Graeme"SNUPI bui

The most used tools in my collection would have to be a battery drill and an electric drill !

The electric for drilling the HUNDREDS of counter-sunk holes..... a battery drill for setting the screws.

I found the battery drills ( even my 18 volt jobbie) are too slow for practical drilling of a bunch of holes at a time .

Graeme Nova Scotia


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Guest ken connors

re: johns message about using paint scrapers. this may be old news to most of you but just in case...... when i buy those scrapers, i set my belt sander in the vise and round off the edges of the scraper and then resharpen them. eliminates a lot of gouging.


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