Saturday, February 25, 2006

Latest Weapon in the Tool Arsenal

Anyone who has done repairs to their boat, or has been around boat building knows that these days you tend to use a lot of sealants and adhesives. One of the most popular being 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive and Sealant (very strong, and permanent, stuff). Now, anyone who has tried to squeeze out a cartridge of this stuff, especially on a cold day, knows your hand starts cramping after a half a tube (unless you have a particularly strong grip. Me, I have delicate engineer hands.). Even with a good manual caulking gun it can be tiring. Anticipating that I will be using a good amount of 5200 this season, I decided to buy an 18v cordless caulking gun. It is a Rigid brand I ordered online from Home Depot for about $120. It is variable speed and will accept 10 ounce cartridges and larger. I was a bit surprised at how big and heavy it is. Though it is no heaver than your typical 18v cordless drill. When I mentioned to my wife that I bought one these, she rolled her eyes and said "why do we need one of those?" Which, after thinking about it, lead my to the following philsophy... Power Tools Are Your Friend Building a 42 foot sailboat is very labor intensive (duh). And when you are only two people building (most of) the boat, your chances of success are most improved by making the construction jobs easier and faster without compromising quality. Ingredients for this a good well thought out design and construction process, and, POWER TOOLS. Why use manual tools when a power tool can do it better and save you the energy? With manual tools you will just be more tired at the end of the day, possibly slowing down the process. Makes sense, don't it? Or, maybe I am just a wimp. Anyway, enough of this, we have a boat to build. Later.