View Full Version : Goat Island Skiff - Tools (AND CLAMPS) required? Applies to all storerboats

26th June 2008, 06:48 PM
Well I have taken the plunge. I have bought the plans, sourced the timber and stayed up waaay past my bed time looking at all the various bits a pieces of marine rigging etc...

so it occured to me :doh:i am about to start and that I probably need more tools than a power drill and a couple of shifting spanners, which, I might add is about the sum total of my tool box.

I would welcome any thoughts and contributions on what tools I will require to build a GIS or the like.

Many thanks

26th June 2008, 07:56 PM
Jigsaw, Random orbit sander, handplane and sharpening stone, cordless drill/screwdriver, ruler, measuring tape, pencils, half dozen cheap clamps, arms, legs ...

There are other things that make it more CONVENIENT - but this is just about enough.


27th June 2008, 06:14 AM
one of the best planes i have for small amount of boat building i have done is the Stanley #118 low angle plane, i picked mine up on fleabay

you will never have enough clamps no matter how many you have :oo:

a hand saw will be needed, a good sharp 1" chisel and some rubber gloves if you useing epoxy

oh and good luck with your build :2tsup:

27th June 2008, 08:53 AM
A measuring device. A tape is good, a metre long metal rule is also handy, but not necessary.

You DON'T need a square, you can measure off the ends of the ply to set out the boat, but grab a corner from a cardboard carton to check for squareness. Most cartons are cut at an accurate 90. You can check for square by lining it up against the edge of something and drawing a perpendicular line. Flip it over against the line you've just drawn, if its still against the edge, it's square.

Even a jig saw is unnecessary, but useful and quite cheap. If you've already got a panel saw (a hand saw) the curves are sufficiently long that you can use that. A Japanese pull saw would do the trick, and would be very useful for cutting all the angles in the framing.

You will need a plane. A Stanley #4 is a good starting place, if you can get a second hand one go for it. Although a low angle block plane is really really handy.

Learn to adjust and sharpen it before you start (there are plenty of threads to search here) and you'll learn to love it. Do a search for "Scary Sharp" for the simplest/cheapest sharpening method for beginners.

A belt sander is fun and fast, and a good optional accessory, as is a Random Orbital Sander for when you come to finish. If this is all you are going to do n your life, buy some cheapies, otherwise, pay as much you can afford and you'll have a tool for life.

You need a chisel. I built my GIS with only a 3/4 chisel in my collection, but a wider one would be useful too.

You can probably get away with no clamps by using removable plasterboard screws for every join, but a few clamps would be useful as Mik says.

The drill you have. Is it a battery drill that drives screws? You'll need one of those!

That's pretty much it really.

It's a simple collection of simple tools. From there, anything you add will make the job easier or more enjoyable if you like mucking round with tools, or faster.

I'm not anti tools by any means, I've pretty much got one of everything now, but when I built my GIS, the list above is what I had and what I used.



27th June 2008, 11:11 AM
ok so far

orbital sander (have this)
perhaps belt sander
drill ( have a plug in electric drill, variable speed, keyless chuck etc..that will do)
chisel 3/4
tape measure (have this)
clamp x many ( have been shopping and now have 40 of these)
stanly number 4 plane ( will see what dad has)
hand saw

that should do the trick. Might start looking on ebay for a plane.
Many thanks everyone for your input.
Goes without saying I will post progress pics.

27th June 2008, 11:23 AM
The random orbit sander has a round pad and cuts faster and leaves less scratches than a square orbital sander. The Bosch PEX is a good cheap one.

You can get away with a stanley #4 and no other plane at all but if you can pick up a cheap "block plane" it can be quite convenient for one handed operation.

Possibly you could pick up a box of GMC powertools from Bunnings or one of the big chains that includes a jigsaw and a random orbit sander (and four other power tools for much the same price as buying a better brand single tool.

The GMC are quite reasonable quality and if one tool dies during the warranty period they replace the lot. So keep the receipt in a safe place!


27th June 2008, 11:37 AM
I disagree with hongkongphoie,

You can never have enough clamps

this is what woodworkers say and is taken to be true by virtue of repetition and that everyone nods and agrees with each other.

But I'd stick by the statement that you only really need a half dozen clamps of the screw kind and they can be quite cheap. The other type that is useful to collect are spring clamps - make sure they have a good spring - it should be a bit of effort to open the clamp um completely with one hand. These are cheap too.

Maybe 3 screw clamps together with six good spring clamps would come to the same money and would be enough too.

So where I agree with HKPhoie is that if you have some more clamps it makes things a bit more convenient but you don't need to have the feeling that you need lots.

But please don't start to think that you need lots! Part of gluing jobs is to plan well. If you plan well you will only need a few clamps. More clamps can increase the convenience and mean that you can get away with half hearted planning - but half hearted planning is very risky (not suggesting anything about HKP here). My plans do suggest in different places that you do some of the assembly without glue to make sure that you can hold everything in place with what you have - this is so you don't get into problems where you suddenly need more clamps than you have - then when you have it all sussed out you can take it apart, add the glue and reassemble in the same screw holes that you used for the dry run.

The cordless drill and the drywall/plasterboard screws serve the function of clamps almost completely. With things like mast gluing where you don't want to use screws I use two clamps. Starting from one end I put them about 400 mm apart.

Then wind several layers of the brown plastic packaging tape around the mast close to the bottom clamp pulling it really tight - probably need to go around about 3 times.

Then you can move the bottom clamp above the top clamp and wrap tape around the mast near the other clamp.

10 minutes later the whole thing is clamped up securely but you have only used two clamps. If you have 6 clamps - well - it will be VERY easy.

Best wishes

27th June 2008, 03:36 PM
I disagree with hongkongphoie, this is what woodworkers say and is taken to be true by virtue of repetition and that everyone nods and agrees with each other.

I agree with Mik entirely. I have enough clamps! ;)

I do have two dozen little 3" screw G clamps bought over a five year period at $2 or $3 each, and a few others of varying size, mostly of good quality. But they are luxury items.

Don't forget, apart from packaging tape, you can do wonders with a bit of twine (nylon cord is good, as epoxy doesn't stick to it) and a stick to pull it tight, or a well placed truckies hitch.



27th June 2008, 03:54 PM
I don't have any clamps at all ...

I use Midge's!!!!

27th June 2008, 05:37 PM
i know what your saying and i take no affence it just i like to clamp things rather than have to go around later filling or plugging the screw holes, to me thats just unnessaserey work just for the sake of a few more clamps

so who's going to tell Daddles he didn't need all these clamps :oo: :D


27th June 2008, 06:13 PM
Howdy HKP,

A lot of what I write here is not necessarily for the people it is addressed to - like you.

I am often writing so it becomes useful for people who are to follow who don't have the context of seeing the whole thing unfolding as we have.

So sometimes I will emphasise something out of proportion - like my "taking issue" with the number of clamps you suggested. I do know what you mean and both you and Daddles are entitled to your number of clamps.

After all I might want to borrow them one day!


So please don't think I am disagreeing much - really it

27th June 2008, 06:37 PM
so who's going to tell Daddles he didn't need all these clamps :oo: :D


Not me I've seen Daddles at work he needs all the clamps he can get.


27th June 2008, 07:07 PM
clamps it is.. I have just purchased 25 f clamps on ebay ... and another 10 spring ones .. think thats enough..
at lunch I happened to "drop in" to bunnings and am now the proud owner of a stainless steel meter ruler
a nice hand saw
3 chisels
I think I'll end up buying their gmc power saw the guy at bunnings said that they dont get returns and they also have a 2 year warrenty.
Away at Stanthorpe freezing my butt off this weekend so start date has been slightly delayed..
Thanks Mik for putting this thread in the right place and renaming etc.. Is it that obvious that I am a blog/thread virgin??
Cheers all

27th June 2008, 07:37 PM
Ahhh what all good woodies need....... an excuse to buy more tools:2tsup:

I need more clamps:D I want more clamps :sneek:I must have more clamps:evilguy: MMMWWAHAHAHA


27th June 2008, 10:22 PM
I think I'll end up buying their gmc power saw the guy at bunnings said that they dont get returns and they also have a 2 year warrenty.
Cheers all

Look at their boxes of several tools - sometimes when they are on special buying six can be cheaper than 2 1/2!

And if one karks it then they replace the whole set!!! Or have in the past.


28th June 2008, 12:56 AM
Iain Oughtred in his book wrote than you will need clamps more than you've ever seen... (honkongphoie is his boat shown in that photo?) :;:B

28th June 2008, 04:29 AM
(honkongphoie is his boat shown in that photo?) :;:B

yes it is :-

thats my tender i only painted it that colour because the fishermen in the bay tend to use the closest dinghy to them (lazzy gits) so by painting mine pink and yellow, i thought that would prevent them useing it but it seems to have had the reverse effect :( and is in fact very popular :grumble:

28th June 2008, 09:34 AM
Call me a hypocrite if you like, I didn't say you wouldn't use them if you had them!

Here's my Eureka Canoe (http://homepage.mac.com/peterhyndman/eureka/)under construction.

When I built the GIS it was a different story though!




28th June 2008, 10:41 AM
yep Midge, yep, they are the ones I use too!

21st September 2009, 12:44 AM
I'm resurrecting an old thread here.

I'm split on whether or not to spend 45 bucks on a Japanese saw. What are people's thoughts here? Right now I'm in assembly stage of the BH's, and I don't foresee needing it, but maybe when I start pinning the boat together? Who uses one, and how essential are they?


21st September 2009, 05:10 AM
I use a Japanese pull saw and find it handy for various light cuts. I could live without it but mine was only about $25. I couldn't live without my Bosch jig saw, however.

I also use a table saw and have managed to do without a skilsaw through 2 1/2 boat projects. I also use a belt sander, a block plane and an electric hand plane. Wood rasps and sanding blocks (and a whole bunch of clamps) round out my list of required or desired boatbuilding tools.

Oh, yeah, a router does a few things better and faster than anything else.

22nd September 2009, 08:27 PM
Hi Chris,

You probably have too much advice now :C but I have to get get you mine too :U

Most electric tools very helpfull to speed up things, but you basically need a drill, a jugsaw for curved cuts ( you could do most cuts with a good handsaw or a electric circular saw ) and any kind of electric sander is great for saving time finishing.

The rest is convenient. I use a very cheap router for rounding corners very quick. I use an electric plane occasionally to make thick pieces of wood thinner or any other job where you need to cut away bigger amounts of wood ( if you buy the right size of wood, you don't need it and the beltsander could do the job ) I do have a circular handsaw ( cutting plywood fast, but that could be done very well with a good handsaw ) and a table circular saw ( again, you don't need that if you buy the right sizes of wood, but it's great to pick the best parts out of wide planks )

I use a beltsander a lot, with very course belt ( grid 40-60 ) you can do amazing things in rounding, making things square and flat.......but you need to have a strong and experienced hand not to mess up things ( full speed with 40 belt it's a killing machine )
This eliminates using a handplane most times. If you use it with a fine belt ( grid 120 and higher ) it's also a very capable finishing sander on bare wood eliminating an orbital one ( it's too course to be used in between epoxy or paint jobs, better do that by hand or orbital sander ) Don't buy a huge and heavy one, also the smallest ones are powerfull machines for these kind of jobs and more easy to handle.

In general I buy the cheapest " wathever brand" electric machines, most of them work well for amateur wood jobs and if anything breaks down, dispose them and buy another one. In my Western European market most replacement parts ( saw blades, beltdrives a.s.o.) are more expensive than this whole machine. If you really want much better tools you need to go for professional ones and they easily cost you 5-10 x more. I did not buy my stuff for GIS, but had a collection already and sometimes pick a replacement if anything is in "sales". It could be that your market is completely different, but we have lots of cheap eastern-europe and asain made tools here.

Good luck building!
I have just started mine a while ago and it's fun if you take your time to do the "perfect job" .
Don't make it more complicated than it is, just cut pieces of wood and fix it together following MIK's excellent manual and use lots of your own common sense. If you are in doubt, Keep it Simple...that works.