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View Poll Results: Are you a do-it-yourselfer?
Yes 578 96.66%
No 20 3.34%
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post #101 of 135 Old 02-15-2012
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By doing stuff myself I was able to get stuff done that I would not have been able to afford to "have done for me", things that not only allow me to live aboard comfortably, but to do the cruising I have dreamed of all my life as well as show off the old girl's true splendor (someone who has known my boat for 30 years said it best "Well someone's got to dress the old girl up").
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post #102 of 135 Old 02-16-2012
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I design and fabricate all my bit and pieces. The boat is made from best quality recycled wood from warehouses ,houses, drift wood and bits of forest.Metal parts are fabricated from scrap yard and scrounge.Took five years and 12 thou; mostly money from recycle.I bought the engine and sails but consider myself a pretty efficient dumpster diver and proud of it.Thane has given me a good living and a great life style since I retired 35 years ago.Messing with boats, nothing like it!
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post #103 of 135 Old 02-18-2012
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My grandfather taught me a lot ...and most of it involved fixing things. So yes, I've always been a DIY'er. Working on my boat is worth my time in so many ways and many have already been touched on. One point I always try to remember and to pass on to others: If you take care of your lady/boat properly, she'll always take care of you.
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post #104 of 135 Old 03-27-2012
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Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

Yep.
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post #105 of 135 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

I have been building my own stuff since I was about 4 years old. Paying someone else is like paying someone to have my fun for me. I learned early on, how much better home made gear is than most commercially made stuff. If you build it yourself, you acquire the skills and tools to repair or rebuild it any time , or build any other gear you may need. It also maximizes your play time , which is what it is all about anyway.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #106 of 135 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

My tools on board include oxy/ acetylene tanks and gear. You bet I'm a do it myselfer.
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post #107 of 135 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

Question for the DIY'ers, what do you guys do for power tools, rechargeable battery or inverters+cables?
What are your favorite power tools?
Favorite hand tools?
What are your favorite parts to have on hand? Especially the kind of stuff where it will pay off to have a large assorted bulk pack vs buying as needed?
How do you secure tools to avoid losing them if you slip/drop them while working?

No boat experience but I have spent a bit of time on both sides of the DIY/Pro fence in a couple of different fields, which has led me to the two approaches I use.

When I'm doing work that may be awkward or unsafe alone, especially where I may need lots of tools/pieces handed to me in an challenging workspace, or parts picked up after I get into the project it I'll hire a helper, or work out a labor trade with them if they are the DIY type too.


I am happy to pay a pro for a complicated job with the understanding that I'll pay full price, as well as being their gopher in exchange for getting to ask questions and have a running explanation of what they are doing and why.
The education alone is usually worth the price a pro charges, and the work is done right. They are often happy to avoid the menial parts of the job. As a bonus, people who are willing to teach are less likely to be taking short cuts and leaving messes, plus if we come across something else I can make the choice on the spot.

Additionally I will see what tools the pros actually use instead of buying an expensive tool ahead of time that may only be sold to amateurs.
I caught on to that as a granite counter-top fabricator/installer. When work was slow we'd finish up failed DIY installs.

We always had the same things in a 4 gallon bucket:
Cheapest variable speed angle grinder, one solid diamond wheel, a pack of velcro backed abrasive pads, a cordless drill, a roll of masking tape, a tube of epoxy, a tube of clear silicone, a pack of a coloured powder, 2 bar clamps and a small chunk of steel wool soaked in beeswax+solvent.
That covered us for everything from cutting slabs, shimming them up and glueing them together out to refacing entire edges and installing sinks.

Total cost of the tools was under 500$ and used 8 hours a day 5 days a week generating income.
We'd throw a bit of plywood scrap and some offcuts as we went.

By comparison the amateur home installer when we were finishing a failed DIY would usually have
in a pricey awkward toolbox:
Expensive angle grinder, individual polishing wheels and toothed diamond wheels(fast wearing, hard to use, poorer cut, more money), fancy aluminium clamping guide systems(ruler+tape was better), specialty sink holders(2 bar clamps and 2x4 was better), expensive shims(offcuts were better), plates for gluing sinks(plywood and granite scraps were better), fancy tools for smoothing silicone around the sink(nothing beats a drop of dish soap in water and a finger) special cleaners, specialty waxes, expensive pigments and whatever else they got fooled into buying.

They'd easily break 1500$, mostly on tools they'd never need again and often waste a lot of material due to the limitations imposed by their choices(not counting plain incompetence)
The ones who hung around to watch us work were usually furious by the end, realizing how much money they wasted on specialty tools, which actually made a perfect fit and finish harder to achieve!
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post #108 of 135 Old 03-30-2012
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Re: Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Len View Post
My tools on board include oxy/ acetylene tanks and gear. You bet I'm a do it myselfer.
Oxy propane works just as well ,and is much cheaper and simpler to deal with. Build a yoke for your oxygen bottle and you can refill it from a bigger bottle.
All you need to change is the propane tip.
I have a 100 amp auto alternator , driven by my engine , thru a 9 inch pulley. It welds and runs my power tools. My most used are drills and angle grinder. I have put an extension and cigarette lighter plug on my 12 volt drill, which I use a lot.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"

Last edited by Brent Swain; 03-30-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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post #109 of 135 Old 03-31-2012
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Re: Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

The marketing industry in this country has put a lot of time and effort into getting people to believe it is better to buy something new and/or have something done for you... that accomplished people are now led to believe that they are incapable of doing for themselves. I built a table for my boat, cherry and teak w/brass hardware and a jade inlay... a neighbor of mine (who is excessively homophobic) said it looked "really gay", it was explained to me that this was actually a complement .... no "normal" person would go to that much trouble to make their place look that good.
When I told someone I had just bought a spoke shave they couldn't figure out what I why...I just spent all morning making a dish towel bar out of a scrap of cherry...when I would have taken 5 minutes to buy a pine dowel at the hardware store.
What really bugs me is when people offer a solution to what I am trying to do prefaced by either "Why do you just buy..." or "Just have someone...".
Someone once commented on the work I am doing "You're lucky you have the skills...", any skills I have I picked up on my own after I started.

Last edited by wolfenzee; 03-31-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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post #110 of 135 Old 08-10-2012
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Re: Are you a do-it-yourselfer?

I have always been a DIY'er.I had to build the trailer for my first boat that needed a lot of repair from being neglected for 15 years. I had to re-rig my second boat and now that I live aboard,I have done everything because of cost which has help me help fix other boats along our way.
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