Monday, September 5, 2011

Houston, we have Tools

It's been challenging, being on the boat without my tools.  I came from a home in the suburbs, with a two car garage, a huge workshop, and over 30 years of accumulated tools.  Even though I sold off the drill press, the grinders, and a host of other tools I thought I would not need as a City Mouse in Seattle, I still ended up with a two very large and heavy tool boxes.

Those have been sitting in storage since November 1 of 2010.  You see, I could not see how I could get to 50+lb tool boxes on Brigadoon.

Then I discovered a little organizing skills.

You see, this is my tool storage:

The space under this chart table holds ships spares and tools.
That space isn't very large or easy to access.  Putting two huge tool boxes, especially a very heavy and unwieldy one with drawers just didn't make sense.

The huge tool box worked great on my twelve foot long workbench.  Not so much in the space you see below:

This is the chart table seat with the cushions removed.
As you can see, there is a larger space below.  I call this deep storage.  I think it can hold about two to three bodies.

Deep storage, under the chart table seat storage.
Brigadoon is like a puzzle, where you find space for things.  Kind of like a Tetris game, where you get bonus points for putting everything in the right place.

So, I pulled the two tool boxes from storage and spent a very long afternoon sorting, categorizing, and discarding, tools I didn't need.  I mean, how many needle nose pliers of exactly the same size, with cutting feature, does one need?  How many 13mm sockets?  How many 10mm open end wrenches?

The answer, simply, is two.  You can get by with one but, if that one breaks, you can't always go to the store.  So, the exercise was: find one 10mm socket in 3/8" drive.  Find another of exactly the same type.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

You do this until you have examined every tool you have and decided what you need and what you don't.

So, now I'm down to a separate toolbox for the sockets, one for the wrenches (including allen wrenches), another for screwdrivers and pliers/needle nose/diags, and other miscellaneous tools like the tiniest hand plane you have ever seen and a huge drawknife (made a boat oar with it once).

The collection has been vetted and now all it needs to be is stowed.

This is where you play Tetris:

Huge metal toolbox hidden behind wrenches, sockets, ships supplies, spare parts, and work coveralls, along with storm trysail.

It's done.  I ended up sitting in the sun for a couple hours, staring at wrenches and sockets.  Too tired to eat dinner, all I could do is sip on a cider and eventually go for a walk.  However, as I type this, I'm sitting six inches above every tool I own and it's all aboard Brigadoon.

Now, where to put that underwater welder...

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