A lake boat of my own

Okay, I don’t actually have a lake boat. I do like them and have many fond memories of watching them at Welland on family vacations when I was a kid. So what do I have beyond a feeble attempt at a witty blog title? I have a really great tool I really should have made before.

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Trevor Marshall inspired this tool. Mine took about five minutes with some scrap from the shed to assemble and it’s already earning its keep and proving its worth. Trevor dubbed his The Edmund Fitzsander and you can read more about his here:

The Edmund Fitzsander

I used mine this afternoon to sand the top of some cork roadbed I’d glued down yesterday afternoon. With such a long cutting face it really shines in how clean a cut it makes and how it doesn’t tend to cove the soft cork roadbed I was cleaning up. I used a medium grade (sorry, I’m just too lazy to go out and read the exact grit) sand paper on mine and it was so efficient at removing material that I used it to plane down the height of two of the sidings to better represent track at different heights. I was having so much fun with the thing that I used it to for some ditching along the roadbed. Man, this tool is great!

Trevor’s is a much nicer version of my tool. If you want to make one up yourself, read his notes first then come back to mine. I used scrap I had on hand:

  • The core of mine is some 5/8″ thick oak I had leftover from a house project last fall. The board was left its original width and thickness and cut to length to match the sand paper belt I was using.
  • The sanding surface on mine is a belt for my belt sander. I bought the wrong size and couldn’t use this one anyway. I simply cut it open and attached it to the oak core using staples.
  • I tried using this tool without a handle. It sort of worked but mostly didn’t. I remembered a gate handle I had in my “one of these days I’m gonna need one of these bins” and screwed that in place.

Yup, a truly great tool. Didn’t cost anything to make. Further, having it made it possible to get a couple of projects done this afternoon and I made some really worthwhile progress.

Speaking of progress, I painted the exposed pink foam with some tan craft paint I had. This looks much nicer than bare pink foam and encourages me to fool myself into believing I’ve got more done than I have.

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