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If you intend fitting out a barge yourself, most of the tools you will need are just normal DIY tools, which you probably already have. There are a few tools however that you will likely need to purchase in addition to those you already have. Below I have listed some of the 'invaluable' tools I used during the fit-out of Elessina, most of which I purchased specifically for our barge fit-out.
Professional Holesaw Set
Bi-metal with High Speed Steel teeth. For cutting mild steel, copper, aluminium, brass, laminates, plastics and all timbers
www.Screwfix.com around £35.00
I found this holesaw set to be absolutely invaluable, especially for running cables and pipes through bulkheads. It will cut through all steel and wood bulkheads. I must have cut around 200 holes with (around 70 in steel) and used every one at least once. The most popular ones have a tooth or two missing!, but still cut ok.
Large Crimping Tool
Rotating the heads allows this tool to crimp terminals onto electrical cables from around 20mm2 to 120mm2 in size.
We purchased ours from Energy Solutions
Ratchet Crimping Tool
A good quality ratchet crimping tool for red, blue and Yellow pre-insulated cable terminals. Plus a good selection of crimps. I must have used around 300 crimps, mainly blue size.
Red 0.5mm-1.5mm². Blue 1.5mm-2.5mm². Yellow 4.0mm-6.0mm²
B&D Scorpion Power Saw
A brilliant saw. Although I have a jigsaw and circular saw I barely used either once I purchased this. The blades are a bit expensive (£12) and I went through 4 of them. The saw had so much use I burned the 1st one out (I think it was only the brushes) but so essential was the saw I had to buy a replacement immediately.
Around £35 from Argos
Tap and Die Set
I had never really used a tap and die set before, but I used the taps a lot (to cut a thread into a hole drilled in steel), especially M4, M5 and M6.
A complete set like this one (M3, M4, M5, M6, M8, M10 and M12) can be purchased for around £12 (screwfix.com, toolstation.com etc.). Not found a use for the dies yet!!.
Compound Mitre Saw
I use this saw a lot. Will enable any timber up to around 6" wide to be cut accurately at any angle between 45 deg and 90 deg. Accuracy of cut around 1mm.
Cost around £10 to £20 from B&Q Screwfix etc.
I purchased a Brother PT 1280. Invaluable - had good use out of it. Three different laminated tape widths available (6mm, 9mm and 12mm) in various colours and can print on two lines on the wider tapes. I purchased it from Staples for £50 complete with 2 tapes and mains adaptor. Not used the mains adaptor, the 6 x AAA batteries have lasted well over a year and done over 100 labels (I have 4 different tapes, used in total around 2 of them). Quick and easy to change from one tape to another.
When buying a labelling machine make sure it uses laminated tapes like the Brother TZ range. Not all tapes (including cheaper Brother machines) use laminated tapes.
I purchased 2 cheap (under £10) foldable work benches. Very useful to have two for long / large pieces of wood etc. Both need to be the same height, so best to buy them together.
I have never really got on with cross head screws until I tried Screwfix's Goldscrews. They have a Prodrive head (not Phillips) and are yellow zinc-plated. I found them great for all types of wood, very sharp pointed and very good value eg a box of 200 x 30mm x 3.5 just £0.77p. Or a Trade pack of 1,800 screws for £17.66. www.screwsix.com
Screwdriver and bits
The only problem with the prodrive headed screws is that after time the screwdriver heads wears out. This is overcome with a ¼" hex screwdriver bit holder and appropriate bits. The screwfix holder has a soft grip handle and is just £2.60, very comfortable and easy to use. I purchased 10 x #2 bits and 2 x #1 and #3 bit sizes (Pozidriv™ and Prodrive® compatible) for around £2.50 each and have not used them all yet.
Plastic pipe Cutter
I you intend doing all your plumbing in plastic pipe (In my opinion much better than copper, I would never go back to copper pipe and fittings), then a Plastic pipe Cutter makes pipe cutting very simple.
Around £5.50 from www.toolstation.com
18v Cordless Nailer
Not essential, but very useful, especially if you intend to have wood trims around the lining (like our Iroko wood trims). It saves a lot of time, but more importantly the nails (brads) are so fine you can not see them.
This nailer from www.toolstation.com costs around £50 and takes 15mm to 32mm, 18g Brads. comes with 3,000 mixed brad nails and 1 hour fast battery charger.
Handsaws - I used cheap 10" Tenon saws from screwfix (£3.39 each) and replaced them when blunt (used 3 in total). And cheap hardpoint 14" toolbox saws (£4.50) also from Screwfix.
A coping saw is handy to have (£4.89 from Screwfix)
Electric Drill - A cheap 800w drill, preferably 2 speed with metal gearbox - around £35 from Argos / B&Q will cut 2" holes in steel with no problem.
Cordless drill - I purchased an 18v cordless drill with spare battery from Robert Dyas for £19.99. It has seen a lot of use, the drill still works fine, but the batteries are near to the end of their life, one has gone completely.
Router Table - I purchased a Router and table (£100) but have not used it very much at all. I could have done without it. Creates to much mess, even when connected to the Vac.
Electric Planner - I have an electric planner, but hardly used it at all. Certainly not worth buying one if you do not already have one. I have / used a small hand planer a lot, and also a curved surfoam tool
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Last updated 31 January 2012