hen Kyle and I built SOLVI, a 20′ open sail-and-oar boat to take down the Mississippi River, we had plans for an elaborate boom tent, but, as many boat projects seem to go, we ran low on time and money and we had to scale back. I spent hours looking online for an affordable product . . .
The single large button is easy to operate, even with gloved hands. It has an advantage over my former favorite head lamp, which has two separate buttons for red and white lights, both small and hard to press separately one from another. When the button on the Mantus headlamp is pressed, the light cycles through all of the various modes in order: first red, then white low, high, and SOS. It’s the way the red light works that makes it a gem. When navigating at night, you’ll want a red light to preserve your night vision while reading charts, so the red light is always the first to turn on.
My main drum sander is a simple shop-made affair: a plywood box containing a salvaged motor fitted with a chuck to hold a 3″ sanding drum. With a 60-grit sanding sleeve on the drum, it’s a real workhorse when it comes to smoothing curves, but I don’t use it for finish work. Sleeves with finer grits are available, but they’re $4 apiece, hard to get on and off the rubber drum, and too stiff to smooth radiused edges. For finer work, I’ve been using sleeveless sanding drums. They are built around a rigid foam cylinder and hold strips of common sandpaper. The exterior of the cylinder is padded with a layer of 1/8″ neoprene. One end of the cylinder is fitted with a cast-aluminum flange and a steel axle. The ends of the sandpaper strip are tucked into a slot in the drum that leads to a long, round hole where a length of steel oval tubing rotates to secure the sandpaper