Monday, January 24, 2011

Heat gun

Speaking of tools... We were speaking of tools weren't we?   Here is one which you should probably have on your boat:

Yep, a heat gun - kind of like a hair dryer on steroids.  This is a serious tool - the air it delivers is so hot that it will set wood on fire - like all serious tools, you should have a care when using it.

And like many tools, when it is needed, it may only be needed for a few seconds, but oh, what a difference those few seconds can make.

Here are some of the things ours has helped with:
  • Formica removal (at the nav station) - heat the Formica enough to soften the contact cement holding it to the wood.
  • Head hoses - coat the outside of the fitting and the inside of the head hose with silicone and then heat the hose (carefully, slowly) until it is pliable.   The hose then goes on the fittings *so* easily, and the hose clamps are much more effective at compressing the hose against the fitting.
  • Heat a piece of 1" head hose enough to get it over a 1 1/4" fitting - this saved our bacon when an engine hose split under way.
  • Heat large-bore shrink tubing for battery cables
  • Soften varnish for removal.  Every so often the brightwork demands that you start over with bare wood.  There is a slip-on scraper that comes with the tool (it goes right over the air nozzle), but I prefer to use my own scraper.
You know you want one.


Verena said...

Glad you made this post today as it's my captain's birthday on Wednesday and I don't have a present yet! His big present is a trip to the Seattle boat show this weekend where he gets to pick something out, but I wanted something for him to open on the actual day. Is there a particular brand I should go for? I'm heading to Home Depot after work... Thanks Bob!

bob said...

Verena -

Ours is a Wagner - it has held up well. I think we got it at Home Depot.

Your husband is a lucky man!


Chris said...

I recently used a heat gun on the lower unit of my 5 HP Yamaha outboard to assist in removing the forward bearing. Prior to heating the bearing felt like it was press fit in place. After a few seconds of heat, it dropped right out. Same process to put the new one in, heat the housing and it slid right into place. It didn't even mess up the paint. Wonderful tool to have in your kit.

As an aside, back in the old days when I was a submariner, the O2 content in the air would occasionally get so low that you couldn't keep a cigarette lit. I had a chief that would hold his cigarette to the end of the heat gun to get his fix. I don't know if he ever made Senior Chief or not.

Anonymous said...

do not put silicone on your engine hoses

bob said...

Thanks for the tip Chris!

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