Boatshops: Sharing fairing and sanding space

The 2012 mast varnish project continues.  Thickest layers of old varnish are now off, 80 grit work is 90% done and final prep includes removing a few more fittings and detailing the hardest to reach nooks and crannies.

My heat gun and scraper leave a pile of shavings below the sawhorses. Bubbling varnish and oozing sap from the old fir send vapors into the windowless space. The Festool sander and vaccum make noise for hours. The hand sanding pads send particles into the air, settling on every surface - varnish coated sawdust from the 80 grit to powdery dust particles of fir from 220 grit. 

Grateful to be indoors through the spring summer rain transition at Haven Boatworks, I'm also awkwardly smack in the middle of at least seven boat projects and a half a dozen skilled staff. Regardless of whether my shop mate is male or female (about 60/40) a recent boat school grad in their 20s or a local legend at 60 and up, boatshop etiquette clearly transcends age, gender and experience. 

Boatshop space rules: Respect, common courtesy, tidiness and safety

  • Be sure your work doesn't poison you or anyone else
  • Check in often to coordinate sanding, drying and cleanup times
  • Clean up after yourself and put tools back in the place you found them
  • Keep the owner/manager up to date on your general work task timeline
  • Lend a hand if someone needs help
  • Don't sand or even think about sanding when someone else is painting or varnishing
  • Brooms, vacuums, ear gear and ventilators make happier, healthier co-workers