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Tools

May 24th, 2009 No comments

I’ve ended up with a lot of new tools because of this project. The great thing is though, it often comes out cheaper to buy the tools to do something yourself, than it would be to have someone else do it. Certain tools have proven themselves to be indispensable time-savers.

caliper1

I’ll list those here:

  • Calipers – decent dial or vernier calipers are indispensable
  • Air compressor – a friend of mine gave me his extra 20 gallon air compressor – score! Whether it’s for operating air tools or just blowing things off, this thing is indespensable. Get one!
  • Air ratchet
  • Air impact wrench – this saves so much time and exasperation
  • Air hammer – this was absolutely key for ripping apart the rusty floor panels
  • Air powered drill – much lighter and easier to maneuver in small places and over long periods than its electric counterpart
  • Long breaker bar
  • 4 1/2 high-speed angle grinder (with cut-off wheels too)
  • Bench grinder – you’ll find more uses for this than you can imagine
  • MIG welder (I have a Lincoln 175 and I love it – I think it can do just about anything)
  • A good vise and soft jaw inserts
  • A work bench – I built a good solid work bench and it’s key
  • Of course a good full set of screwdrivers, sockets (deep and shallow), and various socket wrench extensions, a U-joint, and open/box-end combo wrenches
  • 3/8″ and 1/2″ electric drills
  • An accurate torque wrench – you probably need 2 – one for lighter loads and one for heavier loads
  • Fire extinguisher ready at hand
  • Various pliers, vise-grips and clamps
  • For sheet metal fitting, Cleco fasteners are an amazing help
  • Creeper – get a cheap one and revel in how much better you feel that you’re not always on the cold cement and soaking in oil. I did without one for years and I don’t know why.
  • Files – a decent selection of files, even cheap ones
  • Chisels – again, cheap ones. Get a small set of cheap utility chisels that you don’t care if you bang up. And then, keep them sharp. Dull cutting implements are always a bad idea – so easy to lose control of one and cut yourself instead. If you need to do fine work, there’s nothing like a good quality chisel, but use the cheap ones for rough duty.

I’m sure there are more that are key, but at the moment they escape me.

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