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Old 12-18-2007, 08:30 PM   #1
hatchethairy
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Default have to have tools

after learning quite a bit from the file thread recently posted, i was curious as to what tools YOU use the most on a daily/weekly routine. i am slowly building up my tool collection and since the file tech thread i realized i might be on the wrong track as to which tools to aquire first.

here is a quick list of what i plan on getting and the order i plan on purchasing them....

1.vise/clamps
2.dremil(always seems to be something i can use one for)
3.mig welder
4.torch set
5.drill press
6.band saw

obviously i would like to already have all of these tools, but due to having a few buddies that could help me out previously i never got around to it. it's easy to not purchase tools when you need a bike part, and your friends tools will help move that along. i know how to use them all, within reason, so that isn't an issue.

it seems the tool i need most often is either a vise or a welder......
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: have to have tools

hammers, big ones.........
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: have to have tools

dont forget the fridge for the beer! very important! and a chair to sit in and stare at the bike and think about what you should be doing but arent because you are drinking beer.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: have to have tools

Vice, you ALWAYS need a third hand, (seems like no matter what your working on/with) whether you need to weld or not. Welder next, unless you got enough to get'm both at the same time!
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: have to have tools

Vices are great and you can never have enough clamps. A decent work bench is a must have to mount the vice on. yeah, I know you can use a stand for the ice but ya need a nice bench anyway.

A Mig welder would be at the bottom of my list... I've already got torches and a TIG is what I'd really like to add before a MIG. Honestly at this point I have no desire for a MIG welder...

I have a little airpowered tool that's basically a Dremel. I've never used it. In fact I think I have a Dremel somewhere too... it was my dad's.

Full size drill press is nice. Recently bought a metal cutting band saw and that's a handy little unit. Should have bought one years ago.

The one tool I wasn't sure I'd use much and now love having around is a lathe. Yeah, it's a bit over the top for basic shop tools but damn they come in handy.

Another tool I like having around is a buffing wheel for polishing aluminum.

EDIT rereading this I realized an air compressor is on the list too...
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: have to have tools

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Originally Posted by jon volk View Post
hammers, big ones.........
and "dead blow" hammers too...

I advise "borrowing" or befriending the dudes with the larger/more expensive tools 'till you can afford them yourself... and be sure to RESPECT their tools...
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: have to have tools

lots of tool talk over at the garage journal but i agree with hellbent........the beer fridge is tops on the list.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: have to have tools

for working on motorcycles-
as well as the ones above,
angle grinder
10, 12, 14, 17mm wrenches/sockets
I agree that a MIG is less useful than an oxy/acetylene or TIG especially where small, very pretty welds are highly desirable but I won't be selling mine. I use it almost every time I work on something, to tack or modify some random thing or even stitch.

Last edited by Sonic Reducer; 12-18-2007 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: have to have tools

I would say a hand grinder,air/elc/batt.They work great for everything,Cut,Grind,Polish especially if your welding is not so good yet.Weld, grind, repeat...The top of my X-mas list: a Bench belt/disc sander Pop has one they work good!
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: have to have tools

speaking of hammers....a couple rubber mallets or brass hammers are great for tapping things together without putting dents all over.Easy outs & tap & die set nice to have in the tool box too.It will be a good idea to buy even 1 or 2 high quality tools at a time than a set of sub par shit.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: have to have tools

i use a grinder with a cut off wheel on it daily. its better then the band saw ive got but thats only because its older then me and i cant get parts for it anymore. the grinder also gets into places you cant get a saw. along with that a good welder. tig if you can afford it!. good hammers yeah thats a must. dead blow, ball peen, brass, body shaping hammers. just about every kinda hammer you can get. now if youre suicidal youre gonna buy a triumph or something else old and british. now you gotta go buy a whole new tool set called witworth. the most insane tools ive ever seen 7/16 is bigger then 1/2!! and a set of 8 cost me 85 bucks!.

bottom line is ive got something like 40 grand in tools. about once a month i need something i dont have. welcome.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: have to have tools

good tools can be had cheap. hand tool are plentiful at pawn shops. be careful on electric tools though.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: have to have tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by sickboi55 View Post
good tools can be had cheap. hand tool are plentiful at pawn shops. be careful on electric tools though.
Yea, you can find some deals at them but i always think some junkie stole them from his boss(someone like myself) and took a binge never to return for them.Dont want anything to do with stolen stuff,It supports all things i despise,seen to many good people go down the wrong roads.

Last edited by 1fastfx; 12-18-2007 at 11:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: have to have tools

i built a good sturdy bench a couple of months ago. i definately forgot to put a bench grinder/polisher on the list, cause i plan to get both the vise and said grinder/polisher at the same time hopefully. i have most basic sockets and even some more specific types of sockets for automotive fixes here and there as well. i have plenty of various hand tools i have collected over the years as well. where i am starting to look now is into the larger tools. definately forgot about an air compressor though.... any idea on size i should look for? plan on eventually getting an air tool here and there, so i figure it should have to hold a certain amount to really pay off.

got an angle grinder, sawzall, jigsaw, and a scrollsaw. still need to pick up a cordless drill as well.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: have to have tools

i think the only reason i haven't looked into tig is simply due to ignorance about it. i have dabbled in mig a bit, and seemed to catch on really quick which seems like a purchase i know i can immediately use. all of the reading(skimming) i have encountered on tig made me fearful of dipping into that without some sort of technical advisor there. i plan on taking some tech classes next year as well to finally get some sort of grasp on machining/welding to use for personal gain. maybe putting off the welder until then would be more realistic to see what suits me best.

as for buddies tools, i am always the guy that returns the tool before expected in the same condition it came. nothing more annoying than having to hassle a friend to get a tool back. especially one you happen to need in the middle of a ongoing project. plus i buy the guy lunch/dinner/beer and provide retarded entertainment as well.

Last edited by hatchethairy; 12-18-2007 at 11:51 PM. Reason: cause i wanted to
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: have to have tools

#1 spirotron.... to debur my parts....
#2 Hot tank ....To clean off my greasy engine stuff.....
# 3 bridgeport with DRO for repeatability...
#4 Huge lathe to make spun hubcaps, and tiny wheel spacers....
#5 A big assed shop press (like 70 ton....) to make my fender braces......
#6 Binks spray booth so I can paint perfect every time....
#7 PARK truing stand so my DUI bike rolls straight
#8 Craftsman air comperssor, so I can blow the dust away
#9 harbor freight motorcycle lift... so I can get it up....
#10 radio shack gift card so I can wire all my jap choppers...... LUKESTER
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: have to have tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbent View Post
dont forget the fridge for the beer! very important! and a chair to sit in and stare at the bike and think about what you should be doing but arent because you are drinking beer.
Laughing my ass off because this is what happened last night.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:18 AM   #18
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Default Re: have to have tools

Get a compressor about 3 sizes up from whatever the cheapest one is. Hopefully it will be 90psi / 10cfm or better, with a big tank. Even if you don't think you will use it much, you probably will. I've got an el cheapo at home (sticker rated 7.5 cfm, really about 6) that I only really use for dusting / cleaning and the odd rattling off stuck bits. Even then it constantly runs, driving me and the neighbors nuts. I have to stop for a beer while it refills, and we all know where that leads.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:22 AM   #19
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Default Re: have to have tools

A brain, with lots of common sense (or, none at all -brain or common sense)
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:24 AM   #20
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Default Re: have to have tools

since my customers freak out when i charge 2 hours to file down a cut off frame tab...ill say a right angle air grinder set up for 2" roloc pads to go with the compressor.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:54 AM   #21
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Default Re: have to have tools

I've got one of those little magnets on the telescopic antena-type thingy, I use it all the time. I'm constantly dropping shit into places I can't reach. My bikes are usually so f'ing greasey and grimy shit just sticks, it won't bounce and hit the ground. It's like playing that little kids fishing game, but not as fun and with more cursing.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:50 AM   #22
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Default Re: have to have tools

I work in an automotive machine shopand I would say one of the first tools you should get is an impact driver and as many accesories as possible. Trying to remove frozen rounded shity old fasteners without one is a pain. I would also reccomend a set of left handed drill bits and extractors and practice using them. Belive it or not but one of the most common jobs in our shop is removing broken bolts and heli-coiling stripped holes for people. Also when drilling out broken bolts learn to stop if gets bad I charge twice as much to weld up F$^$#ed up holes and retap them or to use the bridgeport to mill out broken easy outs people break off. Other than that beer,hammers, and a good socket and wrench set,buy the best you can afford.Craftsman tools built America, but snap-on took us to the moon.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:52 AM   #23
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Default Re: have to have tools

snap-on digital torque wrench.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:22 AM   #24
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Default Re: have to have tools

Seems like a good list to start. Personally, I prefer TIG to MIG for this kind of work. I've said it before, flea markets are a great place to find hand tools. Good USED AMERICAN hand tools. Don't buy that garbage grade Chinese junk. Also, check around for local auctions. Sad to say, but a lot of factories and small shops shut down and auction off the equipment. I bought a Do-All Bridgeport knock-off (American made) for $700 at a local auction, along with about 200 lbs of assorted hand tools. I've seen both MIG and TIG welders go for 300-500 bucks...nice ones too. Lots of finger brakes and even DiAcro rotary punches. Look up a few local auctions and bring home your own shop. Betcha even find a refrigerator for all those beers.

Oh yeah, +1 for the Snap On Digi torque wrench...
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:01 AM   #25
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Default Re: have to have tools

Grinders, bench mount and angle grinder with a 4.5"rock
Workbench with good big vice
1/2" drive holeburner with lots of drill bits
hacksaw with good metal specific blades(not the shitty ones that come with it)
Hammers-lots of sizes
Clamps
Air compressor with cuttoff wheel, die grinder and DA

I think you can get by without the torch, drill press, and welder for a bit with this stuff. That's all I had for a while.

The welder was next on my list, but make sure to get the gas setup right away. I used that flux core shit for awhile and when I switched to gas, I realized I should have done that sooner.

On the drill press, saw and torch, these are pretty expensive items that can often be found really cheap at the right time in pawn shops and yard sales. Keep a liitle cash aside and keep your eyes peeled! I got my drill press for $10.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:09 AM   #26
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Default Re: have to have tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by LUKESTER View Post
#1 spirotron.... to debur my parts....
#2 Hot tank ....To clean off my greasy engine stuff.....
# 3 bridgeport with DRO for repeatability...
#4 Huge lathe to make spun hubcaps, and tiny wheel spacers....
#5 A big assed shop press (like 70 ton....) to make my fender braces......
#6 Binks spray booth so I can paint perfect every time....
#7 PARK truing stand so my DUI bike rolls straight
#8 Craftsman air comperssor, so I can blow the dust away
#9 harbor freight motorcycle lift... so I can get it up....
#10 radio shack gift card so I can wire all my jap choppers...... LUKESTER
#9-HAHAHAHAHAHA! That's the only way you can get it up-son!
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:25 PM   #27
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Default Re: have to have tools

it depends on what you want to do and what your skill levels are. buy your tools as you need them. there's also an old mechanics axiom, no matter how many tools you have you never have the one you need.
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:45 PM   #28
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Default Re: have to have tools

i will be getting a mig, flux core is too much cleanup for me. i can weld fine with it, but all of the prep you do to weld, only to have the weld shit back on the surface again...


"no matter how many tools you have you never have the one you need"

true, but if you never get any new ones, you won't get shit done on your own. i am just tired of having to schedule in some sort of fab work i want to do. i just want to walk in my garage and finish an idea through the day. not have to stop and figure out how to finish it in the next week or two.

all of the tools i am looking at, are mainly going to be used for bike fab and such. not much of a car guy as far as making some neato part instead of a replacement you can purchase.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:08 PM   #29
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Default Re: have to have tools

the 3 best:

3. enough room to work and not clutter
2. the time to do things right
1. an ability to think, reason and problem solve
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:17 PM   #30
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Default Re: have to have tools

It doesn't seem like to many are putting an emphasis on an air supply . I'd say get the biggest compressor you can afford / manage . I got a nice Craftsman job , 60 gallon and I use it every day . Mostly for non bike related shit too . I already had a 220 outlet wired into my garage so It was just a mater of hooking up a plug to the power in and firing it off .

Honestly I use this more than any one item in my garage other than my 14v cordless drill ( thanks Fredo ) . . . my air tools have zero lag time , and that makes using them much more effective , so I use them more .

Here's what mine looks like , it was about $500 or so and I can't live without it .

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Old 12-19-2007, 05:19 PM   #31
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Default Re: have to have tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbent View Post
dont forget the fridge for the beer! very important! and a chair to sit in and stare at the bike and think about what you should be doing but arent because you are drinking beer.

Fuck I catch myself doing that all the time!
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You know (these days), looking cool when parked has a much higher priority that actual useful function.

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Old 12-19-2007, 07:28 PM   #32
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Default Re: have to have tools

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dont forget the fridge for the beer! very important! and a chair to sit in and stare at the bike and think about what you should be doing but arent because you are drinking beer.
Can't express just how important the chair is, dude. Good point!
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:57 PM   #33
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It doesn't seem like to many are putting an emphasis on an air supply . I'd say get the biggest compressor you can afford / manage . I got a nice Craftsman job , 60 gallon and I use it every day . Mostly for non bike related shit too . I already had a 220 outlet wired into my garage so It was just a mater of hooking up a plug to the power in and firing it off .

Honestly I use this more than any one item in my garage other than my 14v cordless drill ( thanks Fredo ) . . . my air tools have zero lag time , and that makes using them much more effective , so I use them more .

Here's what mine looks like , it was about $500 or so and I can't live without it .
i'd have to check with the landlord to see if a 220 outlet is okay to have installed....
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:13 PM   #34
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Default Re: have to have tools

I use my sockets and ratchets more than anything. My other faves are my 4" angle grinder, Mig welder, $70 bike jack, cheap torque wrench, my busted cut up milk crate I sit on while wrenching, my bright ass construction lights for seeing stuff when it's too dark to see and heating my arse when it's cold, and hammers, lots of hammers
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:34 AM   #35
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Default Re: have to have tools

As far as welders go I reckon for a home set up the henrob/DHC/Cobra gas welder is pretty cool. I've had mine for about 3yrs now and use it at least once a week. It welds panel steel like nothing else and still does up to 0.25" mild steel. It'll weld Aluminium, Stainless and most other weldable metals. It also cuts beautifully, lets me bend things, solder, braze and is useful for removing rusted on fasteners. The guys on the HAMB seem to love em as well.

I just can't justify buying a MIG/TIG when Henrobs are so cheap in comparison. If I was a full time chassis maker or something maybe I could but as long as it's just me in my garage, I'll stick with my little Henrob.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:24 AM   #36
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Default Re: have to have tools

ive got a shop out in gravette, if we get to know one another outside the interweb ud be welcome to come wrench on ur bike when im doin the same. or whenever, im there 7 days a week if im lucky.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:48 AM   #37
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As far as welders go I reckon for a home set up the henrob/DHC/Cobra gas welder is pretty cool. I've had mine for about 3yrs now and use it at least once a week. It welds panel steel like nothing else and still does up to 0.25" mild steel. It'll weld Aluminium, Stainless and most other weldable metals. It also cuts beautifully, lets me bend things, solder, braze and is useful for removing rusted on fasteners. The guys on the HAMB seem to love em as well.

I just can't justify buying a MIG/TIG when Henrobs are so cheap in comparison. If I was a full time chassis maker or something maybe I could but as long as it's just me in my garage, I'll stick with my little Henrob.

i think i remember reading about the henrob on here a month or two ago. i will have to check into that again and see if it would help out. sounds like a good setup the way you put it. i won't be doing a crap-ton of structural welds, and could use another form of cutting.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:49 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by matthewsuckerpunch View Post
ive got a shop out in gravette, if we get to know one another outside the interweb ud be welcome to come wrench on ur bike when im doin the same. or whenever, im there 7 days a week if im lucky.

we should meet up sometime after the holidays. are you out there on the weekends or just during the week mostly? either way i wouldn't mind seeing how your project is coming along. i'll supply the beer, what you drink?
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:21 AM   #39
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Default Re: have to have tools

Two angle grinders, one for knocking shit down and one for cutting shit off.
A decent set of screw drivers.
Hammers, all types.
Air Power and the tools that go with it.
Disc sander, I have a 12 inch older craftsman.
Bench grinder.
Ball Allen Wrenches
Torx Wrenches so you can pull torx bolts and throw them fuckers in the trash.
Assorted sockets, end wrenches and adjustables.
Oxy Act set up, welder, mig tig, stick whatever and a welding table.

Light, light, light
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:02 PM   #40
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Default Re: have to have tools

Workspace is a biggie. Its so fuckin' cold in my garage (20X20 shed) right now the beer fridge is not necessary. A milk crate or 5 gal. bucket is about as comfortable as it gets and if it got any more comfortable I would get nothing done.

I think the most important tool I have is a welder. With a welder, you can do damn near anything and make more tools. I don't have anything fancy, its the flux core Lincoln 110v. I can't run too much stuff while I am welding because the whole garage is on one circuit.....FUCK, I tell you what I need is a new SHOP.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:24 PM   #41
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Default Re: have to have tools

"It doesn't seem like to many are putting an emphasis on an air supply"

So, so true...I cant tell you how important Air Supply was to me at Junior High dances trying to work on the girls...

Oh wait, we're talking different Air Supply's here aren't we? Sorry, forget I even opened my mouth...
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:48 PM   #42
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this is the short list... 4 roll off tool boxs, three heavy benchs, two bike lifts, 3 welders, cutting torch, 13" lathe, table top mill, 4 vices, two sunnen hones, van norman boring bar, 2 buffing wheels 3 bench grinders, pipe bender, two presses, cherry picker, belt/disk sander, two valve grinders, two sets seat grinders, two sets neway seat cutters, valve guide hone, blast cabnet, 60 gallon air compressor,coats tire machine, snap on tire balancer, 4 batt. chargers, load tester, snap on armature lathe from the way back in the day, rowe truing stand, set up for balancing flywheels, trans laps, motor laps, table saw regeared and metal cutting blade, band saw,3 solvent tanks, sink for blasting stuff off with hot water, beer fridge, oven for cooking and preheating/post heating parts, forge for casting, kiln for preheating/post heating parts, big anvil, chop saw, 7 drills, 4 hand grinders... see how this shit becomes a habit? i could go on but my fav tool is a snap on cordless impact! that thing kick ass! if i can or cant buy something i make it! and never ever sell your tools or your guns!!! because with tools you can make $$$ and the guns well we wont get ot. later thomas btw thats about 35 years of me and randy collecting! and we would have more but my #2 wife got 1/2 my shop! oh yea and 4 bar stools for beer drinking and telling lies and a fold out couch up stairs in the office for all nighters... or groupie chicks... lmao

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Old 12-20-2007, 01:17 PM   #43
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Vtwin...what kind of table top mill do you have? Been thinking about getting a combo machine, like a smithy ,but lots of money to put down for what may be very limited use......Has anyone used thier drill press with an x-y table as a mini mill?
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:27 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff L View Post
Vtwin...what kind of table top mill do you have? Been thinking about getting a combo machine, like a smithy ,but lots of money to put down for what may be very limited use......Has anyone used thier drill press with an x-y table as a mini mill?

Smithy's are ok for model makers and hobby guys, but do yourself a favor and hit an auction or even eBay. Some of the used gear they have is sold by the pound, and you can often get free tooling and accessories that are worth more than the machine. just check the gibs and ways to make sure they're true and free and check the quills or feeds for play or backlash. You really can't beat that old industrial equipment for accuracy, and the better tools will make you a better machinist.

As for putting a mill base, or XY table on a drill press, remember that drill presses are designed to resist force in one direction..straight up and down. Side loads can ruin the quill pretty quickly, and drill chucks do not resist side loads very well either. Every once and a while, for small parts at slow feed rates...maybe. But if you really need to mill, get a mill.
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Last edited by Hardball; 12-20-2007 at 01:41 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:38 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff L View Post
Vtwin...what kind of table top mill do you have? Been thinking about getting a combo machine, like a smithy ,but lots of money to put down for what may be very limited use......Has anyone used thier drill press with an x-y table as a mini mill?



mine is a enco brand works just fine ive got more into my rotary table then the mill! and of course i buy top notch tooling! dont go with a smithy they suck my buddy has one its a little better then a drill in a vice lol oh shit your in jersey lots of old sweet bridge ports there! ebay! you might need a tow truck to haul it however!

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Old 12-20-2007, 01:48 PM   #46
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Default Re: have to have tools

Don't forget the basics:

A good tape measure and the ability to read it. Most won't need one over 12' for bikes. Stanley makes a little yellow guy that has 1/10-inch readings on the bottom edge, like a scale, for about 15 bucks.

A box of Sharpies.

I can't really think of too many things I do on something that has wheels and a motor without out these two items.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:16 PM   #47
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Default Re: have to have tools

Calipers, cheapie dial indicator and a bunch of those little 6" metal rulers with the factoral conversion charts on the back. My pops gets those little rulers from vendors at work and gives me a few a year.
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:22 AM   #48
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YES,the box of sharpies.I turn around and lose one every time.It goes like mesure,mark, cut,lose sharpie,mesure,get new sharpie,remesure,cut,Its a vicious cycle.When your done the sharpie gods put them everywhere so you can spend hours looking for them.
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