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View Full Version : Most useful tool in your shop?



rickbnsa
01-06-2006, 02:42 AM
For me, its my drill press.

I've got about 20 years of woodworking tools gathered up and now spend more time working metal than wood. I've been limited in what I do and realized the drill press has been the single most useful tool I have in the garage. Buffing, cutting, brushing light lathe for wood...

The other night, I needed two strong bushings and realized some old 3/8" sockets would do the trick, chrome even. After rolling them around on the bench calling myself cutting them w/ a hacksaw, I looked to the drill press.

Mounted them on a board, set the cutter wheel to the depth I needed and was finished in a minute or so.

I did figure out Engine Turning is a little more intricate than putting a brush in the press and going to town on metal.

rickbnsa

Wide
01-06-2006, 03:09 AM
I'm in love with my blue wrench :D

D.N.F.
01-06-2006, 03:22 AM
Useful... tire pressure gauge (Bluepoint)

RANCHHAND
01-06-2006, 03:30 AM
Locktite. :D

Wide
01-06-2006, 03:42 AM
Useful... tire pressure gauge (Bluepoint)


For metelworking & welding? :D

Wide
01-06-2006, 03:44 AM
I really can't get anything done without a basic lathe & milling machine

D.N.F.
01-06-2006, 03:49 AM
Ok, I just read the subject line.

Grinder if I am in my garage.

Other than that give me a milling machine with a digital readout anyday. Made so many parts on that thing.

Wide
01-06-2006, 04:10 AM
Yeah but you need a pressure gauge for somehting


Just having fun :D

arthureld
01-06-2006, 04:34 AM
Ok, I just read the subject line.

Grinder if I am in my garage.

Other than that give me a milling machine with a digital readout anyday. Made so many parts on that thing.

I'd have to agree that a milling machine would be the most useful tool for me as well. I've done a lot of milling using digital readouts and using the good old dials on the handles.
But today, a CNC mill is the way for me. Less setups and higher accuracy. And less mistakes. Not everyone can afford a $50,000 tool in there garage though. :lol:
Of course, everyone needs a toolbox full of machanics tools also.
I'd think you'd have to have a pair of dial calipers to measure stuff and check your work.

One of those cutting tools like in the pic above is great to have in a die grinder for chopping and grinding stuff off.

Wide
01-06-2006, 04:54 AM
I cant forget my absolute favorite

A big sledgehammer with the handle cut short like a claw hammer
Great tool :D

junior
01-06-2006, 05:08 AM
for metal working?....safety glasses. trust me, i've been in the chair several times while the doc puts the dye and digs in my eyeball....

glasses.

j

Wide
01-06-2006, 05:09 AM
for metal working?....safety glasses. trust me, i've been in the chair several times while the doc puts the dye and digs in my eyeball....

glasses.

j

Man that really blows, watching the little drill hit your eyeball with your head in a vice :unsure:

Kagan
01-06-2006, 06:54 AM
Been there twice myself. It sure feels good when they put that liquid on your eye so that they can at least open it for the exam. Standing in front of the nurse trying to pry it open kind of makes you want to smack the bitch in the head for being stupid.

I'm here for an eye problem. [It's slammed shut and tears are rolling out of it]

Can I see what the problem is?

No. The eyelid is slammed shut.

Open it so I can see what's wrong.

It's fuckin' torn. The lid won't open!

But I can't see what's wrong if you don't open it.

It's torn!

Let me pry it open so I can see. [struggles...] OK, it seems to be torn. I'll call for a specialist. :wacko:

Yes, twice. The first time I was all safety conscience and had someone retrieve my dumb ass. The second time I just threw a pair of sunglasses on to cover the patch and drove myself home VERY carefully. :D

bobber47
01-06-2006, 08:14 AM
BEER FRIDGE :lol: drunks

CoolMaker
01-06-2006, 03:21 PM
Fire wrench... :wacko:

HDangel
01-06-2006, 03:25 PM
post deleted

Stoney
01-06-2006, 03:25 PM
Gear wrenches hands down.They take the place of sockets & wrenches.
Makes a great addition to bike tool kits. dafinger

shaymus
01-06-2006, 03:28 PM
BEER FRIDGE :lol: drunks

:D , Next would be my vise. I caouldn't live with out it!

Shorty
01-06-2006, 03:50 PM
I'm in love with my blue wrench :D :lol: :lol: :lol:

Shorty
01-06-2006, 03:51 PM
Electricians tape, super glue, and a roll of wire.

wildthing
01-06-2006, 03:56 PM
Well I don't have a shop but I cannot live without my leathermen. Very useful with so many tools in one.

Hellswraith
01-06-2006, 04:02 PM
hammer time !!!
:lol:

http://www.thckk.org/1st-hammer-albrecht.jpg

coolhawg6622
01-06-2006, 04:03 PM
BEER FRIDGE :lol: drunks

Yup mine to, only there is a Kegerator installed!!! ;)

Ask LostLake, we get all kinds of work done in the Garage. drunks

Bigshovel
01-06-2006, 10:18 PM
For me it's my portable band saw. One of the sweetest power tools ever invented.

junior
01-06-2006, 10:32 PM
For me it's my portable band saw. One of the sweetest power tools ever invented.

yup- got me one of them porter-cable portabands....hardly use a chop saw except for stainless....

j

Bigshovel
01-06-2006, 10:43 PM
For me it's my portable band saw. One of the sweetest power tools ever invented.

yup- got me one of them porter-cable portabands....hardly use a chop saw except for stainless....

j :D :D :D

Wide
01-06-2006, 11:13 PM
For me it's my portable band saw. One of the sweetest power tools ever invented.


You mean the widowmaker? :lol:

nascardriver
01-06-2006, 11:18 PM
Duct tape and pin up calander..hahahahah :lol: :lol:

Dont ask.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Bigshovel
01-06-2006, 11:26 PM
Although not so much for metal specifically......the cordless drill is hands down, "The king" :D

King
01-06-2006, 11:32 PM
bottle opener! drunks

buck
01-07-2006, 12:22 AM
Everything in my garage is usefull, torches,mig welder,drill press,shop smith,cordless tools etc.. so I say the garage door remote control is most important to me. Lets me in to get all my tools.

lioutofplace
01-08-2006, 12:40 AM
I wish I had a shop, I've worked in machine shops, welding shops, and tin shops. But where we live having all the toys I would like to own is not going to happen, I'm lucky to have a place to keep my bike secure. I guess if I was to pin point one thing it would be good lighting and quality hand tools.
And yea, I got a big hammer too. B)

CoolMaker
01-08-2006, 03:01 AM
A Tig and a Plasma is the core of my shop......

Chopper_Bob
01-08-2006, 03:23 AM
My Credit Card Lol (so I can get into debt buying what really shouldn't) :blink2:

Ratbike
05-26-2006, 12:26 PM
BEER FRIDGE :lol: drunksWithout it nothing would get done.

maverickcustoms
06-15-2006, 07:25 PM
My refriderator! Never met a problem that a cold beer hasn't helped solve!

Mav

maverickcustoms
06-15-2006, 07:25 PM
ummm that would be refridgerator...

Mustang
06-23-2006, 01:35 PM
the garage door opener

k-fly
07-03-2006, 04:01 AM
don't know 'bout u fellas, but i get a woddy every time i break out my sawsall. hell, even used it to cut frozen sausage. :D

Relic
07-12-2006, 09:09 AM
I cant forget my absolute favorite

A big sledgehammer with the handle cut short like a claw hammer
Great tool :D

Me, too! The only thing a man needs in life is a good sledge and an angle grinder. :lol: :lol:

k-fly
08-19-2006, 09:53 PM
This has been more handy than I thought it would be when I done it. I saw it on one of those home improvement shows when I was down with a open femor fracture from a bike wreck back in 99.

Take a 5 gal. bucket, drill a 1in. hole in the side, down by the bottom. Take your 100 ft. ext. cord and feed the male end through the hole and cram the rest in the bucket. When you need to use it, just pull out the male end enough to plug it in and pull out however much cord you need. When you're done, just cram it all back in the bucket, and set it aside, out of the way...

Lowbob
08-19-2006, 11:20 PM
Rather ingenious idea with the bucket, K-Fly. I'll have to try it.

I have to say the most important tool in my shop is my air compressor. Can't run all my favorite air tools without it. Drills and sanders and chisels and rivet guns and saws and grinders and a speed wrench .... . ...... ..... ..

wreckerman
08-21-2006, 01:23 AM
B F H better known as a big fu#king hammer best shop tool i have and they come in many sizes and shapes

rickbnsa
08-21-2006, 02:34 AM
I like that bucket deal. I'm short on plastic buckets but have an old canvas lineman's bucket that will do great for that. Thanks!

rickbnsa

Motorbreath
12-29-2006, 01:36 AM
cutoff wheel, Hobart 140 mig welder, stereo, and Fridge , these are all tools that I absolutely could not live without. All 4 have had a huge roll in the build that I am currently workin on.

k-fly
12-29-2006, 01:44 AM
cutoff wheel, Hobart 140 mig welder, stereo, and Fridge , these are all tools that I absolutely could not live without. All 4 have had a huge roll in the build that I am currently workin on.

lol... that made me think, last thing I was doing, I had ZZTOP play'n and no matter what I was do'n, (swing'n a hammer, use'n a ratchet, etc.), the music fell right into place, gotta luv zz top!!! :lol:

SuperSport
10-28-2007, 10:50 AM
A Tig and a Plasma is the core of my shop......

Seems like I am in frequent need of welding resources. I bought a Lincoln Electric Arc220 stick welder but didn't realize when I bought it that I would have to run 220v wiring to a new breaker in the basement (which I haven't done yet). Since I haven't welded anything since 8th grade shop, I bought Richard Finch's Welder's Handbook. In Finch's manual, I find things have changed a lot since the late '60s!

Of the welders he covers - arc, solder and brazing, oxyacetylene, MIG, TIG, and plasma, it seems to me that a MIG setup with CO2 gas is the way to go. What do you guys think, what is a good brand, and about how much should I expect to pay for a good one?

thx

SuperSport
10-28-2007, 10:58 AM
For me it's my portable band saw. One of the sweetest power tools ever invented.

yup- got me one of them porter-cable portabands....hardly use a chop saw except for stainless....j

All my power wood-working tools and my compressor are Porter-Cable, but I was told by a guy at the P-C rebuild shop that the quality of the tools has declined since Black and Decker purchased the company 2 years ago. Can anybody address this?

I have wanted a band saw for wood-working for years, but I find my wood-shop slowing being converted to a metal shop since I started riding again. Do I need a special band saw or just the band to cut metal, and what types and thicknesses can you cut?

thx

junior
10-28-2007, 11:27 AM
my porta band is probably 20 years old. the housing is metal- not plastic.....it's still going strong....

milwaukee, makita, dewalt and others make this same unit. don't confuse it with a standard bandsaw- this is a hand held unit. i use it for almost everything- including coping tubing....

j

SuperSport
10-28-2007, 11:51 AM
A portable bandsaw? I never heard of that before - sounds cool!

SuperSport
10-31-2007, 06:05 AM
My wife was going to Lowes the other day and I asked her to check on prices for a MIG 120V welder and she came home with a Lincoln Electric Pro-MIG 140. She says the sales guys told her it's the best 120v LE MIG welder. Did she do good?

I noticed that it takes a CO2 or CO2/Ar accessory. What is this used for?

tia

IamVince
10-31-2007, 07:00 AM
The gas gives you a cleaner weld....dont know if you noticed but there is lots of different spools of wire for it.With out gas you will need a flux type wire.

SuperSport
10-31-2007, 07:05 AM
The gas gives you a cleaner weld....dont know if you noticed but there is lots of different spools of wire for it.With out gas you will need a flux type wire.

Thanks - it came with a 2 lb. spool of .025" Super Arc L-56 MIG wire and a sample spool of Innershield .035" NR-211-MP wire. I don't yet know the difference, but I assume the 2-lb. spool is flux core. It did include the gas regulator, so I guess I just need to get a bottle of gas and hoses.

You guys have any probs with blowing circuit breakers at home?

junior
10-31-2007, 07:07 AM
"mig" is a generically used term that is applied to two similar, yet different processes. MIG stands for metal/inert gas. when used in conjunction with several different types of inert gasses (argon, co2, etc.) it uses the gas as a shielding agent. there is no flux to remove. this process is used almost exclusively for alkuminum and stainless. it is done with the macine set up with the electrode positive (+).

fcaw (flux core arc welding) is also done with a "mig welder". however, the wire contains a flux agent ands this flux must be chipped/brushed away- much like standard a=rc welding. on this process the electrode is wired negative(-).

it is easier to learn in the fcaw setup. in fact, your machine is liekly already set up that way. if you are using it outside or in a non-covered ploace, you don't have to worry about theshielding gas.

as mentioned above, the fcaw setup does produce lore spatter, however, i do most of my work this way and one swipe with a tiger pad and you can't tell the difference...

good luck. practive, practice, practice....

j

junior
10-31-2007, 07:12 AM
l-56 uses gas, the innershield does not. make sure that you have the right tip for whatever you use. i generally use hobart e71t in a 0.030" for most work...

j

PoorBoy
10-31-2007, 07:39 AM
my 48 oz ballpeen

SuperSport
10-31-2007, 09:46 AM
"mig" is a generically used term that is applied to two similar, yet different processes. MIG stands for metal/inert gas. when used in conjunction with several different types of inert gasses (argon, co2, etc.) it uses the gas as a shielding agent. there is no flux to remove. this process is used almost exclusively for alkuminum and stainless. it is done with the macine set up with the electrode positive (+).

fcaw (flux core arc welding) is also done with a "mig welder". however, the wire contains a flux agent ands this flux must be chipped/brushed away- much like standard a=rc welding. on this process the electrode is wired negative(-).

it is easier to learn in the fcaw setup. in fact, your machine is liekly already set up that way. if you are using it outside or in a non-covered ploace, you don't have to worry about theshielding gas.

as mentioned above, the fcaw setup does produce lore spatter, however, i do most of my work this way and one swipe with a tiger pad and you can't tell the difference...

good luck. practive, practice, practice....

j

The work cable instructions are already confusing me. Does the following make sense to you guys?


As delivered, the machine is connected for negative electrode
polarity. To wire for negative polarity (required for the
Innershield process), connect the short cable attached to the
connector block to the negative (-) output terminal and the
work cable to the positive (+) terminal.
Aren't the first and second sentences redundant?

I guess the point is, for GMAW, the work cable attached to the clamp is negative and the gun cable is positive; for FCAW (Innershield), the clamp cable is positive and the gun is negative. Do I have that correct? (and what are the consequences of getting this wrong?)

So it seems the machine is rigged from the factory for GMAW and the clamp cable goes to the negative output terminal. In this configuration, I need to buy a bottle of CO2 or CO2 + Argon mix, and a gas hose to connect the regulator that came with the machine to the gas selenoid inlet fitting, right? Does this deliver the gas to the gun? I can't tell from the user manual.

Thanks for your help - learning how to do this is so much better than taking shit to a welder all the time.

junior
10-31-2007, 09:58 AM
The work cable instructions are already confusing me. Does the following make sense to you guys?


As delivered, the machine is connected for negative electrode
polarity. To wire for negative polarity (required for the
Innershield process), connect the short cable attached to the
connector block to the negative (-) output terminal and the
work cable to the positive (+) terminal.
Aren't the first and second sentences redundant?

*just remember the gun is the elctrode, and the work is the ground. so- yes, it is redundant. as i said, most machines come wired for fcaw*

I guess the point is, for GMAW, the work cable attached to the clamp is negative and the gun cable is positive; for FCAW (Innershield), the clamp cable is positive and the gun is negative. Do I have that correct? (and what are the consequences of getting this wrong?)

*yes- that's right. it will still work backwards, but neither process will work as well as if wired correctly*

So it seems the machine is rigged from the factory for GMAW and the clamp cable goes to the negative output terminal. In this configuration, I need to buy a bottle of CO2 or CO2 + Argon mix, and a gas hose to connect the regulator that came with the machine to the gas selenoid inlet fitting, right? Does this deliver the gas to the gun? I can't tell from the user manual.

* the machine is rigged fcaw. if you reverse it and go gmaw, then yes you need a bottle. i use a 75%argon/25% co2 for mild steel. the gas is automatically dispensed by the gun when you pull the trigger*

SuperSport
10-31-2007, 10:11 AM
Excellent, Junior! I think I got it now. Can't wait until tomorrow to get some gas, more wire, and start practicing! Woohoo!