Workshop Tool Preferences?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by deaneborghi, Sep 1, 2018.

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  1. Sep 1, 2018 #1

    deaneborghi

    deaneborghi

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    Everyone please chime in and share your choices and experiences so that other builders can make better choices on workshop purchases. What are the best styles, brands, sizes, amounts, etc., of tools and necessities for a functional workshop? Don’t forget any components and/or accessories. Where do you shop? ACS, Harbor Freight, LOWE’S, online? What do you look for in size, function, value, simplicity, reliability, etc. Items might include (but are not limited to):

    Table
    Planer
    Table Saw
    Miter Saw
    Band Saw
    Drill Press
    Hand Drill
    Router
    Jig Saw
    Angle Grinder
    Sander (various styles)
    Grinding Wheel(s)
    Vise/Anvil
    Grips/Clamps
    Hand Tools

    Add any other items that would benefit a new homebuilder’s workshop.

    I am starting on a Super Baby Lakes. I have most of the list above but for the router, drill press, sander, and vise. I plan on getting the 16-Speed floor drill press from Harbor Freight.
     
  2. Sep 1, 2018 #2

    Randy

    Randy

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    Compressor
    Metal lathe
    Air drill
    Battery drill
    Bending brake
    Welder
    Good set of files
    Wood sander
    Metal sander

    I have a Rigid 3"x10" horizontal oscellating belt sander that is excellent. I use it with wood sanding belts and metal sanding belts. I built a dust pickup hood so I can hook it to the shop vacuum. DON'T USE THE SHOP VAC WHEN SANDING METAL.
     
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  3. Sep 1, 2018 #3

    Knight Twister

    Knight Twister

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    I recommend getting a drill press that can be slowed down in the 150 to 175 rpm range. For beautiful round holes in metal I like rotabroach's. The HF bending brake is all a Baby Lakes builder needs. As cheap as those 41/2" angle grinders are with a coupon at HF it pays to have three made up with grinding wheel, flap wheel and cutoff wheel. Even with their plastic gears they should last through an airplane build.
     
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  4. Sep 1, 2018 #4

    ioneater

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    That is exactly my experience with all of thee above. Caveat, I haven't built a complete airplane, just a bunch of ribs, a few flight controls components and some modifications on the air frame. The HF angle grinder has been great. Also, their "Bauer" portable band saw works very well with a SWAG stand for metal and wood cutting 5" deep or less.
     
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  5. Sep 2, 2018 #5

    Knight Twister

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    I'm an old man with a Dake industrial bandsaw but if I was a younger builder those porta bands with the SWAG stand are all a guy needs. Wish I had one in my youth. One thing to not go cheap on is a vise, thats where cheap really hurts. Several sets of ho' made soft jaws are mandatory.
     
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  6. Sep 2, 2018 #6

    TFF1

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    Buy good hand tools and most of the time HF will get you through the power tools. I would spend on a better table saw if your plan is to make your capstrip and a nice drill press will be useful forever. If you are only in it for one time, the cheap stuff is ok. Used good stuff is hard to beat. Craig's List.
     
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  7. Sep 2, 2018 #7

    wally

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    Chainsaw files. Great for opening or moving a hole just a little. Better than rat tail files.
     
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  8. Sep 2, 2018 #8

    PittsDriver68

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    If you purchase better woodworking tools, like a Delta Unisaw, a Dewalt compound miter saw, a stationary planer, good dust collection, etc., beware that your family will be suggesting domestic projects. So far I have gutted and rebuilt 3, going on 4, bathrooms, a kitchen, and replaced a structural interior wall with a large opening with LVL's supporting the house. The kitchen project involved building all of the cabinet boxes from sheet goods. And every once in a while I build some sort of airplane part....

    Best of luck,

    Wes
     
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  9. Sep 2, 2018 #9

    Vic Zubot

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    Nut plate jig. Rivet fan. Rivet squeezer. Rivet and dimple dies. Combination disc sander belt sander. Stop counter sink. A good centre punch and various hammers including a leather hammer. Digital protractor. A hole punch. A good ruler 6". A digital calliper. Drill stop's. Reamers. Plum bob.
     
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  10. Sep 2, 2018 #10

    taff

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
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  11. Sep 2, 2018 #11

    Ryan Mactaggart

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    I can't participate in the conversation...still working on building my shop! LOL
     
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  12. Sep 2, 2018 #12

    Don Adamson

    Don Adamson

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    My 28 year old 8" Craftsman drill press finally said no-more. I looked at the HF offerings and the loose spindle was not acceptable. I found a 10" Porter Cable benchtop drill press at Lowe's for the same money with no spindle runout. Never needed a floor model drill press, wanted one-never needed-too big for 99.9% of my tasks.
     
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  13. Sep 2, 2018 #13

    ioneater

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    On the subject of drill presses, I initially bought a 5 speed radial grizzly. Good for wood working but not good for metal when spindle speeds need to be reduced below 400 rpm using rotobroaches or other large diameter holes. Sold it on Craiglist and bought a 12 speed Wen from Home Depot. It is a dream to use for everything so far. Dumped the stock chuck and went with a more expensive keyless.

    My first belt/disc sander and scroll saw were HF. They both died within 6 months doing light duty building ribs. Went with a Wen sander and a Delta scroll saw. They are both built heavier and make short work of metal and wood tasks.
     

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  14. Sep 2, 2018 #14

    Knight Twister

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    I have several drill presses. 3 floor models and one bench top. The bench top is for wood only. I do lots of metal work and I don't want any residual cutting fluid getting on my wood. The bench top is cheap and the spindle speeds are good for wood plus its always clean. If I could only have one drill press a bench top would be fine. Slowing the spindle for tooling is important.
     
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  15. Sep 2, 2018 #15

    deaneborghi

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    Thank you for pitching in with such helpful lists. Often noted, it’s quality over cost that rules, unless it’s a once-and-done tool. Again, ...thanks! Should you think of anything else, please add it onto the thread. Blue Skies!
     
  16. Sep 3, 2018 #16

    Larry Lyons

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    Spring loaded center punch is invaluable for all most all projects, lots of screw drivers and hammers including the leather mentioned above and a dead blow is nice to have too. HF dead blow will do a lot of hammering. A good battery powered trouble light is really nice too. I’ve also come to appreciate a cheap large gilotine paper cutter, cuts sand paper, thin copper, brass, etc. Also have a flapper wheel on my bench grinder along side the standard stone wheel. Love both and will never be with out them.
     
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  17. Sep 3, 2018 #17

    taff

    taff

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    Probably a long way off, but you will need to join electrical wires.
    I have a Weller and it works real good, pin point and hot at the tip.
    Don't forget the flux and the tip tinner.
    71ptAjBPYzL._SL1500_.jpg 61ZqbFKfvQL._SL1176_.jpg 41qksp87AFL._AC_US218_.jpg
     
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  18. Sep 3, 2018 #18

    smizo

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    if you want to save some headaches, use my rule for harbor freight. clamps and stuff are great from there. they are cheap and when they break you can get some new ones super cheap. their $10 hvlp gun is great for basic spraying of primer and stuff like that. the big rule is if it has an air hose fitting or power cord attached to it, don't buy it from HF.
     
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  19. Sep 3, 2018 #19

    Knight Twister

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    What a disappointment Smizo, I thought you were going to tell us about your saw horses.
     
  20. Sep 3, 2018 #20

    deaneborghi

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    No sawing horses!
    upload_2018-9-3_9-17-45.png
    Keep those suggestions coming! Thanks!
    When all is said and done, this thread could be broken down into a single “Builders TOP PICKS Tool List” and offered to any newbie (like me) who is preparing a work area. Thanks again, ...just don’t hurt any horses.
    upload_2018-9-3_9-21-59.jpeg
     

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