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most important tool in your shop

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by pdunn10, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Yep, the older I get the more I lean toward red cause black don't show so well for me. But your still using fancy tools ( poster board ). I thought thats what empty beer can cases were for !
  2. Cerberus
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,381


    My girlfriend said it's the vice and it's only a zipper away. LOL
  3. rrayne
    Joined: Oct 11, 2007
    Posts: 77


    one more thing. if you dont have a digital camera, get one. as you take stuff apart, the whole car/truck, the wiring, engine, etc.... take lots of pics. it helps to put it back together.
  4. My Essentials = 60 gal. compressor, 220 mig, 4-1/2" angle grinder, 6" bench grinder, 10" drill press, 3/8" electric drill, hack and reciprocating saws, bench & vise. That mix of tools has helped me cover a lot of project territory over the years.
  5. rob lee
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,327

    rob lee
    from omaha,ne

    Get a good vise,use them all the time!
  6. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    I think the torpedo heater was priority on my list,I used a hand long board to do bodywork.I also had a used 1 hp compressor for painting ,A used spray gun,That was along time ago,But thats what I started with and a small set of companion tools.I got my mig and arc later and a bigger compressor.
  7. GaryB
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,529

    from Reno,nv

    how about a GOOD fire extinguiser(sp),with out one all your TOOLS will be junk, just my $.02
  8. k32t
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 294

    from Hog town

    mig and cut off tool
  9. Lotek_Racing
    Joined: Sep 6, 2006
    Posts: 690


  10. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    from Rome NY

    Things that get used in my shop on a daily basis
    -MIG w/spool gun attachment
    -horizontal bandsaw
    -Vise grips
    -7" Milwaukee grinder
    -4.5" angle grinder
    -Victor oxy/acetylene torch

    Things that I use almost everyday
    -variable speed 1/2 Dewalt drill
    -drill press
    -plasma cutter
    -car lift
    -cherry picker
    -bench vise
    -bigger BFH
  11. New Old Fart
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 147

    New Old Fart

    Right now its the heater !!
  12. wallygator
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 124


    With the basics that you have, Torch set then Mig.
  13. KWashburn
    Joined: Jul 23, 2006
    Posts: 109


    A clear head. Probably the best tool you can have...
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,829


    I went for a lot of years with just hand tools the usually sanders and grinders and my torch and old Forney stick welder.

    A few years ago I bought a floor mounted drill press and it gets used on almost every shop project I work on no matter what the project. The second thing that took a long time to get was a belt sander with a nine inch disk sander on it. That is another piece that gets used all the time now.

    The 220 mig that popped up on craigslist right when I had the money stashed away to buy one is nice and handy and I use it a lot but I could have gotten by with the torch and the stick welder. It will get some serious use in the next few months along with the horizontal band saw I found on Craigslist for 80.00 a few months ago and put 20.00 worth of bearings and a new blade on to make it like new.

    I have two vises set up to use at the moment. the old 4 inch Craftsman that I have had since a few weeks after I got married and a six inch that sits on one end of a beam on a stand while a bench grinder sits on the other end. Both get used all the time.

    A chain hoist and or a cherry picker engine hoist is a must have. either will save the back and often can take the place of a helper or two.

    It wasn't spendy as I got it on sale but the aluminum frame HF "racing" floor jack is handy as hell for grabbing and lifting and holding things up. It is a lot easier to grab and carry around than the 90lb 3 ton jack I have had for ever.

    A lathe would be nice but I don't have a place to put one and outside of the 13 years I taught high school autoshop I have never had access to one. Besides my buddy lives two miles away and has one of the most complete privately owned metal working shops on the planet.

    The main thing is buy what you find that you need or what you decide will help do things just a bit better or a bit easier.
  15. Air is the life blood in a bodyshop, so a big ass compressor.
    2nd, torch
    I'd really like a tig.
  16. 4 1/2" grinder with a paddle switch, and a good 240 mig welder
  17. JohnnyP.
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,299


    my #1 tool is my coffee pot. always going at the shop. compressor with a few tools, and a decent MIG will get you pretty far. i cant go a day with out pulling out my vixen file.
  18. angle grinder with cut off wheels, grinding wheels, and wire wheels, MIG welder, a sharpie, something to make templates out of, and lots of light.
    you can do alot with a little.
  19. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,718


    Compressor followed by air and electrical tools, sockets /spanners, panel hammers and dollies, vice grips and MIG, not in that order. Engine crane and stand and then the rotisserie. Priorities change.
  20. big bad john
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 4,727

    big bad john
    Member perfect garage
  21. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    from Slow lane

    Just Like Kevin Lee said, i built my car w/ just this, and the obvious screw drivers, spanners, sockets BFHs and such...
    A BFV (BigFuckinVise) is also close to mandatory. And after you discover air tools you cant do without anymore.
    A O/A torch is the next thing i will buy.

    No doubt about it.
    All other stuff, like plasma (which i have now), bench sanders, bandsaws ecc ecc...are WAY HANDY, but not strictly necessary. of course they make life lot easier.
    I would also love to have a lift, instead of crawling on dirt.
  22. clockwork31
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 439


    I already had the basic tools (safety glasses, measuring tape, soket set, screwdriver, hammer, levels, etc.) but later I bought a bench grinder, compressor and tools, 4 1/2 grinder, cut off saw, drill press, mig, sawzall, c clamps, and lately earplugs and dust mask (this should be in first...)
  23. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,911


    My parts washer
  24. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,375

    from Spring tx

    Mine is as follows...

    8' flouresent lights
    jacks and jack stands
    sockets and wrenches and impact wrench and air compressor angle grinder c clamps and various other small stuff tools
    plasma cutter
    breaker bars
    specialty tools

    but gota have posters of hotties on the wall and some hotrods also...
  25. cbr74
    Joined: Sep 23, 2011
    Posts: 35

    from Nampa, ID

    Not necessarily in order of importance but the tools I find the most indispensible are:

    Curtis 2 stage, 80 gallon air compressor (and the retractible 3/8" hose reel to go with it)
    Parts washer
    Blast cabinet
    Mini mill
    1/2" impact
    air chisel

    and plenty others I'm not thinking of because the coffee hasn't kicked in yet.

    I do agree with Stubbs about the lights. I scored a selection of fluorescents from CL for next to nothing. I put them up myself using a rented sheet rock hoist from Home Depot. It's amazing what good lighting does for you.
  26. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,437


    My 6" vice.

    It doesn't talk, smoke or drink, always available, never late to work, no BS issues, it will never piss you off, never disappoint you and doesn't eat, drink, sh*t or piss.
  27. A good lift is a must have ... Laying on concrete sucks ...
  28. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,552

    from California

    Mine would be the floor in my caveman fabrication skills ends me up there frequently and can fabricate mostly anything on it.
  29. D.R.Smith
    Joined: Jan 12, 2009
    Posts: 294


    I have mig,stick,lathe,plasma,drill press,chop saw,9 in disk sander,blast cabinet,press, shop crain ,air compressor,and all the hand tools I can use.But the most important tool I have is my 4 post lift.I use it every day.I can put lawn mower on it to sharpen blades without a fuss, 4 wheeler goes on it,Raise it 4 ft and you have a wielding bench or regular work bench. All the way up it makes a rack for hanging parts when paintting.If I need to load something on my truck, I raise it up to bed hight and slide it if something is on it I can raise it up and still have open space under it to work on something else. The biggest plus, is when you need a different tool after you have gotten under the car.It is so easy just to step over to the box,no up and down.As you get old you will understand.

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