We seemed to have veered into aspects of fabrication, so a couple of basic ones I have surprised a few people with is......... 1. Lay out work.........dial calipers aren't just for measuring. You can scribe a straight line with them by setting your distance from the edge of the material you are working with and drag the calipers so that one side of the calipers follows the edge of the material. I know very basic but I really have surprised people with this, and it saves time. 2. With a metal cutting band saw always use the proper blade for what you are cutting (Course blade + thin metal =bad)and apply a little wax to the blade it really does help.