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  • outfitting a shop

    Currently I have the privilege of using the company i work for's equipment for my projects. Within the next year, I am planning on purchasing a house and outfitting the garage. Since buying a house will probably put a strain on the pocketbook, not leaving a lot for toys, what would y'all suggest for tools. My list so far includes:

    1.welder, hood, etc
    2. drill press
    3. 2-3 additional grinders

    I currently have a Milwaukee cold saw and enough hand tools from a previous lifetime

    From past experiences, you can never have enough clamps, is there any tool shop y'all recommend?

    Thanks in advance for the suggestions

    Scott
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  • #2
    if your looking for alot of on the cheap clamps i've found Harbor Freight(harborfrieght.com) has lots of cheap ones but not sure of the quality. as for grinders agian harbor freight has some cheap ones along with Northern Tool(Northerntool.com) has some to but personaly If your looking for long term i would go with a more mainstream brand(Dewalt, Makita, Milwalkie, ect.)

    Just my .02, Reed
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    • #3
      A set of oxy/acet torches are nice. I cut some with mine but primarilly use it for heating and bending.

      Welder- Thats sort of broad... Mig If I could only have one machine, 220v min as big as I could get. Stick, Ok for heavy stuff, inexpensive. Most tigs and multi function machines will stick so skip a dedicated stick machine if you are thinking about one of these. Tig if you want, ac/dc if you want to do alum. You can get a nice all purpose machine like an XMT, does stick, Mig with a feeder, and dc tig with the right parts. The only downside is limited alum ability.

      Bench grinder if you do tig. Nice in a general shop also.

      Good vice. Type depends on what you do. I have several from heavy fixed vise I can pound on and bend metal to a nice 360 deg rotating adlustable one that wookd great to hold things in odd directions.

      Bender of some sort. there are alot of different ones.

      Stands and rollers to support materials. Easy to build but sometimes you can find decent ones for a song.

      Heavy tooling lathe, mill. not cheap usually but some times you can't pass up a good deal.

      Air compressor.

      I could go on but I'll stop now.

      Good luck.

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      • #4
        Get yourself a nice torch outfit and lots of clamps, build yourself a nice workbench. Personally I would not waste my money on the cheaper clamps, spend a little extra and get name brand, you'll thank yourself someday. I try to buy one whenever I have a little extra left over at the end of the week or if she doesnt find the money I stashed for the week.
        Ken

        What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 2tay530 View Post
          if your looking for alot of on the cheap clamps i've found Harbor Freight has lots of cheap ones but not sure of the quality. ...
          I have a lot of the HF imitations of Vise-Grips. It's best to pick them out in the store because you can play with them and pick out the ones that aren't as bad as the average. This is good for building up an inventory for when you need a dozen or so for that occasional job. But for the three or four that you will use everyday, the genuine Vise-Grip is worth the extra bucks.

          I have the same strategy with my 4-1/2" grinders. I have two DeWalts for the heavy stuff and reliability, then I have three orange HF grinders with the flap-disks, cutting wheel, and other light stuff, so I don't have to change wheels on the DeWalts as often, especially useful when you do a lot of blending and constantly need to change wheels.
          Last edited by MAC702; 05-17-2008, 07:50 PM.

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          • #6
            Depending on what you plan to do, you might consider supplementing your dry saw with an abrasive chop saw. It will cut a much greater range of material.

            Have you already picked out the welder(s)?

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            • #7
              #1 purchase!!!!!!

              Buy a fire extinguisher !!!!!!!...... it's not one of those things you can wait till you need it and go buy it ........ too late then! Better yet, get several ....

              And if at all possible, when you do buy a house, find one with a detached garage ,,,,,

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              • #8
                it is a never ending process,i kinda outfit my shop as the need arises.

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                • #9
                  It seems like everyday is a different job and you will always need something. Wait until you break some drills or taps and you have to run and buy them instead of running to the tool crib, big difference. Good luck...Bob
                  Bob Wright

                  Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by weld-tek View Post
                    it is a never ending process,i kinda outfit my shop as the need arises.
                    Agreed. Ask yourself what your going to do in your shop most often, and get the tools for that job(s). If your not sure, get yourself the basics. Grinder, saw, welder and start building yourself the shelving and benchs you want. If you can get some side work to do for friends/family and use that extra $ to expand your collection. The work you get will determine the tools you need
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                    • #11
                      when you get ready to buy your welder and O/A setup don't go cheap. you are going to have them a long time, get good ones so you only have to buy once. even if that means buying one now and another later..

                      as for goodies for the shop i agree its an on going never ending thing. but for starters, keep a list of the stuff you find your self using most now at the shop. this will give you an idea of what you want first. i started with 1 4.5" grinder and now have 4. they come in handy. i do a lot of quick cutting with saws-alls. its a quick way to cut stuff down to a workable size if you buy stock in 8+ft sizes. after that you can make exact cuts to suit the need without having to handle the 8 ft. piece.
                      thanks for the help
                      ......or..........
                      hope i helped
                      sigpic
                      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                      JAMES

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                      • #12
                        you don't say what you are going to do -- from the original
                        post, it looks like you're planning on general home/hobbyist/etc
                        stuff and not planning on setting up a commercial operation
                        (if you are doing some sort of commercial operation, ignore
                        the rest of my post :-)

                        - as is often said, buy the best tools you can. sooner or later
                        you will spend the money - it's really just a question of
                        how much $ you throw away before you buy the good stuff...

                        - personally, after getting "the basics", i've just bought tools
                        as/when i've needed them for specific tasks. i have limited space,
                        and this way i don't fill it up with stuff i don't need/use.
                        (and i encourage my wife to encourage me to fix things which
                        require me to get some tool I want

                        - don't forget storage
                        - cart/etc for the welder, o/a, etc
                        - first aid kit!
                        - wire brushes, slag hammers, etc
                        - i've found it's just plain easier to keep a separate set of
                        essential hand tools with my welder -- wire cutters,
                        large wrench, etc. saves running around looking for things.
                        - extra hood/gloves/etc -- a neighbor always seems to want to come
                        over and watch...
                        - lots of c-clamps, vice-grips (real ones), and those neat 1-handed
                        jobs. all in a few sizes & shapes.
                        - shop vac & trash can -- a clean shop is one that's fun to work in.

                        - as you're in a garage, you may want some additional work lights.
                        the two 100w bulbs way up in the ceiling just won't cut it :-)

                        - if the garage is not detached, a vent fan

                        f

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                        • #13
                          More on fjk's shop light idea. Get the newer T8 fluorescents. I have two 4' fixtures side by side. One has the old T12's (1 1/2" diameter tubes) the other is the newer T8's (1" dia. tubes). They're both 6500k rated. The T8's are unbelievably brighter! The light of 6500k (both sizes) is much whiter than 4100k; which I think look yellow. The T8's start quicker, much less cold sensitive.

                          OBTW: You can't put T8 bulbs in T12 fixtures, it's all about the ballasts.

                          IIRC: The reason they're brighter; the T12's operate at about 3600 cycles, the T8's run closer to 10,000. And the T8's are only 32 watts compared to the T12's 40 watts. It's amazing what they can do with electronics.
                          RETIRED desk jockey.

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                          • #14
                            T-5's are starting to drop in price, too. Brighter and more efficient still, but T-8s are still where I would go at this point. Don't use fluorescents for task lighting at rotating machinery, though. Sometimes the strobe effect is the right frequency to make it look like it's not moving.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
                              Don't use fluorescents for task lighting at rotating machinery, though. Sometimes the strobe effect is the right frequency to make it look like it's not moving.
                              Many years ago, a motorcycle mechanic friend told me they used the fluorescents to check the tach accuracy on bikes. IIRC: at 1200, 2400 and 3600 rpm, it would look like the magneto was stopped.
                              RETIRED desk jockey.

                              Hobby weldor with a little training.

                              Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

                              Miller Syncrowave 250.
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