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  1. #1
    Senior Member jebensch's Avatar
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    C&V DIY'rs question:

    Moving in a few weeks and will have my own garage, shed, and laundry list of home projects to tackle for the first time ever. I'm trying to gauge what tools will be the most valuable and oft-used. Wondering in order of importance what you recommend to stock your workshop.

    Already have:
    great all-purpose cordless drill.
    Sawzall.

    What's next: circular saw; table saw; router; etc.?

    We can use the construction of a new and bike-ready shed as the target project, though that ain't happening for a while (3 month old rules the timetable currently). Much smaller projects in the near future.
    Steel-loving cheapskate

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  2. #2
    Curmudgeon in Training 20grit's Avatar
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    One cannot go wrong with hand tools. They're always a must.
    A dremel type tool is also a must. I find uses for them all the time.
    Chop saws are great if you're working with wood, but a circular saw may be all you need depending on your projects.
    Right angle clamps. Seriously.... I never had any of these until about 3 years ago. I have no clue why I waited.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    circular saw + lumber = workbench, workbench + bench vise = easy(er) freewheel removal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member happytramp's Avatar
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    Files, lots of files. As many sizes and shapes as possible.

  5. #5
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    I have a table saw, skillsaw, router, jigsaw, dremel... now that I think about it, I have quite a few tools, mostly inherited from family members who did not need them as much as they thought they would. I have my brother in law's band saw, for example. Nice. Not necessary. For bicycle-related things, I have never used the table saw or skillsaw, and have used the router and jigsaw for only one project (so far). The dremel, however, has been useful for many bicycle projects. Bench grinder and bench vise have proved very useful.

    Kinda wish I had a drill press, though!

  6. #6
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    It's kind of tough to answer without knowing what you have in mind - kind of like 'should I buy a road bike or a mountain bike?' I assume you're asking about general homeowner stuff and not bike-specific. I can't think of a use for a router for bike-related stuff, and I don't want to.

    First thing I'd say as a fairly long-time woodworker is don't buy cheap tools. Taunton press does good tool reviews, and the reviews on Amazon can be useful but require more reading between the lines. I'd pick up a nice circular saw for sure. You can get by for some time without a table saw unless your new house doesn't have kitchen cabinets. You can make an inexpensive rip guide out of scrap plywood for the circular saw for when you really need a straight cut. Likewise a miter saw is nice if you're building a house or doing production work, but for occasional use you can make the same cuts with a circular saw. If you plan to get into furniture building or cutting your own molding a router will be indispensable, but you won't need it for basic rough construction, eg. that shed you mentioned.

    For hand tools I'd start with a decent level, a framing square and a speed square, a set of good chisels, an assortment of clamps, a prybar a quality hammer, and an old fashioned hand saw. Try yard sales for some of these. A tool belt is a huge time saver on the job and if you don't have one, well, you just don't look proper.

  7. #7
    @$#!?&!!$ junkfoodjunkie's Avatar
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    Circular saw.
    You can do everything from rough carpentry to fine cabinet work with a circular saw (guides and straight edges a must.)
    Things like routers and table saws make things easier and quicker, but many things can be accomplished with a circular saw alone.

    Jake
    Last edited by junkfoodjunkie; 05-25-11 at 10:07 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    I'm curious about this as well-- we're moving into our first house in a month, and was wondering this very question. I'll be following this thread closely!
    Riding the Catskills blog

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  9. #9
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    As far as circular saws, get a "worm-drive" model, and don't go cheap.

    Not everyone might agree but I don't know what I would do without my air-compressor and framing sized nail *** and finish nail size. I've gotten so lazy that if I have to drive any more than 5 nails I just fire up the compressor and get out the nail ***. Then you can get a decent spray *** so you can use "real paint" on the next bike frame you want to refinish or house painting. Tire inflation adaptor for when the significant other is whining that her tires feel low. Plus there is a whole slew of pneumatic tools out there that are reliable, and cheap.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    I also like a good electric drill/driver with a cord. Cordless are great for small jobs, but once they get a little older I found them to be running out of charge on bigger jobs(ever drywall a ceiling?). HF drills are crap, I can't point you to a new brand but my old craftsman is still going strong. keyed chuck is getting old, but I think you can get a keyless adapter to put on it for quicker change outs. These should be cheap 2nd hand, everyone wants cordless w/keyless chucks.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
    For hand tools I'd start with a decent level, a framing square and a speed square, a set of good chisels, an assortment of clamps, a prybar a quality hammer, and an old fashioned hand saw. Try yard sales for some of these. A tool belt is a huge time saver on the job and if you don't have one, well, you just don't look proper.
    +1 on nearly all of these. A good work bench with a vice is a great asset. Try to pick up as much as possible on CL, garage sales, etc. Cheap tools are like plastic Simplex derailleurs and just don't last. Much better to get quality stuff even if it's been used quite a bit as it is made to last.

    Edit to add....if you're doing any finish work buy or borrow a compressor and a nail ***, you won't regret it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPolishJimmy View Post
    I also like a good electric drill/driver with a cord. Cordless are great for small jobs, but once they get a little older I found them to be running out of charge on bigger jobs(ever drywall a ceiling?). HF drills are crap, I can't point you to a new brand but my old craftsman is still going strong. keyed chuck is getting old, but I think you can get a keyless adapter to put on it for quicker change outs. These should be cheap 2nd hand, everyone wants cordless w/keyless chucks.
    My Milwaukee corded drill is a solid workhorse, but there's no way I'd want to drywall a ceiling with it. imho cordless is the way to go if you're going to own one drill; just get a good one (I think DeWalt is a good brand) and an extra battery.

  13. #13
    Oh Snap, not again... atmdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebensch View Post
    my own garage
    and don't forget to emphasize that with the significant other.

    Quote Originally Posted by jebensch View Post
    Already have:

    Sawzall.
    Not the most utilitarian of things, but if you have to demo a wall or floor, boooyahhh they're the bomb-diggity.

  14. #14
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    hmm...
    Mig Welder, wire feed. I use it more than you think.
    Circular saw. Just the other week I use it to cut the roof off of a section of my house I was demo'ing. I use it all the time.
    Sawzaw. Various things. Gets used a few times a quarter.
    Dremel. Everyone has one. I dont use it as much as some people but I do use it.
    Table saw. hey, i have an old house.
    Mitre saw. Molding anyone?
    Router. mmmMMmm, wood projects.
    Air compressor. Air nailer for installing hardwood floors, paint ***, endless uses.
    Jig saw, duh
    Rotary saw
    electric sanders
    cut off wheel, grinder
    radial arm saw, mmMm wood
    band saw
    grinding wheel
    electric drills, multiple


    i'm sure there is more, like all the random tools for laying tile, working on drywall, measuring things, and so on. When you own a 140 year old house like I do you own a lot of tools and you use them all.
    Mmmm, bicycles.

    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com

  15. #15
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    But for those tools that you'll only use for a day or two, you can rent them at Home Depot or elsewhere. Tile cutters, floor sanders, no need to own such things.

  16. #16
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    The Sawzall with a pruning blade is the bomb for pruning trees. This alone makes it a must have.( If you live in a wooded area)

  17. #17
    Senior Member gearbasher's Avatar
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    I can't live without my staight-claw Estwing hammer (wrapped leather grip).
    If you own a house, don't forget plumbing tools.
    "Trying is the first step towards failure." --- Homer Simpson

  18. #18
    Designer steppinthefunk's Avatar
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    Get the Dewalt 12v MAX drill/impact driver combo:
    http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCK211S...6349966&sr=8-1


    This is the most awesome drill/driver combo ever! I got a pair a couple of months ago and love them. Lightweight and powerfull enough to handle an afternoon of driving two inch deck screws.

    Next I would get the following:
    * Miter Saw
    * Circular Saw
    * Nailer/Compressor Combo
    * Router (Maybe)

    Then I would sit with my wife/girlfriend and visit ana-white.com/ and try to convince her that she can be my second pair of hands.

    **EDIT: Sorry, I just realized you already have a cordless drill - no matter, get the 12V kit anyway... It's that awesome!

  19. #19
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    Let the project dictate the tools you buy. Figure out what you need/want to do and how you plan to do it. Purchase the tools for the project based upon the method you selected for that project.

    Buy the right tools, too, don't try to make do with the wrong tool for the job. <-- this is especially true for plumbing jobs.


    Having said that, I bet a table saw is an early acquisition. A chop box (power miter saw), too.

    Stupid easy tool list:

    good framing hammer but not too big or too heavy <-- don't forget to buy a "cat's paw" (nail puller)

    hand saw (cross cut type)

    screwdriver set from Sears (wait for a sale but buy a big set).

    3/8" drive ratchet set

    1/4" drive ratchet set <-- get SAE and metric sockets, so you can work on bikes,... and stuff

    pliers and "channel lock" set (wait for a sale but buy a set)
    Last edited by Mike Mills; 05-25-11 at 05:58 PM.

  20. #20
    car guy, recovering aixaix's Avatar
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    Build a solid work bench. Get a great vise.

    As others have said, let the project dictate the tools.

    Common sense should dictate which tools to buy & which to rent, but it won't. You will lust after tools others wouldn't consider, & vice versa. Accept this.

    A good, solid drill press means you'll never be afraid of drilling deep & accurate holes.

    Heavy, production machine shop tools (weird old drill presses, giant lathes, e.g.) are often really cheap because nobody wants to bother moving or housing 1500 lbs of cast iron. If you can deal with these issues, you can get excellent tools from business auctions.

    Vise-grips.

    Never, ever buy cheap punches or chisels. On the other hand, cheap combo wrenches & sockets are useful for modifying to fit special circumstances. This is more applicable to car work. Big sockets and combo wrenches (over 1 1/2 ") don't need to be first-rate either, just big & heavy.

    I could go on. And on.
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  21. #21
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 Get a great vise.

    Circular saw and compound miter saw ahead of a table saw (I have a table saw too, but the circular saw and compound miter saw get a lot more use).

    High quality screw ***. I have both a corded one and a cordless (OK, I have more than one....)

    Air compressor, and a couple of nail guns.

    +1 I have an old house (1935), actually two of them, and use my tools a lot. Currently on month 3 of the latest project. Figure it will be a two year project.

    Depends how deep you want to get into home repairs. Myself, the list is pretty long, from wiring (rewiring right now), plumbing, rough and finish carpentry, plaster and drywall, etc. Each area needs its own tools. Best tool I ever bought for wiring was my Milwaukee hole hawg. Its a monster 90 degree 1/2 drill. Picked it up used at an attractive price, should have bought one three or four home rehabs ago... Similar to flipping bikes, let the projects fund the tools.

  22. #22
    iab
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    Senior Member iab's Avatar
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    Large solid work bench
    Metal vise
    Wood vise
    Assorted clamps
    Band saw
    Table saw
    Drill press
    Chop or radial-arm saw
    Palm sander
    Belt sander
    Horizontal saw
    Cordless drill with spare battery
    Twist, spade and forsner bits
    Sawzall
    Router
    Circular saw
    Jig saw
    Chisels
    Box wrenches - standard & metric
    Socket set - standard & metric
    Every screwdriver ever made
    Variety of hammers
    Compressor
    TIG welder
    Right-angle grinder
    Bench grinder
    Machinist rule
    Calipers

  23. #23
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    I've got an old B&D Workmate that's earned its keep many times over, it's a portable folding work platform with a large clamping top that works like a vice. Very useful!

  24. #24
    car guy, recovering aixaix's Avatar
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    Workmates are great: far more useful than you'd ever believe. Folding horses are handy too.
    Michael Shiffer
    EuroMeccanicany.com

  25. #25
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    buy used from a previous overambitious gentleman such as yourself so you won't lose much when the process repeats (kind of like the bikes we buy).

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