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Black Forest
02-03-2012, 01:08 AM
Not your mill or lathe but your small support tool. This goes along with the thread about a tool you thought you would never use but do use.

The tool that everytime you use it you feel good.

Mine is my 3D Taster. It makes aligning and locating on the mill really easy and fast.

Boostinjdm
02-03-2012, 01:51 AM
My rafter square seems to be used on every project. I have both a 6" and a 12" version (multiples of each actually). I like the ones with deep markings because when combined with a scribe, you can draw a nice even line a given distance from the edge of your material.

darryl
02-03-2012, 01:53 AM
Lately my favorite tool has been a scraper. This is simply a flat piece of steel about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. I sand both ends flat on the belt sander and use it to remove the sharp edge on doors, drawer fronts- anything we do at work which involves taping edges with pvc tape or plastic laminate. The taping machine trims the tape nearly flush with the surface, but then I wisk the sharpness off the edge with a few quick passes of the scraper.

With the laminate I router the edge, but have to stop short or it'll take the color off the adjacent laminate. With the scraper I can remove the sharp edge quickly, then trim the edge flush without leaving a mark. There's a knack to it, but it works well for me. I only use a file where I really have to. This has become my favorite tool for working with laminate.

In my home shop, I use several different scraper-type tools for various deburring operations. Some I use at the lathe for quickly rounding over sharp corners, others are specially ground for creating small grooves- usually markings to guide a hacksaw blade for cutoff. These ones usually are made with a guide on one side, and the mark is thus made the same exact distance from the end of the workpiece each time. Some of my scrapers are actually used to scrape flat surfaces- usually pvc though, not often metals, but sometimes.

I make these from sections of bandsaw blade I scrounged from my local friendly metal shop.

At work I saw a piece of a saw blade standing in a cobwebby corner. It looks like it was a two-man swede saw blade at one time. It's about 4 inches wide not counting the teeth. To me it looks like about 50 various scraper blades-

Evan
02-03-2012, 02:44 AM
I love my air powered nailer. I don't have the arm strength or grip to pound nails but the air nailer is awesome. I don't use it often but when I do I love every minute of it. It also saves more time on the intended job than about anything else with the possible exception of using explosives to dig a ditch.

mf205i
02-03-2012, 03:05 AM
I will give you two, my belt grinder and my tractor-skip loader. I could have never envisioned how useful and how much use these two tools would get. I rescued the tractor and built the grinder and it always makes me smile at the unexpected usefulness and luxury of having and using them.
Do yourself a big favor and even if you already have a bench grinder and a belt sander, get or make yourself a good 1HP+ belt grinder. You just can’t believe what they will do.
The Massey Ferguson is optional.
Have fun with it, Mike

Black Forest
02-03-2012, 03:15 AM
Power nailer. Yep that is a great tool. Makes short work of putting up barn boards. My other favorite is a impact wrench. When I have to change a tire on my tractor it is a real blessing to not have to use a X wrench.

BobL
02-03-2012, 03:22 AM
I wasn't going to post this but seeing as someone mentioned tractor skip loader I reckon this is then OK.

http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l570/BobLx/880bigBILMill.jpg

The all ally frame was designed and built by your yours truly with ally welding help by my BIL. Hence I named it the BIL mill.
This tool has exceeded my expectations by much more than any other tool I own or have used.
It's loud, dusty and gives the operator a nice workout but it is a lot of fun to use and to make.
I enjoyed making this one so much I have made 3 more since.

.RC.
02-03-2012, 04:11 AM
I prefer not to comment on my favourite tool...I showed it to a woman once as I thought she might like it, but she was totally disinterested in it.... I guess it was smaller then she expected...

But I really like touching it and even though it has a bit of age on it, it is smooth to the touch..

Of course it is my 0-25mm Tesa micrometer...

Gary Gill
02-03-2012, 05:20 AM
My most appreciated tool is my Jet 4x6 saw. Prior to buying this saw I cut steel with a hacksaw.

Black Forest
02-03-2012, 05:21 AM
I prefer not to comment on my favourite tool...I showed it to a woman once as I thought she might like it, but she was totally disinterested in it.... I guess it was smaller then she expected...

But I really like touching it and even though it has a bit of age on it, it is smooth to the touch..

Of course it is my 0-25mm Tesa micrometer...

Good thing she didn't ask if was to measure length or diameter!


.RC I am glad you didn't say your paint gun because that is my least favorite of your tools!

rythmnbls
02-03-2012, 06:06 AM
My rotab/indexing head, I do a lot of rotary milling and odd numbered indexing, the rotab is indispensable.

Steve.

Davidhcnc
02-03-2012, 06:28 AM
Mitutoyo digi calipers. ...if you don't have them it is time you did;)

coalsmok
02-03-2012, 07:02 AM
Got to be a 12" crescent wrench. I wear about 1 a year out.

vpt
02-03-2012, 07:25 AM
My most favorite tool? The bandsaw, I don't know how I got anything cut strait and done right before it. It makes otherwise impossible to get right cuts to easy perfect cuts every time! Cut right down the middle of that weld? No problem! And it cuts all by itself! Set it up and sit back and watch or go work on something else till its done doing its job. Besides my lathe nothing else has made me as happy to have it like the bandsaw.

metalmagpie
02-03-2012, 07:31 AM
This is going to sound stupid. Back in the '80s at a flea market I bought a clean used Starrett 6" combination square. I have used that thing thousands of times since then. It's my "go-to" layout tool. Accurate, fits the hand, the rule's markings are still clear, sharp and legible, and overall I seem to hold it in a very special regard way in excess of its value.

metalmagpie

EVguru
02-03-2012, 07:39 AM
My Brain!

When I was born it didn't seem up to much, but it got better.

rws
02-03-2012, 07:45 AM
Mine is my porta-band saw. I use it more often than any other power tool I own. I hate a hacksaw, I don't own a floor model bandsaw (dammit), but the porta-band gets used all the time. I use it for cutting off stuff in the lathe too instead of a parting tool, (except aluminum, I cut that with a parting tool.)

topct
02-03-2012, 08:24 AM
We have knapweed and Canadian thistle here. It grows out of the cracks in the street and sidewalks. The stuff could be used to make a very strong rope and I swear some of the chemicals I have tried to kill it with actually makes it grow. You have to have a license to buy what will kill and it seems to be expensive. I have several hundred running feet to do a couple of times a year and it used to take a couple of days to do.

I used to use a hand held gas powered weed eater and tried every kind of string, steel cable and even pieces of hack saw blade. Nothing would last long enough to do more than a couple of feet at a time. Then I got a DR string mower. It uses a special carbon fiber reinforced string that's almost a quarter inch thick. That and 6 1/2 horsepower let me do the entire job in less than a couple of hours. It's made a tedious and boring job kind of fun.

bill70j
02-03-2012, 10:12 AM
This is going to sound stupid. Back in the '80s at a flea market I bought a clean used Starrett 6" combination square. I have used that thing thousands of times since then. It's my "go-to" layout tool. Accurate, fits the hand, the rule's markings are still clear, sharp and legible, and overall I seem to hold it in a very special regard way in excess of its value.

metalmagpie
Yep. Combination square is my most used tool also.

But I also liked the comment on the card scraper. Can double as a poor man's plane. And for finishing, does a much better job than sandpaper.

justanengineer
02-03-2012, 10:19 AM
Hmmm...so many choices. I think machine related would be a tie somewhere between a BFH, crescent style adjustable wrench, vise-grips, and quite a few other "basic" tools.

Steve Steven
02-03-2012, 10:22 AM
My favorite tool has to be my Dremel tool, I have 4 of them. I got my first one in 1953, it was a wound field tool with a cracked case I got given to me, LOVED it! Use mine now for just about anything, and have had 2 larger tools with 1/4in shankes that I also use.

Steve

ckalley
02-03-2012, 10:28 AM
All in all, the best $129 I ever spent was buying my 4X6 Horizontal bandsaw. Got from ENCO when they were still in Chicago - free freight, too!

It let me do things you could not do with a hacksaw. Made my own stand out of scrap unistrut to replace the tin they supplied with it.

Craig

Wirecutter
02-03-2012, 12:04 PM
I was going to say something along the lines of .RC.'s post, but he beat (:eek: ) me to it...

I've heard woodworkers call such a thing "the tool you reach for", as in, it's the go-to tool.

I have two. One is an old 12v Ryobi cordless drill. I fished it out of my neighbor's trash. He'd tossed it because (wait for it) the charger wasn't charging the battery packs. I rebuilt the packs with my trusty Unitek welder, and got a charger for $10 on Fleabay. I drill with it, drive screws, twist wire, and anything else I can think of. I must have picked good cells for the pack rebuild, because despite this drill being used and abused the most, the packs have outlasted those of two other cordless drills I have, and they hold a charge for weeks. Truly an unexpected level of performance.

As for the other, I have to chime in with the bandsaw crowd. I've got a cheap little Chinese made thing (Harbor Freight?) that I do all kinds of cutting with. It's not perfect, but it sure beats a hacksaw. I even use it to destroy old hard drives by cutting them into halves or quarters.

-M

The Artful Bodger
02-03-2012, 12:24 PM
My Brain!

When I was born it didn't seem up to much, but it got better.


Mine seems to be falling off in performance lately.:(

Evan
02-03-2012, 02:36 PM
This is going to sound stupid. Back in the '80s at a flea market I bought a clean used Starrett 6" combination square.

I have the same one and it is my most used measuring and layout tool by far. 'been using it for 40 years.

Horizontal bandsaw is near the top of the list too. If you find yourself making more than one hacksaw cut a week you need one.


Kill thistle with pickling vinegar. Cheap, non toxic to humans and dogs. Works.

danlb
02-03-2012, 06:48 PM
This question is unfair. As with my children, there is no one favorite.

My lathe lets me make accurate cylinders and radiuses.

My mill lets me make accurate cuts.

My mig welder lets me undo the inaccurate cuts and glue things back together.

Last, but not least, my vice grip collection lets me abuse any tool or piece of work.

Dan

ak95xj
02-03-2012, 06:49 PM
My combination square..Its not just one I have a small collection of them building up

topct
02-03-2012, 06:54 PM
A good reminder. I do need to pick up a couple of band saw blades. And a couple of gallons of vinegar.

Harvey Melvin Richards
02-03-2012, 06:59 PM
My favorite is a Lufkin 901A planer gauge. It doesn't get used much, but it's a beautifully made tool.

http://i811.photobucket.com/albums/zz35/HarveyMelvinRichards/PB170888Large.jpg

C.BRAXMAIER
02-03-2012, 07:44 PM
I prefer not to comment on my favourite tool...I showed it to a woman once as I thought she might like it, but she was totally disinterested in it.... I guess it was smaller then she expected...

But I really like touching it and even though it has a bit of age on it, it is smooth to the touch..

Of course it is my 0-25mm Tesa micrometer...
LOL...........now that was funny

loose nut
02-03-2012, 07:53 PM
Mine is my 3D Taster. It makes aligning and locating on the mill really easy and fast.

I'll second that. Using my 3D Taster (in combination with the DRO) is almost better then sex and much easier to get.:D

gizmo2
02-03-2012, 08:44 PM
I thought about this most of today, and would have to say it's the 5-C collet closer for the lathe. It stays on there most of the time. I can use short or long stock, thin wall tubing, threaded, hex, or square stuff without crushing it. No big hunk of metal (3 or 4 jaw) trying to take my knuckles off. EVery once in awhile, not often, I spend money and think 'that turned out better than I hoped.' This was one such occasion.

darryl
02-03-2012, 10:45 PM
Who was it that said he had two? Freak :)

flylo
02-04-2012, 02:16 AM
I have a Porter Cable Porta Band saw on a roll around stand that I use almost daily. I can't believe the power this thing has. I have a small Atlas, 1 Jet, 1 4x6 Grizzly, & 2 large ones. This is varable speed, has a trigger lock, a chain vise & cuts as fast & sets up quicker than all the others. Just roll it where you want it swing the saw up, lay in the steel, hook the chain vise grip & cut. Your done faster than it takes to crank the vice closed on the rest. Best $50 I spent last year. It unbolts to use as a true portable but I've never done it & H-F sells Morse Bimetal blades cheap for it. Most handy saw I've ever used.



Mine is my porta-band saw. I use it more often than any other power tool I own. I hate a hacksaw, I don't own a floor model bandsaw (dammit), but the porta-band gets used all the time. I use it for cutting off stuff in the lathe too instead of a parting tool, (except aluminum, I cut that with a parting tool.)

Deus Machina
02-04-2012, 02:48 AM
Usually, it's the Chinese digital calipers I get on sale for $20 a pop. More than accurate enough for 99% of what I do, tough enough I can toss them back into the drawer and slam it shut, and cheap enough that I could do it from the other side of the garage if I felt like it.

Other times it's my Porter Cable sawzall--which replaced my hacksaw--but that's usually subject to diminishing appreciation starting about an hour after I cut off that hunk of 3" 6061.

beanbag
02-04-2012, 03:07 AM
Hard to say what my favourite tools are. Of various categories:

Works really well every day, so well that you don't even notice it anymore:
Plastic Jewish toolbox I got from Walmart for cheap.
A set of goggles that have a gasket that seals around the face, as recommended to me by somebody on this forum.

Stuff I reach for when I get the chance to use them:
ZrN coated end mills for aluminum
TiAlN end mills for steels

Garage queen:
5 Flute TiAlN coated end mill. I'm afraid to use it coz I might wear it out. I like to take it out of the box, image how awesome it would be at expeditious metal removal, and then put it back in the box.

Love-hate relation:
SprutCAM - turns dreams into reality, as I like to say.

boslab
02-04-2012, 05:51 AM
i have so many tools as i get older its embarrasing, i think its an addiction!
the best tool i have, my glasses, im buggered without them, can you get laser surgery for age? i cant see up close well anymore, vernier scales are outers so digital has taken over, height guages stand forelorn and dusty.
i wish i could see like i used to, splitting tenths on a rule was easy, i could read a rule to about +- 10 thou, now i cant see the bloody rule!
My favourite is the one i just bought!
As you get slower in the head duplication seems to be normal, i must have abou 20 pairs of sidecutters, and ican never find one, i'm in work and have to pop to the stores for another one!, i havent worn one out yet!
Crimpers are multiplying i motice too
I do love my bench vice/vise however, she [yes it a woman!] has been with me since, well last tuesday when i fell in love with her firm strong jawline and grip on reality, the blue dress was just right!
Age induced madness
mark

John Stevenson
02-04-2012, 01:16 PM
Found this a bit of a hard one as it all depends on what I'm doing, some tools don't get used for ages and some are very job dependant.

I think my Division master indexer comes close as it runs two rotary tables and two dividing heads, all with different ratio's. Also serves as a test bed for checking out anything stepper driven without having to set a computer up.

But clearing up on the desk tonight and I spotted my Machinists Calc Pro calculator from Calculated Industries over in the States.
This has probably got to be my most used tool without me realising it as it's in daily use.
Brilliant for working angles out just feed two variables in and you get a proper answer, no having to press sin, tan etc

One button push between imperial, metric and fractions [ hawk spit ding ]

Bolt pattern, thread wires, drill sizes, feed per tooth etc, etc

Good tool to put on a wish list, be lost without mine.

Hopefuldave
02-04-2012, 01:19 PM
I'd have to name at least two...

The ball-bearing-on-a-stick for getting work roughly centred / true in the lathe chuck, like when facing off and sizing the spigots on chuck backplates etc.;

Rizla Silver cigarette papers - 1/2 a thou" of clearance check;

My Zippo lighter, when the Rizlas *don't* get used as feeler gauges!

Dave H. (the other one)

Charles P
02-04-2012, 03:03 PM
Found this a bit of a hard one as it all depends on what I'm doing, some tools don't get used for ages and some are very job dependant.

I think my Division master indexer comes close as it runs two rotary tables and two dividing heads, all with different ratio's. Also serves as a test bed for checking out anything stepper driven without having to set a computer up.




I was about to say DivisionMaster as well. Very handy and a vast improvement on cranking dividing heads.

Charles

Gary Paine
02-04-2012, 05:28 PM
All great tools, and I have a bunch as well. But there is only one tool in my shop that gets used on every type of job I do in the shop.
THE SHOP VACUUM CLEANER
I've worn out at least three over the years.

fixerdave
02-04-2012, 08:17 PM
My favourite tool to use is a hand plane. There's just something about shaving off thin slices of wood... the smell, the quiet sound, the meditative rhythm. I don't know. Of course, if I actually have to flatten anything... I'm using the jointer, or thickness planer, or any power tool I can get my hands on. Hand planing is hard work.

The most used tool, or tool set, has to be the cordless drill/driver/impact. I have a set of Milwaukee M12s and love them.

But, as a tool junkie... I have to say that I love them all - well - most of them anyway - most of the time. There are moments...

David...

dp
02-04-2012, 09:09 PM
The two tools I really enjoy using are my Tapmatic 50X and my shaper. Next in line would be the power hacksaw my dad made 50 years ago. It still does a hell of a good job.

wierdscience
02-04-2012, 09:52 PM
I love my air powered nailer. I don't have the arm strength or grip to pound nails but the air nailer is awesome. I don't use it often but when I do I love every minute of it. It also saves more time on the intended job than about anything else with the possible exception of using explosives to dig a ditch.

Want to make the best thing since sliced bread even better?

Add a large paintball C02 tank,coil hose and regulator-presto instant go anywhere nailgun.

wierdscience
02-04-2012, 09:54 PM
My favorite hand tool is a good set of Dividers,with a little care you can layout nearly anything accurately.

davidh
02-05-2012, 08:31 AM
Want to make the best thing since sliced bread even better?

Add a large paintball C02 tank,coil hose and regulator-presto instant go anywhere nailgun.

there is a supplier in calif that makes fixed output regs for just that. ive sold many of them over the years. around $40 if i remember correctly.