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OT Ultimate Family Handyman tool set from scratch

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Jim Stewart View Post
    Roland, welcome to Concord!

    -js
    Thank you Jim. I love it here! I'm right near the corner of Treat and Clayton.
    -Roland
    Golf Course Mechanic

    Bedminster NJ

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    • #17
      Originally posted by epicfail48 View Post
      How often do you really use a caulking gun? Cant think of any reason that needs to be something on the list of things on the list to buy first, more like maybe buy it 5 years from now if you get a bee in your bonnet and want to recaulk the tub. Toolbag? Thought that most of the tools were going to be hanging on the wall. Sure, a bag might be occasionally useful if youre going to repair someone elses house, but there again, no reason to go for it upfront, or go fancy if im being honest. Frankly, the bag i got with my power drill set makes all the tool bag ill ever need. Rechargable batteries? Would bother with them honestly, next to nothing takes external batteries these days, pretty much everythings got built-in rechargeables anyways. Only thing i have that takes anything alkaline is my TV remote, and frankly the 2 disposable batteries every 2 years that uses arent really an environmental concern

      You could also pare down quite a lot in price by stepping down a few grades on some of the stuff. Ive yet to meet anything i need a bar clamp for that cant be done with my $3 clamps from Harbor Freight, and i do a lot of woodworking. Pliers, knipex gear is great, sure, but do they do anything that an Irwin channel-lock wouldnt (or channel-lock for that matter). Hacksaw frame, i sure Beta is a good company, but you would honestly be better served with a $25 lenox high-tension frame. Hammers, you whack stuff with them, no need to get fancy. A $30 Vaughn wood handled claw hammer isnt going to do a single thing that a $7 Harbor Freight wood handled claw hammer wont. Same can be said about pry bars, though theres not as much of a price differential. You can try to claim longevity for all of those things of course, but again, theyre all incredibly simple mechanisms, not a whole lot to go wrong with a hammer
      I selected that posh caulking gun because it was the only one not made in China! About the tool bag...I found that one of the great pleasures in life is tossing most of the tools needed for a job in a tote (I left 4 wooden ones behind), firing up some music on the cell phone, and not having to run back and forth to the garage a hundred times. About the Knipex "plier wrench"...I bought one about 10 years ago and it might be the best purchase ever. I used it today to remove a shower valve. No other tool other than a Moen puller would have done it. Some of you guys may be familiar with the parallel squeezing action of those pliers, nothing else like it. I had to make a 2 hour round trip to bring those pliers home from the shop today. That's why it was the first thing to go into my zoro shopping cart.
      -Roland
      Golf Course Mechanic

      Bedminster NJ

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      • #18
        I am well known here for buying cheap, and in most cases I have been quite happy with such tools. And I have several complete sets of combination wrenches, socket sets, screw and nut drivers, hammers, chisels, and files. Some are relatively new Harbor Freight tools, while some were my father's or grandfather's, and others were purchased at yard sales and events like the Cabin Fever Expo. Perhaps if I used such tools every day as a professional, I might invest more money in new "quality" tools, but sometimes name brands do not live up to their supposed reputation.

        As for the ubiquitous 1/4" hex drive bits, many times I have found they will not reach the screw heads when they are in deep recesses, so I also have some sets of long and short arm wrenches that do the job. I'm glad that I have many tools that I will probably never need, but if I were starting from scratch, just a few basic items would be all I'd bother getting. In most cases, I can just run to Home Depot or Lowes to get whatever I need, and for things like batteries, I've bought what I need for a dollar or so and free shipping in 2-3 days on eBay.

        I think a small bench grinder should be an essential item for any homeowner or handy man. You really need a way to sharpen drill bits, chisels, and screwdrivers. The $50 grinders from HF are perfectly OK. I've also become fond of my assortment of battery operated drills and other tools. A 4-1/2" angle grinder is inexpensive and versatile. And I would not want to do without a circular saw. I have three.
        http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
        USA Maryland 21030

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        • #19
          When I was still servicing televisions, I got tired of switching between the Philips and the 1/4 inch hex screwdrivers to remove the backs. And the regular screwdrivers were sometimes too short to reach, so- I got a piece of 5/16 rod and brazed a decent quality bit onto each end. The handle is a two part thing which sandwiches onto the rod and is screwed together. Normally the handle is fastened in the center, but I can move it if need be. That has been a very handy tool, and I still use it. Because the ends are brazed on, there is no fat part to interfere with going into a deep hole.

          On the other end of the scale, I wanted to have a pocket screwdriver that I could carry easily without it bulging in my pocket. So I took one of those multi-bit drivers, threw the stupid collet type handle away and kept the bits. I drilled crosswise through the ends where the wings are and pressed a piece of music wire through all of them. The fit is snug, but not so tight that I can't swivel one out. The other three become the handle. I had a #6 and #8 Robinson driver, a Philips, and a straight blade. I carried that sucker in my pocket for years. It was so handy, and as compact as you could get. I recently made another one.

          Allen wrenches- I commonly use three different sizes of hex head bolts. To have the wrenches easily at hand without having to look through a tray load of them, I used more 5/16 rod and drilled the ends for a tight press fit of a short length of allen wrench. Cross drilled the rods for a T handle made from music wire, and that's it. When using those bolts, there's no mistaking it- one of those three is the right one, and I always pick up the right one right away. They are all blue, but it doesn't matter.

          Other tools that are so handy- picks, pokers, stabbers, hooks, miniature chisel tips- all made from spokes. Motorcycle spokes and bicycle spokes. I have a good collection of those now. Sometimes there is just nothing else that will work.

          Stuff like this you just can't buy.

          One of my most useful tools at one point was the Philips driver bit, cut even shorter than the shortest ones and cross drilled for a music wire 'handle'. I used that a lot for removing power transistors from heatsinks where you could barely get one finger in, let alone a screwdriver.
          Last edited by darryl; 02-15-2021, 02:06 AM.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #20
            Originally posted by BCRider View Post
            ...

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            I totally appreciate the custom handles.
            I love doing that too.
            I contour them on the top drum of my belt sander.
            If any of you remember, Chamoion DeArment ball
            peen hammers always had a skinny neck. Love them.

            -Doozer
            DZER

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Doozer View Post

              I totally appreciate the custom handles.
              I love doing that too.
              I contour them on the top drum of my belt sander.
              If any of you remember, Chamoion DeArment ball
              peen hammers always had a skinny neck. Love them.

              -Doozer
              I'm getting ready to make a chasing hammer to use for light peening required for "fixing" abused slotted screws found on old firearms. I've used the little hammer shown up to now but it's always in the other shop when I need it. And since I love making tools....

              My inspiration for the shaping of the handle on that little hammer came from looking at and considering buying small ball peen jeweler's hammers. And that led to looking at engraver's chasing hammers. And I'm sure that I came across pictures for the Champion DeArment hammers along the way. Looking up the name showed me some familiar pictures.

              The current plan is to use a piece of the 7/8 O-1 drill rod I've got and machine a nice little chasing hammer head and then carve up a nice handle to go with it. That'll cure the "hammer always being in the other shop" issue. And as I said I like making tools that work nicely....
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #22
                This all got me peaked up a bit- today I went to KMS to see what other bit sets they might have. Place is closed- I didn't realize that today is a holiday. Probably saved me some $
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #23
                  I pulled the trigger this morning. I used a 15% discount code from Zoro that I found in my email. The total was $1,321. That's a good start. I'm printing the plans for a fold down work table now.
                  https://www.woodsmithplans.com/plan/...n-workstation/

                  I laid out the studs on the tool wall. Gonna order some lumber.
                  Attached Files
                  -Roland
                  Golf Course Mechanic

                  Bedminster NJ

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    My personal opinion is you need the list in groups. First of the list are the required items then a list of other items you'd like to have.

                    Here is a quick and dirty short list of the stuff I would want.

                    screw drivers
                    claw hammer
                    needle nose pliers
                    wire cutters/strippers
                    channel locks
                    vise grips
                    two adjustable wrenches (Channel Lock brand are a great value)
                    utility knife
                    tape measure
                    small level
                    step ladder
                    cordless drill
                    flat pry bar
                    simple drill index in a plastic case
                    assorted driver bits in a plastic case

                    I would eventually want a set of wrenches and a socket set. Things like a hack saw, hand saw, caulk gun can wait till I need those items.

                    Mike
                    Central Ohio, USA

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                    • #25
                      Got a chance to go into KMS today. I was looking for an assortment of drivers in a 'bit' longer shank. They had a few kits, but they all had several repeats of a few types- meaning that for $50 to $70 I could get about 5 bits of the types I wanted- plus a lot of other stuff I didn't want. Turns out again that the security bit sets were the only ones that covered all the types and sizes- but only in the short shanks. Sigh.

                      I did not see any 1/4 inch socket sets, or driver handles of that size. The only thing I did find that will be useful is a cheap set of power driven sockets- just sockets with hex shanks. These are not deep sockets, or a brand name of any repute, but are advertised as CR0-V. We'll see if I just threw away $6. I sure could have used this two days ago.

                      Somewhere in my arsenal I have a good quality 1/4 inch ratchet- I just have to find it. Over the years I've found lots of brand name sockets at thrift stores, etc. I don't care if they don't match- as long as I have all the sizes I can put together a kit again.

                      Today I saw a kit of screwdrivers by Wera- it was a lot of money but they looked like quality ones.

                      Some of the bits I looked at were supposedly quality tools with a brand name, but looking carefully at them it appeared that they were poorly plated with cheap looking chrome. I'd sure have my doubts about those.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        There is something to be said
                        for buying tools as you need them
                        and not trying to equip ones self
                        for every scenario.
                        Not that I exactly practice this,
                        but to some extent I do.

                        -Doozer
                        DZER

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                          There is something to be said
                          for buying tools as you need them
                          and not trying to equip ones self
                          for every scenario.
                          That was pretty much my reaction to the initial post. Of course, there's a base set of tools that you need (hammer, screwdriver, level) but that's a quick trip to the hardware store. I understand that it takes extra effort to ensure you are buying American, but am not sure the effort is rewarded (more expensive, takes longer, quality may not be noticeably better, and from a buy-local standpoint it makes more sense to shop at a local Ace/TrueValue hardware store than to worry about origin of manufacture). Might as well buy a caulk gun, to beat that particular example into the ground, when you buy the caulk.

                          All that aside, this did get me thinking about the kit I use on just about every job around the house. A 24-oz Vaughn ball-peen, a no-name ratcheting screwdriver, a set of punches and chisels (Mayhew I think), a cheaper-than-cheap plastic level, tape measure, rubber mallet, a small pry bar, and one of those Chapman screwdriver sets for cramped quarters and semi-stripped screws. Those are the ones that never seem to get put away; the specific drivers and wrenches, the sockets, the claw hammer and pliers, and so on and so forth, spend most of the time on the pegboard. I suppose the cordless drill and the by-64ths drill bit set deserve a spot in the kit, they are used more often than not.
                          Last edited by thin-woodsman; 02-17-2021, 10:36 AM.

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                          • #28
                            This is Sets of Hex Key Screw Drivers that I picked up at Princess Auto Surplus clearance center,they were $5 each for the SAE & Metric sets.Back row are Balls and front row is plain straight ones,one of my most used tools of basic tools collection.Not high end but seem to be tough as nails with only CRV & size stamped on them.I have several high end T handle sets which are rarely used after having these. Click image for larger version

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                            • #29
                              I lost ALL of my tools in Hurricane Katrina so I did not have the money to spend to replace everything at once.
                              I saw an ad in the HSM magazine about getting used tools from EBay for a substantial discount and I was able to acquire quite a bit of tools at reasonable prices!
                              There was also a Harbor Freight store around the corner so they were a good source for seldom/one time use tools.
                              I also hit pawn shops, garage sales and estate sales.

                              That was 15 years ago and I don’t have everything that I had but I have what I need and have funds to buy what I don’t have if I need it!
                              Although ther are sky high Grainger is also local and I can get things with out having to pay shipping and that saves a few but cos!
                              Unfortunately we lost the local MSC that saved shipping costs also.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                                I'm all for spending for the best on the most used stuff. But things like caulking guns? The nicer of the two options from the local builder is posh as I need. The two I've got like this have worked fine for a lot of years.

                                Don't discount making a silk purse from a sow's ear as well. Doing a lot of small items I have a lot of small tools. One of them is a little 4 oz ballpeen hammer. This came with a really clunky handle that would have been more at home on 12 to 16 oz. After using it one day about a year ago I opted to slim down the handle with the wood working tools and remove the nasty red stain it had for a finish. While I was at it I smoothed and evened up the face and pee ends and polished them to a mirror finish so they would not mark the small items being dressed and peened. The results were an elevated feel when peening small items and it's a lot easier on the eyes.

                                So don't discount the idea of finding old discarded tools, repairing, replacing and tuning them up and giving them a second life.

                                Batteries... If you're buying in bulk I hope you have a beer fridge to keep them in. They don't last forever at room temperature. It's also been my experience that the cheap no name batteries last as long or almost as long as the fancy name brands. And for watch and other specialty cells there's the dollar store instead of the same thing at the big boxes for $8+.

                                Those Stanley-Bailey wood chisels look really nice. And for casual cleaning up on some wood project here and there I'm sure they will be just lovely. If you're looking at some more serious wood working and will be using the chisels to cut actual joinery though I'd suggest something a little better for quality of the steel. And for that you'll want to hang onto your wallet firmly and venture over to the Lee Valley Tools website. For great steel with wood handles I can heartily recommend the Narex brand. I've got an older Narex long paring chisel that showed up at a swap meet a bunch of years ago and that led me to buy two "in between" sizes of mortise chisel from LV that are Narex brand. They are equal with the best out there. It'll cost you more than the Stanley-Bailey set but if you're cutting into end grain to form mortises and dovetails or other joints you'll appreciate how they take and hold a keen edge and don't crush the end grain. And of course the Veritas brand is nothing to sneeze at either.

                                And if you're a wood handle screwdriver junkie like it sounds like then check out the Grace brand and LV Heavy Duty screwdrivers they sell too. Lovely stuff. But for the HD line you want to be sitting... It would be for sure the last screwdrivers you buy though. But hey, we're worth it, right? But I have to admit that if you're getting the wood handle Felo set than dang, those are nice looking. It would come down to the steel in that case.

                                Your basic claw hammers is another place where I'd suggest you shop the local second hand tool stores and find old retired hammers that need a new lease on life. A little fixing up even if it means a new handle. a bit of reshaping of the handle to fit you that much better and they can become a lifelong shop buddy.
                                Wow, those LV heavy duty screwdrivers are handsome, made in Japan with a chrome striking cap which means they are meant for striking. The felos I ordered have a much wider range of sizes though.
                                -Roland
                                Golf Course Mechanic

                                Bedminster NJ

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