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what shop item should one buy with a windfall of $100?

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  • what shop item should one buy with a windfall of $100?

    I'm thinking of someone who has quite a lot of "the basics" but is still building their collection. Suppose they suddenly came into $100 - what shop item should they consider buying?

    Thinking about it, I think I'd suggest an optical center punch perhaps this one: https://tinyurl.com/szs874em and also a clone of the Whitney No. 5 Jr. hand punch, for example: https://tinyurl.com/df42p9wz

    I bought an optical center punch at least 20 years ago from Joe Rice at a metalworking show in Eugene, Oregon and have really valued it ever since. Prices seem to have come down since then. Long before that, I bought one of those hand punch sets from J.C. Whitney. I have used that hundreds of times and boy is it handy.

    What do you suggest?

    metalmagpie

  • #2
    The older I get, the more I like my optical center punch.

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    • #3
      Not sure I'd get much use from an optical center punch, but the hand punch is a good one. I'd combo that up with a hand nibbler https://www.amazon.ca/ProsKit-900-21...4GXY6TR9QVBJ5D , as I use the pair of those together a lot.

      All depends on what a person is in to. But clamps are another thing that I don't mind picking up with extra money every once in a while. Getting into a large weldment, one can never have too many. Consumables, cutting discs, flap wheels, emery paper, cutting/tapping fluid, layout dye, extra drills in frequently used sizes, etc. Yeah, none of those items are that glamorous, but could really save the day when you need them.

      Back when shopping in person was a thing, I'd always round up purchase another $20 or so with consumables. If I had to make a trip to TSC for a $5 item, I'd get $20 in cut off wheels if they were on sale, just because. Or sandpaper if it was on sale. You're going to use it eventually, why not stock up when it's cheaper.

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      • #4
        Tool holders for my lathe. Never have enough.

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        • #5
          Optical are great, so is the fabled roper hand punch, I have a cheap version, it’s proved invaluable over the years, think the trick is getting something you regularly use, I’ve amassed lots of expensive toys I never use, ever, bit senseless really, get more use of some really good files than a filing machine, go figure
          mark

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          • #6
            Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
            I'm thinking of someone who has quite a lot of "the basics" but is still building their collection. Suppose they suddenly came into $100 - what shop item should they consider buying?

            What do you suggest?

            metalmagpie
            Neat, been playin the Ponies?

            For me consumables are always my first go to.. I have a similar optical sight and like it. The punch you showed looks like a nice one. Taiwan not mainland china. The punch at that price is a for sure if you can use it. JR

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            • #7
              I can think of lots of items I would enjoy, but If I got an unexpected $ 100 to spend perhaps because of using my tools to help someone else I would take my wife out for a decent meal as a thankyou for the help she gives me in my shop with ideas and the physical help with lifting carrying and collecting " Stuff" Regards David Powell

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              • #8
                I've got a lot of stuff and am always wheeling and dealing and buying more. If its a tool and I don't have it, I badly need and want it. Sometimes even if I've never heard of it . One of the most useful and used items I've bought over the last year was a Makita flashlight, like this https://www.amazon.ca/Makita-DML801-...13082618&psc=1

                As I work away, there's always angles and views that are can benefit from better lighting and I find I very often have this at hand.
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  I have an optical center punch. Its not something I would have bought for myself, but my son gave it to me for Christmas one year. I don't use it all that much, but I do use it, and when I use it the tool is the best one for the job at the time. Its been the difference between finishing a job today or next week a few times.

                  I have a lot of lathe tool holders, but to be honest I could probably get by with half of them. For any given job I don't use more than 5 or 6. The main reason I have a bunch is because its faster when I am using the lathe to not have to setup the tools I need for a job ahead of time. Heck, that's probably the main reason I use insert tools on the lathe. As long as I don't wreck it the tool stays the same from insert to insert to insert. For a lot of work its a lot cheaper to use hand ground HSS (M42 usually) lathe bits. Even if I throw them away when they are about half used up and start to get hard to handle.

                  For a home shop guy a small supply of extra inserts or a few new HSS lathe bit blanks might be a better long term investment.

                  Honestly if your shop doesn't make your bacon buy what you like. What I think doesn't matter.

                  Actually..... A new high quality measuring instrument. Maybe a nice micrometer in a size you wish you had, or a small gage set. Ok $100 might be a bit light, but I have been pretty happy with Shar's Import mics. I do use standards to check them
                  Last edited by Bob La Londe; 07-08-2021, 01:26 PM.
                  *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                  • #10
                    Inside ball guages for holes 1/2 or under..or a few adjustable parallels..

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                      I'm thinking of someone who has quite a lot of "the basics" but is still building their collection. Suppose they suddenly came into $100 - what shop item should they consider buying?

                      Thinking about it, I think I'd suggest an optical center punch perhaps this one: https://tinyurl.com/szs874em
                      WARNING! I clicked on the link to the optical center punch above. It is a Spanish language listing. By opening the listing, Amazon changed my language preference to Spanish. Then I couldn't find the settings to reset to English because they were all in Spanish. If this happens to you, here's the link to reset your language preference.
                      https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-p...elect-language
                      It's all mind over matter.
                      If you don't mind, it don't matter.

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                      • #12
                        I have a version of the optical center punch. Haven't used it since I got a CNC mill. Get another Whitney punch, keep one setup for pop rivets, the other as needed.

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                        • #13
                          LED lights for your shop
                          extra bandsaw blades
                          Cheap Granite surface plate or thick plate glass for taping a sheet of 320 grit on, and polishing small parts
                          Replace missing or damaged drill bits.
                          I cut it off twice; it's still too short
                          Oregon, USA

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 754 View Post
                            Inside ball guages for holes 1/2 or under..or a few adjustable parallels..
                            Those are one of those items I've wanted for years, but don't want to pay full retail, as I wouldn't use them much. I've bought a few retiree toolboxes over the years hoping to find a set, but haven't yet. When I bought the Tormach the guy threw in a pile of tooling as he was going through his drawers, but when he came to his adjustable parallels he wanted to keep them. SO close on that one. The search continues.....

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                            • #15
                              A beer cooler would be nice.

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