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I've been collecting tools for 20 years now. I'm one of those guys people consider "handy". Half of that is having more tools than a screwdriver, pliers and a hammer (if my father-in-law is reading this Yes Norm, I mean you!)

Some tools, like a set of sockets are just obligatory. Some tools aren't so obviously useful. Of the ones that are a little more esoteric, here are my favorites.

1. Dremel. Also called a rotary tool. You can cut with it, carve with it, polish with it, or start a fire with it. I've done all 4. It's like a die grinder without the 100 pounds of air compressor.

2. Chain saw. You show me a guy that doesn't either own or want to own a chain saw and I'll show you a guy that whistles show tunes while going to the bathroom. You can cut trees with it, or cut trees with it, or...well you get the idea. Commonly known as "The most dangerous tool known to man."

3. BFH. Not too big like a 12 pound sledge, not too small like a big framing hammer...more like a 2 pound "engineer's hammer". What kinda engineer uses one of these? Either a civil engineer, or the kind that drives a train I guess. Useful for anything from busting out concrete to banging on the end of a cheater bar...which brings us to.

4. Big cheater bar. Personally I keep a 4 foot piece of heavy wall 2" steel pipe around. Works great when slid over the end of a 1/2" ratchet. Shirley Temple could've taken the lug nuts off of Big Foot if she had my cheater bar.

5. Torch. Propane good. MIP better. Oxygen Acetylene best. Personally I have all 3. You can solder pipe. You can heat up a stuck bolt. You can melt off undercoating. You can light the pilot on your water heater (I wouldn't recommend the Oxygen Acetylene for that one though). Mr. T likes to weld with a cutting torch. That's not really relevant to this post, but I always find it humorous when I watch the A-Team.

6. Sawzall. If you buy an old house, a sawzall ought to come with it. Can be used to cut wood, metal, or flesh. I've used it for all 3, and have the scars and the emergency room chart to prove it.

7. Curved Pry Bar/Nail Puller. Excellent tool for the application of force to anything from an 80 year old barn nail to a crank shaft sprocket. Mines about 14 inches long, and has 2 business ends and a secondary nail puller hole.

8. Spray paint. Not exactly a tool, but extremely useful for everything from laying out the corners of landscaping to touching up your gas grill. I bet I've got 75 cans of spray paint. Everything from etching primer to liquid chrome and everything in between. Any job I do on anything eventually uses spray paint and -

9. PB Blaster. As recommended by VMF. This stuff makes WD-40 look like water. Amazing as a penetrating oil to remove rusted fasteners. Maybe even better as a lubricant. Tip of the day...those of you with pneumatic tools that occasionally use a sand paper roll on a rubber mandrel...next time lube the mandrel up with PB Blaster before you try to put the cartridge roll on. I now enjoy changing rolls. Before it was almost impossible!

10. Drop Light. A good drop light is indispensable as a light and as an extension cord. If you don't have one get one. If you do have one get a better one. I like the florescent ones, because they don't burn you when the fall off whatever you have them hooked to and land on your forehead. No, I don't have any scars to prove that one because my drop light is florescent.

Someone posted the other day. "Tools are like a woman, you should always get the best one you can."

Amen brother.

Phil


'65 Convertible (with many mods.)
http://www.blueriver.net/~finite/Pony.htm
 
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I also have been collecting tools for many years and there are a few new ones I like.

MetWerench Socket and Wrench set. This works for both metric and SAE. Invaluable on the newer cars that can't make up their mind which to use.

RotoZip. Like a jig Saw/ Dremmel tool it will cut through wallboard, wood, metal tile and go any direction. With the proper attachments it will also sand and grind. Great tool.

You left off one of the best...a compressor. A must have for the auto restorer.


Stewart A. Smith
1968 Cougar XR-7
 

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A digital multimeter. A must for electrical troubleshooting. Alligator clips on wires for reaching awkward positions with the multimeter.

Ford Shop Manual. Absolutely essential. I also like the Osbourne Assembly Manuals.

Safety Glasses. Need I say more?

Fire Extinguisher. When your swamp gets full of alligators...

A good Electric Drill.

A good bench vise.

Beer.

Tunes or radio.

I'm sure there are more....


http://clubs.hemmings.com/baymustang/platesmall.jpgLet me check your shorts! My multimeter is just a-waiting! Formerly known as Midlife in the old VMF.
King of the Old Farts *struts*
 
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I live in California (work for PG&E for that matter). I find it very handy to have a generator. 5k is plenty for me. Keeps my 1000w light stand (which I have cut back to 600w, in the interest of conservation) and all power tools (incl. radio) going. It won't quite get my compressor up to max cutoff, but it will pump it up enough to do some light work.

Dan
Be a good dad to your kids and phone your mom twice a week...
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Phil,
Good post! Really got a kick out of that one...
Let's not forget a refrigerator... Invaluable for shrinking wristpins prior to installation and uh'... keeping your favorite adult beverage in. That reminds me! I need to go work in the shop awhile!

Required tools for operating a Vintage Mustang:
1. Duct Tape
2. J.B. Weld
3. B.F.H. (Big Fat Hammer)
4. VINTAGE MUSTANG FORUMS II
View Album Here: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=1616948&a=12352157
 
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Adult beverage ??? A pack of Bud is six more tools (Heineken for metric jobs).

Mustang Lovers ---- A Box-O-Choclates !!!
 

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You left out vise grips,I always keep several pair when doing a job on project 70.Uses include clamping sheet metal together before welding(Just don't get close and weld them to it.).Autodarking welding helmet,Great for us lazy welders who sometimes forget to lower sheild before starting the arc.I also brought a pair of panel benders,The things that put the step in sheetmetal.Don't like them though.Takes too long and can get the same results by doing butt welds.

70 Convert
302 w\factory air
 
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If I may, I have a few comments reguarding Hoosier's initial post:

1. Was the fire you started with the Dremel the result you were trying to achieve? I use my (Ok, it's my Dad's and he knows I still have it. I think) Dremel frequently. Great little tool. No fires, though. I must be using it wrong.

2. Chain Saws. They scare the [email protected] outta me. Read this little story back in Elementry school about a boy that lost his hand to a chainsaw. Then he died. I never got over that one, I guess. I have used them in the past, I just prefer to do it by hand. Hand SAW, not by hand. Oh God, I can't believe I let that slip. Quickly moving on...

3. Ah yes, the BFH, my favorite. IMO, I think it's called an engineer's hammer because whatever you're hitting is getting re-engineered. So you have just become an engineer! If ever asked to show your degree, just pull out your favorite hammer.

Additional words to live by when discussing hammers: "Beat to fit. Paint to match"

4. Hmm, if you've seen my post elsewhere about an annoying IKE neighbor, I think I've found an additional use for a 4' long 2" round piece of heavy pipe!

5. Torch=Fire. Anyone ever use a can of WD-40 and a lighter to flame-throw insects that have crawled out of reach? Mind you, I do NOT suggest that people actually do this. It is very dangerous for several reasons. It's fun to see, though.
Also see "Dremel"

6. Sawzall. Fun. Not as evil as a chainsaw, but still deserving respect. I borrowed one once. Liked it so much I started cutting on stuff that didn't really need to be cut. Now the wife wonders why the coffee table seem a bit shorter...

7. Need to get a good nail puller. Great general 'prying' tool.

8. Paint. If you own 75 cans of paint, it would seem you are VERY familiar with the last line in #3.

9 PB Blaster? This is a new one on me. I'll have to try it. But if it's not as flammable as WD-40, you can keep it.

10. Battle scars from drop lights is a manly thing. Florescent shop lights are for "a guy that whistles show tunes while going to the bathroom". 'Nuff said!



Not sure where my mind is but when I first read your post I thought the quote:

"Tools are like a woman, you should always get the best one you can"

actually said "Tools are like a woman, you should always get the best one you can AFFORD."

After re-reading the quote, it's not as funny. Oh well.



Disclaimer: The preceeding comments cannot be held against the writer as he had not taken his medication nor were they meant to do any more than entertain at no one's expense other than possibly the writer's.

"it's a hundred and six miles to Chicago. We've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and were wearing sunglasses"
"Hit it!"

1969 Mach 1 390 4 spd
 
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