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Just wondering what metal working tools tools and what too get to help with my restoration 66 project. Needs a full restoration so want to take it down to bare metal and work outwards.
 

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What's your budget? Everything from hand tools to mig welders :)

Air or electric?
 

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There are a ton of ways to answer this, so I’m just going to add this: my bench vise is one of my most valued tools. I don’t know how I ever got anything done without it.
 

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I prefer air but I have a large compressor setup that allows me to run even the most air hungry tools. Having said that it will cost you more to get setup with air. If you want to run air grinders and sanders you will need a good volume of air. Electric is cheaper to get started and I still have some big Metabo electric grinders that kick butt.

Here's a list off the top of my head of stuff I used doing my 66 ground up restoration.

Portable HF Sandblaster
Blasting cabinet
parts washer
Grinder smaller and larger with assorted wire wheels as well
sanders again smaller and larger
Paint guns if spraying your own primer or top coats

Also had available drill press, 100 ton hydraulic press, milling machine, and lathe, scalers, air hammers, sheet metal cutters. I have a tool company with a bunch of mechanics and equipment :) I wheeled the 66 convertible from an enclosed trailer into my shop every weekend I wanted to work on it. It was a minor PITA but like I said I had infinite tools available and could make some when I needed to.
 

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Good, multi temp heat gun. Once you start removing sealer and undercoating, you will figure it out. Oh, and a couple putty knives.
 

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Put all the money you would have spent on tools and equipment into finding a completed ready to drive car that some guy with all those tools spent years and countless dollars building.
 

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Dimples
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Put all the money you would have spent on tools and equipment into finding a completed ready to drive car that some guy with all those tools spent years and countless dollars building.
Well that's just not sporting.
 

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67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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Plus it takes away your excuse for filling a shop with all sorts of neat tools that sometimes are even useful for other things too.

On topic, I suggest baby steps. Focus on what you want to do. On my '67 it was driveable with very moderate rust problems but the floorpans were awful. So I started there. One reason was that I was just beginning to MIG weld and hoped being under the carpet and under the car my learner welds would be pretty hidden. Plus they didn't seem like a terribly complicated job. So if you chose to start like that, you would need stuff to remove the pans and than put them back in. Pick a focus and then ask for recommendations. I once cut the floor out of a pickup with a little Dremel tool and a LOT of little cutting wheels. It took a long time but I had more time than money then. And I have to say I was able to make VERY precise cuts. Later I moved up to 4" cutting wheels and a side grinder. First a cheap reciprocating saw that plugged into a wall outlet now two battery powered ones. For my next floor pan job I've been shopping cheap plasma cutters.

Lately I don't use air much.
Main use is blowing dust and detritus off stuff. I do that a LOT. Often the detritus is on me.
Next is putting in in tires. We have too many vehicles, lots of tires.
Then running a blast cabinet. (I love that thing)
And on the rare joyful occasion, the reason I bought a big compressor to start with, spraying paint.
I did use an air impact the other day, but only because the battery impact was elsewhere.

Before you jump into air tools you might want to check out some battery stuff first. I've a growing collection of Milwaukee 18 volt and 12 volts stuff. Home Depot aids and abets this by having sales and simultaneously offering me 0% interest on my card. I have some hearing issues and love how battery tools don't scream in my ears like many air tools so that's a bonus on those for me personally. Flipside is that lots of folks are going to battery and leaving air tools behind. This means you can often find great deals on high quality used air tools for mechanic work. But the body shops are still using air so few deals on used sanders and such and new ones are still pricey for good ones.

Different ways to go. So with baby steps you can feel your way into what suits you before you throw out big chunks of money on stuff you may not need or like.
 
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To start, do you want electric or air powered tools? If air powered, best would be a minimum of a 60gal compressor, although it has been done with smaller compressors. You will also need a welder of around 100 to 175 amps. Most of these require 220/240V service. It has been done with a 110V welder, but they just don't have the penetration, if required, on thicker materials of the 220V units.
Take an inventory of what tools you have now, then follow the threads on this website on body work to see what tools will apply to your project.
 
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For metal work, I haven't seen any good replacement for air powered die grinders and cut-off wheels. Luckily you don't generally need a huge compressor for those tools.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Put all the money you would have spent on tools and equipment into finding a completed ready to drive car that some guy with all those tools spent years and countless dollars building.
Well seeing as this is my great grandmother's car that's out of the question since I want to keep it in the family. It's got very little rust since it's been in AZ most of it's life but it's also been outside so paint is burnt off. Tranny is gone (reason it was parked) and engine looks like it hasn't had a carb on it for quite some time.
 

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must have tools ,...
good set of 1/4” and 3/8“ drive socket sets And various ratchets
torque wrenches , yes plural
quality flare nut wrenches , don‘t buy cheap ones
 

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If you have nothing and are really just getting started, hand tools are where to start. I would be looking at estate sales, craigslist and yard sales. The tricky part is what to buy cheap and what to spend money on. You can get a lot of decent stuff cheap out of Harbor Freight which is great but there are times when cheap tools let you down and create big problems. Wrenches and sockets for instance, if they are cheap metal, they can round off a bolt or nut and create a night mare. You need a good set of wrenches and sockets. A good mechanics set can be the way to go. You need 1/4" 3/8" and 1/2" drive sets both 12 point and 6 point and its worth it to get a minimum level of Craftsman or better. Screwdrivers are essential and again cheap can create expensive problems. THERE IS A PLACE for cheap screw drivers in yoru box. I have a full drawer of screwdrivers, some expensive and some cheap. If you need to pry or hammer on a screwdriver, I use the cheap ones...

I would buy electric tools to start with. Anything battery operated is best to buy new as replacement batteries cost as much as a new tool and they do not last forever. With most tools, I would rather buy used hi quality tools than new cheap tools.

They best way to get an answer to your question is to post pics of your great grandmother's car so we can see what you are dealing with.
 

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Well seeing as this is my great grandmother's car that's out of the question since I want to keep it in the family. It's got very little rust since it's been in AZ most of it's life but it's also been outside so paint is burnt off. Tranny is gone (reason it was parked) and engine looks like it hasn't had a carb on it for quite some time.
In those circumstances and being rust free please disregard my previous post, too bad you don’t live closer I have a good AOD that would suit you just fine.
 

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My most used tools include the standard socket and wrench sets, screw drivers, and a blasting cabinet. The HF one is a good place to start. Later on, I found my Dewalt impact gun to be super valuable. Can't get an alternator pulley off without an impact gun/wrench, along with numerous other rusted bolts. Not for assembling parts. I have pneumatic tools, but rarely use them as I find the battery operated or manual to be easier to work with without the tether.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In those circumstances and being rust free please disregard my previous post, too bad you don’t live closer I have a good AOD that would suit you just fine.
its all good and was a good suggestion just doesnt work for me as i got it for free and not much rust so why not?
 
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