If you could choose only 10 tools, what would they be?

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Fullmetalwelder

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Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
77
Location
Alicudi, Italy
So, as I'm approaching my first build I find myself wondering what are the best and most useful tools to have on hand for a plane build, at first I thought it was an easy one but then a million tools popped up in my head, and I can't buy all of them, even if it's kind of a dream ahah
So I want to ask you, if you could only use 10ish tools to build your plane, what would they be?
Let's make some clarifications before, a set of tools counts as one tool, like a set of wrenches and a set of screwdrivers counts as two tools. Also consumables doesn't count as tools, you can buy many screws or rivets as you like.
Ideally for the challenge you should select only 10 tools, but it doesn't matter if you select 11, 12 or 13, just try to stay close as you can to 10.
Have fun!
 

dog

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Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
814
some of my fellow blacksmiths have reduced(get it) this to a bog,whence nodules of iron are gathered,wood from the forest stone anvils and hammers,and they are bootstraping up to puddling 40~80lbs of iron at a time with a small crew
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
8,764
Location
Rocky Mountains
Someone else's credit card - with a sizable limit and permission to use it. :cool:
Presuming basic hand tools are already in service:

In order of importance.........

Work bench - sturdy
Medium size vice
Bench grinder
Acetylene welding set - with cutting attachment
Drill press - full size floor model, with drill index
Air compressor - NOT the little diaphragm types
4 inch angle grinder and blades/discs
Lathe
Mill/drill baby mill - - or - one of the little Mill/Lathe combo units (And then add as needed, the tooling for the mill and lathe. That will cost more then the both the lathe and the mill.)
Mini fridge.
 

dog

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Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
814
I think that the mods should set this kind of thread up with BUY NOW buttons for the
supporting members suggestions
 

rtfm

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Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
3,754
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Hi. I work with wood, so, in order of importance/usefulness:
  1. CNC router
  2. Band saw
  3. Mitre saw
  4. Clamps (LOTS of them)
  5. Bench sander
  6. Electric drill
  7. Set of good rulers
  8. Spirit level
  9. Set of good spanners
  10. Stanley knife
 

TFF

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Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
17,965
Location
Memphis, TN
The only universal tools will be universal tools. Show winner or get the job done? Tools to fix skill deficiency or to do a better job? Flat tables and being able to read prints is much more important. Picking a plane you want is the only way; the rest is build by committee.

I will take the 100lb of $50s please.
 

Woofbite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
55
Location
Forest lake MN, washington
So, as I'm approaching my first build I find myself wondering what are the best and most useful tools to have on hand for a plane build, at first I thought it was an easy one but then a million tools popped up in my head, and I can't buy all of them, even if it's kind of a dream ahah
So I want to ask you, if you could only use 10ish tools to build your plane, what would they be?
Let's make some clarifications before, a set of tools counts as one tool, like a set of wrenches and a set of screwdrivers counts as two tools. Also consumables doesn't count as tools, you can buy many screws or rivets as you like.
Ideally for the challenge you should select only 10 tools, but it doesn't matter if you select 11, 12 or 13, just try to stay close as you can to 10.
Have fun!
Yum! 8' brake, 8' sheer, beading machine, english wheel, Mig welder, Tig welder, drill set, drill jig, Bridgeport, band saw, big ass air compressor . . .
 

Victor Bravo

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Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
11,406
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
I bought a set of SK brand combination wrenches over 35 years ago, at a K-Mart believe it not. It has served me very well and is still my go-to for anything wrench related. I have the ratcheting "GearWrenches" and I think they're cool, but I reach for the old SK's automatically.

My other go-to tool (believe it or not, again) is a little 1/4 inch drive gray "composite" ratchet handle from Harbor Freight (yes, you read that right). I liked the way the thicker teardrop shape plastic/rubber/whatever grip felt in my palm far more than the small diameter steel ratchets that are probably higher quality and cost. I use Craftsman sockets that I have bought and/or collected over the years... I believe that nowdays the better quality HF sockets are probably as good, but when I started they were not... and the Craftsman name meant something.

One of the things you will find very quickly is that 90+% of all the work you do on a small private airplane is actually appropriate for 1/4" drive - your 3/8 and 7/16 sockets and hand wrenches will get more use than your other tools. Prop bolts and engine mounts and axle mounting bolts are of course exceptions.

I have an old light duty 1HP 12 inch Craftsman band saw that has its own personality, and is not exactly a professional grade tool, but I use it a lot and wouldn't want to be without it. I keep threatening to get fancy upgraded blade guide blocks because I have seen youtube videos where the saw actually goes straight through a block of wood to cut even slices, but I don't believe it for one minute... never seen that out of my saw, I have to actively negotiate with it to stay on a medium sharpie line.

Which brings me to the other go-to tool, one of those small desktop 1 inch vertical mini belt sanders from Harbor Freight. It cleans up all the cuts from the band saw, from my big lever bench shear, etc.

Another 'couldn't do without it' tool for me is the small/medium Taiwanese benchtop drill press, I can't even remember the brand name. but I've had it for 35+ years and I am always drilling something with it, then putting a rotary file in it and using it as a sheet metal edge shaper or something, then putting a sanding drum in it and deburring sheet metal, etc.

I have a 24 inch benchtop Grizzly finger brake that is used frequently, but doesn't have near the capacity and features for any serious sheet metal work. But it gets me by for a lot of small prototyping, making little brackets, etc.

One of the things I would be totally sunk without is my little Craftsman Lithium cordless hand drill, the one with the triangular batteries that snap in to the bottom of the handle. It's lightweight and the battery lasts. It has ten torque or impact settings plus a no-skip drill setting. It also came with a little matching impact driver pistol, but the truth is that I put the screwdriver bit into the hand drill just as often as I use the dedicated impct driver with the hex shaped receptacle.

Another thing I'd never want to be without is one partiaular moderately coarse flat hand file, which is the first thing I reach for to remove metal, straighten an edge, round off a corner, or deburr.
 
Last edited:

Tom DM

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Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
314
Location
EBGB Grimbergen airfield (N of Brussels, Belgium)
So, as I'm approaching my first build I find myself wondering what are the best and most useful tools to have on hand for a plane build, at first I thought it was an easy one but then a million tools popped up in my head, and I can't buy all of them, even if it's kind of a dream ahah
So I want to ask you, if you could only use 10ish tools to build your plane, what would they be?
Let's make some clarifications before, a set of tools counts as one tool, like a set of wrenches and a set of screwdrivers counts as two tools. Also consumables doesn't count as tools, you can buy many screws or rivets as you like.
Ideally for the challenge you should select only 10 tools, but it doesn't matter if you select 11, 12 or 13, just try to stay close as you can to 10.
Have fun!


I need but one tool : a plastic card with endless credit attached.

Watch me go and pump out aircrafts by the day...
 
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