Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by proppastie, Jul 10, 2015.
My tools are a lot of different brands. All mix and match. Most of my tool boxes are Craftsman from the '80's but last year I bought a HF "taco stand" sized tool box and it's pretty good quality. Besides having casters to roll it around you have a small workbench on top to keep cluttered up. I like the long top drawer the most, that's where I keep tools I use often. The reason those Snap On boxes end up on Craigslist for stupid money is they are usually financed through the Snap On man and the owner is on the hook for a ridiculous amount owed. My son is in Auto Tech for part of his senior curriculum and the Snap On guy even preys on those poor kids. We have one of the craftsman boxes solely dedicated to metric so when its time to look for one of those annoying metric tools thats where to look.
I have a lot of tools and most aren't used professionally but more just for my own purposes. I have a lot of Craftsman stuff. And I have broken many of them. I have a lot of asian brands and have broken some of them. I tend to use the asian tools for the heat and beat stuff and the Craftsman stuff for maintaining stuff that I have already touched and put right. What's interesting about having the same cars for decades is that you do the same job over and over again and you just start keeping parts on the shelf. But I have a lot of space heated so I can. I have an Eastwood asian manufactured welder and plasma cutter and some air tools. Really I can't tell the difference between Snap On and other brands unless the individual tool you buy is just a really bad design. My main 1/2" rattle wrench has never let me down and it isn't Snap On or Craftsman. Takes off 3/4" ton style axle nuts on our Rover with ease. I also have an inexpensive but well designed 4 post lift with a sliding scissor jack and it works fine. It's the kind of product that the expensive ones will tell you just won't work but it's just some cold rolled welded and some cables and a hydraulic strut so I am not sure how it needs to be 5x the price. My tool boxes are from Home Depot and before you laugh go look at them. Not SnapOn and you aren't going to load 2 tons in them but for what I do they work fine. I have a 46" wide main box and top and I have a 52" butcher block top roll around work surface cabinet. Next purchase is going to be a sliding top service cart and then I need to build a custom welding table/cabinet as I have outgrown the cheap cart but it's an evolving process. I have a dream of building a custom cart for my AC stuff too. No matter how much space you have you will fill it so you are always trying to build better organization. I have about 1400 square feet of shop and I battle for organization. I build and modify stuff all the time. I try to put everything on casters including my shelving units and the lift so if I need to reorg it all move around the shop or it could all go to a storage unit if I had to.
Snap On is predatory. I agree. I see them after the lowest paid workers getting them hooked like a crack dealer. Just X a month for this set....
That 1% needed Snap-On depends on what you are working on. 99% it does not matter, but when you do work on aircraft and find out what prices are for some parts, you can't afford to F it up. Pulling out and stripping the head on a $5000 bolt can mean your out of there. The Snap-on culture is a scam for sure, but there has been many times I just drop the Craftsman walk to get a "good" wrench; can save your but.
Whether or not Snap-On is worth the price, nobody denies that they're beautifully made and finished, a pleasure to hold in your hand and work with. Do they do the job any better than any other good quality tool costing much less? No. But just as a Honda and a Ferrari will both get you where you're going, some will choose the Ferrari, some will chose the Honda (and some will choose a Yugo).
P.S. My son in law has gotten some great deals (Like Horror Freight prices) on used (but like new) Snap-On tools on ebay.
You sound a whole lot just like me. Everything on wheels. I've talked about auctions before . One of the best things about auctions is you can pick up quality caster wheels for cheap. Sometimes they are in boxes, other times you buy something with the wheels attached and then just use the wheels. Got a supply of casters in the shed that I visit when I need wheels. The A/C cart thing, I'd look at school auctions for some of the stuff from school labs, art departments, and maybe even the shop departments. Last saturday I bought a cart that would be perfect for an A/C cart, even had a chrome bracket on the back for holding the A/C hoses. 10 Bucks !
I'm was gonna get rid of all the stickers and crap and clean it up to put my tune up stuff in, but I think I like your A/C idea better. There are a couple of carts made for TV monitors. I use them for project carts. Put everything on the cart that you removed from something and its all still there when its time to reinstall it. Cabinets, there were two cabinets externally just like the wooden one in the picture. Extremely heavy and well made. I bought this one at the school auction a long time ago, probably $50. Last saturday two of them went for $1 ea because it was cold and fewer people showed up. The tan cabinets don't have roller drawers but I got them for $12 ea. Was gonna make an island with a worktable top, but decided to put them around the wall so I could store pipe and tube under the work bench. The peg board works well next to the lift. When I need a metric instead of a standard wrench, I just hang the wrong wrench up and automatically grab the size next to it. If its a socket thats wrong I just look at the wrenches and know what size socket to grab. Its really handy when working on cars. Personally I enjoy adapting things to my uses and making them convenient.
AV cart from a school, now that's exactly what I need. You are correct in needing a cart for the Freon bottle(s), vacuum pump and plumbing, Dry nitrogen purge and test bottle, various test kits and such. Welding cart could be made from the same. I want my plasma and welders up high on a shelf so that the controls are all up at eye level when I am sitting on a medium height stool. I have a welding table made already and it is long enough to jig and exhaust system. Where do you find the auction notices? Craigslist? Sometimes it's not good to be in the middle of nowhere. But the skiing is good.
As a diesel mechanic for the USMC and still wrenching today I found that tools are like cars! some times ya get a lemon and some times not.
I tried this out some time back, and the jaws were soft. Dulled them immediately when I tried to shear some 0.035 4130.
Luck of the draw sometimes... I bought a cheap laminate trimmer from HF and it just about vibrated my arm off... then I bought a 1/2 electric drill and it is the best drill I've ever owned... will drill through a 12 inch telephone post like butter... They have two stores in Albuquerque and I like them, they're fun to hang out and talk to tool guys... my wife thinks there's something wrong with me but only buys me tool related stuff.. well, mostly... the occasional sweater...
The tolerance on a Snap On vs a cheap tool.is not even close to the same as it concerns box wrenches. I've been wrenching on motorcycles for 30+ years. There's a huge difference nowadays.
Locally, the newspaper has a section in the Sunday papers classifieds just for auctions. About every 2 months they have an auction. I would also look on "AuctionZip" and just Google "school auction". On my Plasma cutter I modified a Harbor Freight MIG cart and then put a HF water separator mounted on the cart in addition to the one on my compressor. Water is the enemy of plasma cutters.
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