Chuck

Favorite Tools List

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Chuck   

Thought I'd start this thread to see what folks consider their favorite tools for working on trains.

 

Say like list your favorite top 5.

 

Here's mine in no particular order....

  • Hakko Soldering Station
  • Hot Air Work Station
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Wiha Screw & Nut Drivers
  • Very Small 120V Vacuum Cleaner  

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I look forward to seeing what people put as their favorite tools.

I really grab anything that I have. I wish I had more modeling tools. I use my carpentry tools because that is what I have.

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benshell   

Great thread idea. Chuck, I'll have to second your first item:

  • Hakko soldering station
  • An old Window desktop computer in the garage dedicated to trains/electronics projects (JMRI, QSI software, Arduino IDE, quick Google lookups, etc)
  • Little Machine Shop Mini Mill (mostly for 7-1/2" gauge projects, but comes in handy for G-scale coupler adapters, etc)
  • Logan 10" lathe (also mostly for 7-1/2" stuff, but I do use occasionally for large scale)
  • Automatic wire stripper (it's easier to think of the bigger tools, but here's a small tool I sure appreciate)

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I had to think a little on this one, but here is what I use the most and would have to say by favorites.  Chuck, what is a hot air work station?

 

 

Dremel rotary tool.

Bandsaw

Sanding block

Xacto knife

CNC mill

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Chuck   

Ben, Those Hakko's are the best!

Yes I do like my mini-lathe...comes in very handy!

7-1/2" gauge??!!  You'e also a big railroader! 

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Chuck   

Rob, Hot air work station also called hot air re-work station...fancy heat gun are all they are. Small compact hand piece with variable temperature setting and fan speed. They have various sized "nozzles" and are basically used for desoldering components on printed circuit boards like surface mount chips and stuff....But I use mine mainly for shrink tubing.

 

Here's the type I have...

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/162327338780?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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My girl bought me a dremel for Christmas a few years ago when she noticed I kept looking at them. I wore it out as I used it everyday. Well, the switch failed. I repaired it and it failed again. So I bought myself a Milwaukee tool version and I love it.

I had some mini routers for formica over the years and that makes me think of my dremel tool as a carpentry tool.

Anyways, that is my favorite that now I can't do without.

Soldering iron is a staple that is always right in front of my on my bench. I don't even think of it as a tool because I have used one for my whole life. So...

#1 is a soldering iron.

#2 rotary tool

#3 good files. All kinds like mini, hobby, rasps, etc. I have used them for so long, I use them like some use a knife, sandpaper, or a grinder. I just prefer the control using my hands. If you have made as many counter tops as I have, you understand me.

#4 automatic wire strippers. Fast and easy to use

#5 accurate test meter ( a cheap free one that isn't accurate is worthless)

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1. Dremel, I have several, the battery powered Stylus is my favorite. Plug in ones I use for bigger jobs.

2. My 1" belt sander unit that has a rotary sanding disc also, handy for lots of stuff.

3. Dremel table saw

4. My wood shop with all the tools in it.

5. Nice, pricey set of small screwdrivers that are really good.

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Chuck   

Dremel...Doh! I forgot about that and it is a favorite!! I'm the same as have burned a few up over the years. I bought a cheap one from Menards that was a variable speed thing...that thing would speed up on its own while using...what a piece of junk!

 

Interesting how most folks are into the woodworking with well equipped shops. I always leaned towards the metal working with grinders, torches, welders and such. Then again working on heavy equipment all my life pushed me that direction.

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Chuck   

Forgot to mention having an airline running from the garage kept 5hp 80 gallon 2-stage air compressor into the house. Have a regulator and water/ oil separator installed also. Have enough airline to blow dust off trains & layout. Very handy esp. when spray painting out the back door. I was going to build an indoor paint booth but would have to be rather large for some of these projects I paint.    

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I forgot to share this tool that I made from a treadmill conversion.  Someone asked me, what are you going to sand with that, and I said, anything I want. Bob.

 

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I am getting old and keep forgetting about the tools that I have made.  Here is a 3 axis cnc router that I made and the complete build is on Homemadetools.net.   I approached this build on the kiss principle, as I always approach my projects, except for the T1.  Most buy individual components for their project, but I was at a surplus store one day in Orlando and saw on the shelf, an Adept cartesian axis servo used for accurately  placing objects.  I looked on Ebay and bought 3 of them.  My table is 48x48xs10z.  These slides are servos and not stepper motors, so they are very quiet in operation.  I made this because my cnc mill will only travel 26 inches in the x movement and to make one gauge passenger cars, I needed 32 inches, hence the building of this machine and here is a short video of the final product running a test G code to prove the movement.  Bob.

 

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Chuck   

Bob, Your belt sander is big & great! Years ago I was at a local farm auction and that owner had some of the biggest oldest DeWalt woodworking tools I ever seen. Everything was big old cast iron built type. There was a belt sander that was huge. From what I heard it was used to sand doors down...your sander reminds me of that one.

 

That CNC router ain't too shabby either!

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Yes, in the background, you can see some tool chests.  I made this sander to sand the drawers for it, since the drawers were bigger than any sander that I had.  It came in very handy and I still use it.  It was easy to make from a discarded treadmill and anyone can make one cheaply.  If anyone wants to see the entire build of the CNC router, here is the link. Just click on it.  CNC router build from Adept robotic cartesian slides. and you will find the whole build. Bob.

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Thanks Joe, surprisingly enough, I haven't used it since I built, been using my cnc mill, but when I have something that exceeds the limits of the mill, I will use it. Bob.

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I have a new favorite tool, a plunge cutting rivet head maker. In the past, when I wanted to install rivet heads into a mold to replicate rivets in the part, I did it with a Dremel free hand.  One thing wrong with that method is that a uniform depth could not be maintained, but with this tool, the depth is controlled.  I covered it in Kitbashing, PRR T1 build, but here is a picture of it. Bob.

IMG_0974.JPG

IMG_0976.JPG

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