The Tools

You can't do good work without the proper tools. Judging from the quality of the work I've turned out during my life I've spent most of it working with the wrong tools :(.

Be that as it may a few years back I was seized by the urge to Build. Not sure what is was I wanted to build, I just wanted to Build. I suspect it had something to do with hitting my mid 40's. Since Rachel wouldn't let me get a girl friend I had to sublimate all the urges to make babies into making other stuff-
In order to build stuff you need tools, so I started off by building some of those. Maybe someday I'll actually use them to build stuff with :).

In no particular order here they are:

Here's the sheet metal brake I built based on the plans put out by David Gingery. I actually only bought the book 'cause it was part of a package deal, never thought I'd use them. So far it's the only item in the series I've built.
Go Figure .
Someday I'll get around to painting it.




My first project after buying a Mig welder was an air compressor. Most people build a cart for their welder as a first project but mine came with wheels so that seemed a little redundant- This was a project I had kicking around in the back of my head for years. The first version of this used an old water tank that I had pressure tested (with water, not air- I'm not *That* crazy). After talking to some people with negative experiences doing this (replacing blown out garage walls can be expensive & thats the least of your worries) & doing some research I decided the water tank wasn't such a good idea :(. The problem isn't how much pressure the tank will hold, it's metal fatigue induced by pressure cycling so I bought a real ASTM certified tank. All in all I figure I didn't spend more than 150% of the cost of a new commercial unit. For me that's doing pretty good :).



A few years ago I got a sand blaster as a Xmas present :). Not wanting to blow sand all over the place I decided I needed a blaster cabinet. Of course I had to *build* one-

Here's the incredibly fascinating story on how I did it- *! UPDATED !*




O.K. So I didn't build this, but as I pretty much used it for everything I *have* whipped up it gets a section here. It's a Deca, 115V/180A, purchased from Princess Auto. Never heard of Deca before, can't find anything on Deca now but rumour has it they're an Italian outfit. Now, I'm not a welder (not even close), I'm a guy *with* a welder, so my experience with this beast shouldn't be taken as favorable or unfavorable but a few people who *are* welders have tried it & they turned out some very nice beads with it. In fact, I have on occasion managed to turn out some nice work with it myself.
Never when I really want to though :(.
Note the piece of copper bar sitting on top of the unit, I use this on the back of sheet metal welds, it acts as a heat sink allowing a higher current setting without "burnthrough". It also helps prevent the metal from buckling while welding making it a lot easier to smooth flat later.

*Update* Read about My Magnificent Mig Machine Modification



Migs are nice but you can't do everything with them, so when the cash flow allowed I got a oxy/actelyne kit off of EBay- I won't make that mistake again :(.
The valves stick
The supplied wrench doesn't fit anything.
The lighter doesn't light
All in all, I got what I paid for & I didn't pay much-
That aside, as annoying as it is to use it does work although I tend to use it more for heating & brazing than I do for welding.




The Parts Washer. Another acquisition from Princess Auto I don't use this as much as I thought I would but when I do need it it beats the hell out of using a bucket full of gas. Besides, it was on sale :).




The Home Foundry



The Metal Lathe. Read about it here




The WhirlyJig




NEW! (And Improved!!)The Waste Oil Furnace No. it's not a tool, but it does keep them (&me!) nice 'n' warm :)





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