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EricM
EricM SuperDork
8/16/23 6:35 a.m.

Multiple 10mm sockets 

darkbuddha
darkbuddha HalfDork
11/2/23 5:00 p.m.

I say it every time, the best tool ever: A lift. So worth not buying one crappy project car and spending that money on a lift, whether full size or the low-ceiling type like I have. I prefer a two post, but I know folks that get plenty of good use out of a body shop style scissor lift. Anything that helps  you work at a height that offers a more sustainable, more comfortable posture is a good thing.

madmrak351
madmrak351 Reader
11/3/23 8:31 p.m.

(1)Battery operated tools. I seldom have to run my compressor unless I need to blow something out, and I don't miss the noise! As my old craftsman stuff dies I am switching to Milwaukee, yes I have m12 & m18 but at least 1 charger does both type batteries. We have a local store that gets returned & overstocked goods from Lowe's and Home Depot great place to find good deals on tools but get your batteries elsewhere. (2)Also bought a used lift about a year ago. Planning on pouring the concrete slab for it under the pole barn this month. (3)Wi-Fi in the shop as the phone signal is poor here and the steel shop is an RF vault. (4)Big fan, torpedo heater. (5)Lots of lighting.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/4/23 9:15 a.m.

Kroil.  It's not overrated.

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/21/24 11:49 a.m.

Brake parts cleaner

Light (more valuable than heat, even)

Big pipe for cheating

Cable hose clamp pliers 24" Flexible Hose Clamp Plier Wire Long Reach Compatible for Car Truck Fuel Oil Water Pipe Repair Tool

Powerful impact with tons of extensions and U joints

russelljones48
russelljones48 New Reader
1/22/24 11:58 a.m.

A word of advice for those who do yard work with an "ecosystem"  I still have 2 battery systems - 1 for mechanics and 1 for the yard..  sad  Love my Bosch but not much for the yard work

MyMiatas
MyMiatas HalfDork
1/22/24 4:02 p.m.

One of these for sanding out spotwelds ( on panels that you are NOT going to reuse) and sanding down your welds to make them smooth.

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
3/29/24 10:00 a.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

Bifocal safety glasses. 

Flashlight. 

Hydraulic press. 

I agree with the flashlight. If you can't see what you're working on, it makes things insanely difficult.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
3/29/24 10:46 a.m.

Broom and a dustpan. 

I used to tell my apprentice "if you can't use those tools, you're not allowed near anything else".

Can't stand a dirty shop.

xspeedracer
xspeedracer None
3/29/24 3:25 p.m.

How about the Snap-on standard tool box 

theruleslawyer
theruleslawyer Reader
3/29/24 5:22 p.m.

Aside from basics like a set of hand tools-

  1. Internet for video, data, etc.
  2. Electric impact. I have a couple in different sizes
  3. Rolling shop stool. Just improving ergonomics was such a huge win
  4. Split beam torque wrench. They don't need to be set to zero all the time like the spinny ones.
  5. socket versions of most things like allen keys, torx, etc. It saves  do much time over trying to spin something out with L wrenches. snap them on your small impact and go go go.
Evanuel9
Evanuel9 HalfDork
3/29/24 5:38 p.m.

Is an electric impact worth it over just using wrenches and ratchets? I've got a full wrench and socket set, jack and stands, and various screwdrivers, but that's about it right now. Plan to get a torque wrench, code reader, and a multimeter. Definitely want to do my own work when I get my car, but I'm not entirely sure if an impact is worth it, or if I should spend my money on other stuff. 

BimmerMaven
BimmerMaven Reader
3/30/24 1:36 p.m.
hybridmomentspass 
Making templates.

also try manila file folders    especially if bending the template 

footinmouth
footinmouth GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/31/24 7:35 a.m.

A good speaker system / music - nothing less than lamb of god !

 

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
3/31/24 7:48 a.m.
Evanuel9 said:

Is an electric impact worth it over just using wrenches and ratchets? I've got a full wrench and socket set, jack and stands, and various screwdrivers, but that's about it right now. Plan to get a torque wrench, code reader, and a multimeter. Definitely want to do my own work when I get my car, but I'm not entirely sure if an impact is worth it, or if I should spend my money on other stuff. 

An impact is a workflow improvement. It isn't a must have to do most things but it makes some tasks easier. With the improvement in electrics I'd probably do a smaller form factor mid torque before I do a big impact. A good breaker bar does the same job a lot of time. 

BimmerMaven
BimmerMaven Reader
4/1/24 12:38 p.m.

answering a related question:

What expensive tools should I save up for once I've covered the basics?

 

The Blue Wrench aka oxy-acetylene torch:

loosens stuck fasteners, brake disks/rotors, pressed parts, rusty fasteners.  bends metal.  straightens metal. cuts metal. welds metal.  hardens (tempers) metal. softens (anneals) metal. shrinks metal.

portable. self-contained....low powered shop, apartment, junk yard, track.

there is no alternative!

 

Lift

Sandblast cabinet... big

friends endlessly think a blasted part is a new part.  saves $$$.  

mating parts fit.  gaskets don't leak.  paint lasts longer.

big bench grinder, 8 inch, coarse and  fine, on a pedestal.

ditto wire wheels.

when you move on to fabricating, buy a nice used Miller MIG welder.   then try your friend's cheap welder...and thank me.

insulate, heat, cool your shop!!

lastly, like many other tools, once you have a mill and lathe, you'll use them more and more to repair parts, make parts, make tools....that work perfectly.

 

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