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The tool ya gotta have!

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littlerick11/10/2013 21:38:43
36 forum posts

Im new to the engineering hobby and to be honest have no idea what i'm doing, but i'm having a great time doing it. I havn't got a huge arsenal of tools or equipment... I have my lathe/mill combo, a few turning tools and some measuring items... all given by a friend. A fixed and live centre and a tailsock chuck. Being unemployed its gonna take a while for me to get a lot of anything.

However one tool that i dont have, and i need it almost every 20 seconds is the simple center drill. Only a couple of £ but no matter what i do it always pops up! I'm gonna get at least one!

What is your most used and most useful tool?

Nobby11/10/2013 22:45:46
587 forum posts
113 photos

A No 3 chuck key for the drill and a odd leg calliper for marking out small items.


Stovepipe11/10/2013 22:49:37
196 forum posts

Not engineering I know, but my most indispensable tool is a spokeshave, an absolute pleasure to use.


GaryM11/10/2013 23:04:46
314 forum posts
44 photos

Beginner, like you Rick. I'd say my 6" flexible steel rule. One of the first things I bought and still use it all the time.


Ady112/10/2013 01:19:19
5063 forum posts
734 photos

You can use a dead centre as a spot drill, handy because you know it's always spot on

I made one from a centre with a carbide tip, ground away half of the tip so it was a bit like a half centre and it spot marks/drills anything you want in seconds, then follow up with a normal drill

I.M. OUTAHERE12/10/2013 07:31:34
1468 forum posts
3 photos

A 14LB sledge hammer because when something really annoys me it soon knows about it !

Other than that I would also say my 6inch flexible rule or 12 inch hook rule - both very handy .

Another couple of things are a good centre or prick punch as I have seen a few people go to the trouble of accurately marking out a job then use a blunt punch and another favourite is my carbide tipped scriber .


Speedy Builder512/10/2013 09:10:36
2590 forum posts
207 photos

For me, a good solid workbench with 2" thick oak worktop. I use it for metalwork, wood work, repairs etc etc. I also have a piece of hardboard the same size to protect the surface sometimes and a piece of thick cardboard I use when stripping an engine down. Yep, a good workbench that is free of odd jobs, bits and pieces and general rubbish.

Russell Eberhardt12/10/2013 09:51:48
2728 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 12/10/2013 09:10:36:

Yep, a good workbench that is free of odd jobs, bits and pieces and general rubbish.

Does such a thing ever exist after the first week?


OH CHUFF!12/10/2013 10:36:46
15 forum posts
2 photos


Andrew Johnston12/10/2013 11:52:13
6574 forum posts
701 photos

Best tool I ever bought was a proper machine vice, closely followed by a DRO for the vertical mill.


Thor 🇳🇴12/10/2013 11:57:04
1597 forum posts
45 photos

My most used tool is probably my digital caliper.


FMES12/10/2013 12:02:47
608 forum posts
2 photos

Laser edge finder, especially when setting up the mill DRO

Stub Mandrel12/10/2013 13:32:52
4315 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles
  • A 1" long rule marked in 16ths and mm, chopped off the end of a totally unreliable woodworking square. Brilliant for any small but non-critical dimension because it will fit in between chuck, work and tool.
  • The tommy bar that works with various chucks etc.
  • Long handled 5mm allen key. Fits most things on lathe and mill. Don't force it, but allows fine adjustment and reduces strain.
  • Slightly pointed screwdrive that works on flathead and small posi/phillips screw heads (should I admit this?)
  • Small gas torch (Aldi cook's blowtorch)
  • 11.5mm slot drills - cheap for the size and great for general purpose milling


jason udall12/10/2013 16:31:21
2031 forum posts
41 photos
The next one
Pete15/10/2013 04:41:58
78 forum posts

Books and the abilty to read and understand what there trying to teach me.

Gordon Wass15/10/2013 10:01:29
57 forum posts

Not really model eng. but my indespensible is a sack barrow, bought at auction for £8 about 20 years ago and used every day, will easily move a 8" x 20" lathe.

Danny M2Z15/10/2013 10:22:58
962 forum posts
1 photos

G'day .

# 1 workshop equipment is a bar fridge to keep your superglue in and for shrink-fitting components.

It also has other uses.

Regards from the land of the kangaroo

* Danny M *

mechman4815/10/2013 21:57:24
2947 forum posts
468 photos

6" rule, 4" digital calliper, & a 0 -15mm outside mic' that I bought from a special deal ad in the MEW (can't remember where from)... ideal for those small items, don't have to fumble trying to get calliper / digi mic in close to chuck.


Ian Welford27/10/2013 21:40:23
299 forum posts

a 6" vernier callper with a clockface for the readings( metric and imperial)- got cheap from Proops many years ago as the clock face had a slight crack in it. Lives by the work bench. Use it more than any other one I;ve got,for both wood turning and metal work.

If I want it more accurate I use a Mitutoyo which lives by the Boxford. Also a 150mm flexible rule .

Plus of course the collected wisdom of Peter Wright and G Thomas!

Regards Ian

WALLACE27/10/2013 23:07:57
304 forum posts
17 photos
Lathe. Can make things perfectly (within reason...) round or flat. What else do you need ?! Being a bit more realistic to the OP, Jenny calipers. Very quck to find the centre line of flat bar etc for drilling holes.


Edited By WALLACE on 27/10/2013 23:13:01

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