Top tools

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RBailey
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Location: Rutland

Top tools

Post by RBailey » Mon 7th Sep, 2020 1:19 pm

So what are your top three non-standard tools?

I thought it might be worth asking the question as I didn't even know Onion boards existed until Feltwell mentioned them and I now love them so I'd be interested in what other people can't do without.

- Small triangular Bacho carbide insert type scraper.
So good I've got two! One lives in my work belt and another in the "scraper" draw. I also have the round and tear drop inserts if needed.

- 'Plaster' paddle mixer.
Great for knocking up small to medium quantities of any mix. Much easier than the mixer.

- Battery operated vacuum cleaner.
Definitely not a manly tool, but it has changed the way I work. Dragging out the hover was always a pain but since getting a battery one it's so easy to just clean as I go.

What are yours?

Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Top tools

Post by Feltwell » Mon 7th Sep, 2020 2:30 pm

Aha, I have my first onion board convert! :lol:

"Non-Standard" - hmm, that's a wide definition!

No.1 - without question - "cats paw" pry bar. I use mine all the time. Removing mouldings carefully, levering things up, tucking carpet under skirting boards, you name it. Great bit of kit, & small enough to go in your pocket.

https://www.axminstertools.com/japanese ... paw-110206

Cheaper versions are out there, but my Japanese "Bakuma" one has survived years of use & abuse unscathed.

No.2 - The "Little Scraper" paint scraper. By far the best thing to use with a heat gun, simple but effective. Much better than the other multitude of paint scrapers I possess.

https://swedishlinseedpaint.co.uk/Little-Scraper

No.3 - Air wedges. *So* useful when you've got anything heavy you want to precisely raise or lower. Invaluable when hanging doors, getting them aligned prior to marking up the hinges. Great when putting window frames in, holding them gently but firmly until fixings go in. Great for raising and lowering bits of furniture when you're packing underneath the legs on uneven floors. Originally intended for locksmiths to prise car doors open with to slip tools past.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2x-Pump-Wedg ... SwIlBfBsoZ

No.4 - I'm greedy, I want another. My telescopic pen with a high power magnet on the end. So useful in those "Oh s*&^ I just dropped that nut/bolt somewhere inaccessible" moments when working on vehicles!

steveb
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat 14th May, 2011 5:23 pm

Re: Top tools

Post by steveb » Mon 7th Sep, 2020 2:36 pm

Fein Multimaster oscillating tool. Mains powered, the original and best. Lost count of the amount of tradesmen that have "borrowed it for a bit".

Disston screw digger and plug cutter set - for hiding screw holes in wood

screw removal tool - a reverse threaded screw used to attempt to get out screws with chewed heads

Flyfisher
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Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Top tools

Post by Flyfisher » Mon 7th Sep, 2020 8:28 pm

Not sure how to interpret ‘non-standard’ really.
When I started my project about four-*cough*-teen years ago most of my go-to tools were lightweight items for electrical/electronic work such as needle-nose pliers, wire side-cutters, soldering iron, multimeter, oscilloscope etc. All essentially useless for period property work (well, except for installing structured cabling all over the place).

So I adopted a regime of simply buying whatever tools I needed to complete the job in hand, with the added advantage that since I would be saving a significant sum by DIYing, it was easy to justify most purchases on the one job alone. So, over those *cough*-teen years I’ve amassed enough tools to now tackle almost anything.

An example of buying something for one job was a recent bit of tiling. I already had a tile cutter (of course) - one of those ‘score-and-crack’ types - but this project was for a small hearth (in a shepherds hut, so not strictly period property) using 4-inch quarry tiles that were too hard to cut in that way. Because it was a one-off job I considered hiring a wet disc cutter (angle grinder + diamond disc - tons of dust!), but found that it would cost around £100 whereas I could buy one for £40! So I did. OK, it’s a bit plasticky and is not the thing for a pro-tiler, plus it’s not exactly fast, but it did a good job and is still working should I ever need it again.

In terms of most-used tools, I’d say my Makita drill/driver and impact driver are probably the most used (other than ‘standard’ screwdrivers and hammers etc). On the other hand, for example, although I rarely need the welder I bought to fabricate metal support straps to reinforce a few failing timber joints in our roof, when I do it’s invaluable!

Having said all that, buying a mini-digger was probably an example of an essential tool that would have been cheaper to hire when needed over the years. :oops:
But a chap needs a few toys as well as just tools :wink:

Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Top tools

Post by Feltwell » Mon 7th Sep, 2020 11:15 pm

You have your own mini-digger! Plus I know you've already got a (suitably ancient) tractor. They both rank pretty high on the list of desirable boys toys, along with a ride-on lawnmower of course. I, alas, have none of those and the size of one's country estate precludes the need for such :cry:

But, I do have a scaffold tower. As one of my friends said recently on discovering this, what *do* you buy the man who has his own scaffold tower? :lol:

paulc
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Joined: Sat 22nd Oct, 2016 7:05 pm

Re: Top tools

Post by paulc » Mon 7th Sep, 2020 11:52 pm

Feltwell wrote:
Mon 7th Sep, 2020 11:15 pm
But, I do have a scaffold tower. As one of my friends said recently on discovering this, what *do* you buy the man who has his own scaffold tower? :lol:
Scaffold towers are great fun aren't they... I've been working out the best way to assemble mine on the stairs so that I can do bit of decorating. Putting it up isn't a problem, but there isn't any room to get up or down the stairs. So going to have to plan the work very carefully and ensure that I have everything needed in the right place plus a couple of small helpers.

steveb
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Re: Top tools

Post by steveb » Tue 8th Sep, 2020 7:54 am

>Putting it up isn't a problem, but there isn't any room to get up or down the stairs. So going to have to plan the work very carefully and ensure that I have everything needed in the right place

Surely one can use the servant's staircase in such extenuating circumstances. Or at least get them to fetch things for you

>plus a couple of small helpers.

Ah, maybe that's what you meant :D

Feltwell
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Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Top tools

Post by Feltwell » Tue 8th Sep, 2020 8:03 am

Ahh, actually I'm so self-indulgent I've got TWO scaffold towers!

A big aluminium double width Boss Youngman job that I bought secondhand - which I'd heartily recommend to anyone, there's a reason that tradesmen use them, very light and very sturdy. I have to go high here to reach the top of the house at the front, so needed a really stable one. I had a comparison at the weekend with a small DIY-grade one a neighbour was using - mine was a lot more stable, and I could sell it on easily for what it cost me.

Image

Then by pure chance I spotted someone selling an extra-narrow staircase scaffold as-new for £50. It's a cheap steel job but perfect for how often it'll get used, it's just narrow enough for our steep and narrow attic stairs, if I cut the base plates down a little bit.. But yes, once up it's impassable, so you have to be very organised! The stairs to the first floor are wide enough that you can get round it.

Servants staircase - yes, but that means going all the way to the East wing, so tiresome...... :wink:

RBailey
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Location: Rutland

Re: Top tools

Post by RBailey » Tue 8th Sep, 2020 8:23 am

Feltwell wrote:
Mon 7th Sep, 2020 2:30 pm
No.2 - The "Little Scraper" paint scraper. By far the best thing to use with a heat gun, simple but effective. Much better than the other multitude of paint scrapers I possess.
https://swedishlinseedpaint.co.uk/Little-Scraper
They look very handy, particularly the ability to grind them to match mouldings ... if I had any common mouldings, 32 windows and no more than two are the same :roll:

Pro grade scaffold towers looks good as well. I had considered buying a DIY one but looking at yours Ebay might be in my future (Chimney, Gable and guttering to list a few "to do").

Mini-digger, wow top boy's toy, I mean essential mans tool :D thankfully no need for that level of DIY here (fingers crossed).

Feltwell
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Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Top tools

Post by Feltwell » Tue 8th Sep, 2020 12:10 pm

RBailey wrote:
Tue 8th Sep, 2020 8:23 am
Pro grade scaffold towers looks good as well. I had considered buying a DIY one but looking at yours Ebay might be in my future (Chimney, Gable and guttering to list a few "to do").
My tips would be that a double-width tower is much more stable and reassuring than a single width if you're going to a decent height, and you've got room for it of course. At lower heights not so critical. Do get support legs - they make a definite difference. They do 3 platform lengths - 1.8m, 2.5m and 3.2m (which is rare). Mine is 2.5m but I'd go for 1.8m if I was buying again - the 2.5m platforms are a bit heavy to put in position, especially higher up, and a 1.8m length should still be stable. I do manage with mine but 1.8m platforms would be easier, if you can find one. The end frames and poles are very light indeed.

Oh, and they are very nickable - keep it chained up.

MatthewC
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Re: Top tools

Post by MatthewC » Fri 11th Sep, 2020 4:52 pm

Feltwell wrote:
Tue 8th Sep, 2020 12:10 pm
My tips would be that a double-width tower is much more stable and reassuring than a single width if you're going to a decent height, and you've got room for it of course. At lower heights not so critical. Do get support legs - they make a definite difference. They do 3 platform lengths - 1.8m, 2.5m and 3.2m (which is rare). Mine is 2.5m but I'd go for 1.8m if I was buying again - the 2.5m platforms are a bit heavy to put in position, especially higher up, and a 1.8m length should still be stable. I do manage with mine but 1.8m platforms would be easier, if you can find one. The end frames and poles are very light indeed.

Oh, and they are very nickable - keep it chained up.
And the double width is easier to assemble, when you are putting a single width platform in. The leg support stays are essential, as is a strong slave to pass bits up - you really don't want to go up and down too many times!

Another tip - when adding wheels, put some oil onto the legs before inserting them - makes it much easier to get them out!

NB Feltwell - TWO towers? You really are boasting, aren't you? :D

Matthew

fernicarry
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Location: Argyllshire

Re: Top tools

Post by fernicarry » Fri 11th Sep, 2020 5:18 pm

RBailey wrote:
Mon 7th Sep, 2020 1:19 pm
So what are your top three non-standard tools?
Footprint hacking knife. Great for getting things apart with minimum of damage. Pretty sure I learned about it here, possibly another Feltwell introduction?

I also invested in an onion board as soon as Feltwell mentioned it.

Sortimo L-boxxes, far from cheap but best tools and bits organiser system I've come across.

fernicarry
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri 22nd Jan, 2016 11:10 am
Location: Argyllshire

Re: Top tools

Post by fernicarry » Fri 11th Sep, 2020 5:27 pm

Oh yeah, one more, not PP at all, induction heater for undoing seized bolts. Its total witchcraft! And it looks like something out of a Star Trek episode.

a twig
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Top tools

Post by a twig » Fri 11th Sep, 2020 9:24 pm

fernicarry wrote:
Fri 11th Sep, 2020 5:27 pm
Oh yeah, one more, not PP at all, induction heater for undoing seized bolts. Its total witchcraft! And it looks like something out of a Star Trek episode.
Yes! I used to borrow a friend's when working on my land rover. Could never justify one myself but excellent bits of kit

Me!
Posts: 633
Joined: Wed 10th May, 2006 5:50 pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Top tools

Post by Me! » Sat 12th Sep, 2020 8:15 am

My three would be -
A decent sized bandsaw. It is big enough that I can make an oak railway sleeper into planks, and yet still delicate enough that I can also cut a slice of veneer off the side of a block of wood.
A die grinder, and more importantly a set of carbide burrs to go in it. They are a very controllable way of removing metal and with much less heat than an angle grinder or similar method.
And another vote for a good quality, alloy scaffold tower.

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