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What Tools?

 
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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What Tools?


Hi to all

I'm due to start a 3 year college course starting in september. I will also be working with a carpenter while not a college to gain extra experience. I have some experience as a kitchen fitter and a cabinet maker but I would like to learn and get at trade qualification. So I'm about to invest in my own tools. Can anybody help me with what I should look to buy for starting out with. I would rather buy the best I can as budget isn't really an issue and I would rather not send money on something then have to buy a better one as the one I have will only go so far. I could do with particular help with what to buy cordless and what not ect. I will be doing predominantly site work to begin with.

Thanks for reading I hope some of you can help.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
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Re: What Tools?


A good tape measure.

A sharp pencil.

A precision level.

Good chisels. (and a sharpening stone).

A hand saw and miter box.

A plumb bob.

I am not a carpenter, but when I learned on a hand saw, I learned to measure twice, and cut once. A good measuring tape will help you with that.

Things need to be square and level, for you to get the right length. Hence the level and plum bob.

And a dull pencil just makes you inaccurate.

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Old 05-27-2015, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: What Tools?


The most used power tools on site are:

Circular saw
Reciprocating saw
Cordless drill
Impact driver

Brands are a personal preference thing. Just stay with the major manufactures: Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, or Hilti. With a couple exceptions, Bosch circular saws are garbage, Dewalt never could figure out how to build a recip that didn't vibrate like crazy.

For handtools, a good set of nail bags - you don't have to spend $300 but don't show up with a tie on apron!

These tools should live in your bags:

Hammer
Speed square
1/2" & 1" chisels
Cats paw
6-in-1 screwdriver
Chalk line
Tape measure

You will also need a:

Framing square
Assortment of levels. Buy good levels, Stabila and Sola are popular for a reason. 2' & 4' are a good starting point.
Couple rolls of mason line - you will be shocked at how much you can do with a simple string.

If I hired an employee who had those tools, showed up on time and ready to work, and would listen and follow directions. I'd go out of my way to made them happy.
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Last edited by Robinson1; 05-27-2015 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
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Re: What Tools?


Start with a good selection of hand tools, like listed above don't forget a good knife. I like a fixed blade dolphin knife for 80% of tasks and a Stanley folding pocket knife for sharpening the pencil or opening packaging.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:55 PM   #5
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Re: What Tools?


Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax718 View Post
A good tape measure.

A sharp pencil.

A precision level.

Good chisels. (and a sharpening stone).

A hand saw and miter box.

A plumb bob.

I am not a carpenter, but when I learned on a hand saw, I learned to measure twice, and cut once. A good measuring tape will help you with that.

Things need to be square and level, for you to get the right length. Hence the level and plum bob.

And a dull pencil just makes you inaccurate.
I guess I do understand your point but I've been doing carpenter work for over 40 years and if I showed up on a job even then with a hand saw and miter box I would have been laughed off the job.I also have a couple plumb bobs in the trailer but I don't think they have been used in years but they do have their place.

My list would be:
Framing hammer
Trim hammer
Cordless drill/impact combo
Speed square
Framing square
Flat bar
Trim bar
Cats paw
Chalk line
Tape
Pencil
Utility knife
Nail sets
1/4,1/2 and 1" chisels
Block plane
Worm drive saw
At least a 2' and 4' level

Last edited by mako1; 05-27-2015 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:18 PM   #6
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Re: What Tools?


Most important tools to bring to work every day is an open mind that is willing to learn and body that is ready to work.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:18 PM   #7
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Re: What Tools?


I bust out my old Stanley miter box all the time, plumb bobs too.

There are times it is way easier to just use the old miter box
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:21 PM   #8
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Re: What Tools?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarnerConstInc. View Post
I bust out my old Stanley miter box all the time, plumb bobs too.

There are times it is way easier to just use the old miter box
I hear ya. Busted out the handsaw for some blocking for drywall the other day and it felt good.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: What Tools?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarnerConstInc. View Post
I bust out my old Stanley miter box all the time, plumb bobs too.

There are times it is way easier to just use the old miter box
I had two old miter boxes that were very nice ones.Sold them to a Amish man and was very surprised at the price he was willing to give for them.Just didn't see the point in keeping them and taking up the space.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:26 AM   #10
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Re: What Tools?


Thanks for all the advice guys. Very helpful. I going to go for Makita power tools as I've bought other in the past and there still going strong. Value for money looks good too.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:37 PM   #11
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Re: What Tools?


Look at makitas new 5ah cordless kit with their best impact and driver. Start with the best tech now. I'll post the exact model number and link later
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:54 PM   #12
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Re: What Tools?


The new makita xdt09 impact driver is a beast, looks like makita is making moves finally.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:27 PM   #13
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Re: What Tools?


Assuming you're working for someone else, you should be able to show up with just the things that will fit in your nail bags. My list would be:

A good work ethic. This means hustle. Don't stroll around. I can't stand working with people who stroll from point to point. Don't be that guy who is so eager to impress that you're in the way, but just don't stroll around the job.

A good set of nailbags. You can get away with that $40 set from the hardware store for awhile, but if you're serious a good set will pay for itself quickly.

Decent hammer for the application
Speed square
Good pencil, frame or finish
Tape
Cats paw, frame or finish
9 in one screwdriver
Utility knife
5 in 1
Nail set (I like the spring driven)
1 good chisel
torpedo level
Basic pliers
Bullnose pliers

If you showed up with these tools in a decent set of nailbags I would do whatever it took to keep you working for me. The main thing would be hustle and a willingness to learn though. I can buy you what you need. I can't teach you work ethic.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:04 AM   #14
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Re: What Tools?


There's really no reason to add anything, but I will.
Show up on time.
Stay off your phone.
Don't complain.
Stay off your phone. (yes twice)
Bring some water for yourself. Lunch is a good idea. You never know what the crew does for lunch.

As far as tools. These are the only things I expect from a new guy. Subs are different.
Tool bag.
Hammer. Smooth face. I prefer a 20oz with 16" handle. I couldn't even begin to count how many times the 16" handle length has come in handy.
Nail set. Yellow Stanley one. 2/32 maybe?
Utility knife. extra blades in the handle.
Carpenter pencil. At least 2
Small Stanley flat bar. Used to be called "Wonderbar" about 6" long. Not necessary, but very useful. I've only broken 2.
Speed square.
Chalk line. Not red. Blue is the most common. I've seen the new neon green ones. I like them, but don't have one.
Tape measure. At least 25'. I always carry 35'.

Others have listed stuff that is good, but for your first time out, this will get you started. Unless you are a sub-contractor, I doubt your boss will want you to bring your own miter saw and cordless tools. I prefer guys leave those at home. If they are using them and something happens, I always feel some guilt. I supply all major power tools.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:31 PM   #15
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Re: What Tools?


For what it's worth, I don't have much to add but a couple small things.

-For power tools, as the third or fourth reply mentioned- stick to the mains, Mak, Bos, Mil, DeW. I would avoid The Cadillacs of Hilti and Most importantly Festool until later..

Also avoid the "big box" major homeowner brands" like Ryobi and ridgid. Some of their stuff is okay- Ridgid vacs are great at sucking- literally. But I know someone who has the ridgid cordless and his batteries drop charge faster than my Golden Retriever eats her dinner. When I bought my first Makita set several years back in college, it sat while I was away for like 3-5 months no charging and when I needed it, the batts still had a near full charge.

You could also choose a brand that shares batts with the crew or see what they use and use an alternate brand to make identification of yours easier. When there's a jobsite with 50 Dewalts running around and only two guys have milwaukee and Makita- it's VERY easy to keep an eye on your stuff.

-For levels: very dependent on what you do. I can't count the times I wish one of my two stabila levels, a 24" and 59" were an extra foot or a foot shorter. Talk to the crew and see what the most common sizes they use are. Then get a good brand. Stabila if you can afford it or something like Empire (more commonly available, cheap, decent warranty).

-for a pry bar: I've actually always favored the blue Vaughn Super Bar over the black Stanley wonder bar. I think it had more leverage but I believe both are USA made.

-hammer: Estwing to start, made in USA and indestructible. Later on when you can afford it, Stiletto Ti-Bone.

-25' tape max. I have a 35' and it's a beast to hold unless you have gorilla hands. I use a 16' almost all the time now though so it depends what you do. I like the huge headed hooks on the longer ones for solo work (easy to hook studs and joists etc for quick measure) and smaller traditional head ones for 16' cabinetry/finish work for precision.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:18 PM   #16
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Re: What Tools?


Unless it's required for your schooling, you shouldn't have to provide your own cordless tools (unless you really want to, but beware that things can and do break).

If you're hellbent on getting cordless, I'd start small with a 12v Drill/Impact set. It's enough to show that you're invested in what you're setting out to do and it's a cheap enough buy in that you can save your money for later, when you have a better idea of what you want to splurge a bit more on.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:01 PM   #17
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Re: What Tools?


Carry these tools too: a good attitude and willingness to work hard . dress nice , be clean and respectful and help get the job done . do that and you ll be welcome on any jobsite . look like a pro, not a surfer or bum either . always wear a tape , carry a small pad and pen, and get out of the car strapping on a tool belt
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:09 AM   #18
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Re: What Tools?


Buy the best quality hand tools you can. Think of them as an investment instead of just another purchase. Quality tools can last a life time. I have every tool my dad gave me 20+ years ago.

For a basic list:
25' Tape (I prefer Stanley PowerLock)
16oz Smooth face hammer (Estwing)
28oz milled face hammer (Estwing) (Good for building forms and demo)
Razor and blades (Not a folding one)
Cat's Paw/nail puller (Vaughn/Grayvik)
Chalk Box
Nail Set
Flat bar/Wonder Bar
Small adjustable wrench
Vise Grips
Speed Square (I prefer metal over plastic)
Chisel
Multi screwdriver
Pencils
Narrow putty knife
Tool bag that works for you

That's a good starting point
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:21 AM   #19
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Re: What Tools?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
I guess I do understand your point but I've been doing carpenter work for over 40 years and if I showed up on a job even then with a hand saw and miter box I would have been laughed off the job.I also have a couple plumb bobs in the trailer but I don't think they have been used in years but they do have their place.

My list would be:
Framing hammer
Trim hammer
Cordless drill/impact combo
Speed square
Framing square
Flat bar
Trim bar
Cats paw
Chalk line
Tape
Pencil
Utility knife
Nail sets
1/4,1/2 and 1" chisels
Block plane
Worm drive saw
At least a 2' and 4' level
But... you did start with those! Karate kid started with wax on and wax off!

I bet you can tell something is even 1 degree off, but to do that, you built that foundation of knowledge, and your body is calibrated. Lasers don't help you build those things, and hand saws really make you appreciate the "measure twice cut once" philosophy. Miter box helps you develop wrist positioning to cut things square.

Just saying that you've learned these things as part of your muscle memory. How many new jacks do you know that can't swing a hammer, but can use a nail gun? Nail positioning doesn't matter when you can just hit the trigger 3 more times.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:26 AM   #20
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Re: What Tools?


Oh, and bathe and wash your clothing. Im not talking end of day stink, Some people show up stinky.

Some other things I forgot:

A good tool box. Something you can lock up at least with a pad lock. Tools will walk, thats the painful part. Good comfortable safe shoes. ones that don't slip in the rain.

Sun protection, hearing protection, eye protection, hand protection. Your body will thank you later. Don't cheap out!

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