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Old 05-24-2017, 07:18 AM   #21
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Location: Anaconda,MT
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The tools that I use the most and would take to any job site.

10" Compound Miter Saw
Cordless Drill and Impact
A pair of saw horses
Framing Square
8ft or 4ft Straight Edge
Bit Set for your Impact
25ft Tape Mersue
Circular Saw
Angle grinder (useful for seats and cutting holes in your bus)
and basic socket set with screw drivers etc.

One can never have enough tools but If I was starting over I would get all of that in one trip to the store.
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:01 AM   #22
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I should add.. a digital Multimeter for troubleshooting the electrical wires that you will cut and werent supposed to..
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:41 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I should add.. a digital Multimeter for troubleshooting the electrical wires that you will cut and werent supposed to..
We all do it. I thought I pulled the wires to my 8ways, in reality I pulled the wires from every body light. That was a head scratcher. Luckily I have read the horror stories here and I have a system... I remove something then I test: all lights, the starter, and the thing I thought I removed. That way I don't get so far ahead I can't remember what I did. It's slow, but I am not always the most organized person. I don't always remember to get a picture before I start ripping, so the only thing I have is my short term memory.

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Old 05-24-2017, 10:45 PM   #24
Join Date: May 2017
Location: New Mexico
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Thank you so much for all of this! I'm lucky enough to have a backyard to park my bus in so I'll be close to power. Community college in town let's people use the wood working shop for 25$ per day. I'm hoping that helps maybe I'll look into the welding thing. I plan on owning my own farm so it would be handy later.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:51 PM   #25
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So I take it that's about enough tool suggestions? Harbor Freight will be so glad to see you coming. $25 seems like kind of a high price just to use the woodworking shop.

I don't see how you've got time to work on a bus build while going to college.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:00 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Harbor Fright has some decent tools and some utter crap - you just have to be selective what you buy there. HD has sales when their prices are crazy-low, so I stock up then even if I won't need it for a while. Oh yes, almost forgot - buy good eye protection; your eyes are irreplaceable.
As a single mom, you should be banned but they don't check ID's;) ; Father's Day is just around the corner. Everyone and their brother will have a sale on tools. These guys have already covered the major tools you'll need/want. Take a stroll thru the photos and if you see something you don't recognize; ask.

"Horrible" Freight is completely hit or miss on quality. Before buying a big ticket item there; ask.

A local to me single mom is doing the same. She has her bus parked at her dad's and has a leg up on you with tool access but she's been hitting thrift stores for what she doesn't have. To that, add garage sales, flea markets, and pawn shops. A lot of the stuff started life as cheap junk and has only gotten worse with the abuse but every once in awhile you'll find gold.

As a newbie welder myself, I'd say don't be scared of it. It's easy to pick up and make something workable. I'm a long shot from welding bridges but I can make due with only about an hour's time of actual practice. Call around to local metal fab shops for scraps to practice on.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:20 AM   #27
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Once you own a welder, you'll be amazed at all the things you can either make or repair. And if you plan on going that route, don't waste your money on a cheapo, Horrible Fright rig. Go ahead and invest in a decent gas shielded mig welder. Avoid the Flux Core only machines, they are dirt cheap but you'll never get a decent weld with them. They are best at creating smoke and spatter. You'd be much better off with a simple cracker box stick welder. I've taught maybe a dozen women how to weld with a shielded mig in a half hour or so and now they all rock.

I have a couple of Millers (which I love) but to me, the best value on the market is a Hobart. It is Millers' "value" line and they are excellent machines worth much more than their going price. Anything around 140 amps is more than adequate for anything on a bus. It will handle thin sheet metal up to quarter inch steel easily and I have welded 1/2" with two passes.

No one living on a farm should be without a welder of some kind.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:24 AM   #28
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If you are looking at larger tools, check out the new miter / chop saw that can cut metal and wood. I have a 12" compound miter saw and it goes through any kind of wood and can handle large blocks. I have every kind of metal cutting tool, jig saw, sawzall, metal cutting circular saw, porta band saw, a plasma cutter and acetylene torch. None of them cut straight or square. I got a 10" compound metal cutting miter saw and it is awesome!

Everyone recommended an angle grinder. Buy several. By changing blades and angle grinder can grind, cut, sand, wire brush and with a diamond blade it can cut tile or glass. Constantly changing blades will make you crazy. Once upon a time i purchased a Harbor Freight 4.5" grinder everytime they went on sale. They were about $15 each. If it would last 6 months I got my money out of it. If one failed on Sunday afternoon when everything was closed I would throw it out and grab another one.

You do not need all of the metal cutting tools I listed. I am an old guy and I have bought hundreds of tools over the years and still have quite a few of them.

My list:
Safety Equipment - eyes, ears, breathing, face, skin and hands
Hand Tools - sockets, wrenches, screw drivers, hammer, chisel, allen wrenches
Jig Saw - assorted wood and metal cutting blades
Circular Saw
4.5" grinder
Drill with good drill bits
Pry bars

Good luck

I am addicted to Brake Fluid but I can stop anytime.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:20 PM   #29
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LOL I'm not even a very good welder and I've welded on things that are in roads, bridges, parking garages, and even a nuke plant or two.
Mostly I touched up robotic machine welds that weren't perfect.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
And the one tool nobody's mentioned so far - a BFH. Sometimes you just need to whack the living snot out of something, and wimpy little politically-correct hammers just won't cut it (sorry for the mixed metaphor).

Do you realize that the humble hammer may be mankind's supreme technical achievement? What else made by Homo Sapiens always works, without exception? There's nothing else out there that's more dependable. Yeah!

AMEN! BFHs are definitely a Godsend! A good selection of screwdrivers, both Phillips and Filister (Flat head). If you really want to go whole hog, get cordless Makita and a boatload of bits, including Torx.
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