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Old 02-18-2021, 01:29 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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lets talk TOOLS

Surprised to not see a locked thread on tools that you find a must have on a build outside of the basics (hammer/wrenches).

So, lets start with air compressors and nail guns to start with. I started to look at them but rapidly realized I have no idea what I am looking for, wanting a gun for finish work(trim) and some of the more basic plywood/shiplap stuff. Once thats narrowed down how small can one go on the air compressor without having to fight it? (Budgets king after all)

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Old 02-18-2021, 05:50 AM   #2
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I love tools; I’m a tool...

I had to think about it for a minute, but I don’t recall using a nail gun (so far) for the interior build. I have a framing nailer and a 16 gauge finish nailer; I will likely end up using the finish nailer for smaller pieces of trim.

I have however, used a lot of screws, glue, and construction adhesive. Specifically, I have used a ton of self-tapping wood to metal screws like these Tek screws:




Early on I broke down and got a big burly caulk gun mostly for applying construction adhesive (the 28oz tubes are a much better deal than the smaller 10oz tubes)


If you will be building anything for your bus from wood, I strongly recommend buying a Kreg jig. A fellow forum member recommended one to me a few years ago and now I wonder how I ever survived without it. This one is ~$50


But back to compressors, you could pick up a small Harbor Freight compressor and see how it does for you. For ~$40 (with a coupon of course), it’s practically free...


DemonKnight, have you really been a forum member since 2005?
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:58 AM   #3
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Yeap...joined 2 Xwifes and 2 buses ago, now its just me so no one to tell me no.
I have not seen or heard of the Kreg jig so I will look it up, think I have 2 of the caulking guns..maybe 3 since I only can find them once I buy another.

Harbor Freight is about to open a store here in town this spring (no hard date as yet) so most of us guys are like crack addict's waiting on the pusher to show up.

Would the 16 gauge finish nailer work for attaching wood planks (1/2 inch X 3 inch) to studs? I plan on tearing down pallets all summer and using the good oak as wall boards after cleaning them up.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:14 AM   #4
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Im still thinking of a small(ish) planer to thin down pallet wood for building. I bought a torque multiplier for lug nuts.

https://www.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS.../dp/B00MI0DOW6

On that same thought...a 10 or 20 ton jack is useful too

https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Lift-B-02.../dp/B00DGXXZ64
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:25 AM   #5
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I'll 2nd a lot of what comforteagle said.

What hardware you use depends on your design.

The wood to metal screws work great, I used them attaching my 2x2 wood framing to the metal floor, walls, and ceiling.

The kreg jig works great as well, if you're 90'ing wood together and want the screws below flush.

I have a framing nailer, never used it once on the bus. I also didn't use the brad nailer/finish nailer either, but that's because I didn't use nails in the bus. The bus flexes in travel, so I preferred to use screws.

Harbor freight has super cheap stuff. And at their prices/warranty, the quality doesn't really matter, you can buy 2 tools and still come out ahead in the deal. I'm a pretty big "made in USA" type of guy, and as much as it kills me to admit it, I've purchased stuff from there.

I'd say a finish nailer would attach your oak planks. White oak is hard, but it isn't brazilian walnut hard, so I'd think it would work. If you're concerned about it holding, be generous and throw more nails in it. Gorilla glue is also pretty good at holding stuff, and it bonds to nearly anything.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:28 AM   #6
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Tires are one area I know I will skip, my backs shot and I would rather pay to have them done than be laid up for a week or more recovering. THAT said I can't help but be thankful I am back in CO where I know people that can and WILL help on things from welding to all things mechanical, in fact so fat the only area I haven't found anyone knowledgeable on is solar/wind systems beyond the (I bought a kit).
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:44 AM   #7
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I second the torque multiplier mentioned above...I own the same one and recommend it often. But I get it about the tires and wheels...they're heavy.

One tool I think every bus owner should have is a Power Probe. It's like a voltage meter with added functions, which make it super helpful for tracing out circuits or finding issues. A press of the button sends current-protected voltage, so you can test things. Get one!
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:27 PM   #8
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Second the power probe also a 1/2” impact for the lug nuts
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:14 PM   #9
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I'm a decent electrician and I've never used a power probe. After reading up on them I think I may just have to get one. I have good meters and a couple test lights but a power probe sounds useful
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:15 PM   #10
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I'll third ComfortEagle.

If I were going to buy a nail gun, it would be a trim nailer (and for tacking things when there's no one around to help).

I would also go battery powered versus air. Air is loud. Air requires cords and hoses. Battery is quiet and you rarely trip over battery powered anything.

Especially with a trim nailer, the battery should last a long time because of the time between nailing and the small amounts of nails used at a time.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:25 PM   #11
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I'll third ComfortEagle.
I would also go battery powered versus air. Air is loud. Air requires cords and hoses. Battery is quiet and you rarely trip over battery powered anything.
I've gone with both: The 18V Ryobi cordless system tools for battery, and a pile of air tools and a large air compressor in my garage.

The air tools are a lot more powerful for their specific uses, but yes, loud.

The Ryobi tools will mostly end up living in the bus long-term, I think. Much handier than trying to haul a decent size compressor in a 4-window bus
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:34 PM   #12
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I don't know what torque multiplier you bought but I bought one off evil-bay and some rubber bead seating bands and my son and I mounted all 6 tires. It all worked good. I carry the torque multiplier with me along with extra studs and nuts. I don't carry a spare. My son carries one in his Crown. You never have enough tools. My son just bought a cordless band saw Old Milwaukie? no that's the beer, just Milwaukie it is the handiest tool I have used yet. 4 inch x 1/2 inch strap cuts right through it. 4 inch channel zips right through it. Better than using a 16" abrasive chop saw.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:53 PM   #13
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I don't know what torque multiplier you bought but I bought one off evil-bay and some rubber bead seating bands and my son and I mounted all 6 tires. It all worked good. I carry the torque multiplier with me along with extra studs and nuts. I don't carry a spare. My son carries one in his Crown. You never have enough tools. My son just bought a cordless band saw Old Milwaukie? no that's the beer, just Milwaukie it is the handiest tool I have used yet. 4 inch x 1/2 inch strap cuts right through it. 4 inch channel zips right through it. Better than using a 16" abrasive chop saw.
I have 2 of them one just the plain old and 2 the deep throat version. have had to replace the rubber drive tire on one and the the foot but OMG they are the best tools ever and you get REALLY good with them after a decade or two...
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:54 PM   #14
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I have 2 of them one just the plain old and 2 the deep throat version. have had to replace the rubber drive tire on one and the the foot but OMG they are the best tools ever and you get REALLY good with them after a decade or two...
These are both 110 volt AC
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:02 AM   #15
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Yes my son's is the watergate version. I have used it to cut pallets apart last week for the fireplace cut 4 inch sewer pipe for a drainage project and have found it to be the best 600 dollars he ever spent.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:12 AM   #16
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when I need one, think whim or oh golly gee, am looking forward to the 20 volt cordless one especially for the weight
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:15 AM   #17
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Hmm, tools..
2 jig saws
2 Sawzall's
2 cordless drills
1 impact driver
belt sander
2 or 3 drills
1 4 inch grinder
and a chainsaw, think that is all for power tools.
Hand tools the basics, hammers, hand saws, 3500w gen, ect.

Tools to add are small air compressor, Kreg jig looks handy when doing cabinets and it looks like a trim nailer. so far...
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:07 AM   #18
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and a chainsaw
You used a chainsaw on your bus?
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:18 AM   #19
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You used a chainsaw on your bus?
This wasn't my suggestion...but we do have an electric chainsaw that lives in one of the bays on our ambulance "expedition" rig for cutting firewood or clearing downed trees. But I've found it to be really useful for cutting 6x6 lumber down into 18-24" lengths for cribbing. In fact, I'm going to be cutting up more today...because you can never have too many blocks or jacks. I don't know that I'd go buy one just for this, but it does come in handy at times.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:54 AM   #20
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Yes my son's is the watergate version. I have used it to cut pallets apart last week for the fireplace cut 4 inch sewer pipe for a drainage project and have found it to be the best 600 dollars he ever spent.
Yes, Yes, Yes! I bought the deep throat Dewalt -20v version. It is so amazing - a very expensive tool, because it is cordless, but well worth it!

I'm waiting for Portaband Pro to com out with a model that fits my cordless; they have already made one for the milwaukee. This will turn it into a fully functional portable band saw - square cuts!! http://portabandpro.com .
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