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Thread: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

  1. #1
    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    A new story entry has been added:

    [drupal=640]10 Tools Every Modder Should Have[/drupal]


    By Will Lyon

    Every modder has their tools. We wouldn’t be able to get our mods done without them. But what tools do we really need, and what ones can we live without? Read on and find out what 10 tools are the bare minimum to keep in your work area.
    Last edited by Oneslowz28; 05-02-2011 at 07:48 AM.

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    Overclocked Beta-brain's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    Ooooh, tools I agree with all your choices, I could not make my mind up between a scroll saw or a jig saw, I went for a jig saw as I had a lot of basic straight and slight curved cuts to make nothing intricate and it works great with plexi and will do some quite tight curves if need be but not as tight or as easily as a scroll saw, just make sure you use a metal cutting blade with fine teeth and no pendulum setting on the cut with the jigsaw.

    I will add a simple tool which can save a lot of time and effort if you need to clean up a lot of plexi edges after cutting, It's just a simple scraper made from hardened steel.


    A quick tutorial here.

    When buying tools you can save a lot of money buying non brand names, when I worked as a pro mechanic I always bought pro equipment but if your buying tools just for modding at home which get relatively little use you don't need expensive top end gear and the smaller lite versions of some tools like scroll saws, pillar drills and even welders will be more than sufficient for most people and don't take up too much space, a pillar drill/drill press is nice but I have actually used an electric hand drill in a cheap drill stand for years and it makes drilling holes in a straight line through thick material much easier than holding a part in a vice and trying to drill a straight line through it!


    I have also bought a lot of tools second hand as many people buy tools and rarely use them so there can be some second hand bargains from boot sales/garage sales and second hand shops, Money is tight for many people myself included so I guess the motto is, "What you spend on tools you won't have to spend on the build".

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    Its not cool till its watercooled. Fuganater's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    Very good writeup.

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    mentally overclocked Cale_Hagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    fiberglass bondo?
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    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    Quote Originally Posted by Beta-brain View Post
    I will add a simple tool which can save a lot of time and effort if you need to clean up a lot of plexi edges after cutting, It's just a simple scraper made from hardened steel.
    I've got one of those as well, but I don't find myself using it as much as I thought I would lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beta-brain View Post
    When buying tools you can save a lot of money buying non brand names, when I worked as a pro mechanic I always bought pro equipment but if your buying tools just for modding at home which get relatively little use you don't need expensive top end gear and the smaller lite versions of some tools like scroll saws, pillar drills and even welders will be more than sufficient for most people and don't take up too much space, a pillar drill/drill press is nice but I have actually used an electric hand drill in a cheap drill stand for years and it makes drilling holes in a straight line through thick material much easier than holding a part in a vice and trying to drill a straight line through it!
    Yea my toolbox is full of professional grade stuff from me being a professional tech as well, and I do agree 100% that top quality stuff is not always needed. You'll notice in the pics my screwdrivers are all snap-on (one thing I don't skimp on) while my heat gun and file set are Harbor Freight cheapies

    Quote Originally Posted by Beta-brain View Post
    I have also bought a lot of tools second hand as many people buy tools and rarely use them so there can be some second hand bargains from boot sales/garage sales and second hand shops, Money is tight for many people myself included so I guess the motto is, "What you spend on tools you won't have to spend on the build".
    I agree with this 100% as well. I will usually try to find something new and cheap at Harbor Freight rather than buying used when possible though


    Quote Originally Posted by Cale_Hagan View Post
    fiberglass bondo?
    Well those aren't really tools IMHO, they're materials

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    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    Another couple I would add are:

    Security bit set.
    These are great for getting into all those things that manufacturers didn't want you to. My set of 100 from Harbor Freight cost, ~$10, iirc.


    Angle grinder.
    These are great for cutting through thick metal. Anything thicker than ~1/4" you really don't want to cut with a Dremel-sized tool (trust me on this..I've burned out two dremels trying it). Also, they're useful for most of the things mentioned for bench grinders. In fact, I would say better for some uses (for example, using a wire brush or sanding flap attachment to grind the paint off a panel) since you can move the tool around instead of having to move the material around.
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    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    great additions! I have a very similar bit set that has come in handy many times as well, and I agree on the angle grinder stuff. I haven't needed to cut anything thicker than 1/4", so I personally haven't had a need for it, but it is a nice addition.

  8. #8
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    I should say, over 1/4" aluminum. 1/4" mild steel is already too much for a dremel...
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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  9. #9
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    I'll add in my essentials later if I get chance, if not later I'll definitely chip in what I couldn't do without on this .
    But I agree with most of what Will said as essentials, but what about work surface & space, wouldn't be much fun modding on the floor although if that was my only option I'd probably still do it & buy a few chunky sheets of mdf so I could still use a jigsaw lol .

    Awesome article though & hope it grows with more people chipping in what there essentials are too, I'll be pointing a few people towards this .

    I give up using a dremel for detail cutting when I went past 1.5mm sheet alu, didn't like the dust it fills the nose with neither .

  10. #10
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Tools Every Modder Should Have

    Quote Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
    didn't like the dust it fills the nose with neither .
    Actually, this is a good point. Accompanying the rotary tool of your choice, I would highly recommend safety glasses, leather work gloves (the tight-fitting kind, not the big bulky kind..though even those will work in a pinch), and a breathing mask or respirator.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
    TBCS 5TB Club :: coilgun :: bench PSU :: mightyMite :: Zeus :: E15 Magna EV

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