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Tool Shed Tips

This is a list of favorite tools and products any driveway/garage mechanic should own (or be aware of). Remember, they who die with the most tools wins.
This is linked from my (Vision Home Page).
If you have inputs to this page .... PLEASE email.
I will update this for fellow Owners (Vision Riders Group).

Last Update May2001
   ©Dave "Leather" Draper  JET_AV8R@CSI.COM

Over the years of do-it-yourself "driveway mechanics" some products and tools become indispensible. Basically, you should have these in your workshop. No one list is complete, and this is a growing as others provide more feedback. I hoped to turn you on to some stuff you may not have or heard of. Send me ideas to add. Let's face it, there's always one more tool you need.....

In No Particular Order


  • Digital multimeter
    • Yeah, you gotta have one of these. Look for one that has an audible (tone) when checking continuity. That way you can tell a circuit is good without having to see the meter (when you're on the other side of the hood).
  • Cutoff Tool (also known as hand-grinding wheel)
    • This is a high speed (10,000+RPM) tool normally used for grinding or as a "cut-off" tool. Muffler ships use these to cut old mufflers apart. Find one that can be held and turned on/off while holding in one hand (assume the other hand is holding your work).

      This is the most used tool in my shop. Replace the grinding wheel with a cutoff wheel found any (including Home Depot). The Arbor hole size must match obviously so think of that when you buy the tool. Anyway, things you'll use this for are unlimited but include:

      Cutting bolts off, cutting bolts to size, cutting angle iron stock, shaping materials like wood & plastic, cutting pvc, cutting basically anything..... Except for rare cases I never touch a hack-saw anymore.
  • Electric Belt Sander
    • I recomend at least a 4" model (I have Sears). Forget the file. Can use this to grind down just about everything. I keep a 80 course belt on this all the time for cleaning up cut bolts, etc...

  • POR-15
    • This is a paint which bonds to rust into a ceramic finish. This stuff is AWESOME. It has been huge in the past amoung auto resoration garages (look in a Hemmings magazine). You can't buy this in stores but can directly from them. Get a slightly better price if you go thru a dealer on the net. They have their own thinner but acetone seems to work ok. If you paint something exposed to sun you must top coat with normal paint. P.S. When you use this stuff, DON'T get it on you or anything else you don't want painted. It really is hard to get off!!

  • PB-Blaster
    • The ultimate penetrant and better than liquid wrench.

  • Boeshield T-9
    • Developed by Boeing to prevent corrosion in aircraft parts. This is sold a good marine stores in white spray can. Leaves a clear wax-like film on parts that resist moisture. Great if used regularly on metal and rubber engine parts.

  • AntiSieze Compound
    • There are many I bet but the stuff with a cap bruch that looks kind of like graphite powder in copper grease works great. Bottom line, whenever you rebolt anything put this on and it WILL come apart again someday.

  • Loc Tite
    • Of course, you may not want some nut/bolt to come apart and this is the stuff to use. They have about 5 different grades from (its never coming apart again) to less. So make sure you have the right stuff.

  • Impact Driver
    • This is the simple hand-held hammer driven screw-driver you get a Sears. Comes with several bits (flathead and phillips). 9 times out of 10 the screwhead you botched up trying to unscrew a slightly frozen bolt would have come out if you had JUST USED THIS TOOL.

  • Invisible Gloves
    • You can find this at most good autoparts stores. Its like a hand cream, only this stuff you put on before you work on the engine. I guess it coats your skin and crevices with some type of oil (or somethhing) that the grease won't stick to. Later (if you've used this stuff regularly), all the dirt and grease will come right of your hands. No need to look like a grease monkey if you don't have to.

  • Acetone
    • For cleaning metal before painting or carb parts this is the ultimate stuff. BUT, don't get near painted surfaces, plastics, or rubber parts. Toxic so don't get on skin. Evaporates very fast so use a resparator also.

  • Gumout Carb Cleaner
    • For cleaning carb parts with rubber and plastic this is the stuff.

  • Copper Grounding Wire
    • Go the electrical section of Home Depot. Buy like 10-20 feet of bare copper grounding wire. It about 1/8inch thick and you can bend it around. Cut into 2-3 ft length. This stuff is perfect for hanging parts with (you want to spray paint or just get out of the way...). Cloths hanger work too, but are to thin to hang anything heavy with.

  • Respirator
    • Spend the money and get a good one with replaceable "carbon" filters designed for paint fumes. Its like smoking. Won't hurt you now.... but 20 years from now !!!??... Bottom line, you should not be able to "smell" what you're working with (paints, thinners, cleaners, resins, etc...)