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Discussion Starter #1
Well now that my Mk4 kit is on order, but won't be delivered until April, I'm getting antsy and probably over anxious, but I can't help it, that is my nature. Let's discuss tools for the build.

Ranger QuickJack BL-3500
I was thinking about a MaxJax but then after discussing with my builder about the fact that I have a post-tension slab, decided I'm not thrilled with the prospect of drilling holes in it. Next I was considering a mid-rise scissor lift, but then after the build is done it may be a headache to deal with. It would pretty much always be in the way and at 800-900 lbs, they aren't exactly easy to move around, plus need ramps to get finished car onto it anyway. I'd probably have to sacrifice 1 of our 3 garage spots for it to sit there unused most of the time. I think I'm going to compromise and get the QuickJack 3500. I know they are basically glorified jack stands, but I like the portability and seem a bit more convenient than than standard floor jack + jack stands. I've already got a small floor jack that I can use to help with the rear diff as well. Thoughts?

Air Compressor Recommendation
I'd like a recommendation on an air compressor. I want to get the HF 3/16" air riveter and could see maybe using it for some other air tools. Any recommendations on what to get? The HF air rivetor needs 3 CFM at 90 psi. Is it overkill to get something much larger than that? I was thinking maybe an 8gal unit that can handle 4 CFM, or should I get more? I am concerned about space and what I actually need and will use. I love good tools, but gotta make smart decisions as there is gonna be a LOT of stuff I need in order to finish this project.

Other "Must Have" (or nice to have) Tools?
I've got quite a few hand tools and small power tools such as drill, jigsaw, and dremel, but the other large tools I have are mostly for wood working (table saw, radial-arm saw, circular saw). I was thinking about trying to fit another workbench in the corner of the garage and adding a table-top drill press, bandsaw, and a bench grinder/buffer. I imagine these will get used quite a bit for fabricating/modifying brackets and such. Are there any other tools you guys found that were invaluable for your build and/or any that you thought you needed but ended up being overkill or underutilized?

Thanks,
David
 

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A combination belt/disc sander. Very useful if you fab any parts or make modifications. I bought mine from Eastwood. Used the heck out of it.
I am sure others have their favorites too.
 

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Cordless Drills - Buy two of the smallest (front to back length) you can find, when you are drilling the 1200 holes for rivets, you will appreciate a small powerful drill. I have (3) of the Milwaukee Cordless drills, now they have a brushless version for sale, 18V batteries. The second one I kept a 1/4" socket adapter in for driving in self tapping screws and other hardware, the third one I kept a step drill in for larger holes in the sheet metal. I just got tired of changing bits all the time.

Buffer - Buy one and get some 3M Scotchbrite wheels to put on it. Get a coarse and a medium or fine wheel, they work great for polishing parts, removing excess aluminum on panels, deburring thread on bolts you have to shorten, scratching up a panel before painting or undercoating.

Vertical Bandsaw - Bought one, used it alot.

Drill Press - Bought one, used it alot.

Compressor - I've had a 5 HP 20 gallon tank, 220 Volt Campbell Hausfeld for 25 years and it was used alot. It has more capacity then you need for the rivet gun, but if you buy a Die Grinder with a carbide bit set (highly recommend for enlarging holes etc) even my compressor cycles constantly. they also sell spiral wound sandpaper rolls and mandrels for Die Grinders that are very useful, McMaster Carr sells them. If you can find a 220V vertical compressor with 5 HP and at least a 20 gallon tank, that's what I would buy.

Rivnuts Installer - Once you discover "Rivet Nuts" you want to use them everywhere. I bought a pneumatic Rivnut gun used for $150, it was a Textron that retails for over $600...top of the line. There might be some cheaper knock offs out there, maybe a used one, but I used it all the time. There are also manual tools for popping rivnuts under $100, they are big and hard to get into small places, but work just fine.

Weatherpack Connector Set and Crimping tool - These are great connectors for any area seeing moisture, search on Amazon to find the best price for a kit or connectors. You will mostly used 2 wire connectors, so buying a kit with 6 or 8 wire connectors is a waste of money. Just buy a two conductor set and the pins and crimping tool.

You are going to have so much fun! Good luck! :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A combination belt/disc sander. Very useful if you fab any parts or make modifications. I bought mine from Eastwood. Used the heck out of it.
I am sure others have their favorites too.
I bought one of these for the gunsmith area of our store and agree it's a very useful tool. I also bought a vertical bandsaw, floor drill press, and bench grinder so I have access to all of those, just think it will be terribly inefficient to not have them in my garage - guess I'm buying them all over again.

Cordless Drills - Buy two of the smallest (front to back length) you can find, when you are drilling the 1200 holes for rivets, you will appreciate a small powerful drill. I have (3) of the Milwaukee Cordless drills, now they have a brushless version for sale, 18V batteries. The second one I kept a 1/4" socket adapter in for driving in self tapping screws and other hardware, the third one I kept a step drill in for larger holes in the sheet metal. I just got tired of changing bits all the time.

Buffer - Buy one and get some 3M Scotchbrite wheels to put on it. Get a coarse and a medium or fine wheel, they work great for polishing parts, removing excess aluminum on panels, deburring thread on bolts you have to shorten, scratching up a panel before painting or undercoating.

Vertical Bandsaw - Bought one, used it alot.

Drill Press - Bought one, used it alot.

Compressor - I've had a 5 HP 20 gallon tank, 220 Volt Campbell Hausfeld for 25 years and it was used alot. It has more capacity then you need for the rivet gun, but if you buy a Die Grinder with a carbide bit set (highly recommend for enlarging holes etc) even my compressor cycles constantly. they also sell spiral wound sandpaper rolls and mandrels for Die Grinders that are very useful, McMaster Carr sells them. If you can find a 220V vertical compressor with 5 HP and at least a 20 gallon tank, that's what I would buy.

Rivnuts Installer - Once you discover "Rivet Nuts" you want to use them everywhere. I bought a pneumatic Rivnut gun used for $150, it was a Textron that retails for over $600...top of the line. There might be some cheaper knock offs out there, maybe a used one, but I used it all the time. There are also manual tools for popping rivnuts under $100, they are big and hard to get into small places, but work just fine.

Weatherpack Connector Set and Crimping tool - These are great connectors for any area seeing moisture, search on Amazon to find the best price for a kit or connectors. You will mostly used 2 wire connectors, so buying a kit with 6 or 8 wire connectors is a waste of money. Just buy a two conductor set and the pins and crimping tool.

You are going to have so much fun! Good luck! :smile2:
Great input thanks! I've got a great Dewalt cordless drill, but may end up picking up a smaller one for tight areas as you suggest. I've already "discovered" Rivnuts from reading the forum and was thinking I would get one of the manual tools I've seen online, but who knows if I could score a pneumatic tool like you did I would jump on that. Thanks for the compressor suggestion, I'll change my req to a 20 gal in my search.

I actually have a Weatherpack crimper as I used them to connect LED light kits in my trucks under the hood and at the rear - awesome product!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Compressor - I've had a 5 HP 20 gallon tank, 220 Volt Campbell Hausfeld for 25 years and it was used alot. It has more capacity then you need for the rivet gun, but if you buy a Die Grinder with a carbide bit set (highly recommend for enlarging holes etc) even my compressor cycles constantly. they also sell spiral wound sandpaper rolls and mandrels for Die Grinders that are very useful, McMaster Carr sells them. If you can find a 220V vertical compressor with 5 HP and at least a 20 gallon tank, that's what I would buy.
Wow, just checked the prices of pneumatic die grinders, angle grinders, and cut-off tools at Harbor Freight - they are cheap! I can definitely see how getting a decent compressor can save money in the long run. Are those $10 - $30 air tools at Harbor Freight a waste of time and money, or "good enough" to last a year or two on a build like this?
 

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HF pneumatic tools

Wow, just checked the prices of pneumatic die grinders, angle grinders, and cut-off tools at Harbor Freight - they are cheap! I can definitely see how getting a decent compressor can save money in the long run. Are those $10 - $30 air tools at Harbor Freight a waste of time and money, or "good enough" to last a year or two on a build like this?
I have the die grinder, reciprocating band saw, 3" diameter cutoff saw....they are still working after 7 years! Remember to oil them regularly.
 

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Wow, just checked the prices of pneumatic die grinders, angle grinders, and cut-off tools at Harbor Freight - they are cheap! I can definitely see how getting a decent compressor can save money in the long run. Are those $10 - $30 air tools at Harbor Freight a waste of time and money, or "good enough" to last a year or two on a build like this?
The simple air tools from H-F seem to be OK. Like the ones you listed (die grinder, cut-off tool, etc.) since there are basically no moving parts. Just the turbine. The accessories that come with them, like the various stones, etc. are junk though. Other more complex stuff, maybe not so good. I had one of their air saws. It literally did not last through the first usage. Reading the reviews (should have done that first) was a common problem. I have one of their 3/8 air ratchets. Seems to be OK. But honestly I use my cordless Milwaukee 3/8 ratchet almost exclusively. I'm finding more and more that with the newer lithium powered cordless tools along with the brushless motor versions, I'm using air tools less and less. The Milwaukee M12 FUEL line of tools are really outstanding.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The simple air tools from H-F seem to be OK. Like the ones you listed (die grinder, cut-off tool, etc.) since there are basically no moving parts. Just the turbine. The accessories that come with them, like the various stones, etc. are junk though. Other more complex stuff, maybe not so good. I had one of their air saws. It literally did not last through the first usage. Reading the reviews (should have done that first) was a common problem. I have one of their 3/8 air ratchets. Seems to be OK. But honestly I use my cordless Milwaukee 3/8 ratchet almost exclusively. I'm finding more and more that with the newer lithium powered cordless tools along with the brushless motor versions, I'm using air tools less and less. The Milwaukee M12 FUEL line of tools are really outstanding.
Those look really nice Paul. I see that HD currently has a kit with the 1/2" drill/driver, 1/4" impact driver, charger, battery, case + the 3/8" ratchet tool for $199. Seems like a good deal.
 

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Those look really nice Paul. I see that HD currently has a kit with the 1/2" drill/driver, 1/4" impact driver, charger, battery, case + the 3/8" ratchet tool for $199. Seems like a good deal.
The only thing I'd watch for is some of the Milwaukee tools are brushless, some aren't. Sometimes you don't have a choice. The 3/8 ratchet I'm pretty sure doesn't. But definitely the regular drills, hammer drills, impact drivers all have regular brushed and brushless versions. Sometimes those packages will have the lower priced brushed models. Nothing wrong with them. Still good tools. But the brushless ones have more power, use less battery, and in theory should last longer. I try to get that version if one is available. Have been super happy with them. BTW, Milwaukee isn't the only one doing brushless. Most of the major brands have them as well. We were using brushless motors on R/C planes quite a few years ago. Pretty interesting technology that's now mainstream.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The only thing I'd watch for is some of the Milwaukee tools are brushless, some aren't. Sometimes you don't have a choice. The 3/8 ratchet I'm pretty sure doesn't. But definitely the regular drills, hammer drills, impact drivers all have regular brushed and brushless versions. Sometimes those packages will have the lower priced brushed models. Nothing wrong with them. Still good tools. But the brushless ones have more power, use less battery, and in theory should last longer. I try to get that version if one is available. Have been super happy with them. BTW, Milwaukee isn't the only one doing brushless. Most of the major brands have them as well. We were using brushless motors on R/C planes quite a few years ago. Pretty interesting technology that's now mainstream.
Yes, you are right. The M12 FUEL is the brushless product line (the driver and the hammer drill in this kit) but the included ratchet is M12, but appears to be standard motor. Looks like the M12 FUEL version of the ratchet is $149 by itself.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M12-FUEL-12-Volt-Lithium-Ion-1-2-in-Cordless-Hammer-Drill-Impact-Combo-Kit-with-Free-M12-3-8-in-Ratchet-Tool-Only-2597-22-2457-20/205044703

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M12-FUEL-12-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Brushless-Cordless-3-8-in-Ratchet-Tool-Only-2557-20/302451803
 

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Don't discount a mid rise scissor lift. I have one and it's probably the best purchase I made. Yes there are clearance issues but I just park on some lumber. My only regret was waiting until after the build!
 

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It's no secret that I am not a fan of Pneumatic riveters (used one for about 50% of the first car, 10% of the second and 0% of every one thereafter) with my biggest complaint being that dragging the hose around is a PIA. I discovered this a while back when my gutter guys were doing a building for me:

https://www.amazon.com/Cordless-Rivet-Riveter-14-4-volt/dp/B01G5YHCD2/ref=sr_1_4?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1515716362&sr=1-4&keywords=cordless+riveter

For someone who doesn't have or need a compressor and doesn't want to hand pull it might be a vaible alternative. Kinda' pricey but by the time you factor in the cost of a compressor, hose and quality pneumatic riveter it's not far off...and best of all no hose!

Jeff
 

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My roadster order is scheduled for delivery by the end of January and like you I am eager to get ready. There is only so many things I can do in the garage to prep and I have been thinking about the compressor and other tools quite a bit.

One thing I did that I think will make a huge difference is that I took down the crappy builder fluorescent lights and replaced them with LED versions. I also added a few additional lights throughout to make sure I had good LED lighting everywhere. It made a huge difference. Before doing that, I found it really hard to see the sizes stamped on my sockets and I have really good eyesight.

Good luck with your build.
Glenn
 

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On the rivnut topic, what size rivnuts do you mostly use? I have seen various non-pneumatic install guns but they tend to be priced higher when they include larger rivnut mandrels. I am guessing our builds don’t need a very hefty tool for aluminum use but would benefit from your experiences. Glenn
 

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On the rivnut topic, what size rivnuts do you mostly use? I have seen various non-pneumatic install guns but they tend to be priced higher when they include larger rivnut mandrels. I am guessing our builds don’t need a very hefty tool for aluminum use but would benefit from your experiences. Glenn
My go-to for rivnuts/nutserts is 10-32. Similar in size to a 3/16-inch rivet. I use them wherever I want something to be serviceable, e.g. not having to drill out rivets. For heavy duty applications, I use 5/16-18. I have a handful on my build. Like the side pipe hangars. Those are the only sizes I use.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My roadster order is scheduled for delivery by the end of January and like you I am eager to get ready. There is only so many things I can do in the garage to prep and I have been thinking about the compressor and other tools quite a bit.

One thing I did that I think will make a huge difference is that I took down the crappy builder fluorescent lights and replaced them with LED versions. I also added a few additional lights throughout to make sure I had good LED lighting everywhere. It made a huge difference. Before doing that, I found it really hard to see the sizes stamped on my sockets and I have really good eyesight.

Good luck with your build.
Glenn
I did the same thing myself not too long ago, except I just did a "ballast delete" mod on the existing fixtures and then added LED tubes. Makes a world of difference in there. I also have another LED shop light from my old house that I am going to hang for some additional lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Don't discount a mid rise scissor lift. I have one and it's probably the best purchase I made. Yes there are clearance issues but I just park on some lumber. My only regret was waiting until after the build!
You have me re-considering this now. Is that 1/4" plywood underneath? Did you do that to protect your epoxy floor? Did you just stack 2 1x12 or are those 2x12?

Nice scissor lift ramp write up here: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/c5-general/1526112-scissor-lift-ramp-for-bend-pak-no-dial-up.html
 

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