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Tools of the Trade

Mike
 

Tools are kind of like children, you can't have a favorite (or can you?) as each of them brings something different to the table.

I thought it would be interesting to hear about the tools others use to create automata. It might be the prefect excuse to buy something new and shiny. 

My favorite most used tool would be a Shark CNC machine, followed closely by a scroll saw, and then several well used hand tools.

However, the tool that tells the most stories is my workbench. Each nick, spill, paint color, or burn mark (luckily there is only one burn mark) reminds me of past projects. Looking down at it has become one of my happy places. Sometimes I don't even do any work - I just go to the shop, immerse myself among the tools and daydream of projects to come.

So, what are some of your favorite tools? (Just don't say it in front of them.) ;)

veeracer@...
 

My most used would probably be my band saw followed closely by the drill press and then a number of hand tools.
I did just recently get a Shapeoko CNC which I am slowly learning and can see many future projects including this machine.

 

Greetings...
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for sharing video of your automata with us.
This 'favorite tool' question is a good one.  Causes one to sort of agonize over the choice.
While I have many tools (and I use many of them) a tool that I value a lot every time I use it is 3M SandBlaster sandpaper.  I keep it in 120-150, 220, and 320 grit, and as you can see in the photo I cut it down to smaller rectangles, which easily wrap around a finger.  Also in the photo is a side frame that I am in the process of creating.  Because this sand paper has a strong / flexible backing I am able to sand this shape very easily.  Unfortunately Home Depot has stopped selling it in their stores...however it remains available from Home Depot online.
Another favorite tool of mine is what I call my MUT holder.  This is a holder that holds my Most Used Tools.  It is to the back of my workbench.  Because I have this MUT holder I don't have to access any one of my five tool chests very often, and it's easy to keep my most frequently used tools in their place...as opposed to having them as bench clutter.
Of course drill press (with brad point and forstner bits), band saw (with 1/8 through 1/2" blades) and scroll saw (with Olson 18 tpi blades).
I think another very important 'tool' is "Attitude".  Is a person able to be balanced and relaxed and creative?  Is a person angry and uptight?  As I think about it...I think that perhaps attitude is the most important tool.
Oh yeh...did I mention the shop vac.
Could go and and on and on.
Thanks again for the question.
Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
one of the Automata Group Moderators
I create automata near San Diego, California

IMG_20190930_134117-1000.jpg


On Mon, 30 Sep 2019 at 07:50, <smc5910@...> wrote:
Tools are kind of like children, you can't have a favorite (or can you?) as each of them brings something different to the table.

I thought it would be interesting to hear about the tools others use to create automata. It might be the prefect excuse to buy something new and shiny. 

My favorite most used tool would be a Shark CNC machine, followed closely by a scroll saw, and then several well used hand tools.

However, the tool that tells the most stories is my workbench. Each nick, spill, paint color, or burn mark (luckily there is only one burn mark) reminds me of past projects. Looking down at it has become one of my happy places. Sometimes I don't even do any work - I just go to the shop, immerse myself among the tools and daydream of projects to come.

So, what are some of your favorite tools? (Just don't say it in front of them.) ;)

 

Good evening...
I would like to add another favorite tool of mine...a small speed square that I created.
In the image you see a large aluminum speed square (which I never use in my studio).  And you see a nice Inca speed square...stainless steel and a pleasure to use.  And you see a little green speed square...it's one that I made and that gets the most use in my studio.
I created the little speed square in several sizes...and the one that you see is the size that won.  The one thing that I don't like about it is it's weight...it is very lite...I would like more heft.
So one of these days I'll order some brass sheet and make a small brass speed square.  This will be good practise for me (working with brass and silver solder) and I'll end up with a square that will live longer than I will.
And just a quick note about the 'green' color.  That is forest green camo...my studio color.  When I make a tool, or a holder, or a template, or when I refinish a hand or power tool, I will paint it this green color.  To me, it gives my studio some continuity...and I am less apt to confuse a template for an available piece of wood.

--
-Jim Coffee-
creating automata near San Diego, California
one of the group moderators
JamesCoffee.com