What tools?

#1
Sat reading threads on maxcut bench guides etc!! Got me thinking what tools did or are you using for your build?
We used Jigsaw circular saw wood saw, extension lead cordless drill and bits set square various screwdrivers spanner’s socket set.
For a bench we used two old doors supported on milk crates!! Which were great and easy to adjust the height too..
I suppose what I’m saying is personally I don’t think you have to have a full blown workshop of state of the art tools that you may never use again🤔
I’ll go now and let you get on with your various projects 😃
Ken
 


Edina

Administrator
#2
I do a lot of woodwork and have a fair bit of workshop kit, but one of the most useful tools I find is a handheld router with an edge following bit. It is ideal for cutting out holes for drawers, windows etc and just for following contours.
 


wildebus

Full Member
#3
Over the years I have learnt that skimping in the wrong areas is both counter-productive and costs you more in the long term. Some tools may seem a luxury but can pay you back easily with what they give you. Other tools are real one-offs and maybe were not a worthwhile buy.

So the first post says to me that the maxcut software is a waste of money (I think it is free?) and so is a bench guide (to make costs staples, wood glue and a couple of ply sheet off cuts).
I say don't knock it unless you try it. On the Saw Guide, I am sure you have a straight edge that provide you with being able to cut straight lines. We have all done it that way, but the reason professional tool companies and professional tradesman use some tools is that is saves them time and money despite having to pay up front for the tools.
I would guarantee that I could cut, using my homemade tracksaw costing about £3 in materials, better and strighter pieces of ply faster than you could with with your straight edge (and just to say I am no carpenter by any means. I just found they make that much difference!)


To look at the general question - what tools do you really need to make a campervan? you could look at it this way.. If all your tools were stolen, or blew up in a explosion, or whatever, so you had to start totally from Scratch and you wanted to rebuild your Camper, what would you buy given you were on a sensible budget?

This would be mine (basic things like Stanley-type knife, sandpaper, etc are assumed available or bought)

Circular Saw. I think I would be inclined to just get one of the Mini Circular Saws rather then the 'standard' ones as they provide more flexibility.
Track Guide. I would make a track guide to go with the saw. For the amount of time saved and hassles removed with a guide, it is a no-brainer IMO
Jigsaw. Essential Tool, and could in many ways replace a circular saw if on a very strict budget.
Square. Always useful to have
Hole Saws. These I regard as a near-essential. It is possible to work without them using original drill bits and a jigsaw and sandpaper, but the amount of time and effort and improved quality of work from a Holesaw makes it totally worth getting.
Hand Saw. I can't remember the last time I used one TBH. Not in the last year or 2 anyway, but they are inexpensive and worth having one around.
Kreg Pocket Hole Jig. I am a fairly recent convert to Pocket Holes for woodworking and now I wouldn't be without them! A Kreg jig is not very cheap, but IMO worth the money and would be on my list.

Router. Got them (standard Plunge Router and a Trim Router) and they are certainly useful and would want available, but would be a secondary purchase if on a strict budget.
Work Table. I tend to just use a standard table with clamps, and a sacrificial board for the circular saw cuts has always suited me. Maybe buy a couple of A-Frame legs if no table around to commandeer?

Cordless Drill. An essential item. For the type of work involved in a self-build, a Cordess is much more useful than a Corded Drill and will almost certainly have enough power and life.
Cordless Dremel. May sound a luxury, but I found my Dremel invaluable. And I do mean DREMEL. there are lots of similar Dremel-like tools available for less and I have bought a couple but there is no comparision to the real McCoy.

Wire Strippers and Crimpers. For general wiring, standard Wire Strippers and Crimpers are fine. If doing a lot of wiring, it is worth upgrading to better tools. i.e. I use a Ratchet Crimper. I changed to this from a basic Crimper after I was getting blisters (literally) due to the volume of crimping I was doing.
Multimeter. An essential if doing ANY wiring. end of.
Pliers and Cutters. Another essential in the toolkit. Cutters sized to suit the job. I have and would rebuy both fine cutters for small cable and heavy duty cutters for the thicker cable (the ones I have are great for anything I hae tried - so far upto 70mm2 cable. Use same cutter for plastic pipe
Screwdriver Set. Selection of Flat Blade and Pozidrive (more common than Phillips) Screwdrivers. If used for Electrical work as well, preferable to get VDE type screwdrivers as added precaution.
Selection of spanners and an Adjustable Spanner.

I am sure there would be other tools as well, but the above would be in my shopping basket for sure to have before I started a build.


Another tool I have which might seem a gimmick and would not be an essential BUT I have found very usefulon occasions is a Mini Chainsaw!
This has allowed me to make adaptions to furniture that is already installed and where other tools cannot be used.
 
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#4
Most used thing so far ?

Industrial hand wipes. Cleans hands, excess sikalfex, marks off ceiling board... two huge tubs so far , invaluable.
 


#5
The four most used tools in my build were: -

1. Multitool, I used my amazing Bosch multitool on so many occasions it was totally invaluable!

2. Rechargeable drill, as in so many things DIY a good one of these for me in any case essential, mine is a Hitachi and is as good now as it was 4 years ago when I first bought it.

3. Mitre saw. My build was based around a very strong frame work construction with a lot of joints. I bought it cheaply and at the end of my build I was able to sell it for quite a bit more than I had originally paid for it.

4. Jigsaw. As far as I am concerned a good heavy duty jigsaw is an essential piece of kit to have. I used mine to cut all 11 holes (4 windows, 3 rooflights, water heater, roof mushroom vent, water filling point, gas filling point) in the sides of 'Millie'

Apart from these I employed the use of a multitude of clamps of all different shapes and sizes.

Phil
 


Squiffy

Full Member
#6
Sounds about right to me Liberty 😃. Wildebus your posts are amazing, 🤗.Phil
 


wildebus

Full Member
#7
Sounds about right to me Liberty 😃. Wildebus your posts are amazing, 🤗.Phil
They are? Thanks (I think!)


The four most used tools in my build were: -

1. Multitool, I used my amazing Bosch multitool on so many occasions it was totally invaluable!

2. Rechargeable drill, as in so many things DIY a good one of these for me in any case essential, mine is a Hitachi and is as good now as it was 4 years ago when I first bought it.

3. Mitre saw. My build was based around a very strong frame work construction with a lot of joints. I bought it cheaply and at the end of my build I was able to sell it for quite a bit more than I had originally paid for it.

4. Jigsaw. As far as I am concerned a good heavy duty jigsaw is an essential piece of kit to have. I used mine to cut all 11 holes (4 windows, 3 rooflights, water heater, roof mushroom vent, water filling point, gas filling point) in the sides of 'Millie'

Apart from these I employed the use of a multitude of clamps of all different shapes and sizes.

Phil
Hey Phil. Ref Multitool.... I have one of those. The PME-180E I think it is? I remember buying it when it just came out and the Festool Multimaster was "the tool" to have for the pros but about 4 times the price. The Bosch was just as good and I had the last laugh :) Originally bought and used extensively in the house I was updating.
Weirdly I did not use it at all on my latest Campervan build and typing that I am confused why not :unsure: as it is a brilliant tool and actually in hindsight would have done what the little mini-chainsaw did.
I *think* it may be the vibration started to give me a touch of white finger so I put it aside and actually forgot I had it ages ago.

Another tool that I would have struggled to finish without is an angle grinder actually, but this maybe down to the specific vehicle I was converting.

Mitre Saws are a great time saver as well (y) I was fortunate that I won mine in the monthly prize draw at unltimatehandyman.co.uk (also won a Bench Sander which has been handy as well).
 

Squiffy

Full Member
#8
Hey Phil. Ref Multitool.... I have one of those. The PME-180E I think it is? I remember buying it when it just came out and the Festool Multimaster was "the tool" to have for the pros

I personally bought the titan one from screw fix and its been a great tool to use, but today I was in Lidles and saw a multitool by Parkside at the ridiculous price of £29.99, I bought the table disc sander for making my wood clock gears round and my son bought the pillar drill at £59.99 you really can not go wrong with these Parkside tools as they are so cheap if they break you can recycle them. 😉 Phil
 


Edina

Administrator
#9
Hey Phil. Ref Multitool.... I have one of those. The PME-180E I think it is? I remember buying it when it just came out and the Festool Multimaster was "the tool" to have for the pros

I personally bought the titan one from screw fix and its been a great tool to use, but today I was in Lidles and saw a multitool by Parkside at the ridiculous price of £29.99, I bought the table disc sander for making my wood clock gears round and my son bought the pillar drill at £59.99 you really can not go wrong with these Parkside tools as they are so cheap if they break you can recycle them. 😉 Phil
Re the pillar drill - I've made a larger wooden table which fits on top of the metal one. It has a 50mm hole which means I can use it with a drum sander to finish-sand curved jobs.
 


Wissel

Full Member
#10
I had to think about this for a while. As an ex-tradesman (still do jobs when I like them) I'm a little spoilt for tool choice.

The tools I use the most when building vans would probably be:

Large square and small squares
scribing tools
jigsaw
circular saw (with and without guides)
drill
hand router
and a recent purchase that I now love - a good pocket hole jig (had the cheap £15 kreg before)

There's a lot more I like to use (like @wildebus a cordless dremel and like others a multitool), but the above are my go-to tools for most jobs.

Bench wise, I like a couple of A frames with a CLS frame pushed in as a saw bench. I built our current van with it parked on a busy road and did get funny looks from people in buses going past as I hack rooflight holes out, but it wasn't a problem.

Where I am for the foreseeable in North Wales (Dad sick and van blown up, living in van on his drive while helping him out) I recently built a summer house, then converted the garage this backed onto adding a bathroom and kitchen so it's a self contained annex for visiting relatives. This left about 2m x 4m of garage unused, so I've built him a proper workshop which I'll also use to build the next van.

This is going to be a massive luxury :)

Bench saw, table router, sanders, wood store, huge bench, pillar drill - like a kid in a sweet shop. Looking forward t getting it finished and starting on the new vans interior :)
 


Brett

Full Member
#11
was a bit of a odd job man got most electric tools cordless drill got most use i know it is not a tool but the devil put super glue on earth just to curse me ever time i have tried to use this evil creation has turned into a disaster
 


#12
was a bit of a odd job man got most electric tools cordless drill got most use i know it is not a tool but the devil put super glue on earth just to curse me ever time i have tried to use this evil creation has turned into a disaster
Errrrr Brett, where did you use super glue in your build? From my experience super glue does give and instant bond but it doesn't have any of the all important flex that is essential for joints in a constantly moving/shimmering motorhome when it is out on the open road.
 

Brett

Full Member
#13
i had a flat piece of wood 10in square with the grain looked like two eyes i was going to glue some beading around the edge,s screw some hook,s along the bottom use for putting keys,head torch hang other small thing,s on hang in the van i did not know i had knocked the tube off the worktop till i had stood on it well it all ended in the bin with the skin off four of my fingers
 


#14
i had a flat piece of wood 10in square with the grain looked like two eyes i was going to glue some beading around the edge,s screw some hook,s along the bottom use for putting keys,head torch hang other small thing,s on hang in the van i did not know i had knocked the tube off the worktop till i had stood on it well it all ended in the bin with the skin off four of my fingers
Only thing its used for here is round the loo seat in the ladies.:eek:
 


Darcar

Full Member
#15
For me...
The battery drill/driver. + 2 batteries.
Jigsaw.
Circular saw.
Multi tool.
Electric plane.
Angle grinder.
These I couldn’t do without.
I’m not a carpenter... so I cut close to the line then plane it down to fit!
Darcar.
 


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