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Car audio tools for the garage

Old 11-07-2006, 07:36 PM
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Car audio tools for the garage

Hey guys, in anticipation of eventually owning my own garage (as soon as I sell my current house) I am trying to get a list up of what things you installers out there use most for car audio related installs IE:wood working, fiberglassing ect.

What I would like to see is the name of the tool and a description of what it does and why you use it so much. Often times I find myself looking at the sears catalogue at all these cool looking tools and not knowing exactly what they do or how I could use them.

I would start off by saying a router must be one of the top tools. although I dont know what to look for in options/specifications when buying a router. And what type of table if any goes best to take advantage of all the routers features.

So help me make a wish list of best tools to get for this xmas!
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:47 PM
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a good router is great to have... a cheap one will work, but you have to go slow, and make many passes. Porter cable makes great ones... anything over 1.5-2 HP will be good for the once in a while fabricator.. A good selection of router bits is always nice, round-overs, flush cut, chamfer, rabbit, as well as a selection of bearings for the bits...

A compressor would be my first choice, though a little pricey for xmas.. air tools make doing fiberglass work much easier... A nice table saw, D/A sander, (pneumatic or electric) brad nailer, and stapler, the list could go on and on when you get into specifics...

Do you have basic tools commonly used relating to car audio installing? like a digital multimeter? soldering iron, (sautering, sodering, etc.) or station? I have both, as well as a handy butane soldering iron for work in the car. a good set of crimpers, (Klien) though soldering is always best, they are handy for testing, jig saws are great, bosh makes the best IMO, a good drill (corded or cordless,though the cordless is handy) I have a dewalt corded 1/2" and a Dewalt 18V cordless, both have their strong points.

I could go on into the night, I am a tool junkie, and the snapon guy knows it.

regards, Mark
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:55 PM
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lol above all make sure you have a sautering iron.......




in my experience you will know what tools you should have when you need something but don't have it..............
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SQ Civic
a good router is great to have... a cheap one will work, but you have to go slow, and make many passes. Porter cable makes great ones... anything over 1.5-2 HP will be good for the once in a while fabricator.. A good selection of router bits is always nice, round-overs, flush cut, chamfer, rabbit, as well as a selection of bearings for the bits...

A compressor would be my first choice, though a little pricey for xmas.. air tools make doing fiberglass work much easier... A nice table saw, D/A sander, (pneumatic or electric) brad nailer, and stapler, the list could go on and on when you get into specifics...

Do you have basic tools commonly used relating to car audio installing? like a digital multimeter? soldering iron, (sautering, sodering, etc.) or station? I have both, as well as a handy butane soldering iron for work in the car. a good set of crimpers, (Klien) though soldering is always best, they are handy for testing, jig saws are great, bosh makes the best IMO, a good drill (corded or cordless,though the cordless is handy) I have a dewalt corded 1/2" and a Dewalt 18V cordless, both have their strong points.

I could go on into the night, I am a tool junkie, and the snapon guy knows it.

regards, Mark
I appreciate the info. What air tools specifically you find help out fiberglass jobs and how do they help? What should I look for in an air compressor?

Is there a specific model multimeter you suggest to use?

I do have a cordless drill and a crappy rotozip type tool and all the bassics like screw drivers and such but not much else.
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:41 AM
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What should I look for in an air compressor?
the bigger tank the better
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:05 AM
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My wife and I just bought our first home in Jan this year (a townhouse). It has a tandem (double-deep) garage but there is a really nice bumpout at the back of the garage where I was able to build a large work table (about 12 feet wide by 3 feet deep) and have some work room in front of it. I hung up 3cabinets above and put some peg board between the cabinets and table. I also had a power outlet on that wall which I have access too and put a power bar on which attaches to the peg board. I also put a power bar at the front edge of the table so I can very easily plug corded tools in for power. Between January and now I've acquired a 5 HP, 20 gal. Husky air compressor that came with a tool kit including a spray gun, impact gun, blow nozzle, and some odds and ends.

http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CatalogSearchResultView?D=944646&Ntt=944646&catalo gId=10051&langId=-15&storeId=10051&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntx=mode+ matchall&recN=113331&N=0&Ntk=P_PartNumber

Also got a Porter Cable brad nailer at KMS Tools on sale for $99, so I took back the Rigid one I got at Home Depot for $135 and enjoyed the extra savings I bought a cheap Black and Decker 1 1/4 HP plunge router from Can Tire a few years ago as one of my first stereo-building tools Has worked great for me too and I think you can find them for around $75. Dukk gave me a nice 20-bit set from Can Tire but I buy flush-trims from Summitt Tools for a whopping $6 each lol. I bought a DeWalt circular saw with cast magnesium foot on sale for $125 from HD a couple months ago. Really nice saw. I was going to drop like $60 on a Mastercraft but Dukk persuaded me to pony up for a good one since I will likely never have to buy another. I have a B&D jigsaw I got last year. Does the job. I use a corded $40 Ryobi drill after my $30 Mastercraft burnt out when I was putting in 3" lag screws for my worktable. Corded drills can be nice for their RPM and endless power. I have a medium-sized shop vac, a 4-outlet wind-up extension cord caddy, flourescent trouble light, a 36" straight edge with level, framing square, Stanley tape measure, a handy multi-compartment bin for screws, bolts, etc and a bunch of other little tools and stuff. I keep an eye out for sales at Can Tire for things like screwdriver sets, or plier sets, etc. Quite often they go on sale for 70+% off. Those can be nice to build a tool collection on a budget.

I don't feel the need to buy high-end tools since I don't use my tools often enough to necessitate spending large on them. But I do try to buy at least mid-level quality tools. I don't have a problem having Mastercraft tools, Black and Decker products or the like. I wouldn't recommend total budget tools like those from Jobmate or the Wal-mart house brand.

A table saw would be nice. I see Can Tire has one for under $150. Might be a good idea to spend around $300 and get a Delta with a nice fence from Sears or something like that. I made 2 sawboards for my circular saw though and I quite like it. That and/or a piece of aluminum angle channel to use as a straight-line fence guide for a router is always handy for making straight cuts.
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Old 11-08-2006, 03:20 PM
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One of the more important things to consider with a compressor is the CFM, especially as it pertains to the tools you are likely to be using like sanders/grinders. Air Tools require a certain volume of air to run them. The volume of air that a compressor produces is rated in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). CFM ratings tend to be exaggerated just like HP ratings, but you should get 3-4 CFM per each real HP at 90 PSI. The higher the pressure of the air that's already been squeezed into the tank, the harder the pump has to work to squeeze more air into it. So the same pump becomes less efficient at higher pressures. That's why a compressor might be rated at 7.6 CFM @ 40 PSI but will only crank out 5.6 CFM @100 PSI. Most constant supply tools (like sanders) are going to require at least 4-5 CFM @ 90PSI. I have seen ones that are desiged to run at a lower CFM. Just make sure to check the rating and match it to your compressor's rating or you may experience poor performance.
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Old 11-08-2006, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by AAAAAAA
Is there a specific model multimeter you suggest to use?
I have 2, both are fluke branded... I like them a lot, but for general troubleshooting, a 30 dollar mastercraft one will work as well. one I have is actually a Fluke, and the second is a Bluepoint, off the Snapon truck, which are rebaged Fluke Models as well..

regards, Mark
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for the replys so far.

Multimeter wise, I would like more then basic trouble shooting, I would like to be able to measure amperage, resistence voltage. Do most multimeter measure amperage over 100 amps?

Anyone have a router they recommence? Specific bit kit?
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:54 PM
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you will not be able to measure even close to 100 amps with your run of the mill multimeter. they generally max out at 10 amps.

as far as routers go, canadiantire has a 1.25hp one on sale right now, 50% off I think for 80 bucks... that would be good for small stuff... bitwise, look into different sizrd roundover bits, chamfer (45 degree) bits, flush trim, and rabbit, as well as different sized bearings.
as well make sur eyou get them in the correct shank (shaft size) for the router you get, that mastercraft one, and most general use are 1/4" more proffesional grade, or heavy duty routers are 1/2 shank.

Mark
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