Reply by crank49

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Posted on How to get started when space and budget is an issue...

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4032 posts in 4056 days

#1 posted 07-10-2013 03:10 PM

A wood bike is definitely possible. The picture in my avatar is a bamboo road bike.

As far as military lifestyle restrictions are concerned I understand because my son has been in the USAF for 20 years and he has had to adapt and come up with mobile shop solutions.

One key is to think multipurpose. Like, a good power drill does more than just drill holes. Get a variable speed, reversing hammer drill and you can drill holes in concrete, wood, or metal and drive and extract screws as well.
Good power tools to handle most situations would be a circular saw, a jig saw, a 1/2” drill, a 2hp (1/2” collet) router with 2 bases, and a random orbit sander. I’d be reluctant to go used for power tools, especially battery powered ones. Don’t forget to budget for bits and blades.

As said before, good used hand tools are a great solution. the older hand tools are almost always better quality than the new stuff in the box stores unless you get into the really expensive tools. For example, a good old Stanley block plane is just as good as, or better than, anything you can buy new for 4 or 5 times the money.

Good set of hand tools would be a couple of planes, a block and a #4 or #5, couple of chisels, a 1/4” and a 1/2”, squares, bevel gauge, good straight edge and/or a steel rule. Note: be sure the graduations on the rule are etched and not just printed.

A Stanley “Sharp Tooth” hand saw, as available at Home Depot for about $12, is one of the few modern hand tools I would rather have than a vintage version. I like the wood handled version that’s about $23, but the plastic handled version has the same blade. A small, fine tooth Japanese pull saw is very handy as well. If you don’t start out with a powered jig saw, a coping saw is cheap and lets you cut curves.

Then there is the work place. If you are in base housing like an apartment you might have to use something like a Black & Decker Workmate. They are really pretty good to have even in a garage shop. They have a built in vise and fold up out of the way when not being used. Could even be stored in the back of a closet. These are often found on Craig’s list.

Finally, don’t forget the clamps. If you are near a Harbor Freight, pick you up a few of their aluminum bar clamps. Then for heavy clamping some pipe clamps can be made any size you need by just adding to the pipe. If you have to relocate, loose the pipe and keep the clamp parts. You can always get more pipe.

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