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Jeep Driver

Tool Talk

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7 hours ago, DirtyComanche said:

 

Some hangars you go into will have nothing but $20k SO boxes with $100k of financed chrome in them. 

Thank you, I appreciate your candor. 

 

 

Interesting to see or learn that there are tiers in every industry. 

 

 

If I'm vertical I'm working, if I'm working I have tools in my hand. 

Some will say that a true craftsman will deliver regardless of the tools in hand, this is not true, particularly when a craftsman operates in a production mode. 

 

 

Last year I made just over $60K, I'm a one man band. I wholesale my labor to GCs, it's the only way I can make any money here. 

Can I double my earnings? you bet. That would require me to quadruple my production, to do that I'd have to enter into a partnership or hire employees, my overhead would skyrocket. More than anything though I would be living under the stress of keeping everyone busy, my full-time job would be finding work. 

Finding capable, willing, and ethical people here is nearly impossible, every contractor has this problem to overcome, constant struggle. 

Those of us in the trades are getting older and the generation behind us do not want to work with their hands. 

Also, tools matter, tools are expensive, most guys simply are not willing to invest in tools, or trucks and trailers for that matter. 

 

 

I stay busy because I'm reliable, dependable, self-sufficient, and I like to think I'm pretty good at what I do.

The only thing I have to sell is myself.

 

Tools? Mechanics is a hobby for me, really want to get past this damn paint job and get back to turning a wrench. I'll buy the best I can afford or what I think will suit me at a fair price. Same for work, however, I buy the tool and not the brand. 

 

 

I build a lot of bathrooms, showers, tile.....etc........basically any type of interior finish work but I guess my specialty is kitchens and baths.

Below is an example, I create my own cap (bullnose) .........whatever they throw at me, I just give them what they want. 

 

YdzzhWd.jpg

 

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On 7/29/2019 at 9:27 PM, Jeep Driver said:

How much does coolwind expect to earn as an aviation mechanic?

Everything I'm reading suggest a shortage of aviation mechanics and that the shortage is only getting more critical over the next decade.  

 

You didn't ask specifically but you seem to be genuinely curious, so here's a little history I'll share of why I ended up choosing this path:  I'm a shade tree, weekend mechanic.  I've always liked working on cars.  No formal training, however.  I always admired guys that specialized in one area and became experts in it.  From Auto mechanics to HVAC guys to plumbers, electricians....  I can do a little of just about anything.  But never specialized and became an expert in anything particular (besides my military career, which was all non-mechanically oriented).

 

My buddy is a former instructor at this aviation school.  He's taken a couple years off and is now doing 6-Month recurring Afghanistan tours, teaching Afgan Air Force aviation mechanics.  And he's KILLING IT, let me tell ya.  Mostly tax free and raking in 6-figures.  Anyhow, over the past couple of years, I'd occasionally asked him about his chosen field and always found it fascinating.  Aviation in general is fascinating to me.  I"ve learned that mechanics are in big demand throughout the industry.  

 

I'm a Facilities Manager, taking care of a big 48,000sf office building and 16 residential-type rental homes.  This new path started to make a lot of sense, as I thought learning a new specialty was a great sort of "bucket list" item.  And the fact that I had this free tuition and books schooling opportunity land in my lap--again, plus I also get PAID to go.  The industry seems to be really hungry for A&P mechanics ("More like STARVING" was the clarification of the Director of the program whom had once corrected me).  

 

I've got a very full plate now, as I work full-time and I'm still in an active band that has a lot of booked up weekends this Summer/Fall.  The program is full time as well --evenings.  It's certainly going to be a challenge, but I'm usually not one to sit and let life pass me by.  

 

So, what do I expect to earn?  Man, here recently I've seen places offering signing bonuses for guys with ZERO actual experience--with just the FAA certification with still wet ink on it.  But most places seem to want a guy who's at least performed PMs on aircraft for a couple of years before they start getting into the 50K-75K+ range.  I suppose like anything else, the salary range can vary depending on many things.

 

 

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I'm also in a professional shop, essentially a municipal fleet type setup, so we see automotive, heavy equipment, small equipment, quads, boats... whatever. No helicopters though... they're in and out of our compound but not ours and I don't think we'd be allowed to touch them even if they were. Dirty's probably even wrenched on some of them, but I digress. 

Work provides tools for us. They will buy SO but only because that's the only tool truck that comes out our way. The Mac truck used to come by, but one of the other shops in town screwed that up for us somehow. At any rate the tools in my box are a random assortment of SO, BluePoint (Snap-On's discount brand), Mac, Napa, and even some Mastercraft and Stanley, plus some unlabelled even cheaper stuff. Nothing in my box was new when I got here. Everything works just fine, but there's a noticeable difference in the premium brands, even the old and trashed Snap-on stuff fits fasteners better than some of the newer lower-grade. Usually that's not too big a deal, but when you're working on a rusty old plow truck, sometimes that's the difference between spinning out fasteners or turning the heads into circles. And when I say rusty plows, this truck was halfway through its third season (2.5 years since delivery) with about 70k miles on it:

BATJ4Kh.jpg

 

For me, getting my professional certification as a mechanic was never a goal in life. I'd been kinda floating around between jobs with this employer after running out of money and dropping out of university. Then I got pushed towards the apprenticeship. It's not a bad job that pays the bills, and I'm getting professional training in what was a hobby, but I still don't know that I want to do this as a career for the rest of my life. Days like the last couple where I've been deconstructing the charred remains and rebuilding the electrical controls for the turd taxi after the box caught fire with no schematics available from the upfitter (because that's the sort of thing that happens when you source everything from the lowest bidder) don't exactly have me wanting to continue down this path, but not all days are like this. 

 

But getting back on the topic of tools, I'm curious what everyone has for portable tool carrying setups. For junkyard expeditions mostly, but frequently our trails equipment into dumb places and occasionally you have to hike a few miles or helicopter into the middle of nowhere to rescue it. I like the idea of a tool backpack, but most of the ones I've seen for mechanics seem more geared towards light maintenance, and most look more suitable for carpentry or maybe landscaping, less so the type of work that usually would happen in a shop. I see a few things online but I haven't found something that looks like what I want that will actually hold the weight. 

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I carry a toolpak, and recently put a complete inventory in an excel document.  Haven't weighed it, but guess 45-50lbs.  It goes with me every off road trip and I wear it on junkyard trips frequently (as in I go almost weekly).  My first one lasted about 7 years before the zippers started coming apart.  Might have lasted longer if I had been more diligent in cleaning and lubing them.  Pic is generic.

 

FRONT POCKET TOP
DEWALT 1/4" IMPACT DRIVER
1/4" BIT HOLDER
1/4" SOCKET DRIVE ADAPTER
3/8" SOCKET DRIVE ADAPTER
5/16 MAGNETIC SOCKET 
1/4" BIT SET
LATEX WORK GLOVES
     
FRONT POCKET BOTTOM
INSIDE BLACK ZIPPER BAG
1/4" DRIVE RATCHET
1/4" DRIVE DEEP WELL STANDARD SOCKET SET ON RAIL
1/4" DRIVE DEEP WELL METRIC SOCKET SET ON RAIL
1/4" TORX BIT SET ON RAIL
1/4" SHORT EXTENSION
1/4" LONG EXTENSION
TEST LEADS
     
LEFT SHOULDER STRAP
SUREFIRE LED FLASHLIGHT
     
RIGHT SHOULDER STRAP

LEATHERMAN "CHARGE" MULTITOOL WITH BIT SET

 

2ND POCKET FRONT PANEL
     
INSIDE BLUE ZIPPER BAG
STEERING COLUMN LOCK PLATE DEPRESSER
STEERING WHEEL PULLER YOKE
STEERING WHEEL PULLER DRIVE BOLT AND TIP
STEERING WHEEL PULLER 5/16X4" BOLTS (x2) AND WASHERS (x4)
MECHANIC WORK GLOVES
     
2ND POCKET REAR PANEL
LENGTH OF SOLID CORE 18 GAUGE WIRE
DENTAL SCRAPER
SNAP-ON SMALL FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
 CRAFTSMAN 1/8' FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
CRAFTSMAN 1/4" FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
TAPERED PRY BAR
HF DIGITAL CALIPERS
SNAP-ON #2 PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER
SNAP-ON #1 SCREWDRIVER
HF PICK SET (STRAIGHT, 90, CURVED)
HF STUBBY 1/4" SCREWDRIVER
HF STUBBY #2 PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER

1/4" PUNCH

 

3RD POCKET FRONT PANEL

KOBALT ALLEN KEY SET
MAGNETIC EXTENDING WAND
BLACK SHARPIE MARKER
SMALL ZIPLOC BAGS
GEARWRENCH 3/8" DRIVE LONG HANDLE FLEX HEAD RATCHET
SNAP-ON BALL PEEN HAMMER
PLASTIC RETAINER REMOVAL TOOL
PUTTY KNIFE
 
3RD POCKET REAR PANEL
10" CRESCENT WRENCH
SNAP-ON SIDE CUTTERS
ALLWAY RAZOR KNIFE
RADIO SHACK DIGITAL MULTIMETER
10' TAPE MEASURE
IRWIN ADJUSTABLE CHANNEL LOCK PLIERS
SNAP-ON 3/8 METRIC SOCKET SET& LISLE T55 TORX BIT ON RAIL
 

 

REAR POCKET FRONT PANEL
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 5/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 3/8 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 7/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 10MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 1/2 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 9/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
HUSKY RATCHETING 15MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 5/8 COMBINATION WRENCH
KD 18MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 11/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 3/4 COMBINATION WRENCH
 
 
REAR POCKET REAR PANEL
MPC 1/16" PUNCH
3/8" DRIVE 18MM DEEP WELL IMPACT SOCKET
HF 3/8" TO 1/2" ADAPTER
HF 1/4" TO 3/8" ADAPTER
HF 3/8" TO 1/4" ADAPTER
SNAP-ON STANDARD SOCKET SET & 3/8" ALLEN BIT ON RAIL
HF 3/8 SWIVEL HEAD RATCHET
HF 3/8" DRIVE 8" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" DRIVE 2" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" DRIVE 1" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" SWIVEL
SNAP-ON 3/8" DRIVE 5/8" SPARK PLUG SOCKET
HF 3/8" DRIVE 5" EXTENSION

toolpak.jpg

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:drool: very nice!

 

I don't have the funds to step up to an all-out tool backpack yet, but I'm learning how tough regular ones can be (I get them at resale shops).  first was a schmuk kid's backpack that didn't last 2 junkyard trips before the seams started to come apart and the sharper tools poked through. :sad2:  Next was a "" kids backpack (jansport?) that lasted maybe a few months. :dunno: Now I'm on a Swiss brand backpack that is doing quite well. :L:  If it ever dies I've got a military backpack that's next in line. :D  I don't carry everything since it's just a junkyard bag not my main bag, but rather I throw in the likely things I'll need and leave the rest in the Jeep for if I need reinforcements.  boy do I wish for individual tool pockets! 

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1 hour ago, schardein said:

I carry a toolpak, and recently put a complete inventory in an excel document.  Haven't weighed it, but guess 45-50lbs.  It goes with me every off road trip and I wear it on junkyard trips frequently (as in I go almost weekly).  My first one lasted about 7 years before the zippers started coming apart.  Might have lasted longer if I had been more diligent in cleaning and lubing them.  Pic is generic.

 

FRONT POCKET TOP
DEWALT 1/4" IMPACT DRIVER
1/4" BIT HOLDER
1/4" SOCKET DRIVE ADAPTER
3/8" SOCKET DRIVE ADAPTER
5/16 MAGNETIC SOCKET 
1/4" BIT SET
LATEX WORK GLOVES
     
FRONT POCKET BOTTOM
INSIDE BLACK ZIPPER BAG
1/4" DRIVE RATCHET
1/4" DRIVE DEEP WELL STANDARD SOCKET SET ON RAIL
1/4" DRIVE DEEP WELL METRIC SOCKET SET ON RAIL
1/4" TORX BIT SET ON RAIL
1/4" SHORT EXTENSION
1/4" LONG EXTENSION
TEST LEADS
     
LEFT SHOULDER STRAP
SUREFIRE LED FLASHLIGHT
     
RIGHT SHOULDER STRAP

LEATHERMAN "CHARGE" MULTITOOL WITH BIT SET

 

2ND POCKET FRONT PANEL
     
INSIDE BLUE ZIPPER BAG
STEERING COLUMN LOCK PLATE DEPRESSER
STEERING WHEEL PULLER YOKE
STEERING WHEEL PULLER DRIVE BOLT AND TIP
STEERING WHEEL PULLER 5/16X4" BOLTS (x2) AND WASHERS (x4)
MECHANIC WORK GLOVES
     
2ND POCKET REAR PANEL
LENGTH OF SOLID CORE 18 GAUGE WIRE
DENTAL SCRAPER
SNAP-ON SMALL FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
 CRAFTSMAN 1/8' FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
CRAFTSMAN 1/4" FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
TAPERED PRY BAR
HF DIGITAL CALIPERS
SNAP-ON #2 PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER
SNAP-ON #1 SCREWDRIVER
HF PICK SET (STRAIGHT, 90, CURVED)
HF STUBBY 1/4" SCREWDRIVER
HF STUBBY #2 PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER

1/4" PUNCH

 

3RD POCKET FRONT PANEL

KOBALT ALLEN KEY SET
MAGNETIC EXTENDING WAND
BLACK SHARPIE MARKER
SMALL ZIPLOC BAGS
GEARWRENCH 3/8" DRIVE LONG HANDLE FLEX HEAD RATCHET
SNAP-ON BALL PEEN HAMMER
PLASTIC RETAINER REMOVAL TOOL
PUTTY KNIFE
 
3RD POCKET REAR PANEL
10" CRESCENT WRENCH
SNAP-ON SIDE CUTTERS
ALLWAY RAZOR KNIFE
RADIO SHACK DIGITAL MULTIMETER
10' TAPE MEASURE
IRWIN ADJUSTABLE CHANNEL LOCK PLIERS
SNAP-ON 3/8 METRIC SOCKET SET& LISLE T55 TORX BIT ON RAIL
 

 

REAR POCKET FRONT PANEL
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 5/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 3/8 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 7/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 10MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 1/2 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 9/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
HUSKY RATCHETING 15MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 5/8 COMBINATION WRENCH
KD 18MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 11/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 3/4 COMBINATION WRENCH
 
 
REAR POCKET REAR PANEL
MPC 1/16" PUNCH
3/8" DRIVE 18MM DEEP WELL IMPACT SOCKET
HF 3/8" TO 1/2" ADAPTER
HF 1/4" TO 3/8" ADAPTER
HF 3/8" TO 1/4" ADAPTER
SNAP-ON STANDARD SOCKET SET & 3/8" ALLEN BIT ON RAIL
HF 3/8 SWIVEL HEAD RATCHET
HF 3/8" DRIVE 8" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" DRIVE 2" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" DRIVE 1" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" SWIVEL
SNAP-ON 3/8" DRIVE 5/8" SPARK PLUG SOCKET
HF 3/8" DRIVE 5" EXTENSION

toolpak.jpg

 

Man, you don't mess around.

 

I normally just stuff way too many tools in a bag and have to carry it around with me. I need to get organized.

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3 hours ago, Pete M said:

:drool: very nice!

 

I don't have the funds to step up to an all-out tool backpack yet, but I'm learning how tough regular ones can be (I get them at resale shops).  first was a schmuk kid's backpack that didn't last 2 junkyard trips before the seams started to come apart and the sharper tools poked through. :sad2:  Next was a "" kids backpack (jansport?) that lasted maybe a few months. :dunno: Now I'm on a Swiss brand backpack that is doing quite well. :L:  If it ever dies I've got a military backpack that's next in line. :D  I don't carry everything since it's just a junkyard bag not my main bag, but rather I throw in the likely things I'll need and leave the rest in the Jeep for if I need reinforcements.  boy do I wish for individual tool pockets! 

 

2 hours ago, Minuit said:

 

Man, you don't mess around.

 

I normally just stuff way too many tools in a bag and have to carry it around with me. I need to get organized.

I used to carry a duffel bag type tool carrier.  I don't remember the brand, but I've still got it in my workshop.  It actually worked pretty well.  I replaced the carry strap (shoulder strap) that came with it, with a slightly sturdier and longer strap from an M60 machine gun.  It worked pretty good but was always banging on my hip as I walked.  I used to go to some junkyards that had cars stacked three high, and I would climb (I was younger then).   I always thought a backpack type would be the way to go.  I don't recall how I first heard about the toolpak, but I bought one off ebay that was one of their first prototypes that had brass zippers.  It was horrible, the zippers would stick or just come open.  But I liked the concept well enough to take a chance on the design they settled on with the plastic type zippers.  That was the first that lasted 7 years.  My replacement came from ebay, brand new for $25 (SCORE!).

 

An old military ALICE pack wouldn't be a bad choice.  To help organize it, these bags from walmart would help.  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tech-Gear-Zipper-Bag/178333677

I think those are the same ones I got.  I bought like 8 of them years ago.  The bags are pretty rugged, but the inner liner will eventually start to separate from the cordura and break apart.  Then the bag is still usable, but doesn't like to hold it's shape, it becomes more flimsy.  Anyhow, they are pretty handy, I use a couple to keep stuff organized in my Jeep storage box.  One for a tire repair kit, one for a spare u-joint, u-bolts, & retaining rings, etc.

 

Every time I try to lighten my load, I take out my steering wheel tools.  Then I find a perfect XJ leather wrapped steering wheel and have to walk all the way back to my truck in the parking lot....

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That ToolPak looks pretty good. 

I went through a couple duffel bags and tool bags in junkyards, but managed to tear the straps out of them. Ended up just dropping them into the heavy part carts... But that doesn't help when you've got a couple mile hike. Last Christmas I threw a bunch of tools into my hiking bag and hopped on the train to go get my parts XJ and drive it back. That worked okay weight-wise (probably 80lbs) but it's just a disaster to find things in there without blowing the whole thing apart. I was also pretty careful not to let train staff handle it cause it was well over the carryon weight limit by almost double.

One of my concerns about the school-bag type backpacks is how far off my back the weight would end up. The ToolPak looks like it keeps things tucked up pretty close. 

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5 hours ago, gogmorgo said:

One of my concerns about the school-bag type backpacks is how far off my back the weight would end up. The ToolPak looks like it keeps things tucked up pretty close. 

 

that is a valid concern. :L:  the heavy things do indeed sink to the bottom. 

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I'm more concerned about having weight hanging way out behind me, pretty tough on the back like that, cause you end up leaning forward to balance. But yes, not having everything fall to the bottom so I can actually find stuff is what I'd like to have going on. 

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Back in 1981 when I was  junior in high school I was one of the luckiest kids alive. Our high school had an on the job training program. I hit the jackpot when I got to work at the local Chevrolet dealership. After just a few weeks I impressed them enough that the Service manager told me he would give me what was left of the shop operating fund (I think). Some weeks it wasn't much... well, I guess it never was. I was doing oil changes and undercoating and getting new cars ready for the lot. Soon I was doing more and more things and they hired me for the hours I worked after noon when I got there. 

     To make a short story long I started buying tools off the Snap On truck. I still have all the sockets and a long 3/8 break over ratchet. I paid like $68 for the ratchet back then if I remember correctly. The stories about them being better are true. I wore out the screwdrivers and the local Snap On truck guy wouldn't replace the blades so I eventually got rid of all them except one. I still have one of the pry bars also. 

     My Grandfather had a transmission shop and when he died my Aunt let us have a few of his tools. I picked out one of his Thorsen 3/8 ratchets and it is my favorite. I bet it is 40 years old and it works like new. I would take some pics of them but I literally have my garage jacked up and on Tuesday I poured a new floor so everything is in the basement and dispersed anywhere it would fit. I helped my son put in a new tub the next day not knowing it was going to rain everyday since so it is still jacked up. My employer made us burn two weeks of vacation this week and next so I will get it done but it is annoying.

     

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On 7/29/2019 at 9:27 PM, Jeep Driver said:

 

 

 

My brother and his wife earn well into the 7 figures, neither of them do what they were educated to do. 

 

Conversely, I know more people who are wealthy who have no formal education.

I also know a lot of really stupid people with Masters and PHDs.  

 

What I'm really curious about-

 

How much does Dirty earn as a helicopter mechanic?

How much does coolwind expect to earn as an aviation mechanic?

As Dirty stated- "get the Snap-on", how much of this is based on social pressures? Does the aviation mechanic's culture demand Snap-on? Someone shows up with Cornwell tools, is he considered less-than?

 

Example- Typical farmer here may bail 100 rolls of hay per year, large round bail may be worth $60, annual revenue of $6000. 

Couple of years ago farmer I know took delivery of a $85K John Deere with round baler and a couple of other attachments. I stopped and asked him how he justifies spending 85K for $6000 of annual revenue?

 

Drive around here and you'll see relatively new excavators and front-end loaders sitting idle in fields for days at a time, $100K machines doing nothing.

I ask, who can afford this?

 

I watch a lot of SMA, Eric O's vids.........$15K for a Snap-on scan tool that does not work half the time. 

Eric has no formal education.........constantly refers to- "what memaw taught me". That said, he gets cars and trucks (jobs) that have left the dealer's mechanics more broken than when they arrived. 

 

 

Schardien is retired, I figured as much. I assumed he made his way in this world one way or another. My question was not a attack nor was it sarcastic. Nor was my question even personal.

 

I struggle to make money.......my problem is my problem, no one else's. 

That said, I look around and it seems as though others have money thrown at them. 

As I said, I'm curious, I like to know what people do and how they do it and why?

 

 

 

Please don't take this wrong, but my first impression of you was a little arrogant. I think we have a lot in common and find myself agreeing with much of what I read from your posts at times but particularly here. We must be near the same age and the math in many Americans just don't add up in this day and age.  By the way I have several extra craftsman tools that sit idol if your still interested. They would go cheap or in mj trade if your interested. I'd rather make room in the toolbox for stuff I don't have but could have used in the past with no room to put it. I don't need 20 of the same box end or socket.

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Since my last junkyard visit with Pete I've been wanting something better for my tools especially since he gave me a short lecture which I knew and expected was coming. I've known it for awhile both for my personal work in handyman repair/rental management and for the junkyard. I just haven't found a good alternative. I have been wanting to check out a roll up type pouch that I found online at Duluth Trading Company. I think I like the concept of like a camp pack. Some of the yards I go are huge, foot only, overgrown with thorns, and have steep valley's. I think the roll up would be nice for storage and access. The pack for cordless tools and parts. Still have free hands to carry more parts. 

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On 7/26/2019 at 3:04 PM, DirtyComanche said:

 

Buy them from Snap-On.

 

12 years working on helicopters. :L:

Give me the scoop?  Angles are better....the wrenches are stronger and slimmer...more comfortable....   What's your reasoning?    I think the Snap On offset opens have different angles than most all the others from what I remember reading.

 

My buddy is a former instructor (powerplant) at the school I now attend.  He showed me some of his tools.  He's got a mixed assortment, even some craftsman stuff.  He mentioned that he cringes when he would see a student go 15K in debt buying Snap On tools via the student program.  He essentially recommended that if going hard-core Snap On is your thing, then wait till you're out in the field for a few years gaining experience.  And do it then if you're into brand recognition.  I remember seeing Proto, Craftsman, Snap On, Mac, Knipex in his toolbox.  

 

Yesterday, I picked up a Knipex 86 03 250 Plier Wrench.  $50, which kinda hurt but this thing is a work of art.  I also have their duckbill pliers and dykes.  Those krauts know their stuff when it comes to building pliers and wrenches.  Super well-made.

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Give me the scoop?  Angles are better....the wrenches are stronger and slimmer...more comfortable....   What's your reasoning?    I think the Snap On offset opens have different angles than most all the others from what I remember reading.
 
My buddy is a former instructor (powerplant) at the school I now attend.  He showed me some of his tools.  He's got a mixed assortment, even some craftsman stuff.  He mentioned that he cringes when he would see a student go 15K in debt buying Snap On tools via the student program.  He essentially recommended that if going hard-core Snap On is your thing, then wait till you're out in the field for a few years gaining experience.  And do it then if you're into brand recognition.  I remember seeing Proto, Craftsman, Snap On, Mac, Knipex in his toolbox.  
 
Yesterday, I picked up a Knipex 86 03 250 Plier Wrench.  $50, which kinda hurt but this thing is a work of art.  I also have their duckbill pliers and dykes.  Those krauts know their stuff when it comes to building pliers and wrenches.  Super well-made.
I love my knipex pliers. I use mostly snap on but I got a friend who prefers Mac. I say use what works, everyone will tell you what they prefer, you just gotta see what fits you. Only advice I've got is buy used if you want the big box trucks, I've gotten a few deals from competitor trucks used bins.

Stock 1988 swb 4.0 ax15 np 231.

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3 hours ago, coolwind57 said:

Give me the scoop?  Angles are better....the wrenches are stronger and slimmer...more comfortable....   What's your reasoning?    I think the Snap On offset opens have different angles than most all the others from what I remember reading.

 

My buddy is a former instructor (powerplant) at the school I now attend.  He showed me some of his tools.  He's got a mixed assortment, even some craftsman stuff.  He mentioned that he cringes when he would see a student go 15K in debt buying Snap On tools via the student program.  He essentially recommended that if going hard-core Snap On is your thing, then wait till you're out in the field for a few years gaining experience.  And do it then if you're into brand recognition.  I remember seeing Proto, Craftsman, Snap On, Mac, Knipex in his toolbox.  

 

Yesterday, I picked up a Knipex 86 03 250 Plier Wrench.  $50, which kinda hurt but this thing is a work of art.  I also have their duckbill pliers and dykes.  Those krauts know their stuff when it comes to building pliers and wrenches.  Super well-made.

 

The angle on them is/was different and works better.  They had a patent on the actual angle of them so they were unique.  It might be expired now, so it may not matter anymore.  Price wise I believe they're the same as the Mac anyways.

 

I'd use the student program to get a few things.  Quarter drive ratchets and sockets, a cotter pin puller, side cutters (not so sure on their current ones, maybe Klein or Knipex is the way to go now), flush cutters for zip-ties (P/N is PWC19, they warranty them for life and you're going to break them about once a year, so it's well worth it), a few of the small combination wrenches and other little funky wrenches, ratcheting screwdrivers (I guess, I actually rarely use them), a combination screwdriver (SDDD101 is the P/N, but ask for them to get you the old bit/holder setup for it that only had philips and flat), and that's about it for off the top of my head.  I guess their torque wrenches have the 72 tooth/dual 80 head now, so they might be worth buying the 1/4 drive one from, but personally I prefer the Mac/Armstrong/whoever else torque wrenches because the adjusting mechanism is just nicer to me.

 

I have more Snap-On stuff than that, but like your friend says there isn't any hurry, and lots of it can be some other brand.  I like my Proto stuff, I'd have more Mac if there had been a dealer around more when I was starting out, and I have zero Cromwell since they didn't have dealers in Canada until a few years ago.  Knipex makes some amazing things, get a little pair of the Cobra pliers as well, and then the bigger ones of them and the plier wrenches when time allows.  Also, I'd recommend Channel Lock adjustable wrenches, I've got a couple of the 12" ones with an extra tooth cut in the jaws so you can open them right up, you wind up needing them every now and then because you can hit them with a hammer to break things free.

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On 7/29/2019 at 4:11 PM, 87MJTIM said:

I’m guessing it’s iDeal MSC6K single post lift 

 

 

Yes. I love it.

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X2 on the better angles of the offset wrenches. My instructors at my first session specifically mentioned them as being the one thing they would recommend buying off the snap-on truck, otherwise the name brand stuff is all fairly equivalent in their minds. Their recommendation was to look at the discount brands from the big names, Blue Point, Matco, etc, as being better for apprentices in terms of it not being a huge amount of debt vs how long it'll last. Even the box store brand stuff will see you through an apprenticeship so far as I can tell, although it'll be pretty haggard after a few years of constant use.

 

And sometimes the prices of the name brand stuff is surprising. A while back I picked up a brake calliper spreader off the Snap-On truck on sale for roughly $150, list price around $225. I happened to wander into Napa not long after and saw they had a similar one on the shelf for $202. That said, you can also still get the cheap ones for $15... I've got about four of those in my collection, good for a use or two before the handles twist off and you've got to use vicegrips on them. Absolutely nothing wrong with buying tools like that if you don't plan on using them very often and likely will forget where you put them between uses anyhow. 

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On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 6:11 PM, schardein said:

I carry a toolpak, and recently put a complete inventory in an excel document.  Haven't weighed it, but guess 45-50lbs.  It goes with me every off road trip and I wear it on junkyard trips frequently (as in I go almost weekly).  My first one lasted about 7 years before the zippers started coming apart.  Might have lasted longer if I had been more diligent in cleaning and lubing them.  Pic is generic.

 

FRONT POCKET TOP
DEWALT 1/4" IMPACT DRIVER
1/4" BIT HOLDER
1/4" SOCKET DRIVE ADAPTER
3/8" SOCKET DRIVE ADAPTER
5/16 MAGNETIC SOCKET 
1/4" BIT SET
LATEX WORK GLOVES
     
FRONT POCKET BOTTOM
INSIDE BLACK ZIPPER BAG
1/4" DRIVE RATCHET
1/4" DRIVE DEEP WELL STANDARD SOCKET SET ON RAIL
1/4" DRIVE DEEP WELL METRIC SOCKET SET ON RAIL
1/4" TORX BIT SET ON RAIL
1/4" SHORT EXTENSION
1/4" LONG EXTENSION
TEST LEADS
     
LEFT SHOULDER STRAP
SUREFIRE LED FLASHLIGHT
     
RIGHT SHOULDER STRAP

LEATHERMAN "CHARGE" MULTITOOL WITH BIT SET

 

2ND POCKET FRONT PANEL
     
INSIDE BLUE ZIPPER BAG
STEERING COLUMN LOCK PLATE DEPRESSER
STEERING WHEEL PULLER YOKE
STEERING WHEEL PULLER DRIVE BOLT AND TIP
STEERING WHEEL PULLER 5/16X4" BOLTS (x2) AND WASHERS (x4)
MECHANIC WORK GLOVES
     
2ND POCKET REAR PANEL
LENGTH OF SOLID CORE 18 GAUGE WIRE
DENTAL SCRAPER
SNAP-ON SMALL FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
 CRAFTSMAN 1/8' FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
CRAFTSMAN 1/4" FLAT TIP SCREWDRIVER
TAPERED PRY BAR
HF DIGITAL CALIPERS
SNAP-ON #2 PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER
SNAP-ON #1 SCREWDRIVER
HF PICK SET (STRAIGHT, 90, CURVED)
HF STUBBY 1/4" SCREWDRIVER
HF STUBBY #2 PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER

1/4" PUNCH

 

3RD POCKET FRONT PANEL

KOBALT ALLEN KEY SET
MAGNETIC EXTENDING WAND
BLACK SHARPIE MARKER
SMALL ZIPLOC BAGS
GEARWRENCH 3/8" DRIVE LONG HANDLE FLEX HEAD RATCHET
SNAP-ON BALL PEEN HAMMER
PLASTIC RETAINER REMOVAL TOOL
PUTTY KNIFE
 
3RD POCKET REAR PANEL
10" CRESCENT WRENCH
SNAP-ON SIDE CUTTERS
ALLWAY RAZOR KNIFE
RADIO SHACK DIGITAL MULTIMETER
10' TAPE MEASURE
IRWIN ADJUSTABLE CHANNEL LOCK PLIERS
SNAP-ON 3/8 METRIC SOCKET SET& LISLE T55 TORX BIT ON RAIL
 

 

REAR POCKET FRONT PANEL
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 5/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 3/8 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 7/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 10MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 1/2 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 9/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
HUSKY RATCHETING 15MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 5/8 COMBINATION WRENCH
KD 18MM COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 11/16 COMBINATION WRENCH
KOBALT RATCHETING FLEX HEAD 3/4 COMBINATION WRENCH
 
 
REAR POCKET REAR PANEL
MPC 1/16" PUNCH
3/8" DRIVE 18MM DEEP WELL IMPACT SOCKET
HF 3/8" TO 1/2" ADAPTER
HF 1/4" TO 3/8" ADAPTER
HF 3/8" TO 1/4" ADAPTER
SNAP-ON STANDARD SOCKET SET & 3/8" ALLEN BIT ON RAIL
HF 3/8 SWIVEL HEAD RATCHET
HF 3/8" DRIVE 8" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" DRIVE 2" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" DRIVE 1" EXTENSION
HF 3/8" SWIVEL
SNAP-ON 3/8" DRIVE 5/8" SPARK PLUG SOCKET
HF 3/8" DRIVE 5" EXTENSION 

toolpak.jpg

Have any pictures of YOUR tool bag? Could you do a "tool bag tour" on youtube? I just love watching those, don't know why, probably because I need to get organized..

 

 

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23 minutes ago, 87Chief said:

Have any pictures of YOUR tool bag? Could you do a "tool bag tour" on youtube? I just love watching those, don't know why, probably because I need to get organized..

 

 

I could post some pics.  Interesting idea on the video.  

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At one time, I carried a home made tool for depressing the spring loaded lock plate on a steering column (to remove the snap ring).  I now carry the actual tool as it works better, but it is much larger.

 

I don't carry it all the time, but I made a spanner wrench for holding the water pump pulley on a Chevy LS/Vortec engine in order to loosen and remove the mechanical fan.  It's a piece of flat steel stock about a foot long and 1.5" wide.  A half circle is cut out to clear the water pump pulley snout, and two drilled holes, one on either side, have small 6mm bolts threaded in to act as pins that insert into corresponding holes in the water pump pulley to hold it in place.  (6mm bolt uses a 10mm socket)

 

I carry two 1/4" socket rails, and two 3/8" socket rails.  All of them have been modified, cut to an exact length to fit only the sockets I carry and no more, and to fit in their assigned pouch.

 

Occasionally I'll add a steel pipe cheater bar for my ratchets, cut to a length to fit in the bag, mainly if I plan to pull an axle.

 

I've modified the tool bag itself by cutting the seam between two smaller pockets to make one big pocket.  This is best done with an actual seam ripper (sewing tool).  Procedures are outlined in the included instructions and on Toolpak's website.

 

I sometimes carry a 4wd hub wrench, similar to the picture.  I recently thought of using a 1" hole saw to cut holes in the body to make it lighter.

wmr-w1271_ax_ml.jpg

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6 hours ago, Manche757 said:

Bump.

Anyone carry a tool in your jy bag that you made yourself?

 

I used to carry a 13mm wrench tied to a flat steel bar for extra reach, but then I bought an extra long 13/15 boxed wrench to take it's place.  (I guess technically it's a "spanner" since I got it from england). 

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