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How much $$ did you spend on tools to build your theater ???

post #1 of 159
Thread Starter 
Title says it^

Just wondering realistically how much I'm going to spend to build a total theater. Seems like everytime I do do something I buy tons of tools. And for some reason even though my father, myself and brother have basically been doing this for many years it never seems to stop.

Curious what tools you bought to build your theaters ? ANd how much you spent on them ?
post #2 of 159
I have a cost estimate in the first post of my build thread that tracked all of my costs, including a large section on tools and misc. supplies. I had budgeted $1000 for this category, wound up spending about $1200, which was just under 5% of the overall project cost.
post #3 of 159
I had some good tools before I started, but since I was building out the entire basement, I've been splurging on better gear as I need it. So far, I've bought the following, mostly through Amazon:

1. Dewalt Reciprocating saw DW304PK $80
2. Dewalt corded drill DWD115K $65
3. Bosch GPL5 laser $159
4. Porter Cable Compressor kit $279
5. Dewalt Rotary Hammer kit $149
6. Dewalt Drywall Screwdriver $95
7. Porter Cable Framing Nailer $179

So just a hair over $1K. I already had a table saw, chopsaw, router, cordless driver and miscellaneous junk. I also splurged on a new shopvac since my old one was way to small and underpowered. Most of my tools I'll reuse for other projects I have planned, with perhaps the exception of the rotary hammer.

My only regrets are the pancake compressor. It's not powerful enough to toenail properly, so I have to finish toenailing with a hammer. The only other gear I'm contemplating is a right angle drill from Dewalt for running my wires. Those are really pricey though, and I doubt I'd use it after the basement is completed.

I bought 99% of this from Amazon since I have Prime (free shipping) and no sales tax.
post #4 of 159
Thread Starter 
OK- cool. Better than I imagined. I actually own everything you guys listed biggrin.gif

So what is the must have tool for theater building ? If you could choose any one new tool free to build a theater what you would choose?
post #5 of 159
Framing nailer.
post #6 of 159
Impact driver. Never knew what I was missing until I got one. biggrin.gif
post #7 of 159
I already had a compound miter saw and drill.

So far, I've bought additionally:
Powder actuated tool (Ramset generic) - but it has to be capable of the larger loads for firing into fully cured concrete. $100
Table saw - nothing fancy - $300
Circular saw - $125
Drywall Lift - $150
Compressor Kit, with small tank and brad nailer - black friday sale - larger tank would be nice, especially with the framing nailer.
Framing Nailer - Used, plus a new trigger valve for it - $110 total
Reciprocating Saw, plus blades - $145
Green Glue Speedloader $20 (I think, with purchase of GG)
Shop Vac (I should have already had one) $50


The drywall lift is the one that I couldn't have done without, unless I paid for installation of course.

On the other hand, I think the framing nailer provides the greatest advantage over the next best tool.

If I were to add a tool that I don't really have to have, it would be a router for finishing speaker cabinets and fabric frames and that sort of stuff.
post #8 of 159
Thread Starter 
I have drywall lift, Table saws, Air Compressors, Brad Nailer (multiple sizes) - even have Ramset that uses 22 bullets to nail into concrete biggrin.gif

I might be in better shape than I think. (Thanks Dad wink.gif )

Since my theater build is second floor above garage I am planning to have the full size table saw in the garage ( for full size wood and new arrivals) and I have a mini or table top saw I can bring into the theater. I'll probably have to store 3 tape measures in each location to prevent having to chase them down.. lol

I might pay for the DW though. SInce it's new construction and they will be doing the rest of the house anyways. Just because I own a DW lift does not mean I should do the drywall wink.gif I'm good but generally much slower than a pro.

I am happy to hear my tool expenditure is going to be minor ( it appears )

My budget is tight.
post #9 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanice View Post

Impact driver. Never knew what I was missing until I got one. biggrin.gif
Definitely. They also double nicely as a close quarters drill:
post #10 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanice View Post

Impact driver. Never knew what I was missing until I got one. biggrin.gif
Definitely. They also double nicely as a close quarters drill:


Impact driver is easily my most useful and often used tool I own. It's a must have for everyone - even those not building theaters IMO.

My wife even uses it. Half the time I can't find it because she used it, I almost need another
post #11 of 159
Thread Starter 
How come digital tape measures don't exist ?

With cheap LED that remember your measurements ?
post #12 of 159
For me I'd say the impact driver, a pry bar or two, levels of various lengths, chalk line, architectural squares, construction lights on a tripod and a Rigid Cordless 18V Reciprocating saw.
post #13 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

How come digital tape measures don't exist ?

With cheap LED that remember your measurements ?
They do, but have limitations. Most are ultrasonic with a laser to point them. Here's a few that Amazon has:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=electronic+tape+measure
post #14 of 159
Thread Starter 
I was thinking a normal tape style that just remembers your measurements with a save button.

How come this does not exist ?
post #15 of 159
I think I spent about $500 but then I have access to some other tools. If I bought all I used I'd estimate about $900.
post #16 of 159
I don't really count the cost of the tools as part of the buiild. I mean, I guess you do need to lay out some cash for them, but if it's a tool I have used or plan to use for other projects, I don't really count it toward the cost of the build.

In any event, I find that if you are doing it yourself and you need a specialty tool that you are not likely to need beyond the theater build, Harbour Freight is the way to go. So far, I've had great luck with their tools. If I can buy a tool that is less than renting and get to keep and use it until it craps out, I figure I'm way ahead of the game.

And now that one just opened close by, I could be in trouble. I shop there like my wife shops at Michaels.
post #17 of 159
i try not to think about those expenses. it has to be over $1,000....and still shopping biggrin.gif in my experence, a few extra dollars spent buying the right tool for the job will save hours of anger and frustration.
post #18 of 159
Like the OP, I had most of the tools I needed for the theater build before hand, but one thing I "borrowed" is a self leveling laser level (it's actually my wife's). That thing has made my life so much easier! I've used it for laying out furring strips for my hat channel, then I used it for laying out clips for my hat channel, now I'm using it for building my soffits, and I'm already planning to use it for my riser and stage. It really makes the job a lot easier when you are working alone, and even with help I would imagine it's extremely handy! The self leveling part is what makes it so handy. I can put a mark on a wall, the ceiling, or the floor, put the laser on it, and I know it's level and plumb. It will put a line on three walls in my room.

Next in line with the laser level would be the framing nailer! Much faster than driving nails!

However, I will go against the popular vote on the impact driver, though. I have a Ridgid impact driver, that I use very rarely. I've found that it's great for driving lag bolts, and that sort of thing, but driving anything up to a 4" drywall screw, it's much faster for me to use a standard cordless. Maybe it's just my impact, but it switches from regular drive to impact pretty quickly, and that makes it slower for driving a screw. Not really a big deal unless you have lots of screws to drive, or you're working over head. Now I'm a pretty big guy, so maybe part of the difference is the amount of force I put behind the drill keeps me from stripping out the screw head, I don't know. But if I had it to do over again, I might have skipped the impact for something else.
post #19 of 159
You are born with the most important tool ... your hands tongue.gif
post #20 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I was thinking a normal tape style that just remembers your measurements with a save button.

How come this does not exist ?

They do exist , or at least did exist. Had a friends wife give me one several years ago , had a little lcd display to show last measurement and a clear button. I can't remember the manufacturer , but it was a cheap P.O.S. , she meant well but knew nothing about quality tools . If you have trouble remembering your measurement , or have several to remember before cutting , a sharpie and the back of your hand or arm are great for notes,and you'll never loose that notepad ( knock on wood) .Hand cleaner or alcohol will take off sharpie .
post #21 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by acras13 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I was thinking a normal tape style that just remembers your measurements with a save button.

How come this does not exist ?

They do exist , or at least did exist. Had a friends wife give me one several years ago , had a little lcd display to show last measurement and a clear button. I can't remember the manufacturer , but it was a cheap P.O.S. , she meant well but knew nothing about quality tools . If you have trouble remembering your measurement , or have several to remember before cutting , a sharpie and the back of your hand or arm are great for notes,and you'll never loose that notepad ( knock on wood) .Hand cleaner or alcohol will take off sharpie .
I actually prefer my Palm Pilot for remembering things like that. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
post #22 of 159
Thread Starter 
Lol^

I do that.
post #23 of 159
Framing Nailer for certain. I helped my dad build his first barn the old fashioned way when I was younger, pretty sure I know how a major league pitcher feels after a game... Considering I am not making millions like them, I will use the power of air.....
post #24 of 159
Thread Starter 
Cute dog in your profile pic ^
post #25 of 159
I came from an apartment and didn't even own a hammer... so this will be a fairly comprehensive list...

These prices reflect a hodgepodge of new and used, and the lower to mid tier level of quality for each item you could buy in this price range.

1 - Hammer $15
2 - Framing nailer $300
3 - Air compressor $150
4 - Trim Nailer $180
5 - Pneumatic stapler $100
6 - Shop Vac $75
7 - Reciprocating saw $175
8 - Miter saw $150
9 - Drill $40
10 - Stud finder $15
11 - Voltage tester $10
12 - Table Saw $250
13 - Jigsaw $100
14 - 12 & 6 inch knifes $25
15 - Utility knife $5
16 - Electrical wire cutter/splitter $20
17 - Cat 6 wire cutter/splitter $20
18 - Utility scissors $15
19 - Tool belt $20
20 - Knee Pads $15
21 - Safety Glasses $20
22 - Caulking gun $7
23 - Pipe cutter $35
24 - Saw horses $50
25 - Clamps $75
26 - Toolbox $30
27 - Drill bits $40
28 - Rachet set $75
29 - Laser level $20
30 - Router $175
31 - Router bits $70
32 - T-Square $25
33 - 45 Degree angle $25
34 - Level $30
35 - Snap chalk line $15
36 - Ram set $70
37 - Construction lights $50
38 - Extension cords $50
39 - Paint brushes $20
40 - Paint rollers $20
41 - Paint tray $7
42 - Sander $50
43 - Hearing protection $20

The goggles and hearing muffs are probably the most important items here if you want to enjoy your theater after using the nailers. ^_^

There's probably other stuff, but I gotta get back to work… ^_^
Edited by chirpie - 7/16/13 at 10:26am
post #26 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post



Shop Vac (I should have already had one) $50

If a person never does a lick of construction, they should still own one anyway. It's too useful! Way better than spending a buck in quarters at the car wash. Heck, I refuse to buy a leaf blower because I can just roll down the driveway and sidewalk with it in the reverse airflow direction and it works just fine! And sometimes you spill something in the house and you don't want your pansy indoor vacuum cleaner to handle it, so you just trot out the big boy instead. ^_^
post #27 of 159
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1382233/redskinema-nearing-completion/60

theres some pics on there of some of the tools I bought. I think you guys already had a better start then I did. I never built anything like this before so I bought everything from table saws to miter saws to a half dozen different nail guns and staplers, compressors, paint sprayers, etc.

I spent thousands on tools. But I look at it that I showed local builders my theater design and they said 100k minimum to do it. SO I figured a couple thousand in tools is a better route and now I have them for other projects in the house.
post #28 of 159
The theater build added:

a $30 Harbor Freight right angle tight quarter drill.
a drywall lift
a 4' angle grinder (and a 12" metal chop saw, since that grinder was so useful. )
a Dewalt Track Saw (and displaced a table saw)

The rest of the basement added a Harbor Freight jack hammer
and a concrete chain saw to cut an egress window.
post #29 of 159
So far, Zero. We bought a lot of tools for previous jobs, and I borrowed a couple of tools.
I did upgrade my drill/impact driver last year, but that was before I started my theater project.
post #30 of 159
I think I'm at about $2k - $3k
I like buying tools though

Most expensive was ~$700 for a miter saw
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