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post #1 of 60 Old 11-28-2017, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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"Third Arm" Tools

In my limited home renovation experienceI've come across a few tools that made me go, "Whoa, how did I even function without this??!!". Please feel free to share the life-changing tools that make your life worth living. Here are mine:

1) Cheap Harbor freight ear muffs

It's like BOSE noise cancelling headphones: You don't realize how fatiguing an airplane's background noise is until it is cancelled. I never fly without mine. Similarly ear muffs make noisy work much more manageable. Sawing sheets of plywood and especially working with an air powered nail gun. It turned a barely tolerable process into a positively fun one. If you want to have your ears destroyed leave that to your HT sound system. By the way a benefit of the BOSE is that you can watch those in flight movies and actually hear what they are saying.

2) Bosch PS21 Pocket driver

After years of stripping screw heads with regular drills and cordless screwdrivers, a friend recommended the Bosch PS41 impact driver to me. I scoffed at the puny thing until he demonstrated it. It is awesome! I bought the Bosch PS21 by mistake but it has worked fantastically. Get the Bosch CLPK27 that comes with both of them.

3) Dewalt DW511 hammer drill

The DW511 was fostered onto me by a craiglist seller who was flogging a table saw. I reluctantly agreed to take it for $10. After all what did I need another drill for?? Serendipity.. It's like a Ford F350 to other drills' tiny Rangers. It has incredible torque and make a meal of jobs other tools, even the amazing Bosch PS21, struggle with. Through away your weedy drill and get a REAL one! P.S. keep in mind the length of the drill. I had to shave off about a 1/4 inch off the back end of the drill in order to fit it between some narrowly spaced joists.

4) Irwin Speedbor drill bit

This is a bit I am in total awe of, but at the same time incredibly terrified of. It drills through wood like butter. One slip and it will turn you into minced meat! The only catch catches are that it needs a beefy drill like the DW511. Which means that in the very rare instance that it seizes, it can nastily torque your wrist. I drilled about 200 holes though joists in one evening in order to run MC cables. Couldn't have done so without this bit.


5) Hammerhead HLCL01

A laser level that works as it should is priceless. I've never had great experiences with laser levels until this one. Everything is so much easier with a good laser level!


6) Dyson DC41 Animal

No, don't use your dyson for home renovation work. Under an extreme deadline with one project, and frustration with a compact Craftsman wet\dry vac that lost suction within a few seconds of being cleaned, i grabbed the Dyson. Poor thing never signed up for this work. It is a champ at sucking up dust. It keeps asking me when it can retire and get a deep detail clean. "Just one more day. I promise!!"


Honorable mentions:

An old Matika right angle drill to get into those nooks and crannies.
Miter saw - if you are framing without one you are wasting your time

Please share the essential tools that are now part of your family tree!

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post #2 of 60 Old 11-28-2017, 07:39 PM
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bosch laser plumb bob

transfer everything you built in the ceiling to the floor, drywall, mark ceiling from the floor marks and start cutting in your speakers, lights etc.

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post #3 of 60 Old 11-28-2017, 07:41 PM
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my Bosch Daredevil drill bits will run circles around those Irwin bits and I've used the Irwins. These auger nosed bits are fast out of the gate and the auger literally pulls the bit through the wood so fast you will ask "what happened?"

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post #4 of 60 Old 11-28-2017, 08:00 PM
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post #5 of 60 Old 11-28-2017, 08:05 PM
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If you aren't using a powerful impact driver to put in your screws you aren't ready for the big jobs, and if you haven't found the screws with the star drive system you aren't serious.




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post #6 of 60 Old 11-28-2017, 08:21 PM
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Bosch GLM10 laser measuring "tape".

They had them at Lowes near the check out for $25 if I recall. The GLM 10 measures up to 35' but is super easy to use since it only has one button. Picked up thinking I would use it once or twice. Used it hundreds if not thousands of times when planning (measuring the space) and building my HT.

Drywall lift

A local tool company/retailer sells their own branded ones new for less than $200 CDN. I drywalled my entire basement myself including the HT (double drywall on the ceiling) with the lift then sold it for $100 on Kijiji


Dremel Multi Max 45

used it a ton to cut holes in drywall, wood cuts in tight spots, delicate wood cuts
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post #7 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
If you aren't using a powerful impact driver to put in your screws you aren't ready for the big jobs, and if you haven't found the screws with the star drive system you aren't serious.

That laser plumb looks awesome. Just what I need! The star system is a godsend. The only thing I'd say is that my DeWalt hammer drill drives in screws five times faster than my Bosch driver, and with a fraction of the effort. The only problem is it is so fast it can drive screws right through the stud if you are not delicate on the trigger. Your impact driver is probably a lot more powerful than my Bosch.

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post #8 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 06:01 AM
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I've probably owned 5-6 jigsaws in my life. This is the only one worth a damn. It can cut the edge on a two inch thick rounded front stage without complaining. Get the precision blades from Bosch. Thicker and won't bend.

BOSCH

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post #9 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 06:21 AM
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I'm starting to really like these "man-tool" pages! There's hope for me yet lol (even though my build is over). I'm sure I can find additional projects to start...or tear up which will then cause me to fix

We put my trim carpenter's Makita impact driver through the ringer a few weeks ago when drilling through the 3 layers OSB decking for stage and riser and caused it to break. I remember him talking about it's the brushless kind. Back to the hardware store he went for warranty/exchange lol
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post #10 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 10:14 AM
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I need to start buying Bosch shares! I throw my work/HT build clothes in a Bosch Washer. yes that is a stretch but its true.
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post #11 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Are there any decent drywall carrying tools? I was all set on a gorilla gripper but I am now leaning towards the Stanley panel carry after watching a comparison review on youtube.
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post #12 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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For me... im kind of a cordless/power tool whore though, to be honest.

1. Good cordless drill and impact drivers. Easy peasy.

1. A good miter saw and circular saw. I've gone from my Bosch 5412L to the new Milwaukee 10" cordless and I love it. I have a 12" Bosch DB Glide I haven't even taken out of the box, the cordless has been so good.

2. Oneida Dust Deputy. Keeps your shop vac from clogging and makes collecting fine dust MUCH easier and cleaner. Pays for itself in filters the first year you have it.

3. Cordless blower. Use mine ALL THE TIME for blowing stuff off, drying things, etc.

4. Laser distance measure, as has been mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EC View Post
Bosch GLM10 laser measuring "tape".

They had them at Lowes near the check out for $25 if I recall. The GLM 10 measures up to 35' but is super easy to use since it only has one button. Picked up thinking I would use it once or twice. Used it hundreds if not thousands of times when planning (measuring the space) and building my HT.
Absolutely... I love mine. I've done a lot of measurements recently where a tape measure would have been nearly impossible to use, required 2 people, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
If you aren't using a powerful impact driver to put in your screws you aren't ready for the big jobs, and if you haven't found the screws with the star drive system you aren't serious.
Unless you are using the (somewhat superior) square drive (Robinson) system.

I use mostly T25 because that's what our local stores carry the best selection in... but it's great using a square drive screw where it hangs onto the bit for dear life for easy one-handed screwing.

I have several 1/4" impacts, as well as the Milwaukee 2767 1/2" impact. I'd still rather use a powerful drill/driver for putting in quantities of screws. The impact drivers make a ton of noise and drive slower. I used to use my 36V Bosch drill for driving EVERYTHING until I got out of Bosch.

The 2767 is a beast though. I use it for driving in Spax 1/2" structural lag screws and crazy things I never would have imagined driving. A lot of the work I do is on my barn and house, and with a lot of oak 8x8 and 10x10 structural components, you get used to working with the big stuff.
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post #13 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
Are there any decent drywall carrying tools? I was all set on a gorilla gripper but I am now leaning towards the Stanley panel carry after watching a comparison review on youtube.
I find the cheap $7 ones at the hardware store work just as well, and they are easier on your body as you can lift it up with your arm to your side.

Any quantity of drywall, especially 12' sheets, I've found it's easier on my body to have them delivered. I think it's $2.50 a sheet to go up stairs and put them in a second floor is worth it if you have a lot of sheets to get inside and don't want to die
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post #14 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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2. Oneida Dust Deputy. Keeps your shop vac from clogging and makes collecting fine dust MUCH easier and cleaner. Pays for itself in filters the first year you have it.
Nice. I've put together a $20 clone from Amazon but not yet tested it with my wheezy shop vac.
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post #15 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 12:02 PM
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Nice. I've put together a $20 clone from Amazon but not yet tested it with my wheezy shop vac.
The Ridgid 6.5HP is on sale right now at HD for $99... I bought one but haven't unboxed it/swapped it out yet. The Shop Vacs I see rated for 6.5HP peak are all ~150CFM... the Ridgid is 200. Just a thought if you need a powerful vac.
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post #16 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 12:31 PM
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post #17 of 60 Old 11-29-2017, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Helper
Nice... Hammer, lol! I'd be glad to have her assistance, if she can pass OSHA.
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And the nominations for "Tool Of The Month" go to..

LED headlamps. I tried a number of work lights but a good headlamp beats them all when working in most low light situations. I need to set up a monthly subscription for them.

Drywall carrier: As @ishiboo mentioned, these are available at the big box stores but I never noticed them. It made carrying drywall so much easier, which is a good thing considering the warranty on my back has expired.

Klein Tools K1412 Kurve Dual NM Cable Stripper/Cutter. I thought it would end up stripping the live\neutral wire jackets but it does a great job of cutting just the out jacket. Makes stripping romex a cinch! They make a 'glow in the dark' version.

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Harbor Freight's cheapie 4" angle grinder. It amazes how much home theater related use this thing sees.

Harbor Freight's right angle drill. Another inexpensive tool that is useful.

DeWalt Track Saw with 4' and 8' tracks. So useful, I sold my radial arm saw.

Folding metal saw horses.

folding mitre saw stand.
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post #20 of 60 Old 03-25-2018, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
And the nominations for "Tool Of The Month".



Drywall carrier: As @ishiboo mentioned, these are available at the big box stores but I never noticed them. It made carrying drywall so much easier, which is a good thing considering the warranty on my back




We used a pair of the drywall carriers tied together with rope and an added stopper at the front to carry 5/8” down the steep stairs in out Bilco door. The stop was just plywood to prevent the drywall sliding forward that was screwed to the plastic, worked better than I hoped.


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post #21 of 60 Old 03-25-2018, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
my Bosch Daredevil drill bits will run circles around those Irwin bits and I've used the Irwins. These auger nosed bits are fast out of the gate and the auger literally pulls the bit through the wood so fast you will ask "what happened?"

Can't recommend these highly enough. Our builder let us run our own low-voltage cables, and these drill bits worked out fantastically for drilling holes through the 2x4s with my impact driver. They looked much better than the ones the electricians drilled for all the power cable runs, and the whole process was super fast.

After doing about half of them, I realized that I could get a really smooth hole by drilling just to the point of the tip coming through the back of the 2x4 and then pulling the drill out and finishing it from the back. No splitting or rough edges.

As a bonus, there were barely an instances of the bits seizing and thereby jolting wrists.

Scott
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post #22 of 60 Old 03-25-2018, 10:44 AM
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I'm also going to mention the 4-1/2" circular saw. It's the perfect size for going through 2x4s, and it's small size and weight make it easy to maneuver into small areas, or just grab to do a fast cut.

Scott
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post #23 of 60 Old 03-25-2018, 10:56 AM
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Rotozip with drywall bit for cutting out holes in the drywall after it's hung. This was so easy.. little dusty, but very quick.
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Drywall lift is by far the most useful tool I've used in the theater so far. I couldn't have done the ceiling alone without it.

Picked mine up on Amazon for like 139 bux and when I'm done ill sell it for half of that back.

I like the Bosch laser I picked up too, but it was kind of expensive.
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post #25 of 60 Old 03-26-2018, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
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As I predicted, this thread has been a huge help to me. I have bought and used most of the tools recommended. Thanks all and keep them coming!
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Pull out meter for measurements. 3, 5 and 8 meters.
Pen and marker (thick).
Head lamp, extra rechargeable batteries (one set in use, on in the charger).
Using Duracell charger and batteries.
Cutting knife for wallpaper etc.
Spirit level, 2 sizes.
2 battery drills, one with drill bit for holes, one with screwdriver bits.
So you do not have to change attachments during use.

2 table saws, one miter the other table saw.

Electric stapler gun. Those fabric panels and walls covers...
Kompressor 5-10 liters, with nail gun attachment. Using mostly 40mm nails.

A good shopvac which also can handle water is crucial.
There will be a LOT of dust and trying to use a normal vacuum cleaner will kill it.
Extra bags and filters.

A bundle of microfiber cloths.

"If everything is under control you are just not driving fast enough"

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For sure one of the most impressive and useful tools I own is my Bosch 11255VSR SDS-plus BULLDOG Xtreme Rotary Hammer. While it's not a tool you use all the time, when I do it's pure fking magic. Have used it to drill anchors for my Shed framing, for the anchors on my car lift, and most recently on the framing for the basement / theater build. I also used it to chisel out concrete that was allowed to get into the drain rough in for the basement bathroom, and to secure all of my subflooring.

It's just automatic. Pull the trigger and it just goes to work, no extra effort required. It actually works BETTER if you don't push hard. It's handled everything from 5/32" bit I needed for the flooring, all the way to 7/8" for the car lift anchors. HIGHLY recommended. It's also pretty aggressive on timbers and thick wood if you're doing like, lag screws or something:





Also - to echo others - my honorable mention, is my Bosch Oscillating Multi-Tool - MX30E. Been VERY happy with this, especially with installing doors and trim work.

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post #28 of 60 Old 03-26-2018, 01:48 PM
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sometimes old school is better than the new stuff. Working on a project that defied my electronic stud finer. A magnet based tool did the trick. Batteries never run out. It assumes who ever hung the walls knew where the studs/furring were in the walls and that is where he placed the screws.

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post #29 of 60 Old 03-26-2018, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
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Electric stapler gun. Those fabric panels and walls covers...
pneumatic upholstery stapler all the way. Between the insulation I just put up and the acoustic treatments I did in the last theater, I have run around 15,000 staples through this thing. WAY more efficient and effective than my old electric one that jammed up a lot, didn't have the right amount of force for anything more than a quarter inch staple, and wasn't as fast to fire and add staples. And I would be having surgery for carpel tunnel or something if I had tried to do it all with a manual stapler..

If you have a compressor, it's a must have tool IMHO.

And speaking of pneumatic tools in your toolbox, a 23 ga pin nailer is an awesome tool for doing trim of any kind. It doesn't replace a regular 18 or 16 ga nailer, but you can fire in 3/4-1" pins that leave a hole small enough to not need to be filled. Just paint over it and it disappears. Perfect for delicate trim, tacking crown molding pieces together, and anything wood that needs just a quick little something to hold it together while the glue dries.

Although I have a pretty extensive set of power tools, I have been growing my collection of DeWalt cordless tools lately. It is so convenient when you don't need to plug in. The circular saw got some miles this weekend in the theater, the jigsaw is every bit as good as my bosch jigsaw, the drill and impact driver of course are a "must have" for ANY tool kit, and the sawsall and even the light and angle drill have seen some use while prewiring the house and building the theater.
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post #30 of 60 Old 03-26-2018, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
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It assumes who ever hung the walls knew where the studs/furring were in the walls and that is where he placed the screws.

That would be funny if you found a "stud" that was just a row of screws that went into nothing.
Great tread that I am sending my wife for birthday/Christmas presents!

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