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Essential Body Work Tools

321 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ash00
I'm planning an order from harbor freight soon; I was going to pick up an air cut off (3"), air nibblers, air offset / punch, and auto darkening welding helmet. If I can't find a used MIG welder locally, I will probably buy a refurbished Hobart from harbor freight as well.

I will be fabricating new quarter panels and rocker panels on both sides of the car, and repairing some small holes in the floor and frame rails. Excluding materials, I anticipate spending between $400 and $600 on these tools. I am okay with the cheap air tools, but I want a quality MIG welder.

Based on my application, which I guess is pretty common, can anyone suggest other tools I might need? Please comment if you can suggest an alternative supplier for any of the above tools, or if any of them are a waste.

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I don't have time for a long post at the minute but heres a few suggestions.

First off, don't buy really cheap tools. Most of them suck and will only be a pain in your ass. Especially the welder like you mentioned I don't think 400-600 is going to cut it. Most likley you will barley be able to buy a decent welder with that.

As for tools you will probably want to get a saber saw, dent puller, good body hammer and awl. Also a good power sander, block sander, body file,
grinder, etc (The list could go on forever.)

As for places to shop, I usually only buy snap on, blue point, mac, etc. but a good place for misc. tools at a good price is Northern Tools.

Hope this helps.
Kalle Stauffer
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Re: "Ching-Chong tools anyone?

I agree with getting better tools. Although the smell of Chinese rubber does get me "high", like the time I went to a Harbor Frieght in Texas, I still like better tools cause they work easier for me. O.K., I must confess I did buy a spring compressor tool from Harbor F, but it was kinda a pain in the a$$ to use, it DOES work though... Norm K.
yeah I cringe everytime my friend takes me to HF. I get sick from the cheap-osity of their tools. I have a bad enough time dealing with crapsman tools- but they are good enough for the stuff I do, and cheap enough to afford. I'm on the frequent exchange club- I go through their ratchets monthly. Their internals always go out on me. Im saving for just a set of Snap on ratchets and keeping my crapsman sockets.

As for the welder, I have a Hobart 135 MIG setup, which was by far the best investement I ever made. Its mobile, plugs right into a wall outlet, and along with a GOOD autodarkening (I wouldn't trust HF with my vision), and a shielding tank-- you will be invincible. And you can make a bucks on the side helping neighbors out too :) Check out cyberweld.com for some really good prices on the Hobart. For more, you can get the heavier duty Miller (same as the hobart, but some metal internals meant for everyday journeymen and daily users) for a bit more- but the hobart does the job really well.

HF does have a neat body hammer set which isn't bad for 20 bucks. I mean, I know you really can't mess up cast iron hammers, but the 7-8 piece set will only set you back 20 bucks if you drop them and they explode from being too brittle :)

Now its time to save for a TIG.....
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