View Full Version : What is the tool you value the most?

17th Feb 2011, 03:34 AM
Outside of the obvious, lathe, basic chisels, drill press, table or band saw, what is the tool that really makes your shop seem complete? I am fairly new to turning. I had or purchased a mini-lathe, drill press, table saw, good manual miter box and saw, some clamps, a grinder, chisels, and supplies for pen turning, glues, finishes.

What tool do you use that you just can't seem to live without?


Robert Cox in New Mexico, USA

17th Feb 2011, 07:59 AM
A pencil.

Tony Morton
17th Feb 2011, 08:04 AM
two toolsalways close at hand on the lathe tube superglue and stick of chalk.

Cheers Tony

17th Feb 2011, 08:26 AM
What tool do you use that you just can't seem to live without?

My beer fridge.:D

17th Feb 2011, 08:28 AM
150mm steel rule

17th Feb 2011, 08:40 AM
My brain.

Allan at Wallan
17th Feb 2011, 09:52 AM
A pencil.

So you can "get to the point" :D


17th Feb 2011, 10:12 AM
Hi All,
Well, I'm a bit like .
I have used the "Artline 200, 0.4 Black Feltip Pens " since 1983.
I sign, date, & write timber used, on almost everything I make, & it only wears off.
I'm proud of what I can achieve.
Nearly always have 2 in my pocket, & can't seem do be without them.

robo hippy
17th Feb 2011, 10:28 AM
Centralized dust collector with a cyclone.

robo hippy

17th Feb 2011, 11:38 AM
centralized dust collector with a cyclone.


Manuka Jock
17th Feb 2011, 12:19 PM
cuppa tea

17th Feb 2011, 12:20 PM
cuppa teaSecond that with an addition, someone to make it.:D

Ed Reiss
17th Feb 2011, 12:53 PM
Robert, a well tuned bandsaw should be at the top of the list - ripping, crosscut, resaw, and a host of other op's can be done on one.
Second a chain saw should be right up there for harvesting blanks.

that's my 2 cents worth.

joe greiner
17th Feb 2011, 10:20 PM
My brain.
Beat me to it.:-



17th Feb 2011, 11:22 PM
Agree with all of the above, esp the beer fridge!
(although I might have to add the two fermenters that sit on top for the home brew!)

For me it's a lovely hand made square given to me by a mate a few years ago.
It is the most accurate measuring device in the whole shed!

Lost him in a traffic collision a couple of years ago, so it's a bit special

18th Feb 2011, 09:10 AM

18th Feb 2011, 09:23 AM
Thanks to all who have responded. I have a small shop and have the necessary tools. I totally agree with the pencil, sharpie marker and sandpaper. As one who worked for the state and federal governments in Texas for a dozen years, I fear that may have caused brain atrophe, but now that I am back with the electric utility, brain activiey is slowly returning! I appreciate the ideas I get here as I only know of one other turner in my town, and he is idle in his shop due to other time committments.

I turned a couple of pens yesterday, one of black walnut and one of acacia. Two hard woods with totally different characteristics. The walnut had a very tight grain and the acacia is more open and much lighter in color. Both are very interesting. Giving the acacia pen to the Senior Grand Warden of New Mexico Masons tonight when he makes his visit to our lodge.

Thanks again for all the responses. I now feel that my shop is more complete than I had anticipated.

Robert :2tsup:

John Saxton
18th Feb 2011, 10:51 AM
Electricity,I dont have one of those foot pedalled ones:D


18th Feb 2011, 01:38 PM
Vernier calipers, but maybe that's because I'm a bit obsessive about measurements. Otherwise centre finder for all those odd shaped pieces of timber.

18th Feb 2011, 05:50 PM
Good light and a vacuum cleaner.

18th Feb 2011, 06:26 PM
On very hot days I have been known to ponder the merits of a ice cold beer and on that day its the best tool in the shop. :2tsup:

18th Feb 2011, 06:41 PM
A Makita cordless vac - never stop using it, sits on the bench, just to my left.

18th Feb 2011, 08:39 PM
what a stupid question the answer i obviously the radio

19th Feb 2011, 06:29 PM
Oh yes and the fan that is set behind my head and points to the dust extractor.

19th Feb 2011, 09:37 PM
Greetings All

Pepsi Max keeps me going in my shed.... and good wife who does remember to pay the power bill so I can relax in shed..... :U

20th Feb 2011, 10:07 AM
Beat me to it.:-


Lots of good responses here. I was going to add my semi functional medulla oblongata to the list. :D
I'll add multiple configurations of this little gem .


23rd Feb 2011, 08:44 AM
Either you have some unique uses, or you are tougher on your hands than I am! I just use CA glue to stop the bleeding! :U

Actually I have a small vise-grip pliers, very narrow and only about 4" long to do the same types of things.

23rd Feb 2011, 09:24 AM
Have you ever dropped a small thing between the ways of the lathe ?
Mine are magnetic so all I need to do is touch it if it is ferrous metal.
These are also great for sanding inside hollow vessels where
fingers cannot reach. Remember not to put your finger in the hole and hold it in a manner that won't dislocate your finger if it happens to catch.
Lack of imagination is the only limit...
aside from the human hand imagination may be the best tool of all