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Moving on from hand tools we look at some workshop equipment that will make your life easier and enable to carry out jobs quicker and better. Of course a lot of this boils down to your personal budget and room available.
A work bench will be used every time you work on a component in your garage or work space. Ready built ones are available but are becoming expensive. Consider making your own or use a thick piece of kitchen work top bolted to the top of a couple of old steel cabinets.
If you’ve got a work bench then you can treat yourself to one of these. A bench vice will be used for years and years, over and over again. Go for the biggest you can afford but try for a minimum of a 6 inch model. Two types are available, cast which is cheaper with a rough finish to it and not really suited for pushing in bearings etc. Or steel which is more expensive but stronger. If on a budget go for a cast one and don’t over stress it.
A bench grinder is a brilliant piece of kit for sharpening drill bits, grinding metal, sharpening chisels etc. Fit a wire wheel to one end and turn it into an excellent de ruster. A 6 inch wheel diameter model will suffice although a bigger one will be slightly more versatile but expensive.
An air compressor will transform your workshop. It can be used for blowing out debris, pumping up tyres, powering air tools such as ratchets, grinders, air chisels, drills, die grinders etc. Of course you can use it for paint spraying as well! If you want yours to power air tools then the bigger the better. Check the spec of the one you want and then see what air tools it will power. A large air tank will stop it leaving a bit breathless when using high consumption tools.
A parts washer will make degreasing and cleaning of oily parts a pleasure. Go for the largest you can afford as Land Rover parts tend to be big and heavy. Purpose made washers have a flexible spout to direct a re circulating flow of cleaner. There are many ‘safe and green’ cleaners available although water based ones tend not to be very effective cleaners in my opinion and can go mouldy.
An angle grinder can be essential for cutting off rusted bolts, removing heavy rust and grinding down thick metal. Make sure you use the correct disk for the job in hand. I.e a cutting disk for cutting, a grinding disk for grinding and a sanding disk with a backing plate for sanding etc. These can be dangerous tools so gloves and a full face guard make good sense to use. These are available in 6 inch and a heavier duty 9 inch model.
A suitable Mig welder will enable you to sort out your rusty chassis and bulkhead after a bit of practice! Don’t go for one that uses disposable gas bottle as these will end up costing you a fortune. Instead use the full size BOC or Air Products variety. There are plenty of gas less mig welders about now although I don’t think they produce as good as a result as a gas shielded one. You will be the envy of your friends if you have one of these and will probably end up with a few more.