Do you have permanent tool storage on the wall by the bench and a small tool cart or do you have a nice big rolling tool chest? What do you recommend for tool boxes? We have a cheap Mastercraft chest, I'd like something a little higher quality but I don't want to take out another mortage to get a Snap-On box. What kind of workbenches do you have, we built our current one out of old 2x6s... do you build another one like that or do we go for a big steel bench? How big of a workbench would you go for? For welding/fabricating do you have everything on carts and tucked away in the corner when not in use or do you make a designated area for metal work? What kind of jacks do you like best? We have a 12 ton bottle jack and a 3 ton floor jack, do we go for a big air powered bottle jack or a bigger heavy-truck floor jack? Is there any kind of moveable hoist set-up that isn't horrendously expensive?
Tools on the wall for me. Easy to find what you need, less cursing because your dad never put it in the correct drawer, or vice versa. My mechanic buddies give me the gears every time they come over, but I prefer it. Mechanics like their big fancy tool boxes because they are the only ones who use tools from them, and they can lock them so the apprentices don't steal/borrow tools. But if you are set on a $8K tool box, go snap on for sure.
Work bench should be heavy as all ****. The harder you can pound the crap out of something with a 5lb mini sledge, the better.... without everything else on the bench bouncing, and the drawers opening up, anyways. 2x4s on end, with a thin sheet of metal on top is an economical option, or build something out of 3/16 angle iron and 1/4 plate. 10' long with a big swiveling vise on one end, and a chain vice on the other (lots of awkward shaped things that need to be restrained on a farm). I've got a 10'x2' that is against the wall, and a 4'x4' that I move around depending on what I'm working on.
I like to have a couple smaller bottle jacks you can throw around easily (8-12 T), and one monster bottle jack to handle the heavy stuff (20T). As far as floor jacks, 3T is fine, anything heavier should be lifted with a bottle jack. I have a 10T floor jack that just collects dust in my shop, and its not small...
My buddy's in construction rant and rave about their Milwaukee power tools, are they that good? Any other brands to consider? What about air tools? We've got a basic Mastercraft set that works but isn't overly powerful. What does a guy all need and what brands would you look at? What are any other must-haves on top of the basic wrenches/ratchets/pliers/screwdrivers/impacts? Any other good tips on how to outfit a shop as practically as possible?
Milwaukee Fuel is worth the money, get the highest amp-hour batteries you feel wont be to bulky. I have Makita cordless collection right now I'm converting to Milwaukee. Don't waste money on mastercraft air or power tools, you wont be happy. CP/ingersol rand/snap-on, all good air tools. That being said. Canadian tire has a place, I spent almost a whole year watching sales flyers and outfitting my shop with the essentials from can tire at a bargain, just don't buy anything unless its on sale. Every screwdriver, wrench, and socket I own is mastercraft, I constantly loose things so maybe that's what I prefer them. other snap on products I like are ratchets, picks, plyers, side cutters, articulating pry bars.