Workbench/Tool Box Set-ups - Page 2 - The Combine Forum
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 09:27 PM
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After you build your pole shed, you will have enough scrap lumber around to build work bench’s.

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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We've got a pile of the cheap tools spread between all the cabs of our equipment and our barns, so no shortage of cheap tools to modify or risk losing while working under the air drill in the field. I'm thinking more of setting up decent a quality chest with some nicer tools that will always stay in the shop. I've helped my friend who is an auto-mechanic and is practically allergic to anything that's not Snap-On and I can definitely appreciate the higher quality tools, hence why I'd like to get a set of nicer stuff to work with all winter. I've yet to meet someone who says they have enough tools so I know we'd add the smaller/less used stuff as we go. But I'm more concerned about doing a halfway job of setting up a new shop just to save on tools, I'd rather set it up once with a nice bench/box/essential tools from the start and go from there.


"Though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine. Though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren. Though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns lie empty. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 09:54 PM
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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...

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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.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 09:55 PM
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Carriage before the horse? I wouldn't worry about Snap on before you have a decent building.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 09:59 PM
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I started with wood workbenches with a shelf under and then ended up upgrading to about 40ft of these https://mctavishsteelworks.com I really like them and i have a lot of tools stored in them as well as well as parts. Currently I have multiple people using the same tools, which works good now, however with the stationary workbench we are constantly walking back and forth to get tools. Ideally to have a rolling toolbox and move it close to your work is preferential, that system works best if every employee/mechanic has their own, everyone has their own way of doing it.

I would spend very little money on snap on/mac tools, unless your wrenching 8 hours a day everyday some normal affordable tools will work just fine. Princess auto and Cdn tire are not the same, they both have very good warranty and are easily replaceable but I find mastercraft to be decent middle of the road tools, propoint/powerfist is absolute crap.

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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Carriage before the horse? I wouldn't worry about Snap on before you have a decent building.
Not flagging down the Snap-On truck anytime soon, we've got a good idea on the building costs and I have a good ballpark figure on a basic set of mid-high range everyday tools. I'm more looking for input on some of the extras and how to best set-up the work space so we can figure out what we would want to do right away when it's easiest and what could wait a bit. Ie: Do I keep the Mastercraft chest and put money into a schnazzy steel workbench or upgrade to a big rolling chest and just build a small homemade bench or maybe someone has a better cheaper set-up?

"Though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine. Though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren. Though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns lie empty. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17-18

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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 10:44 PM
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Granted we've had our tools for quite a long time, but open our tool box and you'll find all Craftsman wrenches and sockets. Nothing fancy. Don't buy the Craftsman of today though, it's all junk. Have started getting a few other brands now with metric tools and some of the bigger sockets for misc jobs. I won't buy Snap-on. I think it's overpriced for a farm shop. But for a guy that wrenches for a living, I think they are almost a must for all the well used tools. Don't need a Snap-On toolbox though. Those are way overpriced. Lots of other good brands out there.

We have a couple smaller bottle jacks, one air bottle jack used for jacking up the sprayer for tire swap. Has also been use to jack up the semi trailer to do a brake job as well as removing tires from the combine. Air bottle jack is so quick and nice in the shop. Also have a couple widow making handyman jacks laying around.

I think I'd buy one of those little rolling toolboxes you can sit on. Big enough to have a few tools for the job and a place to sit without kneeling on the concrete.

We only have a Quonset with a small welding table with a vice on it. The workbenches are just full of junk. I'm planning to build a shop and no way will I let it stay as messing as my dad and grandpa have. Frustrates me so much. Just staying organized is the biggest thing. You can have a stationary toolbox but be disciplined about putting tools back after a job is done. So easy to leave them in a floor pile and run in the busy season.
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 10:11 AM
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I put a couple small fixed work tops in the shop for something I can sit down and work on like an alternator. A large rolling tool box that sits against the wall and will forever stay there. There are other fixed tool storage places around also like old filing cabinets. Most of my work is done on a rolling bench with a couple of 15 drawer boxes hanging under the top to house the basic imperial and metric tools (sockets, wrenches, punches, chisels, screwdrivers, etc), vice. Anything else I walk across the shop for. The thinking is I can have the basic tools and a table top where ever I am working, and with 10" rubber tires it means it can be outside also. Did the same thing with the mig welder setup. I figured this made the most sense and the more distance you may be from the equipment to your proposed work bench/tool storage location then the more likely you are to have portability. Yes, I still walk often for other tools but a flat place to lay parts/tools while working on equipment is very nice.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 12:45 PM
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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.

What he said. You simply can't make a bench too heavy. The best one I ever built was 2x4 laminated edgewise together and then planked on top with 2" lumber. That SOB was solid and heavy. I'm sure you could do something in steel but its hard to beat a really solid wooden top.



I've got a 2 post hoist in my current shop and its worth its weight in gold. Hardly a week goes by that it doesn't get used and when its idle in the winter I put a car on it so that I can park underneath it. The only mistake I made on the installation was that I didn't make it wide enough for a 102" trailer. Mine is 100" so it looks like a trailer will fit but it won't. It would be trivial to make one wider so if you're putting one in make sure its 103" at least between the posts.


As far as tools go I've got some Snap On, some Craftsman, some Ukrainian Tire and some Princess Auto. Its more about the guy pulling the wrench than about the wrench. I put a very limited selection on the wall - stuff that I use all the time - pliers, dikes, crimpers, basic screw driver set, air ratchet, impact wrenches. The rest goes in a rolling chest.

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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 02:09 PM
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When we moved into our new shop a year ago we set up a couple heavy steel work benches(from uncleweiner.com, not as risky of click as it seems) with metal pegboard from princess auto to put wrenches and sockets in the open. But I’ve already become annoyed with walking for tools, cause even if I load up a rolling cart with everything I think I need I always end up forgetting something and it seems like such a waste of time even if it’s just walking around a combine little own 80’ across the building. So we are considering a Milwaukee rolling bench, which are fairly reasonably priced for what they are imo, they are sold at Home Depot.

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