Workbench/Tool Box Set-ups
We have never really had a shop and always had to work on our stuff outside, because of this my dad/grandpa never really invested in tools/toolboxes/etc. Now me and my dad are wanting to do more of the work ourselves to save money as well as be more thorough with our inspections/preventative maintenance. We gutted an old 30x30 wooden grainery and put a new floor and garage door in, this has been a really nice upgrade from the front corner of the quonset but it isn't heated and we can't really bring anything but vehicles and the skidsteer inside. Our plan is to put up a big/basic pole shed for equipment and bale storage in the next few years and then renovate our current 45x70 quonset into a proper heated shop. We've priced out the building/reno costs but what we don't know is the how to set up the shop on the inside. I would like to set ourselves up properly and invest in some higher quality tools (not just the cheap Canadian Tire/Princess Auto specials) as well as a properly set-up/functional workbench and tool box plus any other shop tools.
That leads me to this thread, I've worked in a few shops and seen some different set-ups/systems but I was wondering what you guys use and like? 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?
I'm also open to suggestions on the tools, I'm a little partial to SK and have a full wishlist from their catalog and would likely go that route for the hand tools but I have no idea about everything else. 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?
I know that just like the shop itself, the skies the limit for how much a guy could spend on tools/outfitting a shop. We definitely can't justify or afford going too crazy but if we're going to go through all the work I want to make sure we do it right, and both me and my dad aren't afraid to spend a little extra on quality and things that will make us more productive. We just want to make sure we have an idea of roughly how much the whole package will cost us for our budgeting and planning.
"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