Jamie Hyneman's Essential Tools
by Jamie Hyneman
If I could have only one welder, it would be MIG. There are times when you have to use a TIG for high-performance welds and a stick welder for coarse work. But MIG is the easiest, fastest way to weld. And the most versatile—you can use it 90 percent of the time.
Steel Square Tubing
This 1-inch tubing makes for easily welded joints and light, stiff structures.
They improve the overall workflow. Dust collectors are the difference between a shop that works powerfully and one that limps along.
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Always have them within easy reach. In our workshop, you're never more than 15 feet away from an extinguisher.
I designed and built these tables to save floor space and increase countertop area in our workshop. The two 1-inch-square steel tubing frames are the same height, but the four-sided inner frame is narrower, so it fits inside the three-sided outer frame. Both tabletops are plywood. The inner top isn't secured to its frame; when the frames nest, it rests on the outer table's top, temporarily secured with wood screws. When expanded, most nesting tables have stepped-down surfaces. With my design, when I slide out the inner table and move its top into place, it's flush with the outer top, doubling the work-surface area.
Words of Wisdom:
• If you cant find it, you can't use it.• Sometimes I buy cheap tools and modify them.
Adam Savage's Essential Tools
by Adam Savage
Portable Band Saw
It's quiet and cuts through steel, aluminum, wood and plastic. I could cook with the thing, I love it so much.
I build everything out of 1-inch Trupan. It's half the weight of typical particleboard and doesn't have any formaldehyde in it.
One of the best tools ever invented. I've got about eight—and one for every toolbox.
It's insanely useful to have one with you at all times. Once you start, you won't be able to do without it. Promise.
I bought a bunch of suitcase-size tool sorters and filled them with every nut and bolt I'll ever need. The cases slide under my workbench, and they're labeled on the side so I can find everything. And I can fit the cases in the back of my truck.
Every off-roader needs a toolkit, but space inside my 1982 diesel Toyota Land Cruiser is tight—and a tailgate-mounted toolbox might attract thieves. So I converted a metal jerrycan commonly found on adventure rigs into an incognito toolbox. On the narrow side, opposite the gas cap, a piano hinge riveted in place connects the halves of the can; a two-piece metal brace holds the top part open. Aluminum sheets divide the interior space and secure smaller items. To further conceal the can's true purpose, I made a tailgate mount with steel supports that hide the seam.
Words of Wisdom:
• There's no shame in starting something but failing to finish.• For the tools you use often, get the good stuff.