Your best friend in the shop #1: What is the one thing you use all the time and couldn't live without?

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Blog entry by Keen1 posted 12-05-2007 09:48 PM 6207 reads 0 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I heard a carpenter say one time that caulk was a painter’s best friend. I’m not sure a painter couldn’t have said the same thing about this particular carpenter (The painter was covering up all his mistakes). So what would you consider your best friend in the shop.

As most of you know, I’m a weekend lumberjock and I’d have to say my Bessey UniKlamps have proven to be a good friend thus far. Don’t know yet about best friend status. That would still go to my cordless drill as I use it for everything else around the house. I feel like I just need to carry it with me everywhere.

But back to the shop specifically….what is your best friend?

-- Dad to 5, Son of The One

32 comments so far

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3928 days

#1 posted 12-05-2007 10:25 PM

I’d be lost without my digital vernier caliper gauge [and was lost without it when the first one I’d bought went ‘haywire’]. eBay came up with a replacement for a very reasonable price.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4092 days

#2 posted 12-05-2007 10:51 PM

I don’t know if it’s my best friend or not, but I find myself reaching for my combination square every time I work on a project. I also feel warm and cuddly when I get near my cordless drill too :-))

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Keen1's profile


103 posts in 3873 days

#3 posted 12-05-2007 11:25 PM

I almost listed my square, it’s close between that and the Uniklamps.

Cajun you aren’t excited about LSU are you?

-- Dad to 5, Son of The One

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4017 days

#4 posted 12-06-2007 12:25 AM

My lab coat, gloves and goggles. Without them I’d just get all messy.

Actually, my best “friend” is my Chocolate Lab. We enjoy making piles of sawdust together and then tracking it into the house to show the wife our newest project. And then sometimes he’s a PIA. Like the time I was making chair rungs and came up one short…I looked all over for it…He was over in the corner chewing on it. Seems he pilfered it off the bench, or maybe it hit the floor. I dunno. But he loves maple.

Tool wise…I always have my 12’ tape measure on my pocket, so I would say that is it.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4063 days

#5 posted 12-06-2007 12:38 AM

My best friend is a dead blow hammer.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4337 days

#6 posted 12-06-2007 01:09 AM

I’d have to say my dust collector and other safety gear. Without it woodworking wouldn’t be as enjoyable if I had sawdust in my face and lungs and eyes. Without my ear muffs I wouldn’t be able to hear the birds singing outside inbetween cuts, either.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4119 days

#7 posted 12-06-2007 01:16 AM

Tom, for some reason that doesn’t surprise me ;-)

I couldn’t live without my Irwin quick release clamps. And I just bought some of the Xtra strength ones yesterday which is very exciting to me. I need to see a shrink I think.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4023 days

#8 posted 12-06-2007 01:51 AM

double bevel marking knife, 4” and 6” squares, a 16’ tape, my chisels and saws, a carvers mallet are some of my favorites – couldn’t join without ‘em! Leaving so much to the wayside – there are so many other hand and power tools that are just so dang necessary that it’s hard to leave anything off the list!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4092 days

#9 posted 12-06-2007 01:57 AM

Keen1 I am absolutely excited about my LSU Tigers. As an avid football fan, and living in Louisiana with the New Orleans Saints representing our honor – I have suffered many, many disappointing years – in fact I’ve been a fan of the Saints since 1967, when they were announced – and out of all those years, I may have had 4 or 5 that I could hold my head up high. And now we have our Tigers – I think that they will be winners (not necessarily Champs) for many years to come. They are a solid club with long reaching recruiting arms :-)) Geaux Tigers!!!

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#10 posted 12-06-2007 02:05 AM

I use a digital Caliper a lot, but I’ve also got a cheap plastic Harbor Freight ones, cost 1.99 and they are accurate to 1/128 of an inch. I keep them on the table saw and planer and jointer and lumber rack to do a quick check of lumber thickness. I must have 10 around the shop. I bought 3 more last Monday because I’m spending too much time looking for one. they move around the shop. I also have 15 12’ tapes. I bought 6 more on Monday for 1.00 each. I keep them stashed on the lumber rack, trojan horse, work bench, table saw. I just make sure that they all measure the same or they are trash. I can’t measure the hole with one rules and cut with a different ruler and end up with different sizes. Won’t do. So all tapes must show the same measurement both inside and outside maesurements.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4341 days

#11 posted 12-06-2007 02:15 AM

My 6 inch diagonal pliers. I’m always pulling nails and staples when fixing my mess ups.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3907 days

#12 posted 12-06-2007 02:30 AM

well im always the oddball but my best friend is whoever my current costomer happens to be !! lol right behind that would be my current helper, then i have a couple tools im fond of . my latest gadget that i got that i thought was pretty cool is a bobs rule tape measure. for those that never heard of this ,it is a measureing system someone came up with for woodworking . its kind of a cross between metric ans our standard system i think you could find it at bobs rule .com

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 3960 days

#13 posted 12-06-2007 02:44 AM

At work I bend a lot of conduit and i couldnt live without my tape measure. At home in the shop my best friend is my 3’ metal ruler,(yard stick) I measure everything i do with it, from board thickness to the gap between the fence and the blade or router bit.

-- bryano

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 4103 days

#14 posted 12-06-2007 02:57 AM


I’ve never hear of the bobs rule before. The more I look at the web site the more I like the idea of this measurement system. I think I’m going to have to order quite a few of their products.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3907 days

#15 posted 12-06-2007 03:07 AM

yes sir iowawoodcrafter i got a tape for myself and one for my helper and i like the system also it works well for measuring and building but if you have to follow measurements off something like a blueprint it wont help you

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