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  1. #1
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    New work bench suggestions?

    I am looking for suggestions on what tools I should buy to get started and where to get the most bang for my buck??
    I have basic tools around the house and I plan on taking the "buy tools as you need them approach" but I am wondering if there are any wrench sets or tool kits I should buy to get me started? The only things I am certain I have to buy is a bike stand and a pedal wrench. after that I am clueless...

    Are Park Tools really that much better than other brands out on the market? Should I just grab tools from Sears/Lowes instead of buying bike specific tools?

  2. #2
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    Personally, if you don't have any tools, I'd go get a mechanic set from Sears. it comes with most 3/8" drive sockets you'll need for around the house, both english and metric. Most of these also come with a set of allen wrenches, and a magnetic screwdriver handle that will have torx bits for it. After that, I'd watch for the sears day's circular where they put their box end wrenches on sale, get a double set of english and metric. From there, a good set of dykes, some good pliers, and you're good to go. At that point you have the tools you'll need to do minor repairs around the house, on your car, and start with on your bike. From tehre just get specific tools (bike wise) as you need them. Again, this is just my view. I don't see the need in spending a bunch of money on bike specific tools if I can't cross use them with other projects. Try to get the most bang for your buck.

  3. #3
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    don't know much about working around the home, but i know a thing or three about working on bikes. from sears there are some good things to have and some not so good things to have. some things you shuld just plain avoid.

    nice things:

    - plier set

    ok things:

    - craftsman box/open wrenches

    bad things:

    - allen wrenches

    i use pedros allen wrenches, craftsman combination wrenches, wiha screwdrivers and most other tools are by park.

  4. #4
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    Park, Pedros, Performace, Campagnolo, Bicycle Research, Hozan, Shimano, Lifu, Cyclus,Suntour, Kingsbridge, Cyclo Rivoli chain tool (boy am I showing my age!!); etc.all make bike tools, and most are pretty good quality. Many specialty tools are only made by companies like them, NOT made by anyone else. Cone and pedal wrenches are a couple of examples. I don't think you can take a hub aprt without at least the inner cone wrench, at least it makes it a LOT easier to do. Some newer pedals use only allens though, so you can get by without the pedal wrench. BB work is almost impossible to "make do" without the proper tools. Pump pliers are NOT the way to go on enternal BB bearings! Spoke wrenches make truing wheels a LOT easier than a crescent or ignition wrenches. The thing about ANY brand name tool is that it is a lifetime investment, they will pretty much last forever.
    I agree with the guys above. I like and have used Craftsman tools like forever, (made my living with them in the past). I use those sockets, screwdrivers, rachets, allens etc. on my bikes. I did spring for a couple of Campy tools back in like '83 or so, great tools!!
    Good luck with all that!
    Training on Hills Builds Character, That's How I Got To Be One!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for al your help! I built up a shop in my garage this weekend. I bought some plywood and peg board at the lumber yard and built a 64x28 bench. I painted the bench and the peg board white (highly suggest this as it really brightens the workspace). I picked up a bike stand (Park PRS-5) a chain whip, pedal wrench, chain tool from mt LBS. I went to sears and grabbed a set of box wrenches and allen wrenches from sears (the wrenches were on sale for $30 (12 wrenches) and the allens are "ball ends" with rubber T grips for $30. That with what I already had (screwdrivers, rubber mallets, vice grips) have me well on my way! I spent $300 on the bike tools, 65 at sears, and about 100 at the lumber yard. not a bad start in my opinion.

  6. #6
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    here it is
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Nice start.

    The suggestion on hunting around for a Craftsman mechanics set is still a good idea. You might duplicate the $30 you've already spent in combination wrenches, but you'll get pliers, socket wrenches, extra screwdrivers, and all sorts of other useful items that are invaluable for around-the-house, around-the-car, and around-the bike maintenance.

    Oh...and do you want to tell us anything about that keg under the bench?
    Dad is sad.
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  8. #8
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    Nice job. I have every wall in my shop covered in white pegboard. That, with 5 4' florescent light fixtures makes it nice and bright. Now if I could only figure out a way to keep it heated in the winter...

  9. #9
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    believe it or not but heat is my biggest issue as well. I live in MA and it is freezing still at night here when I would be working on the bikes. I have 2 propane heaters but they just don't do the trick below 30. I think I am going to put a wood stove out there this fall since I have an old one I can use.

    the keg is for my camelback

  10. #10
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    yeah, my problem is my other hobby is woodworking. I don't want to take the chance of sawdust sending the shop (which is attached to the house) up in smoke. In philly I usually can work through the winter, though this year it's been pretty cold.

  11. #11
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    put a 4" vice on the corner of the workbench and you will have it made. Get some soft jaws for the vice for when you need to hold something without damaging the finish on it.
    "I've never been better .... nor cared less!"

  12. #12
    Chillin the Most
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    Quote Originally Posted by porkchop
    put a 4" vice on the corner of the workbench and you will have it made. Get some soft jaws for the vice for when you need to hold something without damaging the finish on it.
    I was thinking the same thing. Also might look into a grinder, very handy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris91
    I am looking for suggestions on what tools I should buy to get started and where to get the most bang for my buck??
    I have basic tools around the house and I plan on taking the "buy tools as you need them approach" but I am wondering if there are any wrench sets or tool kits I should buy to get me started? The only things I am certain I have to buy is a bike stand and a pedal wrench. after that I am clueless...

    Are Park Tools really that much better than other brands out on the market? Should I just grab tools from Sears/Lowes instead of buying bike specific tools?
    Here are some suggestions.

    1) the tools you'll need to remove your cassette from your rear wheel. That means a chain tool and a cassette-lockring tool. I like the Park Tool FR-5G because the pilot pin keeps it from slipping.


    2) a chain tool that has a secondary stiff-link-loosening shelf. I like the Park Tool CT-5, both in the shop and on the trail.


    3) it might be nice to have a socket for external crank-bearing cups, such as the Park Tool BBT-19.


    4) If you like to keep your chain really clean, the Park Tool Cyclone chain cleaner combined with Finish Line Citrus Degreaser is pretty darn effective. Definitely use eye protection when messing with that citrus degreaser, and rubber gloves as well... it's pretty intense stuff. After revving the chain through Mr. Cyclone a bit, I dump the dirty citrus degreaser and run a couple of "rinse cycles" with hot sudsy water, then dry the chain (compressed air, rag, paper towels) and re-lube it right afterwards.

    The degreaser can also loosen up grime on your cassette and chainrings, so if desired, you can run the chain through all the gears as part of the process, then scrub the cassette and crankset with hot sudsy water and a stiff brush while you're at it.


    Hope that helps Oh, and Finish Line makes a fantastic set of cleaning brushes: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_147238_-1___ I use these every day at the bike shop, 10/10.

  14. #14
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    I am in the market for a vice. When you say 4" what exactly are you measuring? I have been looking around at the Big Box stores but they seem kinda overpriced. I think I may just have to suck it up and buy one.. Unless anyone has suggestions on a vice?

    Dfess1... Look into a heat source with a 0 clearence There are several Electric, propane, gas options out there. The other thing that would work (but be more expensive) would be a pelet stove. It would be nice to be out in the shop with a mini fire going..

    Mechbgon... Thanks! I have the FR5G already and I have a chain tool on my Crank Bros multi that will have to last me for now as my wife is starting to ask "how much did all this stuff cost". As for the chain I have been using a White Lightning cleaner that bolts right on to their spray can that seems to work really well.

    Thanks for all your help..

  15. #15
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    4" vice is the jaw size. Check your local craigslist, you can usually find one on there. I don't use mine all that often, and being a woodworker, I have more need for the bench space. I have taken mine, and with the help of a plywood base, made it so that I just clamp it to my assembly table when I need it. Otherwise, I'm using my tail vise for wood working which is not really conducive to any metal working.

    I do have a space heater, which works when standing right in front of it. The bigger problem is I need the ambient temp to be at 55 degrees to get glue to set. It takes a while to get everything up to that temp, including the lumber. But my "man cave" being a one car garage, I have pretty much no real estate as it is. Too many tools, and I keep hitting my head on the bikes when I'm trying to get to the bandsaw as it is, I have no room for a bigger heating source.

  16. #16
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    Chris - Don't forget to leave yourself enough room to make it through all your positions on the instruction card on your peg board. That will keep the wife from worrying abouth the cost of the tools so much.

  17. #17
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    all you need now is an old water bottle cage screwed into the side to hold your "barley pops"
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  18. #18
    i also unicycle
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    pedro's opener is a must for a home workshop too. screw/bolt it into the end of a bench leg.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
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