Wilton 1646
Welcome to DIYShopTools.Com

This website is where I will be documenting all of my projects from start to finish. These projects can be just about anything, but the general theme is that they will be making my own specialty shop tools for significantly cheaper than it would cost me to buy them. But I will also have reviews of shop tools that I either can't make myself, or are so cheap to purchase that I'd be dumb to not just buy it. There will also be pages where I explain what tools and components are necessary or that will save you enough time/effort that they're worth buying.

I began looking into how I could build some of these tools, how difficult it would be, and how I could do it as cheaply as possible. And thus my DIY workshop project was born. As of writing this, I have a couple months shy of a year of experience with pretty much all of this (so if you see something that I was able to make and think that you can't do it, you may be right at that time, but you could get there very quickly). Last December I got my first multimeter and my first soldering station, I literally could do none of this, but I started collecting old electronics and appliances and started tearing them apart and making simple circuits from the components. I started to get an idea how it worked and decided that I wanted the ability to make the stuff I want but can't afford. I found many resources online, but nothing as broad and as basic as I was looking for. So I decided that I would try to document my builds and make a website that showed what I did, while including a forum where I can answer any questions directly. This site will always be under construction (though far more at the beginning). This page will provide basic knowledge I think is helpful, my personal experiences and choices, as well as reviews for items I find particularly good - or bad. There's a link to my contact page, as well as a link to my forum. I hope that this site is able to be of some help to some people, or at least a form of entertainment as you watch an idiot fumble his way through projects he has no business undertaking. On the subject of being an idiot, please don't be one. Always use PPE, and never try a project that you feel is above your skill level. We're playing with lethal levels of energy. One mistake is all it takes.

On the flip side, while there are MANY things you can make yourself from basically scrap, there are other things that it's critical that you don't skimp on. In a circuit, any part that needs to deliver a high current must use thick wire capable of doing so. You can somewhat cheat this system like the power companies do if you have a pair of good enough transformers. Use one to step up the voltage, and then deliver that over smaller wire to be stepped back down with the other transformer. It's really only viable if you need to cover a lot of ground and can't run huge wire. Another is analog signals - like speaker wire - where the quality of wire/connections can make a huge difference. Digital signals - like HDMI - barely matter at all. For long distances you may need a repeater, but otherwise a $3 cable will work just as well as a $100 cable.  On the subject of analog signals, meter test leads are an area to absolutely not skimp. You can usually get just as good of results with a surprisingly cheap actual meter as an expensive one - as long as you have proper leads. A personal favorite of mine is Probemaster. For $20 you can get a pair of leads with retractable shielded plugs delivered in a couple days. And if you use a cheap meter (like I do), you'll see a substantial improvement immediately. The metal you use in a circuit is crucial as well. Silver is actually best at 105% copper's conductivity. But for a 5% increase, the $ increase isn't worth it. Plus it tarnishes easily. It needs a great deal of maintenance to keep that increase in performance. Even copper oxidizes, but plating it with a more durable metal can typically fix that. Which is why many connections are gold or nickel plated. I've ended up making many of my own connections because the options that I had available were too inefficient (i.e. brass - it's use as a conductor is a BIG pet peeve of mine. Though it contains 70% copper, it only conducts 28% as well, so if you use just the copper content of the same connection, though it's 30% less metal, it conducts 250% as well), so I'll often make my own copper connection and tin it with solder (as well as an insulator like liquid electrical tape on top of that most times) to protect it. When I'm using VERY amateur circuits in place of professional ones in my tools, I need to squeeze out every bit of efficiency from it or else it will perform so badly that it's not even worth using. But when done correctly, I end up with a circuit that suits my needs every bit as well as a name brand product for pennies on the dollar - or sometimes entirely FREE. Which is such a satisfying feeling. So much so that I created this website to hopefully help others achieve this feeling for themselves.
Why I make my own toolsWhy I make my own tools
June 2019 Brief Update

I stumbled upon a lot of pipe fittings from what seems to be a plumbing supply warehouse that went out of business. I still needed to pick up a handful more fittings for these and a few other builds. I spent about $120 on the lot of pipe fittings and wound up with thousands of them. Including an assortment of fittings that I had no idea even existed - some of which look like they might turn out to be pretty useful in the construction of the burners for my foundry. I will probably end up using pipe for other projects now that may not be the cheapest method or that I otherwise wouldn't have. Because now I have thousands of fittings that are essentially free. They're all unused but some have rust just from sitting. I think this is a good opportunity to try some rust removal methods that I've seen or even use myself. I don't have much rusty metal here in Phoenix, AZ. It's miserably hot in the summers but we rarely have rusted out cars or similar issues. But now I have a quantity of the same items with a similar amount of rust that I can use to test out some rust removal methods. Since my theme behind this website - and even my workshop itself - is to put a workshop together for the lowest possible cost while still having high capabilities. Many machines (like lathes, milling machines, grinders, bandsaws, etc.) are large and expensive. The ones affordable for me are typically quite old and often left in the elements over the years. So adequate rust removal is an important step in building a shop on the cheap.
Monochrome EI Core Transformer - DIYShopTools.com
Used to isolate the circuit you have plugged into it. This can prevent blowing a breaker in your shop, destroying your oscilloscope, or even electrocuting yourself. It's an extremely useful tool in an electronics workshop.
Stick Welder Arc Furnace
This is actually the build that started it all. I really wanted a furnace where I could quickly melt nearly any metal. I also thought it might be handy to have the ability to weld metal parts (though I actually got an Oxyacetylene setup before I finished this). I've seen many of these around the web, and there are plenty that are better built and functionally superior to mine. But what mine offers that those don't is that it actually looks like a welder you might find on the shelf at a hardware store or local welding shop.
Yet another important tool for any shop dealing with electronics. It produces 12v, 5v, and 3.3v. It's built using a 450w ATX power supply that I picked up for $4 at the local thrift shop
Waste Oil Propane Air Oxygen Foundry Burner DIY Project
Like the arc furnace, this is one of the ideas that led me down this rabbit hole of crazy project ideas. My adjustable (0-30psi) propane forced air (also adjustable via a reversed shop vac with speed control knob between it and the outlet) burner. I put this together with almost 0 knowledge on burners/torches/foundries/furnaces based on a few of the most common design propane burners online. But propane is inconvenient/expensive to use regularly in a hot climate. Having the choice of propane and/or waste oil with optional forced air/pure oxygen boost was plenty of motivation for me to build this.
Previous Projects Of Mine

As I continue to take on more projects that replace the ones previewed above, I will move the previews below.

October 1, 2018:

Vacuum Pump

Description text of project

October 1, 2018:

Liquid-Cooling System

October 1, 2018: