DIY Stompbox Work Bench – Hand Tools

General Guitar Gadgets Hand Tools

General Guitar Gadgets Hand Tools

We are starting a series of blogs that will give some insight and opinions on the tools we use to create DIY guitar effects here at General Guitar Gadgets. This will take several installments, but it will be informative and interesting. Hopefully other builders will add comments that could “round it out” a bit. I certainly don’t know everything about all the different tools, soldering irons and techniques. I would love to learn more as I hope we all would.

We will start with some basic hand tools. We will discuss soldering irons, wrenches and many other tools as separate subjects, but the tools shown here today are probably in my hands at the work bench as much or more than any other tools.

1Small needle-nose pliers. I got mine as a gift 29 years ago. I company I worked for was closing down and Louise, one of the production line workers gave them to me on the closing day at the plant. Thanks Louise, I know you never thought they would be used as much as they have been since you gave them to me.  These are used mostly for holding/bending small part leads and holding/bending hookup wire.

2Small side-cutters. Used for cutting leads off components and cutting hookup wire. I got mine from some small discounted  tool set I bought.  I have never found anything I like better than these.  Just the feel of it and the spring tension seem right for me.

3Wire Strippers. Used for…uuuh…stripping hookup wire.  I got these long ago from Radio Shack.  I haven’t found one that I like as much since.  There are other types of strippers.  Some folks have said this type that I have is not good because it can crimp/score into the wire itself and especially in the case of solid core wire this can cause stress related breakage at some inconvenient time in the future.  I don’t know if this is true, I rarely (okay, never) use solid core wire, although I think about trying it from time to time.

4Regular size needle-nose pliers. Used mostly for tightening the nut on DC jacks, which is usually in too tight of a space for a wrench.

5Very small straight screw driver. Used mainly for setting knobs on potentiometers and also for adjusting trimmers.

6 Regular size screwdrivers for installing bottom plates to enclosures and other obvious uses.

That’s a run down of most of my main work bench hand tools. As I mentioned earlier, wrenches, soldering/desoldering tools and some other lesser used, but very useful tools will be covered in a latter installment.

What did I miss?  Please comment if you have useful information for other builders.

JD Sleep
General Guitar Gadgets