Tools for a MIG Welding Hobby Shop - Part 4
NOT chalk! Chalk is what little kids play hopscotch on the sidewalk with. Soapstone is for marking a line on steel. Keeping a sharp edge on your soapstone makes for a thin line when you need to make a cut, which will insure your measurement is accurate.
Sometimes a permanent marker will work better than soapstone. It won't get rubbed off like soapstone will. For the fine line you'll want to get a marker with a fairly narrow tip.
A scribe is like a punch but with a sharp tip. This works great for steel that is rusted, painted or has mill scale. When you cut steel that is rusty or painted, especially with an oxy/acetylene torch, the top layer will burn off leaving no line to follow.
If you can't clean the paint or rust off completely, a scribe will penetrate to the next layer and leave a mark you can follow.
(Mill Scale is the top layer sometimes left from impurities formed on steel that hardens from molten to solid form.)
Ball Peen Hammer, Beater and Rubber Mallet
You'll want to get an 8oz, 16oz, and 32oz ball peen hammer.
In the Iron Workers Union we call sledge hammer “beaters.” Can you guess why? That's right we beat the hell out of all kinds of beams, columns, joists etc. I've seen them as heavy as 30 lbs. Once on a tower crane I had to knock big cotter pins out with a big 20 pounder. You talk about nerve racking! Thirty floors up and scared as heck that you would drop the hammer, pin, or yourself!
You only need you a 4 pounder for you hobby shop, maybe 8lbs if you are really gonna' get serious.
A good rubber mallet is great for not scarrin' and marrin' copper, aluminum or the other more exotic softer metals.
You can buy different sizes of grinders. Out in the field as a structural hand I usually used 9inch grinders and occasionally the smaller 4 inch ones.
For a Mig welding hobby shop a four or four and a half inch grinder should be plenty. I've seen them for as low as fifteen bucks on sale at tool stores. A grinder like that would last about a day on a construction job, but for your hobby shop they'd be good for quite a while.
If you want to buy a decent grinder it'll be from forty to ninety bucks for one of the name brand ones.
You can use a grinder for grinding obviously. But you can also put a cup or flat wire brush on it for cleaning up steel, different size cutting discs for cutting steel, a disc for sanding, and even a polishing disc.
It's not that hard changing the different discs, but is kind of a pain in the neck. It is real nice to be able to grab the grinder with the disc already on it. With the cheap grinders you can buy one for each disc.