(Topic ID: 115625)

Cheap/Frugal Restoration/Shopping Tool Recommendations


By mot

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 2 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by vilant
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 4 years ago

    I'm currently on my seventh shop job, and I've bought some new tools to help with the job each time. I'm not willing to spend insane amounts of money on tools, and I've often been really intimidated by people who do. I've had great success with a lot of the relatively cheap stuff I've bought (mostly on Amazon), so I think it'd be helpful to provide some insight/reviews about some of the stuff I've had success with.

    $42 tumbler: I bought this for my first EM restoration which had tremendously corroded parts all over the place. Spent maybe $10 more for crushed walnut shells from a pet store. I am tremendously satisfied! All my screws and metal parts saw a massive improvement thanks to 24+ hours in this guy. All hardware and small/medium sized metal parts will henceforth go in here!
    amazon.com link »

    $25 ultrasonic cleaner: Yes, it's the smallest, cheapest one available, but I do not regret my purchase! I've used it to pre-clean hardware before tumbling, to clean all of my plastic posts, and to clean drop targets. It's obviously not the best available, but I recommend it! I use half Mean Green and half water, and when you put dirty parts in and turn it on, you can see dirt and crud coming off in trails that look like smoke. Everything comes out clean!
    amazon.com link »

    $100 air compressor, $10 hose, and $5 blow gun: This is my latest acquisition and I think it's awesome! Great for removing pinball dust from inserts, removing dust from boards, dusting wire harnesses, drying parts after cleaning, and just about everything. Air in a can is great, but this is ten times better.
    amazon.com link »
    amazon.com link »
    amazon.com link »

    $92 soldering station: I bought this to replace my $20 soldering iron primarily because of the time the old one took to heat up, but I am convinced that this one is as good as it gets. It heats up fast to just the right temperature. I've used it for board work as well as switches, lamps, and coils. I don't know what more you could ask for here. You're going to need a soldering iron, and this one is great!
    amazon.com link »

    My next purchase? $30 random orbit waxer/polisher?: I've been considering picking this up. I'm sure it'd be great for cleaning and polishing a playfield, but I've yet to take the plunge. Any recommendations for or against?
    amazon.com link »

    Does anyone have any other cheap/frugal recommendations that they would recommend?

    #2 4 years ago

    I bought a palm orbital sander/polisher from Harbor Freight. Cheap and works fantastic, much better than hand polishing.

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