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Thread: Question to electrical engineers/inventors

  1. #1

    Default Question to electrical engineers/inventors

    I've been cleaning my basement in hopes of turning it into a workshop for my cgi work and also to invent stuff down there. I have no knowledge of electrical engineering so its learn as i go.

    What i was wondering if, to start off what tools would be best to have readily available aside from the typical work working tools a.k.a. Drills Saw w.e.

    Kinda a random question but w.e lol

  2. #2


    It depends what you are planning to invent. If you are going into the electronic ere of things There are a great number of test gear you can have on your bench. These days everything is made with a microcontroller, a small computer chip with many different types of peripherals. From reading in analogue data and writing it out. To Pulse-width-modulation. Arduino is quite cheap and inexpensive to buy, and very easy to program for compared to many other micro-controllers. But a decent DMM would be nice. It's not uncommon to pay 300+ for a decent DMM. Not your typical 10 dollar Chinese one.

    I guess you are some form of "maker" maybe you can build a CNC machine or 3D printer. Tend to be popular garage projects.
    Last edited by whip; 08-Feb-2011 at 21:31.

  3. #3


    If your are going into electrical/electronic stuff, then a soldering iron, solder and most important of it all ..... a multimeter

  4. #4


    Seems like kind of a backwards approach. Figure out what you want to invent, then investigate the tools you'll need to make it happen. If you plan on going electrical, then a soldering iron, prototyping board, and maybe something like an arduino... but no point in buying anything until you know what you want. Maybe to get started do something that's already been done... to kind of get you into the mindset and familiar with the tools/community out there.

  5. #5


    You musn't forget the hot glue gun! Most useful thing ever! Otherwise, like the people above said, you need to know what you want to do more specifically, in order to choose the tools correctly. For example, would you need a 3D printer if all you're doing is programming an Audrino?However if you want to invent some sort of device, a 3D printer, such as the MakerBot, is your best bet for prototyping parts. You may even get a CNC machine to cut out circuit boards and other stuff for your inventions.

    But on a basic level, a soldering iron, hot glue gun, multimeter, a ton of screw drivers and duct tape should cover your needs! Oh, and don't forget a nice workbench and lamp!

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by UnMarth View Post
    I guess you are some form of "maker" maybe you can build a CNC machine or 3D printer. Tend to be popular garage projects.
    I've been seriously thinking about building a CNC machine for a while. Not because I really have a need for a CNC machine but I think building one and seeing it work would be where the fun was at

    At Maker Faire in San Mateo last May, I saw someone there frosting cookies with a 3D printer CNC machine.

  7. #7


    The only tools you need are the ones required to complete the job at hand. Of these tools, some will be specialist and you may rarely if ever need them again, tools in this group should be borrowed or hired. The other group of tools, you will need to have for every job, are those that you should purchase. Case in point, I play with motorbikes. Screwdrivers and spanners I use all the time, I've only once needed a micrometer to prove a brake's disk to be in need of replacment.

  8. #8


    as per most replies, it depends upon what you're making/inventing.
    proper, decent quality tools will pay for themselves no end. i don't have a garage or basement , so i have to do everything outside or in the kitchen (and i can tell you that it is true that a kitchen is as good a laboratory - so you may want to think about taking a hint from that) and the things i'm short of for mechanical stuff is a tyre changer and hydraulic ramps; anything else can cobbled together in ad-hoc fashion. often, there's a need to make tools as you go; having suitable books and magazines around with those kinds of tips in them comes in handy.
    i've had my analogue multimeter for about 2 decades now and it's handy as you-know-what and tests semi-conductors, but you may want to ask around as i've been out of the market for electronic/eletrical gear for a few years; if you're going to be using IC technology, it'd probably be best to go for a digital meter, and possibly one with wave/signal capability (big money, though).
    welding, grinding and cutting gear are some of the best investments you will ever make.
    a lathe would be nice, for making components, but you can get by with a drill in a vice or by working things down or shaping them by using grinding gear (think, angle-grinder and dremel - one for heavy stuff, one for light stuff). for prototypes and one-offs, you won't need so exacting tolerances for interchangability. also, files and sand-paper for finishing off stuff.
    a tap and die set is also good.
    if you're thinking about using hydraulics in your creations, a brake-pipe flaring kit/tool will be needed, plus consumables, of course.
    for electrical wiring, along all the other stuff mentioned by others, heat-shrink tubing will be your friend.
    casting kits (for various materials) will also be handy. the amount of times i've needed to fabricate a new nylon this or new aluminium that, is irksome and inevitably leads to my scavenging from broken devices and then adapting them to suit. so a good supply of broken/unwanted devices is also good.
    gloves and goggles, of course.
    i could go on forever; probably best if you just came round to our house and i show you stuff.

  9. #9


    Even though I am 14, i still have a large drawer full of usefull tools. I'm sure you have heard of the basics (Nails, Hammers of different sizes, Screwdrivers of different typs and sizes, wire cutters, wire strippers, etc.) but my major thing is a custom built 3d printer that made it to an issue of popular science. I STRONGLY suggest you make that, the software might take some time to get a grip of, but it can make parts that are 5 cubic inches in minutes.

  10. #10


    I'm 51 now and been at it all my life. Scour the tag sales and thrift stores for text books way over your head and read them cover to cover. Bits and pices you rember will come in handy when problems arrise years later. For tools and hardware forget the soldering iron! Get solderless bread boards, a good power supply, a Digidesigner if you can find one and bins of parts to play with. Jameco . com is my fav source for new stuff.

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