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Ultimate Tool Kit

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ZenBass, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. I wanting to put a tool kit together that could initial be used for me to tinky with my basses and guitars, allow me to put a kit together from warmoth without not havin the one missing tool needed for something..!!!

    What would have in yours.... include everything from screwdrivers (what type) to voltage-meters, plains and all the sort of stuff... or if anyknows where in the UK sells decent guitar/bass valadating kits... it would be handy
  2. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I'd split this into basic and advanced:

    Mini phillips screwdriver set
    Mini Straight screwdriver set
    Good set of regular Phillips/Straight drivers
    Set of both metric and SAE allen keys (ball ends are nice)
    small machinists ruler
    6" or 12" straitedge
    light-duty metric/sae socket set in up to 3/4" or 20mm
    compact multimeter
    drill index in fine gradations from very tiny to at least 9/16"

    I have a string height/setup gauge from Stewart McDonald that beats the pants off of a machinists ruler for checking string heights.

    set of nut files in .96 to .16 (ballpark)
    set of radius gauges
    longer straightedge
    shorty straitedge for finding high frets
    set of "jewelers files" or hobby files
    nut slot marking ruler

    I like to have a few other goodies around, but these will get you through about any setup/diagnostic on a bass. If yo are going to be doing a lot of fretwork you will need good fret tools. things like radiused sanding blocks, fret files, polishing supplies... it can run into big bucks fast. But for getting the most out of the bass you want to be able to accurately set the action. I do almost all of this with a string height gauge, a radius gauge, and a set of allen keys. Depending on the bass you will need the proper tools to handle the truss adjustment.

    Other stuff to have on had are consumables like cardboard, masking tape, and cloths to protect the bass while you are working on it, or super glue for instance. Things like a soldering rig are dependent on what work you are doing. I'd say that a good selection of wiring diagrams and a book on guitar wiring principles would be very helpful for troubleshooting as well as repair. There is a huge array of gear needed to cover every eventuality. Basic setup/repair is much different from shaping, routing, sanding, or finishing. Unless you are planning on making a lot of guitars I'd suggest getting as much of the finish work done prior to taking delivery of the parts as possible.

  3. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    No matter what you have the thing you need most will be the thing you don't have. The intial response to your post was excellent, but when you get it all, at some point you will say now where did I leave that .....
  4. Thank you for the indepth reponse :) it was very helpful indeed :)

    I have been looking into it... and i am one of those people who likes a tidy enviroment to work in... so everything would have to be in its proper place.. all labeled up and stuff.... plus eventually be able to handle most types of basses/guitar makes since (unless they are specialist makers) use pretty standard fittings... i.e what will fit a fender will fit a yam or a peavey with the exception of a few things but its quite easy to get stuff like allen keys and stuff for specific models from the manufactures or music shops..

    one of the things i have always wanted to do is be a bass tech for someone.. travel round and do all the repairs and setups needed, i have done this a bit before and its a rewarding job if you get great feedback from players...

    Would it be better to go on a specialists course or learn on the job ?...
  5. I find that there is a market for specialty guitar tools but most of the stuff you need is available in hardware stores and of better quality.

    Essentials for me to have in the "to go" kit that I take to rehearsal and gigs.

    Small flashlight (I have a little booklight that's perfect for finding the ins and outs of a shallow rack mounted unit).
    Standard AND Metric allen/hex key sets (the fold out numbers with all different sizes)
    Small, sharp phillips head for pickup adjustments
    Larger phillips for racks and neck screws
    Small flat head for whatever else
    Wire cutters/pliers
    Pocket knife
    Extra strings
    Musicians ear plugs

    I have another bag that I always take to gigs, and usually leave in the car unless needed (in fact I just leave it in the car bewteen gigs so i don't forget it)

    Duplicated cords for my whole rig, instrument, speaker and patch cables.
    Microphone cable at least one, for direct out as well as when we are short
    50' extention cord
    Surge protector
    Yellow duct tape
    Cheapo vocal mic

    this was a good excercise to remind me to be sure that i have everything!
  6. lets see for basic set ups and stuff:
    #1-3 Phillips screw drivers (bit drivers are excellent choice, only have to carry around one screw driver, and a little case for the different bits)
    Set of feeler guages,
    Various lengths of straight edges
    Standard and Metric Allen Keys
    At least one extra pack of strings
    Wire cutters for string changes
    String winder

    for more advanced stuff,
    Soldering iron,
    few rolls (different color) of 18 ga stranded wire.

    thats about all i can think of right now.