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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I wait for my PM to arrive I am trying to think of the tools and specialized materials needed for my upcoming camper conversion. I was hoping that I could learn from the experience of those who have gone before me. Perhaps you could reply stating the tool or material and what it would be used for. Links of suppliers are always helpful, but not necessary.

I'm not looking for the obvious woodworking tools like tablesaw, mitresaw, drills, jigsaws. Rather things like Kreg jigs, Rivenuts, Crimping tools, Adhesives, Sealants etc.

Thanks so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks RD. I have added the pro gun and related supplies to my build list.

Re Rivenuts: I've never used them, do I need a special tool like this:

https://www.amazon.ca/Aircraft-Tool...id=1480968744&sr=8-6-spell&keywords=rive+nuts

And then the correct diameter nut? If so what nut size is recommended as I understand some existing holes in the van can be "drilled out" slightly larger to fit a rivenut.

Thanks for your help.

PS Kreg Jig added to Xmas wish list!

Shaun
 

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ShaunB, if you have the list we mentioned above you will be better equipped than many are who undertake this work. My most used and go to tool is a impact drill/screwdriver/nut driver. After owing many I settled for a Ridgid set with lifetime guarantee on the tools and batteries as we were robbed and my Bosch and Makita sets got taken. I like it a lot! Registration is a pain.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-X...mpact-Driver-Combo-Kit-2-Tool-R9602/205762719
 

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Cordless jig saw that uses same batteries as drill was big for me. Cut my fan, two windows and all my 1/4" paneling with a single fine-toothed metal blade. Wood blades were too jagged for the cheap 1/4" ply and some thinner luan I used.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ShaunB, if you have the list we mentioned above you will be better equipped than many are who undertake this work. My most used and go to tool is a impact drill/screwdriver/nut driver. After owing many I settled for a Ridgid set with lifetime guarantee on the tools and batteries as we were robbed and my Bosch and Makita sets got taken. I like it a lot! Registration is a pain.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-X...mpact-Driver-Combo-Kit-2-Tool-R9602/205762719
Totally agree on the Rigid stuff. I have a shop full of various cordless and corded, and as you mentioned, take the time to register. I swear they make it difficult just so people eventually give up. I love my impact driver, it's a must have for the home DIY'er.
 

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Trim & interior plastic panel removal tools... there are countless flavors of these available, Harbor Freight has this set too for a couple bucks more...

But wait, there is more - the two trowel shaped ones pictured work excellently at applying sound dampener sheets and keep fingers away from the razor sharp sheet aluminum backing layers on the mats.

https://www.amazon.com/Tinksky-Upholstery-Removal-Remover-Watermelon/dp/B01BEVH4LQ/
 

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ShaunB, if you have the list we mentioned above you will be better equipped than many are who undertake this work. My most used and go to tool is a impact drill/screwdriver/nut driver. After owing many I settled for a Ridgid set with lifetime guarantee on the tools and batteries as we were robbed and my Bosch and Makita sets got taken. I like it a lot! Registration is a pain.
I registered my smaller Ridgid tool set - the ones that have a 12V handle and a 120V handle. When I asked to replace a new battery they said that I had not registered. I sent them copies of all the paperwork I had sent, but they said they never got it. Guess you have to use registered, certified, signature required mail! :(

Great tools, lousy warranty support

Ed
 

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Ed, when you register you will be frustrated a bit and have to follow a convoluted path to get it done BUT in the end, if registered you get an emailed confirmation, a web address to check your registration with a sign-on and password. If that didn’t happen you were foiled by their process. I registered a set in NH and one in AZ via internet, as I cannot carry much back and forth. One set was $99 and had a radio too. A friend managed it too so it can be done but they don’t make it easy. BTW when a battery fails you must return it to their center not the store, another pain. Batteries purchased à la carte are NOT lifetime. The tools are very good, near the $400 pro tools, I have the 6 1/2” circular saw, vibratory saw/sander, a larger hammer drill, 2 full sized batteries, and reciprocating saw bought used and/or new and all are great tools. The insurance paid for them of course.
 

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... After owing many I settled for a Ridgid ... Registration is a pain.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-X...mpact-Driver-Combo-Kit-2-Tool-R9602/205762719

I've always thought of Ridgid as the Ruger of the tool world, solid, no frills, smart engineering. I own tools made by DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Bosh, Delta, Hilti, Bostitch, Hitachi, etc. and I would not cry if any of them were replaced with a Ridgid.
After thinking I had registered a framing gun and then finding out that I didn't after it was too late to register it I never even tried to register anything else. I doubt that I will ever regret not doing so.
 

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For the rivnuts I used these: Ribbed "L" Series Rivet Nuts - RN2520165SLR. I decided on 1/4-20 rivnuts because the 1/4-20 hardware is so easy to find and they still provide a pretty good strength tie-down point if needed.

For the rivnut tool this is what I found:
I found some Youtube videos on making a rivnut tool and I made one from steel strapping bar from Home Depot. Cost for the metal and the 1/4-20 Grade 8 hex bolts with washers were only a few dollars. Make sure to use Grade 8 or super high strength bolt or otherwise it will snap/shear.

The lesson I learned from this tool was that my 18-volt Rigid Impact Driver isnt as tough as I thought. It couldnt properly set the Rivnuts. I used it to start the rivnut but then hand torqued them with a ratchet, what a PITA. In hindsight I should have bought the 110-volt Harbor Freight (chicago electric) Impact Driver, with a coupon it is $40 and would take lugnuts off. If I had more space for a compressor then a pneumatic impact would be the best choice!

If you make this simple tool, the hole you drill in the metal handle needs to be the same size as the bolt, otherwise it will start to pull the washer through and cause some headaches.
 

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I made a tool like the one Andrew pictured. I have the HF cheap tool for smaller rivnuts, but the DIY tool works perfectly for the bigger ones.

In addition, the DIY tool fits in places where the other tools may not - for example... trying to put in the rivnuts for the Carr Hoop Steps. The front brackets are in a really tight spot and the DIY tool when used with a ratchet crescent wrench is only about an inch deep.

The DIY tool also makes it very easy to keep the rivnut perpendicular to the sheet metal while you're setting it.
 
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