Tool Lists (What do I need?)

mnfreelancer

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Realized I never responded to this thread and fairly recently got my tech kit stabilized (never finalized since I keep adding/changing things.)

Personal carry
Leatherman Wave (the new version with the little tweaker)
Inova XO LED flashlight
Blue Sharpie
Black Sharpie
Fine black Sharpie

Tech Kit
Platt tool case with pallets (got a deal on this on craigslist)
Wiha 13 piece precision screw drivers
Xcellite interchangeable hex drivers, handles and extension
Klein 1000V insulated flat blade screw driver
Klein "wirebender" #2 phillips and flat screwdrivers
2x long-reach bondhus style hex drivers for lenses
Generic branded 10 way screwdriver
Metric and SAE hex key sets - fan-out style
2x 6" Crescent and Channel-Lock brand black adjustable wrenches
"Jesus" light wrench
set of insulated alignment tweakers of various sizes inc. hex
black zip ties
fuse puller
tick tracer
Stanley "pocket knife"
waterproof notebook
tag-out tags
Harris punch-down tool
UTP stripper
RG59/RG6 coax stripper
EZ-RJ45 ratchet crimper
Ripley coax compression crimper
Xcellite flush cutters
Klein diagonal snips
klein wire stripper
Channel-Lock multipurpose wire stripper/crimper
2x 6" needle-nose pliers
electrician's scissors
center punch
outlet tester
Fluke 337 clamp meter
generic smaller multi-meter
test leads
adapter kit with assorted audio, video, electrical adapters
D-sub to RGB-HV breakout
patch cables
Rosco and Apollo swatch books
3" black gaf
red and orange spike tape
board tape
black electrical tape
spare Shure lavaliere mic element and cable assembly
IEC power cord
IEC to 5-15R adapter
TI-89 calculator
assorted batteries
audio insert cables
random metric plasma and projector mount screws
Pocket REF
Ugly's electrical reference
microfiber cleaning cloth
12' tape measure

As you might imagine I catch a lot of crap from other techs when for some reason they have to load my kit out of the van...it's heavy! Luckily the platt box has its own wheels!
 
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mrb

Active Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Re: Whats in your toolbox

I'd be adding a second shifter for when you need to tighten a nut and bolt and need a spanner on each side.
Depending on what you get up to with that tool kit, I'd be expecting a modular plug crimper to go with the (cheap) punchdown tool.
And please don't expect me to terminate cable with that sort of knife, unless you by some miracle have a sharp and stable one of those. Sorry, but it's a pet hate. I've been in a situation where I needed to terminate Cat 5s for an Aviom system and had the full touring draws case of our of our better systems engineers at hand and could not find a knife sharp enough to strip Cat 5 nicely. Take note.
I'd also be adding a bigger pair of side cutters to cut cable, but again depends on what you intend to use the toolbox for...
the little yellow 110 punch down tool is a cat5 stripper. They work quite well, and i do TONS of network wiring.
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
MANDATORY TOOLS FOR ALL CALLS:
HAMMER
PLIERS
DIKES
SCREWDRIVER (slotted and phillips)
GLOVES
6" CRESCENT WRENCH
POCKET KNIFE
MAP OF L.A. COUNTY
PEN OR PENCILS
MINIMUM TOOLS FOR CARPENTER SHOP CALLS
NAIL APRON
HAMMER (16oz.)
HAND SAW
DOVE-TAIL SAW
CHALK-LINE
SCREWDRIVERS (sloted and phillips)
SCREWDRIVERS (pump or electric)
PLIERS
CRESCENT WRENCHES
STEEL TAPE MEASURE (25ft.retractable)
FRAMING SQUARE OR SPEED SQUARE
COMBINATION SQUARE
WOOD CHISEL (1inch width)
RIPPING CHISEL
PRY-BAR (super bar or cat's paw)
NAILSETS (assorted)
DIAGONAL CUTTING PLIERS
PROTRACTOR
SLIDING T-BEVEL
BLOCK PLANE
WELDER'S MUST PROVIDE THEIR OWN HELMET


Manditory call tool list for that local leaves something to be desired.
Hmm, starting out the list for say the sound guy to have a hammer would no doubt be a bad thing if a (are there IA sound guys?) This beyond the hammer jokes that could be made in making it fit. Hammer for me in general is a question of what ounce it’s weighted for and it’s head in that, yea you could have a 22oz. waffle head for much, but it don’t persay work as well at times for electrical boxes or finish nails. Same with “pliers” in that the heck, I don’t even own a pair of slip joint pliers at home much less at work, to what does one mean “Pliers” that set on one’s multi-tool or a pair of “diagonal side cutting pliers” which don’t have a gripping edge on them or a pair of 6" instead of 9" Linsemens pliers which one is attempting to do what ever with like say cutting a cable with. Oh’ you meant slip joint pliers, they don’t cut cable - Next! Dikes is not “PC” I have been told. Best tell the IA’ it ain’t PC to specify something that could be considered offensive. This much less if I show up with a pair of electonics dikes and my task is to be cutting say some 10/3 cable, it ain’t gonna cut it. Yet I got these “minimum” tools, so pay me even if in doing the job I have to borrow from others in getting my job done as a “professional,” and many do buy from a 6" pair of “pliers” to the cheapest other tool they can in being useless as they can. Don’t help the show get done properly or most efficiently.

-Screw driver - both slotted and phillips... Gee I tend to have fights with our guys about them if no #2 Philips in the drawer (beyond them not supplying their own tools), them using a #1 Philips for #2 screws in stripping them out in costing us money. Same with the proper flat head screw driver for the task, heck, can’t do an Edison plug properly without both a 3/16" and 1/4" drive screw driver if slotted yet there is no requirement for more than say even electronics #0 Philips or .5" slotted drivers to qualify for being on the job site. Yep, wee problems with that also.

Ya mean if I showed up with my like 18" long Klien 3/8" blade slotted screw driver, that in comparing between it and the other ME at the shop and I is “Longer”, I can work a call and in having that minimum requirement for slotted screw driver be at all useful in using it for other than with say 5/16-18 or larger slotted screws? Anything smaller than that if slotted... pay me, let me borrow your tool? This much less the IA guy showing up with a 1/8 or smaller blade screw driver - a bit more demur in stature as it were, would be any more useful on an Edison plug than I? Dip switch, sure that guy, me I get the big stuff but it ain’t required so if anyone ain’t a dip switch or bolt turner on the call - you pay to send a runner out for tools while the crew seeks out donuts?

-Gloves... fine, what ever protects your hands without you cursing and wasting time picking slivers of wood out of them, don’t care, one would think quality but ain’t required in time being money as with hospital costs if the gloves you show up with on-call don’t protect.

-6" Crescent wrench is also improper terminology - you mean if I show up with a 8" Klien insul. Grip adjustable wrench, I cannot work (assuming I were IA?) If given the “Crescent” brand name were more like C-Wrench in slang term like Dikes, it’s improper also in that I believe Crescent makes some 6" wrenches that don’t expand out to 3/4" or 15/16" in need I could be useless on a call, this much less I don’t accept a 6" wrench in general out of proper torque on a bolt. I know if there ain’t some ‘IA deal with Crescent for specifically their 6" wrenches to be used exclusively as a brand, that I have at least a Craftsman 6" adjustable wrench which won’t work on a ½" bolt and thus be useless for a crew call. Are we than by specifying other than “wide jaw” 6" wrenches in assuming ability for a common torque on a bolt other than the 8" standard, that it’s not important to get the work call done?

What if nobody showed up with a proper adjustable wrench on a call? Could happen as it’s not required to have proper tools so far.

-Pocket knife....... No comment other than dull knives assure hospital trips and are if needed problematic in needing of them. Still have my Boy Scout knife as with some of GrandPa’s pipe cleaning knives, so I’m all set.

-Now a map is awesome in concept. Just this past weekend pulled one out of my car and with my guys plotted out every single Menards, Home Depot, and Lowes location in the Northern Illinois and some Wisconsin areas. Amongst four runners that did the deal, we visited every at least Menards location in the are in the Home Depot versions being more expensive and Lowes versions pooping out sooner than the others for the part we were buying. In general a concept of a map might be “what we got here, why once here do we need a map for,” but I say great thing you have maps. Need to become a IA runner for parts instead of constructor of the show, you might be useful in having a map. Though if inspected at the door in having one I might not find such a thing as a map as important as other things important to my tool bag. You got here thus you seem to be able to find the place so I’ll assume you had a map.

-Pens and pencils... no Sharpees or paint markers of different colors so as to write on stuff beyond the plot? While it’s often a challenge within a collected group of people to find just one with pen or pencil, also some form of other tool is often needed beyond that.

Definate holes in the manditory things I think, this plus this IA tool list for me is crap.

Onto the fun stuff...

MINIMUM TOOLS FOR CARPENTER SHOP CALLS

-Nail apron = sound guys having a nail apron would be fun.
16oz hammer = anyone that shows up with a 16oz hammer when I’m MC sweeps floors. Child hammer other than for specific instances.
-Hand Saw = hand saw, really? Personal hand tool to an extreme I would think in not being necessary and normally provided and sharp by the show if needed. This as = saw in general, my Leatherman has a saw on it... might take me an hour to hack thru a two by four, but it’s a saw and what is required. Did you mean Shark saw, coping saw, etc...? So don’t matter I suppose in nobody showing up with the required saw if needing to cut something if it’s useful or not? Got an awesome finite materials cutting saw with like 40 tooth blade to it.... it’s a saw, let me on the crew.
-Dove Tail Saw = I don’t even own one. What’s a Dove Tail Saw, I want one in the next step in my home furniture making operations assuming I don’t go with the router jig thingie. Anyone really dove tail on a set these days? This beyond if I show up with a dove tail saw, don’t I qualify for the former in everyone looking at what it is for novelty sense? Ah’ crap, Knew why I never got to be Union, anyone let me in on the secret of what the secret handshake Dovetail saw is? Got Japan saws, Shark Saws, Dad’s old coping saw about to be replaced in that it just don’t hold a blad and other saws but no dovetail saw, and I want one.

-Chalk line is a good concept to have both as plumb bob and snap line, does the show site provide chalk for it? Out of chalk... gee that’s just too bad you cannot get on the call.


-Screw driver, Ibid

-SCREWDRIVERS (pump or electric), Yay the Yankee or ratcheting screw driver in it’s user being just as useful as the cordless drill using techie! No matter the labor and man/hours, that guy using the yankee in sticking with it no doubt is just as cost effective and never runs out of batteries in using it - this granted he wastes time in explaining to everyone around in how it works and in how it is just as efficient. Need to screw down a plywood deck, that Yankee guy is going to be just as useful as that automatic feed screw driving guy with battery back pack guy on the crew. Sometimes perhaps I’m a bit dim.

-again with the “pliers” in general. What no difference beteween needle nosed and 9" Linsesmens’?

- Crescent Wrenches - at least if a carpenter you had at best by definition have more than one.

-25' tape measure... best be able to prove it retracts and don’t stop short on that about three feet mark if it has run into trouble in winding in a past life. Those with tape measures that don’t fully retract one might assume need not apply. Don’t matter the tape measure of course if a wee bit short, just need retract of course. Ah’ but it’s a tape measure at least which is important. Thought of mocking one of my assistant’s 12' tape measure in a guy type of way today, but on the other hand he has on and other’s on my staff don’t have one they can produce. Tape measure a good thing. This as required for all especially a good thing. Do they all show up to the call with one and ready to use it?

- Fraiming Square or Speed Square.... What’s the defination of a “speed square” and or would my 12x9 small square qualify for a “fraiming square” This much less assuming it’s a IA tool list the fraiming square is assured to be dinged into square. 1/8" thick verses 1/4" thick square for sawing purposes = a 1/4" thick speed square is much more useful. This one of 12" instead of 6" size.

-Combination Squares are perfect instruments of use. Who did or when were they invented? What are they based off of in concept? Great tool, one - my Dad’s at work, a newer one at home. I prefer Dad’s, though the reverse side should go metric.
Anyone really show up on site wit one of these or a “Tri-Square” and would such a term be different?

-Chisel 1" width.... the heck use is a 1" width chisel and do it need to be sharp? One of my assistants is a union carpenter by trade... asked him this past summer to chisel out a door hinge for me on a special project and he had no idea. I vote a 3/4" or say ½" chisel is often more useful if sharp for more than barbaric work. Got this reinforced and no longer sold Wagner Power Scraper with modified oak/steel handle for pounding that’s knife sharp and like three inches wide, if I showed up with one of them plus say a ½" chisel that’s also sharp but no 1" chisel, verses one that showed up with a dull chisel that’s 1" who gets the job might be something to work on. This plus does everyone show up to the job site with a chisel? Thats’ fascinating as I’m not seeing any need for them to show up with a matt knife as normal for use also. Good sharp knife often is also needed for good chisel work.

-Ripping Chisel, oops, I suppose My custom built Wagner Power Scraper blade set on a hand made oaken handle with 1/4" steel reinforcement handle is something everyone spends hours upon hours on in creating - cuts thru pneumatic staples or even drywall screws with ease.... Yep, everyone has one, much less keeps it sharp. Otherwise such ripping chisel, might be not knowing the term of ripping chisel for sure - know ripping saw blade but not in reference to a chisel, guess that shows skill level type of thing in being a term I’m not ready for yet, but if in general a thing that’s a say laminate tile scraping chisel, one that say has a handle that accepts a broom handle... yet to see others to show up on a job site ready to go with their power scrapers - but it would be nice in that they are also useful for clout nails. I’m thinking this IA rule is by way of tool requirements thus requiring a long flat plat of steel that can also be used for clout nails, a three inch wide blad for scraping up laminate asbestos tile while attached to a broom handle for this requirement as per “ripping chisel.” This or they if not the definition in term, perhaps those chisels used for opening up padlocks or in breaking thru staples or nails, them chisels no longer servicable for wood scrapint, instead for use once dinged for ripping up the wood scraped while used thus the “Ripping Chisel” term that it would seem local dialect I am attempting to inerpite.

-PRY-BAR (super bar or cat's paw), Sorry, don’t own any of them. So you mean if I have a “Wonder Bar” and a few other types of pry bar, I cannot work on this job site? What’s those brand names paying to the Union to demand all showing up for work have those tools anyway? Good ‘Q of the Day’ what either of these tools are in name to what they look like recognition. Know I wouldn’t recognize either by look. Are they as a specific type in brand as with Crescent tools superior as in general to all others? Or is this just some type of being specific in a lazy type of way and in being specific in that way making for a system of contro nobody’s going to follow in listening to these minimum tool requirements anyway “but it sounding really really good?”

-Nail sets... yea, that’s useful for a proper hammer - no matter the weight in say having a 22oz waffle head and not hitting the nail down all the way in using such a nail set. This espcially if using pneumatics and they are under lower pressure or dirty or punching thru hard wood, one needs to have various sizes in punching them heads in. This plus needle nosed pliers to rip off the as it were slightly off aim or hitting something hard nail or prong sent astray, plus say a 1" putty knife to cover with what ever the hole by it left behind plus sand paper in what’s left of the hole in doing damage. Hmm... flexible 1" putty knife... that’s a good thing also.

-Diagonal Cutting Pliers, for a carpenter call I would think at least an exception for “carpenters pinches” especially case hardendered versions of them would be acceptable. This if not the off the shelf and not say Journeyman 2000 hardened Klien version, gonna be dull and useless for a carpenter after some use, so why require what’s dull other than specifying what might be useful?
Take a typical 6" Ace Hardware diagional side cutting plier and cut one drywall screw with it. Cut the same screw with a hardened 8" Journeyman hardened pliers and one will see that even if at double the price, someone shows up on a call with a now dinged set of dikes - as it were, someone shows up with a tool ready for another cut as needed without a definition as to who gets in the door otherwise. Can have dikes dull as crap and short as sh... but if you got them, that’s all good in being another useless person potentially on the jobsite mixing with the Pro’s there to do their career as opposed to collecting their pay check by being there.

-Protractor... What’s a protractor.... I know I have what one is - at least one or a few that might qualify but it just don’t come to mind. Been years since I heard that term in using it even as a Master Carpenter of my field. I think I have one dating back to like 1982 in having drafting classes but just can’t remember what such a thing is. Should I need work, thowing such a ancient thing into my bag will be really necessary.

Sliding T-Bevel.... I got nothing. I do have a sliding angle degree tri-square, and rarely use it, even marked on it’s markings what is the accurate side of the scribed line for it - this in given like a 1mm line only the edge of this line being as it were square in what I found how many did end for end test their if that’s what it is sliding T-Bevel? This much less own one? And don’t one in having this thing also qualify for also having a “combination square”?

-Block plane... Own lots of them from antique to new. Used to be able to make them function with a curl, curse them years later in just not getting them as concept in grabbing another tool.

-Welders in own helmets but in providing them - replacement shields, gloves, arm guards, and aprons? Such gear - much less lenses for the helmets I would say are shop provided - tools specific and prefered to the welder those tools they provide. Sure if they want their own helmet - and dependant on type of welding done for lens or protection, it’s recommended but also provided. Weldings’ separate than something off the street and to crew call with someone showing up with crap chapest possible that don’t last from someone that welds with a certification not necessary for this IA list, no doubt in having the cert, with their own tools beyond that of a helmet.

I view this tool list a joke and why in many cases gear comes back crapped up after traveling about to venues by way of barbarians using the gear.
 

porkchop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Location
Vegas
If you are working with my show here's your tool list:

a hand (preferably tool) in good working order
The ability to do what I say
(End of tool list)

The show is designed to be tool free, I can't tell you how many times I've made locals put there crescent wrenches away because they can't be responsible and NOT use them. It's not typical for all touring shows but man is it nice.
 

Grommet

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
I work a handful of festivals and there are tools just sometimes not enough for everyone. On load outs every one needs a flash light and dikes.

my tool lists will always have

2 C-wrenchs
1 dike
1 safety glasses
1 bottle of water
1 flash light
1 pocket knife
1 leatherman
1 pair of gloves
1 belt with pouch to hold all of this.

at another place i have assumed the role of carpenter, and have built a locking cabinet to store my personal tools. As to keep them from being taken to the other restaurant locations/broken.

the show producer/restaurant owner's husband is known of some how breaking cordless drills. Mine is either in my home, in my hand or in that locking cabinet.
 

Floridaskye

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Great thing to have is a small bungee cable attached to all tools you may be using above another person. I have one on my wrench when I'm focusing lights to make sure it doesn't fall and kill someone. Tie line is ok but you can snag on something and cause more damage to yourself or someone else.
 

DanAyers

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Location
United States
Having all these tools is great. I'll admit, I keep most of them in my tool bag.

I anticipate what I will be needing for a show, and my roll for the show as well as what tools the theater will be providing. What I've found is i bring my Setwear Gloves & C-Wrench 100% of the time and use it about 80% of the time. I bring a Ratcheting Ultimate Focus Tool if I know I will be doing lights.

I'm also a fan of the foldable box-cutter's over leathermen's because I hate sharpening baldes, so the replaceable blade for me is great.

My Laser tape measure can't be beat in a theater also, but if I were to buy another I'd buy one from a surveyer's supplier and not a hardware store.
 

PeterBuchin

Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Location
Sunny Tucson
Great thing to have is a small bungee cable attached to all tools you may be using above another person. I have one on my wrench when I'm focusing lights to make sure it doesn't fall and kill someone. Tie line is ok but you can snag on something and cause more damage to yourself or someone else.
Nononono... I once thought a bungee cord was a superior idea until I saw a fella lose his grip on his wrench while atop an A-frame ladder. The wrench got stuck in the rungs and he tugged the bungee cord. The wrench suddenly got unstuck.

He spoke in a higher register for awhile.
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
Where do you recommend buying from? I want to get a speed wrench and can't find one at a local hardware store. I want to order a speed wrench but don't know where to get one.
Google "lightspeed wrench", Production Advantage, Tools for Stagecraft, RoadieTools, Norcostco, Musson, Barbizon and eBay all come up on the first page.

Be aware that the Lightspeed does not fit the 5/16" pan bolt, and thus a c-wrench is still necessary. I'd honestly prefer a Ratcheting Ultimate Focus Tool over a Lightspeed, but to each their own.
 
Last edited:

erosing

The Royal Renaissance Man
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Location
Wisconsin
Google "lightspeed wrench", Production Advantage, Tools for Stagecraft, RoadieTools, Norcostco, Musson, Barbizon and eBay all come up on the first page.

Be aware that the Lightspeed does not fit the 5/16" pan bolt, and thus a c-wrench is still necessary. I'd honestly prefer a Ratcheting Ultimate Focus Tool over a Lightspeed, but to each their own.
I'll second the recommendation for the Ratcheting UFT, I was given a working demo of one last month and it floored me compared to the original RFTs. I haven't ordered mine yet, but it's on the top of my list. Here's the part that really put it over the top though, he's made a 3/8" socket adapter for the UFT.

I would also like to mention the Flat Focus Tool, also made by Rob at StageJunk. Very nice tool, barely notice you're carrying it, if at all.
 

MichaelPHS

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Location
Newbury, UK
Since I'm the only, and I mean only, tech with any theatre knowledge in the school I'm hired (drama teachers have a cobbled together knowledge but less than basic in terms of op) and also props, everything short of costume in fact which may soon come into effect as they have discovered I'm a cosplayer also (unrelated to my kit but still) so kit wise I've got pretty much everything under the sun, and between my father, grandfather and myself we have everything short of Top end specialist kit, no kidding. My personal kit I ferry between work and home due to all the jobs I'm asked to do, hence why its so extensive

Personal Kit (venue)
Screwdrivers (assorted sizes and bits)
Hammers and mallets (ballpein, claw, rubber, nylon, leather/hide)
Drills (hand, battery, mains, both hammer and standard)
Pliers (snub and needle nose)
Wire Strippers
Files and sand papers(various grits/tooth counts and shapes)
Clamps (assorted sizes, mixture of pinch and C-screw)
Hacksaw
Soldering Iron
3 tape measures
Push-punch marker
Set Square
Portable vice
LED torch
Torch specs (our venue is a PITA for light, so much easier to see what I look at with them)
Fire casting safety specs (rated for welding and metalwork use, after I had someone stupid enough to put a light at full while I was focusing, damn near blinded me)
Gloves
Scissors
Craft Scalpels (finer control than a stanley blade and can be sharper if you get the right ones)

Bits box
Gaff (black, silver and black/yellow hazard, for those completely unavoidable times you have to run cable across a doorway ie recessed doorways so can't run cable over)
Various colours of LX, most black
Screws of various sizes
Fuses
Glue (Resin based wood and loctite gel)

Home Kit
Full range of battery operated power tools (including Jigsaw, Circular saw etc)
Several saw horses

Home Workshop
Welding torch (standard arc I think, can never remember)
Fire pit (for minor metalwork props)
ASO (Anvil shape object)
Various metal work tools
Wall mounted Grinder and buffing wheels

Dad's Workshop
Bench Mounted Pillar drill
Vertical Milling machine
Welding Torches (MIG/TIG and arc)
Gas axe
Plunge Router
Hand held engraving machine

Grandfather's Workshop
Metalwork lathe
Pillar Drill


I know most of it isn't every day use, but as a family we're always gaining stuff like this, so if someone turns round and asks "Oh can you do this like this" expecting that its a difficult request, I just smile. I was going to just list my work kit, but thought, since I'm pretty much everything from Tech op/designer to fabricator I might as well list my full kit. Yet despite all this, I will always ALWAYS ask other technican opinions, as with my wrecking ball prop, to ensure anything I construct is safe as it possibly can be
 

ship

Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Location
Illinois
Since I'm the only, and I mean only, tech with any theatre knowledge in the school I'm hired (drama teachers have a cobbled together knowledge but less than basic in terms of op) and also props, everything short of costume in fact which may soon come into effect as they have discovered I'm a cosplayer also (unrelated to my kit but still) so kit wise I've got pretty much everything under the sun, and between my father, grandfather and myself we have everything short of Top end specialist kit, no kidding. My personal kit I ferry between work and home due to all the jobs I'm asked to do, hence why its so extensive

Personal Kit (venue)
Screwdrivers (assorted sizes and bits)
Hammers and mallets (ballpein, claw, rubber, nylon, leather/hide)
Drills (hand, battery, mains, both hammer and standard)
Pliers (snub and needle nose)
Wire Strippers
Files and sand papers(various grits/tooth counts and shapes)
Clamps (assorted sizes, mixture of pinch and C-screw)
Hacksaw
Soldering Iron
3 tape measures
Push-punch marker
Set Square
Portable vice
LED torch
Torch specs (our venue is a PITA for light, so much easier to see what I look at with them)
Fire casting safety specs (rated for welding and metalwork use, after I had someone stupid enough to put a light at full while I was focusing, damn near blinded me)
Gloves
Scissors
Craft Scalpels (finer control than a stanley blade and can be sharper if you get the right ones)

Bits box
Gaff (black, silver and black/yellow hazard, for those completely unavoidable times you have to run cable across a doorway ie recessed doorways so can't run cable over)
Various colours of LX, most black
Screws of various sizes
Fuses
Glue (Resin based wood and loctite gel)

Home Kit
Full range of battery operated power tools (including Jigsaw, Circular saw etc)
Several saw horses

Home Workshop
Welding torch (standard arc I think, can never remember)
Fire pit (for minor metalwork props)
ASO (Anvil shape object)
Various metal work tools
Wall mounted Grinder and buffing wheels

Dad's Workshop
Bench Mounted Pillar drill
Vertical Milling machine
Welding Torches (MIG/TIG and arc)
Gas axe
Plunge Router
Hand held engraving machine

Grandfather's Workshop
Metalwork lathe
Pillar Drill


I know most of it isn't every day use, but as a family we're always gaining stuff like this, so if someone turns round and asks "Oh can you do this like this" expecting that its a difficult request, I just smile. I was going to just list my work kit, but thought, since I'm pretty much everything from Tech op/designer to fabricator I might as well list my full kit. Yet despite all this, I will always ALWAYS ask other technican opinions, as with my wrecking ball prop, to ensure anything I construct is safe as it possibly can be

Osmosis a term to by book or tool having. Having is different than mastering it. Good stuff but for most of the gear is above my head in common term for the tool or my own need for it's use in mastering it also. "Pliar Drill" as per the last item qualified for please explain as new to me should this be a resume to also be new for a skill mastered. Sure running a metal working lathe is a great skill but mastered? There is the detail in having say a 16oz hammer verses a 22oz hammer with lots of types between and above for the actual use.

Don't stop using and mastering these tools you have available to you, that's quite an assembly of tools and stuff to work with. Cool stuff can come from them and or not mentioned a good C-Wrench is always handy.

You have great help in people to train you, master what skill level you have provided to you in learning. I grew up on my own way in fixing up a 1914 house in every weekend we were mostly heat gunning off layers of leaded paint in going back to oak in each room. Learned a bit about the proper use of a hammer but after that, it was from the theater teachers that were well qualified to teach that I learned stuf from as with wood shop skills teachers.

Understand those teachers in general are more or less cut from budget who are useful these days. Be glad and do ask Dad and Grand Pa about their own also experiences with theater in their youth so as to also learn from those tales. This if they have experience with teater, and if not you have to remember that some stuff we do is a little different than that of what industry does. Learn your tools thogh as what you learn willl be useful later.
 
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derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
... "Pliar Drill" as per the last item qualified for please explain as new to me or anyone should this be a resume to also be new to. ...
"Pillar Drill" --UK term for what we call a drill press, either bench-top or floor.
 

MichaelPHS

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Location
Newbury, UK
Expert/Master, far from, competant in their use, easily, been using them since I was a boy. I'm the first real theatre buff in the family, Grandad worked for AWE during the war building listening devices and Dad used to build and certify containers for shipping and handling of hazardous and radioactive substances worldwide, now MD of a fairly large UK branch of a company but still helps out in the shop. Kinda a step down for me but I like to think I gained some of their skills and knowledge along the years. And derekleffew got it right, a pillar drill is basically a heavy duty floor/worktop mounted upright drill. I'm also hoping, when I get a larger place of my own, to obtain the means and equipment to make my own mini smithy to make stage armour (aluminium obviously), recently inspired by the legend Tony Swatton (Man at Arms, owner of Sword and the Stone) Ambitious? Maybe but I've always liked a challenge, so would call myself a general tech rather than any particular role
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Location
Here and There
As a Stage Hand on a lighting call, all that is expected is a C-wrench, and a knife.

If you are a Tech in charge of a rig, than most of the general hand tools listed above, plus...

AC clamp meter, you really should have one, it can be a cheap one from amazon, but checking load balance on feeder is important.
Swisson XMT-120a- its a luxury, but sure dose make troubleshooting easier, not to mention being able to fire up a rig and focus, before flipping a desk.
Laser Tape measure- no need to splurge on a Leica Disto, the Bosch version does just fine for less than $100
Self leveling Vertical laser, sidewalk chalk 2-100' fiberglass tapes. Nothing slows down a loadin like standing around trying to figure out where points go. Plus if the riggers forget theirs you are dead in the water.

Sekonic lightmeter-Really only needed for tv or video, but it's a must for broadcast. Industrial models are cheaper, but really not as good.

ESPRESSO MACHINE- Now I might be getting carried away, but catering coffee sucks!

Lots of gaffers tape and E-tape
3-5pin dmx adapters, and terminators.

Rock Climbing helmet- if you don't like wearing sweaty, dirty, community hardhats that never fit right.
 

SE001

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Gloves
Crescent Wrench
Sharpies
Headlamp
circuit tester
dykes
multihead screwdriver
measuring tape
gaff and e tape provided by the co.

This gets me through just about every gig. I don't like multitools. I find them a little useless. Plus every time I ever owned one they seem to disappear. Speed wrenches are great for some jobs, but they are limited to specific diameters unfortunately so you need to carry a c wrench regardless. What you save in time you lose in having to readjust your sagging belt.
 

Fountain Of Euph

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Location
Illinois
I work Lights, sound, stage and recording, so my box may be a little jumbled.

1-Sharpe
1-pen
1-pencil (its a music major habit)
1- pair mechanics gloves
1-wireless mouse (you never know when you may need it)
2-sets of various Allen wrenches
1- 1/4 to headphone adapter
1-tape measure
1-pair pliers
1-LED flashiness (with old knife sheath. lost the knife...)
1-Remington Multi Tool
1- Light Source Mega-Combo Wrench (see Below)
2-SD cards
1- Web Belt (Easy to put on/take off. wont get destroyed)

Outside My Box
1-set good quality headphones (for recording)
1-leather pilers holster I use for my wrench. best investment I have ever made!
1- 12" adjustable wrench. I know that many will feel this is too big. however, I have large hands, it was free, and like it more than a 6" or 8". I make sure I don't over tighten. While it is extra weight, I wear it on my belt, and like having the the reminder that I still have it. Since it is too big for my box, I do have a Combo Wrench I use for quick adjustments.
1-Belt clip for phone. its better to have it out to call 911...
1-Laptop with pre-show music, SD reader, Smartsoft, and CONGO offline editor
1-Keys!!! i also have a mini-mag on my keys for the inevitable scenes:

From the booth : "BLACKOUT!"
Me: "GUYS IM STILL ON A LADDER, ON THE GRID, IN THE CEILING"

The DMX cable gets disconnected from the console

The boom lights burn out

"Can you change the patch of Mic X to Channel Y during the next blackout"


ON ORDER
2-Motorola CP100 Two Way Radios. We don't have TELEX(sad sigh) and have a glassed in booth three stores above stage level. my boss's comment when I bought them: "good thing you bought two, otherwise you would have had no one to talk to!" Thanks for the insight...
1-Motorola Shoulder mic/speaker
1-Radio Headset
 

artable

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Location
On book
I am a Stage Manager. Here are the things that I carry with me (on my person, in pockets and carabiners) always during performances and Tech Weeks.
1. Prompt book
2. office supplies
3. Full roll of Gaff tape
4. Several colors of spike tape
6. screwdrivers
7. c wrench
8. flashlight
9. small teddy bear keychain (there is no practical purpose to this thing. I love it dearly.)
10. small pliers
11. Utility knife (It's a fold-y up-y one that lives in my wallet.)
12. notepad
Things that aren't on my person, but always nearby:
1. more screwdrivers
2. granola bars
3. mic tape
4. backup mic tape (the first supply *always* walks away.)
5. condoms (In a secret place, because I work in a high school)
6. glo-tape + scissors
Probably a zillion other things I can't think of.
 

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