You might not expect this coming from someone who puts up a significant number of posts discussing tools and the projects that can be accomplished with them… deep breath – you can accomplish a lot without much in the way of tools.
Specialized tools can really speed up work and make projects easier – but you can accomplish some pretty cool things with very simple processes. Case in point – forming curves aka radius bends in sheet steel would normally be done with slip rolls – but you can do a very acceptable work for a lot of jobs using only a piece of pipe mounted in a vice. Sure it takes a bit longer than putting it through the rolls – but in a lot of cases it will get the job done just fine.
Frankly, I really value the options and capacity my tools provide. But, I have been building my workshop for over two decades, and while some folks might go out and drop several grand on tools it seems more reasonable to expect that most folks would want to dip their toes in the water first to see if doing more mechanical work is really something they want to take on before dropping big sums of cash (if they do have that financial freeboard).
Fortunately a lot can be done with relatively low cost tools and simple techniques. I’m building another grain mill – this time for a friend so I decided I’d take a few short videos to show just how easy it is to build the grain mill since I know the finished product is probably pretty intimidating to most. Check out the book Building the Homestead Grain mill for all of the detailed instructions on how you can build your own professional grade grain mill using simple tools.