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Nick Rodrigues Basic Kit For Fabrication

This is a selection of the most essential tools for my studio practice. I keeps these in close orbit at all times while working. They are in a sense an extension of my body when I work out quick ideas. I wouldn’t dream of showing up without at least this basic kit. When traveling on a plane, I may omit a few items, but other than that you will find all these in my cart.

*Note: The following descriptions are subjective personal opinions.

I tried to link to the place where I purchased these items so that I’m not intentionally endorsing any particular vender.

Download Full Toolkit Here 




#1 Cordless Drill and Impact Driver
By Milwaukee but I suggest you replace it with Makita
Cost $175-275

#15 File
From JM Tools
Cost $10

#16 Japanese Saw
By Gyokucho
Cost $18.85

#17 Putty Knife
By Stanley? or Red Devil?
Cost $6

#18 Japanese Wood Chisel
By Shinwa
Cost $38

#19 Utility Knife (Swivel-Lock)
By Stanley
Cost $6.65

#20 End Cutting Plier (AKA: Horse Head Snips)
By Channellock
Cost $14.99

#21 Wire Cutters
By Channellock
Cost $14.73

#22 Wire Stripper/Cutter
By Klien Tools
Cost $16.18

#23 Surform Shaver
By Stanley
Cost $5.91

#24 12-Inch Tongue and Groove Plier
By Channellock
Cost $16

#25 Hex L-Key Set
By Wiha
Cost $45

#26 Portable Socket Set
By GearWrench
Cost $28

#27 6 in 1 Screwdriver
By Lutz
Cost $7

#28 Spud Tool
By unknown
Cost $5-10
Essential tool for aligning holes when assembling large steel structures.

#29 Adjustable Wrench
By Crescent
Cost $14
Just a little guy.

#30-31 Pry Bar
By Dasco Pro
Cost $9.97 for a set of 3
This little set of levers is amazingly useful for all sorts of tasks. I mostly use them to raise heavy objects a bit so i can slide a shim underneath.

#32 16 oz Ball Peen Hammer
By Kobalt (no longer available)
Cost $14.98
I’d rather have a “Martin brand hammer,” but I’m too cheap. I carry a ball peen hammer instead of a claw hammer because i like the control when tapping parts into place or center punching to drill a hole. We keep the dead blow, claw and sledge hammers on the wall in the shop.

#33 Nantucket Diddy Bag
By Nantucket Bag Company
Cost $98

#34 Canvas Zipper Tool Bags
By Klien Tools
Cost $35 set of 4

#35 Cheap Safety Glasses
By unknown
Cost $10 for a set

#36 Welding Hat
By Comeaux Caps
Cost $7-15

#37 Hearing protection
By 3M
Cost $19.99

#39 Countersink
By McMaster-Carr
Cost $10-50

#40 Snappy Bit
By Make it Snappy
Cost $13.49

#41 Step Drill
By Irwin
Cost $49-100 for a set

#42 A Selection of Commonly Used Taps
From Baller Hardware in SilverLake.
Cost $10

#43 A Selection of Commonly Used Drills
By Fast Cap or just go to a local hardware store
Cost $10-20

#44 An X-Acto Knife
By X-Acto or go to your local art supply store
Cost $6

#45 Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil
By Alvin or go to your local art supply store
Cost $18.21 for a set of 2

#46 Scribe
By Starrett or McMaster-Carr
Cost $13.15

#47 Cold Chisel
By Dasco Pro
Cost $12.96 for a set of 3

#48 Center Punch
By unknown but here is a good one.
Cost $8

#49 Magnetic Tip Holder
By DeWalt
Cost $ 4.97

#50 1/4″ Socket Adaptor for Drill
By DeWalt
Cost $2.34

#51 3/8″ Socket Adaptor for Drill
By DeWalt
Cost $2.50

#52 A Few Extra Screw Tips
By Makita
Cost $7.99 for 15 pack