Fun With Beads
TP-200 Bead Roller
Some tools just scream fun, and this bead roller from TP Tools caught our eye, especially at a sale price of just $379. A bead roller forms a stiffening ridge in a flat panel that would otherwise buckle or bend under light pressure. If you're building a custom sheetmetal interior, bulkheads, or underhood block-offs, a bead roller will add the necessary stiffness and a custom look to an otherwise chopsaw appearance. TP Tools' bead roller includes the floor stand, but is also available as a table unit for just $279. You'll need to order the bending mandrels separately, and those come in -, 3/8-, and -inch beads. You can also do flanging (1/16-, 1/8-, and -inch) and slitting/shearing, which make it a very versatile tool.

Source:
TP Tools & Equipment
800-321-9260
www.tptools.com

Gotta Chop It!
Eastwood Chopsaw
Sometimes the least elegant solution gets the job done the best. In that category of tools falls the lowly chopsaw. Maybe all those "B" horror movies gave it an unjustified reputation for carnage, but no home shop destined to build a hot rod is complete without one. This metal cutting circular saw from Eastwood can slice through steel plate up to a quarter-inch thick. It's 3,500-rpm motor runs on 120V power, and has a maximum cutting depth of 2.25 inches. For $169, you'll get the saw, metal cutting blade, rip fence, side handle, adjustment wrench, replacement brushes, instructions, and durable plastic case.

Source:
Eastwood Company
800-343-9353
www.eastwoodco.com

Perfect Plumbing
Brake Tube Pliers
Unless you're doing a concours restoration, you'll quickly find that absolutely none of your tube lines stay stock, especially brake lines. Adding nitrous? You'll want attractive and safe plumbing, same as your brake lines. These brake tube pliers from BrakeQuip can safely and accurately bend 3/16-inch or -inch tubing without damage. Anyone who does brakes will quickly find this to be one of the handiest tools in their toolbox.

Source:
BrakeQuip
877-431-0075
www.brakequip.com

MIG Weld Starter Kit
Lincoln SP-140T 120v
If you want to get your feet wet with welding, make sure you use insulated boots. Seriously, sometimes you just need something simple to learn on, and cost may be an object. With Lincoln's SP-140T, quality doesn't have to be sacrificed at the expense of price. Many beginners desiring to work out of their home garage have no choice but to work with 120V power, and that's where the SP-140T excels. Users can use CO2 or argon-blended shielding gas mixes, or flux-core wire without a shielding gas in a pinch. Specifications on the SP-140T: 120V input power, 30- to 140-amp output range, weld material from 24-gauge up to 10-gauge (0.135-inch thick) sheetmetal in a single pass (or up to 5/16-inch with Innershield self-shielding wire), and spool gun readiness for aluminum jobs. A simple two-knob control panel selects output voltage and material thickness. The SP-140T also comes with a selection of contact tips, filler wire for MIG welding, Innershield flux-core wire, a gas regulator, a work clamp, hand shield, instruction manual, and Lincoln's "Learn To Weld" manual.

Source:
Lincoln Electric
www.lincolnelectric.com

Chassis Basics
Tubing Cutter
If you want to foray into chassis or rollbar fabrication, there are some big-ticket tools you'll need (such as a welder), but there are also some really important yet inexpensive tools that can make a big difference. This combination tubing cutter and pipe notcher from Eastwood is one of them. This table-mount tool will allow you to mock up and cut any size pipe up to 2 inches in diameter using a handheld drill or a drill press. Angles up to 60 degrees are possible, but you'll need to supply your own holesaw.

Source:
Eastwood Company
800-343-9353
www.eastwoodco.com

The Everything Drill
Snap-On Table-Top Press
The automotive uses of a drill are so numerous as to defy categorizing. Everything from small repair jobs to major fabrication projects are covered here, and sometimes you need the superior stability, accuracy, and repeatability that only a high-quality drill press can provide. At $1,170.81, Snap-On's half-horsepower workhorse isn't cheap, but it's built like a tank to handle anything, and to outlast you. To borrow a famous watchmaker's slogan, you don't buy a Snap-On, you merely take care of it for the next generation. The WV2530 has a locking rack-and-pinion for height adjustment, a three-spoke handle with adjustable tension and depth stop, and a front-mounted locking power switch. It also tilts up to 45 degrees right or left for angle drilling. Four heavy-duty ball bearings are mounted on a 1 7/8-inch quill for accuracy and long life.

Source:
Snap-On
www.snapon.com

Hot Knife Through ButterLincoln Plasma Cutter
Whoever invented the plasma cutter should get a medal from all of us hot rodders. Once you use one, we can promise that you'll never go back. Simply put, no other tool has ever put so much unprecedented cutting power and precision in the palm of your hand. Imagine the cutting power of an acetylene torch, the precision of a keyhole saw, and the ease of operation of a pencil, and you get the picture. For the most part, plasma cutters are bulky, expensive tools that operate on high voltage, but Lincoln's Pro-Cut 25 breaks those barriers by offering compact cutting performance at a reasonable price ($1,652 list), and that runs on household current. (The Pro-Cut 25 can, however, operate on 230V power for improved performance.) When operated at a full 25 amps, the Pro-Cut 25 can slice through electrically conductive materials up to 3/8 inch thick and has a 60 percent duty cycle on 230V input power.

Source:
Lincoln Electric
www.lincolnelectric.com

It's TIG, You Dig?
Miller Diversion 165
If you need to weld stainless steel, magnesium, aluminum, or any other non-ferrous metal, and you're up for a technical challenge, you may want to consider a Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welder. A TIG welder creates welds of unsurpassed beauty and strength, and is a common process in the aerospace industry. Nevertheless, TIG welding is difficult to master, and requires many hours of practice to produce suitable results. Still digging it? Then you may want to consider Miller's Diversion 165. Designed to run on 230V input power (like a clothes dryer hook-up), the Diversion 165 was designed with the home car builder in mind. (Miller boasts just two control dials, making it the simplest TIG welder ever.) Chassis jobs, patch panels, aluminum oil pans, stainless exhaust work, and chrome-moly cages are all within reach.

Source:
Miller Electric
920-734-9821
www.millerwelds.com