A Fairly Comprehensive Tool List For Most Homecockpit Builders
I’d strongly recommend only buying the tools you need, and when you need them. This will help make sure you aren’t buying unneeded tools and can help your workshop be less cluttered.
$200. The Ender 3 is a popular entry level 3D printer that allows you to make 3D printed objects.
1KG 1.75mm PLA Filament (Black and White)
$20-25 1KG of filament lasts a reasonably long time and allows you to make quite a bit of things for a flight simulator.
$50-75 Drills are handy and let you screw in and drill holes quickly. I’d highly recommend getting a cordless drill with a fair amount of power.
$5-15 Get a complete drill bit set to be able to drill multiple sizes of holes.
$5-10 Screwdriver bits allow you to fasten screws quickly.
Level (used for guide)
$5-15 Use the level as a straightedge for cutting with a skill saw.
Speed Squares can be used to measure cuts, as well as act as a guide for jigsaws and skill saws.
Clamps (used to clamp guide)
Clamps hold the straightedge to the piece of wood for a straight cut with a skill saw.
The skill saw is a versatile saw that makes straight cuts quickly. Some have angled blades to make miters. You can use a straightedge or speed square clamped to the piece of wood to ensure straight cuts. Make sure to measure from the blade when making cuts (not the fence)
Jigsaws allow you to make curved cuts, though you can also make straight cuts using a guide (speed square)
Pliers and Tweezers
My pliers are quite possibly the most used tool in my workshop, often used in wiring, tightening, and squeezing.
A router allows you to create profiles on wood pieces. Make sure you get a router that can be adjusted in the Z axis (up and down) so you can make cuts to a specific depth.
I use the flush trim bit the most because it allows you to “transfer” geometry from one piece to another.
The straight cut bit is used second most because it allows you to carve into a workpiece to make it flush to a surface.
Soldering irons allow for durable wiring joints (much better than simply twisting wires together) Get a soldering iron with an interchangeable tip, and an adjustable temperature. If you can, a temperature reading display is helpful.
Solder flows into the soldering connection and creates a strong bond. It is a metal with a low melting point. Make sure to get rosin core solder (flux inside) so that the solder flows easily. My favorite solder is Kester Sn63 Pb37 .8mm thick, 1 lb, rosin core.
Helping Hands/Third Hand
Helping hands hold the wires so you can so graciously solder them without the need for octopus like tentacles.
A brass soldering iron cleaner can ensure the tip of your soldering iron is properly clean. It also kinda looks like R2-D2.
Precision screwdrivers are very helpful for fastening servos.
Measuring Tape & Ruler
Get a measuring tape at least 15 feet (4.5 meters) long. Even better if it’s a strong one you can extend across half the room before it collapses over its own weight.
Hot glue & Sticks
Hot glue guns are extremely helpful for prototyping, as well as fixing components in place.
Sawhorses make a great place to support wood while you’re cutting it.
You’ll want a few different grits: 60, 120,220
Blue tape is very helpful for painting.
Dupont Crimpers connect a dupont connector to a wire.
Wire Stripper (Automatic)
Automatic wire strippers are very helpful, as they quickly strip wires, many even showing you how much you are striping off.
Random orbit sander & disks
This sander both spins and vibrates to give an even sanding result. You’ll want a few different grits: 60, 120,220. If practical, get a cordless one so you do not have to deal with the cord in the way.
Spray Adhesive is very helpful for fixing paper templates to pieces of wood. You can also simply trace them, or even use a glue stick.
Step bits allow you to drill multiple sizes of holes in metal or panels and are especially helpful with larger holes.
Combo Countersink bits both drill a pilot hole, and countersink the hole so that the screw remains flush with the surface.
Shop Brush & Dustpan
Cleaning up your shop is very important to ensure maximum sanity.
Heat Gun (For heat shrink)
Heat guns can be very helpful for heat shrink and can also be useful to heat items up, such as a screw to place in a 3D print (You can usually get away without a heat gun using only a soldering iron)
CNC Mill & Bits
Double Sided Tape
Compound/Regular Miter Saw