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Tech's Toolbox


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Just trying to find out what everybody carries arouns in their bag o' tricks. Here's my field tech/ gig emergency kit contents:

  • Cheap $3.00 multimeter ( I have a nice DMM on my bench, but it doesn't travel)
  • Jeweler's screwdriver set (flat and Phillips)
  • SAE and metric hex wrench sets
  • Wire cutters (dykes)
  • Small needlenose pliers
  • Small wire cutters (pc board size)
  • 25 watt pencil soldering iron
  • white Scotchbrite pad
  • small roll of light gauge rosin core solder
  • 4 rolls of stranded 24 AWG hookup wire (red, white , green, black)
  • cheap Stanley utility knife
  • refillable "Xacto"-style razor knife
  • assorted heat-shrink tubing
  • Zippo lighter
  • 6x magnifier
  • Mag light penlight
  • cyanoacrylate/"Super" glue
  • bandaids, alcohol disinfecting wipes, burn ointment ( for obvious reasons)
  • small aerosol WD40
  • Radio Shack aerosol TV tuner cleaner

Just comparing notes - plus maybe some of the less-experienced guys can get an idea of what they'll need.

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Lets see. . . . in a freaking shoebox. . . .

1. 30w soldering iron

2. small roll of rosin core solder

3. large roll of solid core hookup wire

4. masking tape (because I ran out of electrical tape. It blocks signals just fine)

5. scissors

6. needle-nose pliers

7. heat sink clip.

8. Misc. bag of diodes

9. Misc. bag of resistors

10. Misc bag of capacitors

11. several gummed up 500k pots.

12. Small soldering iron stand

13. towel

14. Screwdrivers (regular and tiny ones)

15. half assembled Ansul sustainer PC board.

16. Cheap multimeter, that i cant figure out how to make work.

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I got tools and parts all over the place. Too many knickknacks in cardboard boxes, shelves, drawers, cabinets and just laying around, to list. The amazing thing is, I know where to find everything when I need it!

Here is whats in my toolbox with all the tiny shelves:

Hanging off the sides:

stainless magnetic dish (tired of losing screws)

wire cutters

needlenose pliers

angled needle nose pliers





flux paste

soldering iron

triangular file

assorted needle files

another toothbrush

leftover fretwire

rosewood oil

lemon oil

stainless polishing compound

soldering iron tips

flat file

tiny screwdrivers

small bubble level

small utility knife

allen keys

all-purpose rosin core solder

4 spare strat saddles

swiss army knife

folding pliers

pots, caps and switches

shielded wire

16X magnifying glass

16 ml. syringe

small wood blocks

magnet from hard drive (v/ strong)

1 complete set of used tuners (cheap ones)


abalone blanks

more fretwire


assorted dentist drill bits

jeweller's saw blades

more fretwire

tuner bushings

strap buttons

stainless fretboard protectors

small wrenches

Dylon clothing dyes

computer screws

lock nuts for pots etc.

small wood screws (black)

stainless screws (slotted and philips)

4" long stainless machine screws

feeler gauges

acoustic bridge saddles

plastic and bone nuts

acoustic bridge pins

graphite lube

Hey thanks! That was fun. Its always good to do a little inventory now and then. :D

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I carry too much stuff.... this is what i take when i work at the local music store. They have some other bits and pieces there also.

sand paper

needle files

fret work files

nut files


assorted fretwire

fret slot cleaning tool kit

rosewood oil

lemon oil

lacquer polishing compound

metal polishing compound

super glue and accelerator

soldering iron

tiny screwdrivers

small straight edge

medium striaght edge

allen keys

small socket set

assorted wrenches (t handle)

solder and iron

basic electronic components inc wire, pots, etc

glue syringe


drill bits

japanese saw

stainless fretboard protectors

feeler gauges

graphite lube

small clamp

small spring clamp

off cuts of alder, maple, mahogany, swamp ash, spruce, ebony and rosewood

assorted graphtec, tusc, and bone nuts

pad and pencils


invoice book (most important)

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:D You guys carry a helluva lot of stuff with you..

In my 'gig bag' I've just got the following:

-Wire cutters

-Needle nose pliers


-Jeweller's screw driver set with a small pair of tweezers

-Allen keys

I travel quite a bit so I like to keep things light.. After many band trips, I've found that this suits my needs pretty well.. Also, I tend to end up fixing (or trying to fix) any of the instruments that need it.. Should carry some duct tape, though.. Hmm..

At home I've got:

-40W soldering iron

-Soldering clipping holder jaws thingy

-Wire strippers

-More decent screw drivers

-Feeler gauge

-Multimeter (which sucks)

-Assorted guitar fret and finish cleaners

-A crappy drill with not so crappy bits

-Anything else I can find in the family tool box

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I thought we were talking about mobile techi's  :D  B)

Yes, that was my original intent - I have to admit that out of habit/paranoia, I take my tech kit to all my gigs. Only needed the soldering iron once, but it was there. The band keeps gaffer's tape, nylon ties and flashlights in the PA "tack box", but sometimes you need a little more. Your mobile kit is bigger than my bench setup. :D

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i drive a station wagon so its all in my car..

all of the stuff listed plus plaster of paris in case i need to make a mold of something real quick while at a gig.

every conceviable socket ever made.

soldering gun.

96 piece jewelers screwdriver set.

120 piece allan wrench

linemans pliers and four different types of cutters.

three different needle noses

garden wire from walmart the stuff you use for flower baskets.. makes great ground wire.

three mulitimeters

three types of solder as i never know whcih one i will need

i have eight rolls of wire all different sizes and a whole box of sliver wire in a rainbow of colors.

i am out of heat shrink tubing now.. darn it.

various fire devices and heat devices. epoxy's glues and solvents. as well as my first aid kit

a spare little clean amp and distorted amp that i can let someone use to finish the show.

and well too much more to list lol

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I have a tackle box filled with all sorts of goodies. The little compartments inside also are really handy to keep everying tidy.

* Knackered old pencil type soldering iron

* holder and sponge (to clean the iron)

* rosin core solder

* various resistors, caps, volume pots, inductors, 1/4" jacks, LED's, etc...

* heat shrink

* wire

* needle nose (2 pair, one fine tip, one normal), wire snips

* the SOLDER MONSTER (a little weighted base with aligator clips for hands)

* solder sucker

* a metal box with a pair of 1/4" jacks mounted works great to test any modification before soldering, used with...

* aligator clip wires

* breadboard (great for prototyping anything you can dream up)

* XActo knife

* Pocket knife (I cut'chu man)

* + and - screw drivers

* ratshack multimeter

* Hex key assortment that folds up like a pocket knife (I hex'chu man)

and there's probably more that I can't think of at the moment.

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