22 December 2000

LAST-MINUTE GIFT IDEAS FOR

THE TRULY WORKSHOP-MINDED

Flummoxed over that

special present? No need

to fret – theres still (just)

time to find something for

the workshop boffin in your

life – and heres a stocking

full of last-minute ideas

from Andrew Pearce

DONT know how they do it, really. Every year the choice of workshop stuff seems to grow, with more makers busy devising new tools or finding cheaper ways to produce old favourites. Whichever, the end result is the widest selection theres ever been – priced to suit all pockets.

Heres a selection of potential Christmas cheer, culled from the ranges of Sealey, Teng and others. At one end of the spectrum are basic items for anyone starting a life of toil with machinery; at the other is kit for the already-kitted. For pictures we went to Camberley Auto Factors Brighton branch (01273-775488), though all items will be on tap through your local machinery dealer, agricultural store or specialist factor. If these cant help, our handy Who does what box lists manufacturers contact numbers – the fastest route to tracking down your nearest stockist. Seasons greetings and happy shopping!

Left: Allen keys have a nasty habit of wandering. This set keeps the little beggars in one place, as well as boosting leverage and grip comfort. Teng no 1477, £9.89.

Right: No more muddling on with cut-down cans if youve got a parts washer. Sealeys version filters solvent, pipes it through a flexible spout and adds an air wash facility to help pre-cleaning. Capacity is 23 litres minimum, (SM 20T £176.19).

Right: Another staple item…

An impact driver. This one from Teng (ID 515, £19.46) should last.

Left: Big capacity at low cost comes from this 600mm (24in) Iron Bull adjustable (£16.95). Alternatives from Draper

(56771, £119) and Teng

(4008, £132.90) are best reserved for the workshop.

Left: Not exactly exciting, but hole punches are a big help when cutting rubber or making gaskets. Drapers DRA25993 set covers

3/16in to 1/2in: £12.69.

Right: Deep sockets are a big help

with long studs. Tengs 1/2in

drive set covers 13mm-24mm

(M1207, £33.16).

Above: Some machinery gearboxes are in awkward places.

If youve had enough of crawling about to find drain plugs or cheesed off with oil shooting up your sleeve, then this fluid extractor might help. Armed with three probes, it empties 6.5 litres in one suck then tips liquid into a waste

oil drum. Sealey (TP69, £46.95).

Right: Modern alternators have inbuilt protection, but many still reckon its best to disconnect the battery before welding. A surge protector clipped across the terminals dampens voltage spikes which can scramble electronics, say Sealey (PROSAF/12, £35.19).

Left: Heat for medium-to-small soldering jobs comes in Sealeys SD300K outfit, which packs an iron, an instant heat gun, a desoldering tool and a multi-armed thingy for holding tiny items. Set is £35.19, or £16.39 buys the

heat gun alone.

Right: A hacksaw with a solid frame and effective blade tensioning is the foundation of a good cut. Tengs outfit (700 PRO-5, £12.95) adds

a safety knife.

WHODOESWHAT

&#8226 Sealey Power Products (01284-757500) Huge range of mid-price tools and specialist equipment.

&#8226 Draper Tools (023-8026 6355 or www.draper.co.uk) Plenty of choice and is particularly strong on woodworking items.

&#8226 Teng Tools (01525-711500 or www.tengtools.co.uk) Offers a smaller range of top quality stuff.

&#8226 All prices quoted are less VAT. Most items are produced by more than one maker, with variation in cost, quality and warranty. Check the options before you buy.