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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I've gone and bought a scrolling orbital jigsaw to help me work on halloween prop making!! For a lot of you crafty construction folk here I'm sure buying a power tool is nothing unusual. Nothing expensive, just $25 on sale, but saw one over at BIG LOTS! online and thought about all those things I've passed on doing because I don't have any type of power saw capability here and I can't have everything cut at HD. Don't have plans to build the Haunted Mansion or anything like that but it should come in handy for my fence project. I already have a power drill, power screwdriver and goggles and some basic tools I've used around the house, so maybe it was time to dip my foot into the water.

All this brings up a question, "For the prop building you've done, what has been the handiest tool to have?" What kinds of halloween projects do you do with it? Also curious what tool would you like to add to your collection that you don't already have?
 

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sasquatch
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A Dremel tool and a hot styrofoam knife are my tool most important Haunting tools.
 

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You should check out Harbor Freight Tools. Perhaps there is a store near you? If not, check out Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices. I am lucky enough to have a store near me. I just bought a Roto-Zip tool (they have it as another name) for LESS than $20. I use it for cutting out my wooden plaques and, but mostly carving tombstones! It holds my Dremmel bits and has a depth adjustment to make my carvings come out uniform. Also, if your foam is not too thick, you can cut tombstone shapes with it.. No more knives!

These are not high quality tools, they are meant for the home owner, not contractor. They work fine for what we're doing. Hope this helps...
 

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I think my dremel and the jig saw are the most handy for halloween. Both work wonders for making tombstones :)
rmwitch has some good advice about harbor freight, I go there for all my 'disposable' building needs. Their equipment won't last a lifetime and it's not high accuracy stuff but for the weekend hobbiest it's great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for reminding me about Harbor Freight. They aren't in my area but I was on their website after someone posted about pressure sensitive mats on their site (for triggering props) and I tend to forget to check there. I think a lot of us here fall into the weekend hobbiest category so look for a good price for something that will get the job done without overkill.

I'm hoping the Skil scrolling orbital jigsaw will fit the bill for a lot of projects for me. I liked that it had a vacuum port and it sounds from the tech specs like it can handle a number of materials and thicknesses. I was debating about a model with a laser line or this model with the scrolling and my dad thought I should go with the scrolling feature. The blade storage and bag are nice benefits. The 5 amp motor doesn't sound too bad. It is refurbished so hopefully I'll have good luck with it. BTW this was my first time ordering from BigLots Online and so far a good experience. My shipping wasn't bad either, under $7 for 3-5 days.
 

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That's a good deal I think you'll really like it.
I had a hard time finding blades that cut through 2" pink foam. All the ones I had were 1/8" too short and would tear up the foam. I finally found that Bosch blades were long enough and I find the jigsaw is easier, more accurate and much faster to cut tombstones than the foam wire cutters.
Have fun with your new toy!
 

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Where wolf?
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For me flat out hands down there is no escaping the desperate need of my 18 guage brad air nailer and compressor.
 

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the Dremel and a "Forever Sharp" knife my mother bought from a snake-oil merchant who was demonstrating them in my store (work in a supermarket atm). I dont know how I ever coped without a dremel till this year, or how I will after today because the power pack blew up mid carving :/ The knife, desite how much the guy selling it was a pain, is just amazing, it's like cutting through butter and I've got some interesting effects with it because its so sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a good deal I think you'll really like it.
I had a hard time finding blades that cut through 2" pink foam. All the ones I had were 1/8" too short and would tear up the foam. I finally found that Bosch blades were long enough and I find the jigsaw is easier, more accurate and much faster to cut tombstones than the foam wire cutters.
Have fun with your new toy!

Thanks FirstSpartan for the tip on the Bosch blades length and foam usage. I'm on their site now. Do you know if that was the Specialty Jigsaw blade for soft materials, T113A3 (4in overall lenght, 3.03 inches working length)? My Skil won't come with any blades so I'll be looking for recommendations for those too. It takes T & U blades. Being in California where its warmer year round, unless I gorilla glue EPS board together, I probably won't be cutting any foamboard that thick. They don't sell the really thick blue or pink board here. Man, I never knew there were so many blades to chose from.

MedeaViolia, was that knife one of those Ginsu knives?
 

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My angle grinder with different cutting wheels for different purposes. Then close second would be a Mig Welder, i love the minimalistic look of metal. Next year I have plans for some brutal torture sculptures like the torture boxes Gore Galore makes just bigger and more brutal.

I am to the point of learning to carve and shape foam with a wire wheel and blade.on my angle grinder. Makes a mess, but you have to have fun while you work.

Then the almighty light sabre of home haunters is the dremel, enough can not be said about them.
 

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WOW, what a loaded question. Do I say pepsi or vodka? hmmm.

Seriously, I use my screwdrivers, and socket set a lot but, then I'm building a lot of pvc stuff. Then I use my new table saw a lot now that I could finally afford one. I used a jigsaw for years and it was driving me nuts. Nothing ever really came out str8 for the long cuts. Now I can't put down my paint brushes and glue gun for my prop building. My mallet doesn't go far either for pounding things into place.
My air compressor is a huge help since a few years ago I went to the pnuematics.

The problem with power tools, if you see one, you will always think of a use for it. lol
 
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