About a million months ago bitchywelder asked me to post a pic of my 5 top tools to do what I do with metal. Man, this was way more difficult than I thought.
#1- angle grinder: with various wheels cutting, grinding, sanding, wire brush
#2- oxy/ acetylene torch (not pictured): with cutting, welding, and rosebud tips
#3- miller syncrowave180SD tig/ stick welder
#4- air grinders: straight, 90 degree, and pencil: with all the various carbide burrs and sanding discs.
#5- ball peen hammer that I made a steel handle for. Up until last year I only had this and a craftsman masons hammer in the metal shop. They both handled every shaping, forging, and general beating the crap out of something I could throw at them.
One of my favorite quotes is ” a champion billiards player will beat you with a broomstick” I think that applies to a lot of people. It is great to have the biggest, heaviest duty tools and shop, but the tools don’t make the cool sculpture- the operator does.