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Hand and Power Tools

Local 15 has a list of tools you are responsible for bringing to every job site*.  All other tools must be provided by the employer.  In addition, you should know by name and sight these tools, what they do, and what fasteners correspond to them. Do not use any tool you are unfamiliar with and ask for instruction when in doubt.

Tool Belt*The tool belt you choose should be capable of carrying all required tools. You don’t need a stealthy one specifically designed for theater—you should only need it for building, assembling, and loading shows in and out of a venue. You may find it worthwhile to also keep a smaller tool holder to just keep the essentials for a given job on you if you find you don’t need the entire required tool list once you’ve started work.
Crescent Wrench*A 6” or 8” adjustable wrench may be the stagehand’s most important tool. Never show up to a job without one. A shorter handle is fine as long as the jaw opens wide, over 1”.
It is required for your wrench to have a place to attach a safety line so the tool can’t fall if dropped from any height.
Hammer*If you aren’t sure which kind to choose, try a standard 12-ounce claw hammer. A heavier straight claw framing hammer is fine too. Choose something that comfortable in your hand. Make sure to never use a steel claw hammer on aluminum truss pins. 
Pliers, Wire Cutters*Most people prefer 8-inch pliers and wire cutters. If cutting a lot of zip ties, use flush cutters to avoid leaving a sharp point.
Measuring Tape*A 25’ tape measure is a good balance between working length and extra weight on your tool belt.
Multi-Tip Screwdriver*Common bits: #2 Phillips, #2 Robertson/Square, various flat heads, 3/16”/1/4”/5/16” Hex, T-25 and T-30 Torx,
Torpedo LevelA standard 9” torpedo level. One with a metal straight edge is handy.
Socket Wrench and socketsThe most common imperial socket sizes for our industry are 7/16”, 1/2”, 9/16”, and 3/4” in some instances.
Some scenery is made overseas and uses metric hardware.
Speed wrenchesWith double sided speed wrenches, you can carry two tools that will fit almost all bolt sizes we work with.
Screw Gun, Drill MotorA screw gun or impact driver uses a rotary hammering action to drive screws into wood and metal with ease but may not always be suitable for a delicate job and should not be used for drilling holes.
A cordless drill or drill motor often has a clutch to prevent driving a screw too deep or seizing a drill bit in a hole.
Multi ToolA multi tool with built in pliers, cutters, and a knife is very handy, but remember that a multi tool is not a substitute for the independent version of a tool on the required tool list.
Allen WrenchBoth metric and SAE sets are recommended
Glue GunHot glue is widely used to quickly repair scenery and props. Never leave a glue gun on its side while plugged in, this is a common cause of fire!
Hand StaplerUsually used for attaching textiles into wood. Make sure to use to the correct staples for the stapler.
Air CompressorBefore you start work, make sure the compressor regulator is set to an appropriate pressure for the tool you plan to use and the release valve is closed.
Air HoseUsed to connect a pneumatic tool to a pressurized air source like a compressor.
Pneumatic nail gun/staplerWhen using a pneumatic tool, always use eye and ear protection. If it fires a fastener into a work piece, consider fastener length and pressure, and make sure you know what is on the other side of the work piece before starting to work.
Circular SawUse eye and ear protection, and make sure to use proper work-holding tools and techniques.
Band SawBand saws are used for cutting irregular shapes in wood or metal. They are also known for cutting irregular shapes in fingers, so make sure you are confident in your training before turning on a band saw. Use eye and ear protection.
Radial Arm SawA radial arm saw is usually found in a scenic shop for making accurate cuts in stock lumber. Use eye and ear protection.
Compound Miter SawA compound miter saw performs a similar function to a radial arm saw, but in a smaller form factor appropriate for use on a jobsite. Use eye and ear protection.
Metal cut-off sawUsed to make accurate cuts in stock metal like angle iron, square tube, and pipe. Use eye and ear protection.  The metal must be clamped in place before cutting.
Angle GrinderAlways check if an angle grinder is fitted with a cut-off or grinding wheel. Using a cut off wheel for grinding can cause it to explode. Either way, use eye and ear protection.
Pop RivetUsed to attach two pieces of thin material together permanently.
Soldering IronUse to tin and solder electrical connections. Make sure you have appropriate ventilation in the area you will be working.
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