Useful Tools



A Dragonfly can be constructed without power tools, or welding. Of course the money and electricity saved that way is paid for with time & sweat. Here is a list of suggested tools (without investing a lot). These are just suggestions because there is no official way to make any of this stuff and many processes can be adapted to whatever is available. I'd probably go so far as to say that if you followed the plans to the letter, you'd be a nerd.

  • Hand or electric Drill with the following bits:
    • for metal: 1/8 (5 mm), 3/16 (7 mm), 1/4 (10 mm), 5/16 (13 mm), 3/8 (16 mm), 1/2 (25 mm).
    • for wood: 7/16 (20 mm), and 1 (55 mm).
  • Crescent Wrench (adjustable spanner)
    • or Socket Wrenches: 3/8 (16 mm), 7/16 (20 mm), 1/2 (25 mm), 9/16 (30 mm).
  • Screw Driver, 1/4 inch (9 mm) wide tip.
  • Mallet or Sledge hammer, 3 lb (1.4kg)
    • smaller hammers work too, (or maybe a rock)
  • Large pliers or Vise Grip.
  • Cross Cut Handsaw (cuts wood)
  • Hacksaw (cuts metal)
  • Copper tube cutter (or a Hacksaw)
  • Tin snips (sheet metal shears)
    • Or have the tin cut at heating & air-conditioning fabricators
  • Cold Chisel, 1/2 (25 mm) tip. cuts a 1-1/4 hole through sheet metal
    • a series of small drilled holes and a screwdriver to knock out the connecting metal works too, file the edges
  • Tape Measure
  • Arrow T-50 staple gun uses cheapest Monel non-rust staples (on ebay as of 2011)
    • Iron staples work if you don't mind replacing them in 2 to 10 years
    • Copper tacks are easier to acquire, but offer less holding surface.
  • Short Hand Plane, or Spokeshave, or Sureform to shape the blades
    • A pocket knife works ok too, but it takes awhile.
  • Hex Key 1/8 (5 mm) to tighten the blade bearings
  • Propane Torch, solder, resin flux, matches.
    • A stove top works too
  • Wood Chisel, 1 inch (55 mm)
    • any size works, or a butcher knife
  • Spoon Chisel 3/4 inch (40 mm)
  • Sandpaper and block, 80 and 100 grit
  • Bastard File, half round x 10 inches (550 mm)
    • and/or a Rat Tail File, 8 inches long (440 mm)
  • A Table Vise
    • Or a large Vise Grip and a C-clamp to hold it steady (with a table).
  • 12 Volt test bulb or volt-ohm meter for testing circuit continuity