1. Tools: I have no personal vendetta with Harbor Freight. In fact two of my major shop tools come from there including an 18 Inch metal brake and a 3 axis manual milling machine. The metal bender cost me about $30 and I think it is a bit more today like $38. That is a good buy if you have about $50 burning a hole in your pocket to cover tax and shipping. Builders may want to bend up their own chassis but is not needed for this project. But for hand tools like screwdrivers, pliers, nippers, files, hacksaws etc. get the Craftsman brand typically available at Sear's. One reason is the return policy --if it says Craftsman on the tool and it breaks --you get a new one free! The inexpensive tools often available at places like Harbor Freight are just that --usually good for a one time application. Get tools that will last! Hand drills are a must and a bench type drill press even better. I have a pedestal floor mounted drill press I bought from Sears about 20 years ago but often use the Mill as a small type bench drill press. Makita and DeWalt make some good hand drills. Measuring tools are another key piece. I have a metal square that is used for all of my panel layout measurements. A rusty screw driver with a chipped blade and a worn out (wobbly) hand drill is not a starting point for the Bitx40 project. While you are at it --get drill bits specific to building electronics and not the 100 piece unit that will dull in short order. Get pilot bits (1/16 inch) and bits that will drill undersize for threading 4-40 and 6-32 screw holes. I frequently tap holes in aluminum angle stock. This is especially useful when it is almost impossible to get my fat fingers into an area to start a nut. Thus 4-40 and 6-32 taps are a must for your shop. A metal center punch is as basic as a soldering iron! Last but not least is a rat tail file (3/8" in diameter).
Below is a sampling of some of the tools that I mentioned in this section: