What tools will I need?

To build an amp kit you need a combination of electronics tools and a few hand tools:

1) Soldering iron. 20-30W is fine. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a temperature controlled model (although they are nice to have if you plan to build a lot of projects). Don’t use a ‘soldering gun’ type.

2) Wire cutters. To cut wires and component leads to length. You can use the side-action cutter on pliers.

3) Wire stripper. If you’ve got the knack and finesse, you can also use the side-action cutter of your pliers to strip wire insulation. I haven’t! I recommend a proper wire stripper to cut and remove insulation in one simple foolproof action.

4) Needle-nose pliers. For bending component leads, bus wires and threading tinned wire through hard-to-get-at solder lugs.

5) Screwdriver and socket set. For the fixing of all hardware to the chassis. Note that almost all of the nuts and bolts supplied with the kit are metric, but a few items (e.g. Switchcraft) are designed for the US market and are imperial. I use one of those combination socket sets you can buy for about £10-15.

6) Digital multimeter. For testing and measuring your amp. The minimum requirements are:
* 500V AC voltage range (for mains and power transformer measurements)
* 500V DC voltage range (for power supply and circuit measurements)
* 2M-ohm resistance range (for checking resistors and certain types of troubleshooting)
* any current ranges (we don’t measure current directly)

It’s also nice to have a DMM with:
* an audible continuity buzzer setting (an buzzer that sounds when the two probes are touched together – or connected through the circuit)
* a large readout (just to make things easier)

Finally, if you don’t mind spening a little more, capacitance measurement can be useful. Although it’s rarely needed, and not required to build any of the Amp Maker kits.