What Tools Should I Take to Latin America?

Hi,
We will be moving to Costa Rica and Ecuador next year. I need to decide what tools I should take with me or what would be cheaper to buy there. We will be splitting our time between the San Jose, Costa Rica area and Cuenca, Ecuador. I have no idea how easy it will be to find tools in either location nor how much it will cost to ship them. Has anyone else faced this issue or, at least, can give some insight?
Thanks, Gary
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If there are wood workers there - and I'm sure - they have some. But to what quality ?
I'd consider a good set of carving tools, sharpening stones for them and consider what project you might do... That helps determine tools.
Martin
On 8/19/2011 8:51 PM, Abby Brown wrote:

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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 21:51:44 -0400, "Abby Brown"

Good questions, and good to ask 'em before moving. ;)
Maybe something here will help: http://www.google.com/search?q=woodworking+tools+in+costa+rica http://www.google.com/search?q=woodworking+tools+in+ecuador
$400 DeWally? Ouch!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnQLGMYLlcY

Gary,
what tools do you have? what tools do you use? and what do you build?
http://goo.gl/OZUW2 and http://goo.gl/L5Kjj and a ground adaptor for any Normite tools.
Take a ryoba, an impactor, an HF multifunction tool, a set of cabinet scraper, various screwdrivers, some planes (Stanleys #65-1/2, 4, 5, 7), a drawknife, a spokeshave, an Exacto knife set, and an array of diamond hones. That'll cover the basics and won't cost much to take or ship.
-- ...in order that a man may be happy, it is necessary that he should not only be capable of his work, but a good judge of his work. -- John Ruskin
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One problem you're likely to run into is that electrical power can be very spotty. In Grenada during a church build, the boys kept blowing breakers and powerlines and they had better luck with smaller tools, like a 2 HP router than big 3.5HP brutes. Another serious problem they had was theft.
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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:27:37 -0700 (PDT), Robatoy

My daughter spent a little over three years in Honduras. Many towns would run their generator for only ours in the afternoon so the residents could run their washing machines.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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I'm going to build a box. How much wood should I buy?
You really need to do some basic ground work. Are you shipping household goods and furniture? If so, you may be paying for a full 20' or 40' container and you can easily stuff a lot of tools in it and pay no extra. If you are shipping them by post office or UPS, you can spend a lot.
Have you visited the area you are moving to? Did you check out local stores for what they have and the prices? Are there restrictions on what you can import? Is this a permanent move or a 2 year military gig?
Since you are splitting time in three locations, do you need tools in each of them? Same tools?
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Abby Brown wrote:

San Jose is a well put together city as is Costa Rica generally. You'll easily be able to find any sort of tool in or around San Jose; however, cost may be much higher - particularly for stationary tools - because of import duties. Those same import duties may also be applied if you bring in your own, depends on your visa type. Plus, shipping isn't all that cheap.
When I moved to Mexico I took (hand carried) a cut off saw + blades, 3/8" drill, router and common bits and a saber saw. I also took some common hand tools...various pliers (pinces), screwdrivers (desarmadores), etc. No need, not expensive there.
You will also be able to hire specialized work done very cheaply. For example, the windshield wipers on my car stopped working, problem was a Delrin gear. The gears weren't available either in Mexico or US so I took the old one to a machine shop - lots to choose from - and they made me one from bronze. Don't recall the cost but under $10. BTW, they have HUGE lathes, turn a lot of semi-truck and bus drive shafts.
--

dadiOH
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I drove down to Costa Rica from the Yukon and spent quite a bit of time there (2-3 months). I visited every hardware store and wooddorking shop I could while my wife was shopping elsewhere.
Costa Rican hardware stores are fairly well equipped, about the same range of hand tools you would expect at a Canadian/USian hardware store, most of them Stanley. Don't expect high end hand tools there no more than you would expect them in a hardware store or Borg in the northern reaches of North America. Prices a little more expensive, but not greatly so, certainly less than double what you would pay here. But the selection of machetes is much better, with Brazilian and Salvadorean products on offer.
Costa Rica runs on 110 volts 60 cycles like the rest of North America, same plugs except that older installations (like more than 10 years old) do not necessarily have a ground on their receptacles. You can get pretty much the same power tools you can get here, but they also have the Mexican "Truper" brand stuff, much of it made in China, alas. Prices a little higher, but not greatly so.
I don't know about Ecuador except I think they run on 220 50 cycles like in Europe.
Luigi
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