Tinkering is a race specific Tradeskill in Everquest since only Gnomes can raise it. All Gnomes start out with Tinkering at 50 which is nice as it saves some money for leveling it! The route I chose for Tinkering is moderately costly to raise but it's extremely straight forward which saves a ton of time.
I also strongly recommend that you consider using a Draught of the Craftsman for this process. It's a potion you can purchase from the Daybreak store that gives you a 100% chance to return all failed Tradeskill components back to you. This will greatly reduce the overall cost of leveling the Tradeskill. (May not be available on the TLPs at this time)
Flameless Lantern 50 - 68
Stalking Probe 68 - 102
Powered Gloves 102 - 122
Tinkered Catapult 122 - 135
Everything can be purchased from a vendor for this combine except Firewater. The Firewater needs to be crafted using Gnomish Spirits and Water Flask. The Shaped Ashwood Bow Staff is made through Fletching; all of the items used in crafting it are vendor purchased. Its Fletching trivial is 148.
Geerlok Automated Hammer 135 - 215
For this item the Grease, Gears, Sprockets, Gnomish Bolts and Smithy Hammer can all be vendor purchased. The only item you actually have to farm is the Small Piece of Acrylia Ore which the best places to farm that would be Acrylia Caverns or Grimling Forest.
Molten Metal Bow Cams 215 - 282
The Molten Metal Bow Cams are the most difficult item to make on this list by far. All three items used in creating this item are dropped by enemies/foraged and you'll need to either buy them or farm them. Starting with the Clockwork Grease, it's foraged in Plane of Innovation until the SoF X-pac when it finally drops off mobs.
Both Molten Metal Bolts and Gears require Molten Ore that drops exclusively in Plane of Fire. I'd recommend you mix and match making Molten Metal Bow Cams with the following item, Crab Cracker. More information about this under the Crab Cracker entry below.
Crab Cracker 282 - 288
The Crab Cracker is arguably the easier method to reach 280 than Molten Metal Bow Cams. The reason for this is it doesn't require elemental access and it only requires you to farm 1 difficult item, Knuckle Joint. The issue with Knuckle Joint though is it's a bit more uncommon than the Molten Ore that you need to farm for the previous item.
Keep in mind too - you can also sub in Wok combines as well since that only requires a single item that drops from Plane of Innovation too.
Wok 288 - 300
This combine, much like the previous combines, requries an item drop from Plane of Innovation. The Clockwork Carapace drops off a defective and scrounging clockwork enemies in the zone and is about twice as rare as the Knuckle Joint for the previous combine.
- If you choose to use a Draught of the Craftsman you'll have enough juice to max out two Tradeskills usually. So come prepared with a lot of materials before popping a pot!
- If you don't see any materials that you need listed in The Bazaar setup a Buyer on a day when you don't plan on playing much to buy the items you need. Mention in general chat what you're buying (and even pay double what the other barters ask to get peoples attention if you want). Maybe someone who is killing in the zones and reading general will offload their loot to you.
- Aside from the uses mentioned above it's useful for every player to max out all of their Tradeskills for tangible useful benefits. You can only acquire things like Artisan's Prize and Sacred Prayer Shawl of the Duke from maxing out your Tradeskills. Those of you whom are wondering if this is all even worth it, well now you know.
- Under "General" in the AA window get the Salvage AA as soon as you possibly can, preferably before you start raising all of your Tradeskills. It'll save you a lot of plat.