Make a Hidden Wall Compartment In Your House

hidden compartment complete open

As kids, we always had a thing about secret compartments and hidden spots. Somewhere to hide money (from light-fingered siblings) or special treasures that held significant, personal, intrinsic value. Somehow, hiding them made them even that much more special. So, why would that change when we become adults?

It came as no surprise, when doing a search on DIY hidden compartments, that I would get a plethora of results. Hidden doors, drawers, a “safe” in a tree, a fake head of iceberg lettuce… I don’t think there’s an end to the list of hiding places and secret compartments folks have in their homes or on their properties.

secret floor

So, I decided to focus on ideas that were practical (even though climbing into a bunker through the hood of a car was cool in “Red”), convenient (in the house), but not too simple (so the old hollowed-out book trick was out). Eventually, I found this wall unit on Instructables.com, which is the perfect combination of doable and clever, and the lock is kept in plain sight! If you’ve been thinking about creating a hidden compartment, check this out and see what you think. Then maybe look around your place and see where you could put it!

hidden compartment complete closed

FYI, here are the things you’re going to need to make it happen:

Tools

Besides the common woodworking tools, here are a few things you’ll need…

Materials

  • Tot Lok with extra key
  • 2 @ 3-1/2″ square rosette block moulding
  • Cabinet hinges
  • 1″x8″ shiplap board
  • 1″x8″ tongue and groove boards —  to cover the wall(s) that have wainscoting
  • 1″x2″ boards — spacers between the pairs of the 1″x8″s. You should have the same number of these as the 1″x8″
  • Nails, construction adhesive, caulk, paint, other wood needed for baseboards and for plate rail at the top of the wainscoting, etc.

If you’re short on any of the tools, swing by Harbor Freight Tools! You’ll find them at great, low prices!

A “BLAST” FOR CLEANING AND STRIPPING PARTS

Abrasive Blast Cabinet

More often than not, wire brushes or sanding discs just won’t cut it! Blasting is the only way to really get parts clean and prepped for paint and powder, especially when it comes to automotive parts. But blasting can create quite a mess. Save yourself the hassle with the Abrasive Blasting Cabinet (item #: 68893) from Harbor Freight Tools. The blasting cabinet is constructed from sturdy 19-gauge steel to keep dust, debris and blasting medium contained. It also features a fluorescent lighting system, ceramic nozzle, hose and gloves.

Here’s what customers are saying about the blasting cabinet:

I use this product daily. It works VERY WELL… – Scotty B., Jupiter Farms, FL

I have been doing all powdercoating for 2 motorcycle shops and use the heck out of this rig. I have not had a problem with leaks, assembly, gloves etc. This system works comparable to any others that are 4 times the cost. – RS-SS Restorations, Colorado/Arkansas

This is one of the best purchases I have made for my shop. Finding all kinds of uses. – Joel, Wisconsin

Harbor Freight also carries compressors and dust collectors, which can be used with the Abrasive Blast Cabinet. For accessory specifications, please be sure to consult the user manual.

When it comes to parts that need to be stripped down to the base material, give ‘em a blast that will last with the Abrasive Blast Cabinet from Harbor Freight Tools, available at one of 600+ stores nationwide!

Abrasive Blast Cabinet
Item #: 68893

RUNNING COMPRESSOR AIR LINES IN YOUR GARAGE

air line installment

Wouldn’t it be great to have access to compressed air throughout the garage or shop without having to haul and set up your compressor everywhere you need it? Well, it doesn’t take as much as you think to make it happen. Here is a simple, rudimentary way of setting up the workshop to do just that.

What Kind of Pipe?

If you’re considering PVC pipe, don’t. If the PVC broke under pressure, the plastic would burst and send a salvo of splintery shrapnel all over the place. For a home shop, we recommend copper– 1) you won’t run into the same problem; 2) it won’t corrode; and 3) it’s readily available at the local home improvements stores. For the fittings, you’re going to want to find a refrigeration solder designed for 200+psi working pressure, such as Stay-Brite #8, which installs easily with a standard Butane or Propane Torch, as well as the Stay-Clean flux to spread it out (don’t cross fluxes).

(If you don’t want to solder, use black steel pipe. Measure the pipe runs and buy exact lengths– the home improvement stores will cut and thread them for you. The nice thing about air compression lines is, unlike water or gas lines, they don’t need perfect joints, so it’s OK if they leak a little. For the purpose of this article, we’re going with the first choice– copper)

Tools Needed

Here are the necessary tools you’ll need to do this project:

Adjustable Wrench

adjustable wrench

 

Air Compressor

21 gal vertical air compressor

 

Air Hose

air hose

Tube Cutter

tube cutter half-inch

Butane Torch

butane torch You will also need a wire brush handy for cleaning the copper joints.

Materials

  • 1/2-inch copper pipe and fittings
  • Solder
  • Flux

We recommend you run your main line high, but exposed, up near the ceiling, with a drop anywhere you think you’ll want an air hose. At the bottom of the drop, install a TA ball valve at the top and bottom of the T, and a quick coupler on the 90 (facing, of course, away from the wall).

There are plenty of sites that go in greater detail regarding connections and PSI, etc. We would advise you to look for the most authoritative direction (if you find multiple sources that concur, even better!). The subject is diverse and there are lots of possibilities for configuration. Good luck with your installation!

2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide

fathers day 2015

When you think of the best parts of your childhood, Dad is indelibly among them. The smell of his after shave and brush of his stubble. The excitement of his coming home and throwing you in the air. The weird songs he chose to sing along to when driving or working in the garage (“Love is a burning thing…“). Yup, Dad is a large part of our favorite memories, so of course we somehow want to convey that to him come Father’s Day. And since he still likes to tinker in his garage, work on his car and stay busy, here are ten excellent suggestions from Harbor Freight Tools on what to get him.

 

3 ton steel jack low profile

This best-selling 3-ton low-profile steel jack can fit in small spaces and lift big things– and it makes the job easier, ’cause it gets the vehicle up, fast and high. Embodied with strength and durability, the heavy-duty jack rolls and maneuvers easily on concrete with its wide steel wheels, and is long enough to get way under the vehicle. A winner for anyone looking for a “heavy” jack!

 

13 drawer tool cabinet

For the man who has everything… something to put it in! Finally, Dad can consolidate his multiple toolboxes into this one durable, spacious cabinet. Made of heavy-duty industrial-strength steel, this baby can hold over 2,500 lbs. of tools and roll around the garage to assist him with whatever job he’s got cooking. You’d spend hundreds more elsewhere to get the same lifelong service this favorite tool cabinet will provide.

 

12000 winch FB

If Dad’s the kind of guy who boldly goes where no man (in their right mind) has gone before, then our Badlands 12K electric winch is the ticket. Built to be tortured and come back for more, this winch will emancipate stuck vehicles, haul downed trees and load boats. Rain? Snow? Mud? Please. Throw in the Wireless Winch Remote #61474 and Dad can Snapchat his adventures while the winch does all the work!

 

90 amp flux wire welder 61849

If you’ve noticed that, from time to time, Dad’s been in need of a welder– or if he’s expressed interest to get into welding– here is the perfect unit to get him equipped, With our best-selling 90 amp flux core welder, you get the functionality of a MIG welder without the hassle of gas. Set-up and operation are way easy, and the performance is awesome! Dad will find out soon enough how invaluable this welder is, for small repairs and in the garage. Pick up one of our Auto-Darkening Helmets #61611 while you’re at it.

3 gallon pancake compressor 61615

While the old man’s still got plenty of hot air to spare, why not make life easier for him by having one of these handy, reliable units in the garage? This 3-gallon oilless air compressor is a mighty mite for inflation, stapling, nailing, sanding, buffing, spray painting and all kinds of small pneumatic projects around the house. It takes very little space and tucks out of the way until it’s needed again. A nice addition in any home, shop or garage.

 

ladder 67646

With the ability to set up in 23 different configurations, our multi-task ladder will perform for Dad like a boss, whatever his chore. Made of super-strong aircraft-grade aluminum,  this unit can transform into 4 kinds of step ladders, 6 kinds of stair ladders, 7 types of extension ladders, 2 kinds of scaffold trestles and 4 sizes of storage ladder. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’ll make him a sandwich, but don’t quote us. As the title suggests, our multi-task ladder stretches out to 17 ft. and can easily sustain 300 lbs. And, it sells for much less than the leading competitors! (*in stores only)

 

10-inch miter saw 61971

This 10″ sliding compound miter saw will easily make a home in your Dad’s shop. For it’s size and price, he will be pleasantly surprised at how big a cut it makes. Great for plywood, baseboards, trim, molding, flooring– and with the switch of a blade, can also cut masonry and metal. With its robust 15 amp motor this power saw delivers precision cross, bevel and miter cuts. A great deal and a handy addition for Dad.

 

reciprocating saw 62370

Here’s the tool Dad will grab whenever he announces, “Stand back, Junior, and prepare to be dazzled!” Our 6″ reciprocating saw is a top-rated workhorse that cuts through heavy lumber, nails, siding, branches and roots, exhaust pipe, etc., like butter. This is the go-to tool for remodeling kitchens, tearing down porches and removing a door or window. One of the features he’ll really like is how he can control direction, making it easy to get around tricky areas. The reciprocating saw could easily become his favorite tool in the garage.

 

motorcycle lift 1000 lb cropped

If Dad’s a “Wild Hog,” here’s the item on the type of every rider’s wish list. With our motorcycle lift, he can wrench and clean his bike with ease, saving his back and knees,  and making it a lot less effort to get up for another tool. With just a pump of the foot, he can lift his bike to a comfortable level, safe and secure on the stand. This motorcycle life is strong, rugged and could easily be employed for commercial use. Throw in a couple of our Magnetic Bowls, and the old man will be in hog heaven!

 

image_21577

Speaking of wrenching, may we suggest Harbor Freight’s most complete, end-all mechanic’s tool kit. At a fraction of the cost competitors’ similar sets, this professional mechanic’s tool set contains a comprehensive collection of the most-used automotive and mechanic’s tools in both SAE and metric sizes.  It’s got everything organized and clearly labeled so he won’t waste time zeroing in on the right tool or right size. Dad will not only be excited about the performance of these tools, he’ll be happy to see how many different kinds are all together in one box. As one customer put it, “Hands down, the best tool set for the money!”

Whatever you think your dad might like, chances are good you’ll find it at Harbor Freight Tools— and because of the low prices there, you’ll be able to get something really nice and look like a champ (not that you’ll ever be the champ Dad is).

 

 

 

 

Powerful & Portable, the Perfect Compressor

Portability and power are two major considerations when looking for an air compressor. Luckily, Harbor Freight has an air compressor unit that is the best combination of both! With the 8 Gal. 2 HP 125 PSI Oil Lube Air Compressor (Item #: 68740), you’ll be able to handle tough jobs both on the job and at home. With built-in wheels and a sturdy handle, you can easily transport the unit to wherever the work is. And when the job is done, you can take it right back home until it’s needed again.

image_20969

Along with convenient portability, this air compressor unit comes with plenty of features that only make your job easier. Featuring a powerful direct drive induction motor for optimal performance as well as a durable ABS shroud for protection, this compressor is able to withstand even the harshest of work environments while you concentrate on the task at hand. Plus, with thermal overload protection and a clear view oil window, maintenance is a breeze too. Why settle for anything less?? If you still need more convincing, here are a few actual customer reviews:

“I have three different compressors that I use all the time. This compressor is by far the easiest to use. Light weight and simple. I use it to build lumber projects, in the garage for auto repair, and art projects from air brushing to painting structures. I bought one for each of my sons to have at their homes too.” – by Durk the DIY Guy from Mesa, AZ

“Never had a problem with this compressor and it performs top notch! I did perform the break in just like the manual says (and yes this is very important for longevity) and I can’t complain one bit.  I could easily fill up all four tires on my car from a dead flat with all the air in the tank if I had to. Also, the drain valve at the bottom for extra air release is easy to use and assembly was easy to follow. Very portable and the wheels are solid rubber so no need to inflate them! This is my first oil compressor and although some people say you can’t use it on certain things, I find that it can be used on anything as long as you have the right attachments. Overall great product and great price.” – by Car Guy from Pheonix, AZ

“I’ve had this compressor for 5-ish years now and I’ve not had a single problem with it. It’s perfect for sitting in the corner of my shop for the little things. It works okay for small nails or brads. I use it mostly for airing tires, running my small wheel grinder, and blowing debris from the shop counters.” – by Alex from Portland from Portland, OR

While Harbor Freight has air compressors in a variety of capacities and sizes, you want to make sure you have the right one for your needs. The 8 Gal. 2 HP 125 PSI Oil Lube Air Compressor is the ideal choice for big jobs or long projects in just about any location. If you can get this air compressor to the job, it’ll handle it. And if you can get yourself to your local Harbor Freight store, you can pick it up for a fraction of what other retailers charge!

Scrape Away Your Gift Buying Worries With the Air Needle Scaler!

The versatile and incredibly easy-to-use Air Needle Scaler (Item #: 1108) from Harbor Freight Tools may not seem like the perfect stocking stuffer but you’d be amazed at just how much this handy item can get done. The 19 hardened steel needles featured on the scaler give you the ability to power off scale, rust, paint, cement, sealer and more from hard, durable or even irregular surfaces to handle a variety of projects! With the pneumatic needle scaler attached to your air compressor, it essentially does the work for you. All you have to do is hold the Air Needle Scaler at the desired angle and watch as the needles quickly scour the surface to a clean and smooth finish. No matter what the task may be, this needle scaler is designed to get the work done fast without damaging your work piece.

image_11207

Generating up to 4600 BPMs with three different settings, this pneumatic scaler handles tough jobs like cleaning rust off equipment or detailing hobby work. The Air Needle Scaler is easily adjustable to fit each of these different applications. Whether you need extra power or fine precision, this scouring tool is sure to become your go-to for rust and residue removal. And while the Air Needle Scaler is built to last, you can always pick up a 19 Piece Needle Scaler Replacement Set (Item #: 1109) for $9.99, just in case.

“We bought this on ‘super sale’ without knowing what we’d use it for and didn’t realize what a versatile tool it is. We now use it to clean up slag and flux from welding operations, remove paint and rust from areas that are inaccessible with a rotary tool, remove mortar from used bricks and clean lime scale off plumbing fixtures… we find new uses for this tool all the time. It is noisy and uses a lot of compressed air to operate but it’s a real time saver on many jobs.” – by Carla F. from Oregon

“I bought this today to save time and keep dust down. It did that surprisingly well. I am a welder and this current job is cleaning rust buildup on 96 sets of C channel stair stringers. It works well if your compressor is up to par.” – by Alar from Colorado

At just $54.99, the Air Needle Scaler is easy to add into your tool kit or to pick up as a gift, so even if you’ve had to scale back your tool budget, Harbor Freight has you covered! You’ll be hard pressed to find an air needle scaler of this quality for a better price anywhere.

HARBOR FREIGHT GIFT GUIDE: GIFT IDEAS FOR HOBBY & CRAFT ENTHUSIASTS WITHIN ANY BUDGET

For the hobby and craft enthusiast, Harbor Freight is a veritable treasure trove! Whether it’s a weekend craft project with the kids or a serious life-long interest, Harbor Freight offers numerous items for all hobbyists! And with Harbor Freight’s incredible values, you can give great gifts this holiday season within your particular budget while having plenty left over to gift the giver! Below are a some suggested gift ideas broken down by price range.

Under $10

30 Watt 5-In-1 Hobby Woodburner

30 Watt 5-In-1 Hobby Woodburner
item#: 38593

Every hobbyist should have this versatile tool in their arsenal. The 30 Watt 5-In-1 Hobby Woodburner is ideal for soldering jobs, working with Styrofoam, cutting stencils or burning designs into wood or leather. Harbor Freight’s woodburner tool contains tips for both soldering and wood burning, all in a convenient carrying case.

 

12 Drawer Storage Organizer

12 Drawer Storage Organizer
item#: 99896

Storage, sorting and organization are constant considerations for hobbyists. Harbor Freight has numerous items in all three categories but one item takes the cake decorations, beads, fasteners, buttons and more when it comes to combing all three! The 12 Drawer Storage Organizer has eight small and four large transparent drawers for easy identification. It can also be mounted to a wall or stand alone on a worktable.

 

Under $25

33 Piece Deluxe Hobby Knife Set

33 Piece Deluxe Hobby Knife Set
item#: 96551

This item easily made the cut—and keeps making cuts! The 33 Piece Deluxe Hobby Knife Set features 26 assorted blades, three standard blade holders and a deluxe blade handle with an ergonomic grip. Plus, the entire ensemble comes neatly organized in a convenient storage carrying case. For the majority of hobbies and crafts, this knife set is an absolute must!

 

Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit

Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit
item#: 68696

With this one tool alone, you can sand, debur, grind and polish metal, plastic, wood and more! Adjust the variable speed control from 8000 RPM to 35000 RPM using a convenient thumbwheel speed adjuster. 1/16” and 1/8” collets are included. To tackle numerous projects, the kit also includes 31 accessory bits—all neatly packed in a storage case.

 

Under $50

4 in. Mighty-Mite Table Saw

4 in. Mighty-Mite Table Saw
item#: 61608

Cut picture frames, molding and plastics without having to fire up your big table saw! The 2 miter slots featured allow you to cut precise angles with no hassle. The mini table saw also includes a blade guard and eye shield for safety.

 

3 Lb. Rotary Rock Tumbler

3 Lb. Rotary Rock Tumbler
item#: 67631

Utilizing a rubber tumbler barrel for quieter operation, this rock tumbler gives a smooth, polished finish to rocks, semi-precious stones, glass and even metal! It’s ideal for jewelry making as well as other hobbies where smoothing and polishing are needed to achieve the desired effect! Harbor Freight also sells a variety of abrasives to work with the 3 Lb. Rotary Rock Tumbler.

 

Under $100

1-6 HP 58 PSI Oilless Airbrush Compressor Kit

1/6 HP 58 PSI Oilless Airbrush Compressor Kit
item#: 69434

Get creative when painting with this air brush compressor kit. It’s easy to change colors and simple to clean. This air brush compressor and airbrush kit works with lacquers, oil-based paints and latex-based paints. It’s ideal for a wide variety of hobbies and crafts!

 

16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw

16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
item#: 93012

The 16 In. Variable Speed Scroll Saw does a great job cutting highly intricate curves and designs quickly and precisely. It also features a tilting table for making precise bevel cuts. A built-in air pump keeps the line-of-sight clear of sawdust when cutting. Additional features include a cast iron base for less vibration and variable speed control for working with a wide range of materials.

 

Under $200

8 x 12 Bench Top Wood Lathe

8″ x 12″ Bench Top Wood Lathe
item#: 95607

When the budget allows a bit extra for that someone special (including yourself), consider the 8” x 12” Bench Top Wood Lathe. The lathe features a ½ HP motor and has a variable speed range from 750-3200 RPM for precise control. The lathe includes a #1 Morse taper and tail stock, 2” and 6” face plates as well as 4” and 7” tool rests. Not to mention it’s so cute!—in a functional, power tool sort of way…

 

60 in. 4 Drawer Hardwood Workbench

60 in. 4 Drawer Hardwood Workbench
item#: 93454

Often times, hobby and craft people commandeer the dining room table, kitchen counter or other surface not intended to indefinitely house their endless projects. The 60 In. 4 Drawer Hardwood Workbench provides the solution. The workbench features a generous 60” top, convenient shelf and four storage drawers, each felt lined to protect tools and other accessories. A wood block vice is included to enhance usability. Now the family won’t have to eat off the back of the couch…

 

We’re really just touching the tip of the hobby and craft iceberg here. There is a vast multitude of supplies, tools, adhesives and safety equipment—all great stuff for hobbies and crafts available through Harbor Freight! It also goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that if you’re not sure exactly what to get the hobby and craft enthusiast on your list, a Harbor Freight Gift Card is always a viable choice! Check out any one of Harbor Freight’s 500+ stores nationwide or visit the website to discover Harbor Freight’s complete inventory of items to turn this season into Happy Hobby Days!

 

10 Legendary Favorites from Harbor Freight Tools!

Everyone’s got their favorite tool or accessory that they got from Harbor Freight Tools. Even if nothing else in the store tickles their fancy, there’s that one thing they either love to own, or dream of getting someday.  Actually, it’s more like 20 or 30 things, but for the sake of this post, here are 10 of the Customers’ Favorite Tools from Harbor Freight:

 1. 3-Ton Low Profile Steel Heavy-Duty Floor Jack #61282

3 ton steel jack low profile

You won’t find another deal like this classic workhorse– for the price, this baby can’t be beat! Tired of paying someone else to do your tires, brakes and rotors? The Pittsburgh 3-ton Low Profile Steel Floor Jack almost immediately pays for itself. It rolls smoothly on the garage floor, fits under the low, low show cars, lifts to almost two feet and lowers with ease. Plus, the floor jack’s dual-piston Rapid Pump technology lifts most work loads in just 3-1/2 pumps. Sells for $92.99, but you can usually find a coupon or sale on the 3-ton steel jack for even less. Read the customer reviews and you’ll be a believer, too!

2. 13-Drawer 44″ Roller Cabinet #68784

13 drawer tool cabinet

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you, this is a real nice box. For all the sizes and types of tool chests Harbor Freight has, the U.S. General 44″ Industrial Roller Cabinet is the darling of the bunch. Sizable and sturdy enough to handle a slew of tools, yet easy to roll around the shop floor– not to mention smoothly opens and closes the drawers on ball bearing sliders– the 13-drawer tool cabinet hits the sweet spot like no other. Priced at a doable $389.99 (and that’s when it’s NOT on sale!), it’s built with the same industrial quality as other brands that go for 4-5 times as much. Comes in a glossy powder-coated red finish, guaranteed to snazz up the garage and turn the neighbors green.

3. 12-inch Double-Bevel Miter Saw with Laser #69684

12 -in double bevel miter saw with laser

“Pleasantly surprised,” “Nice handling,” and “Holy crap, that’s sweet!” come to mind when operating the Chicago Electric 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser Guide. At $199.99, it handily surpasses all expectations with its smooth, clean cuts and precision accuracy– at a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere. It cuts through lumber like butter, and will even go through old oak without chipping. And powered with an ample 15 amp motor, the 12″ miter saw will tackle any house job you’ve got to throw at it.

4. 90-Amp Flux Welder #61849

90 amp flux wire welder

Welding continues to be a growing hobby in this country, and the “5-star”-rated Chicago Electric 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder has been a wildly popular choice for beginners to get their feet wet. Extremely easy to start and practice with, the 90 amp welder doesn’t require gas to operate and needs only 120 volts. Great for 18 ga.- 5/16″ steel and stainless steel, it’s a great go-to tool for vehicle repairs, creating shelving brackets, making a welding cart and other structural components, trailer hitches, small welding repairs and cleaning jobs… If you’re a newbie, or just looking to do small jobs around the property, or if you’ve ever considered trying your hand at welding, this wire-feed welder is the ticket! Goes for $111.99, but like the other Harbor Freight favorites, a coupon or sale is always around to seal the deal.

5. 8750/7000W 13 HP Generator #68530

8750-7000 watt generator

Predator generators have built a rock-solid reputation for quality, price and staying-power, and the EPA-certified Predator 8750 Peak/7000 Running Watt, 13 HP (420cc) Generator has literally been a light in the storm for so many power-deprived families and preppers. This generator, hands-down, is the best buy for your buck. While the rest of the neighborhood struggles in darkness, this bad boy will keep the lights on, as well as the fridge, central air, big screen TV, electric water heater, etc. When you consider the motel and fast food costs you’ll be saving– or the comfort of sleeping in your own bed, cooking your own food and getting the hot showers you so love, without a hitch… the $599.99 investment is a sweet price point. But don’t believe me. Check out the reviews by the actual owners!

6. 4-pc. Ratcheting Tie Down Set #61524

ratcheting tie downs

Whether you’re moving furniture, securing a kayak to your trailer, strapping gear on the roof rails, hauling timber, holding a garden tractor or ATV on the truck bed, or keeping your tool box from rattling around the back of your Jeep, these Haul-Master Ratcheting Tie-Downs are the greatest invention since sliced rope. Easily adjustable to secure loads to truck beds, roof racks and trailers, their ratchet handles make it a snap to adjust strap length and pull tight. The tie downs’ vinyl-coated S-hooks also prevent scratching on painted surfaces. At $13.99, these weather-resistant straps are an extremely popular “no-brainer add-on” for customers who come to Harbor Freight with other purchases in mind.

7. Mini Moving Dolly #61899

mini mover dolly

Move 1,000 pounds for $11.99? That’s what we’re sayin’… cheaper than buying your buddies pizza and beer to help you move the stuff. Is it any wonder why the Haul-Master Mini Mover’s Dolly is on Harbor Freight’s Top 10 Favorite list? Save your back as you move stacks of loaded boxes, heavy machinery, engine blocks and transmissions, or furniture when the wife’s got a hankering to redecorate. The carpeted surfaces protect furniture finishes and the hard-rubber swivel casters won’t mar your floors. Did I already mention, they’re $11.99?

8. 8-Channel Surveillance DVR with 4 Cameras #61229

8-channel DVR with Cameras

A great addition for home protection, the Bunker Hill Security 8-channel DVR with 4 Cameras and Motion Detection installs easily and can be set up to monitor on your computer or smartphone, so you can keep an eye on things while you’re away! Each camera offers a wide view span with a high resolution, so you can spread them over the areas you want observed and glimpse the four shots simultaneously. It even comes with night vision to keep you apprised of any nefarious nocturnal characters that venture onto your property (imagine your neighbors’ surprise when they see their kid up to no good on Facebook). The 8-Channel Surveillance DVR set sells for $299.99, and you can often find it on sale or a coupon. You can also use the Harbor Freight 20% Off coupon. Hey, where else can you get a room with a view at such a low price?

9. 3-Gallon 100 PSI Oilless Air Compressor #61615

3 gallon 100 psi oilless air compressor

If you’re looking for a small air compressor to keep in the garage for filling tires and balls, or maybe using with a blow gun, airbrush, brad nailer or other small jobs, the Central Pneumatic 3-Gallon PSI Pancake Air Compressor is just the ticket. For an airy $59.99, this little gem is there to save your family bike trip, keep the bounce in your game and help put up the trim and Christmas lights. The fact that it’s “oilless” means less maintenance for you, and the “pancake” low-profile shape means you’ll save garage space and easy portability to wherever the air compressor is needed. How’s that for a breath of fresh air?

10. 12,000 lb. Off-Road Vehicle Electric Winch #61256

12000 lb off road winch

Finally, the top ten list rounds out with the uber-popular Badland 12K Off-Road Vehicle Electric Winch with Automatic Load-Holding Brake. Smell the mud, don’t get stuck in it! This off-road winch is a veritable lifesaver in the swamp, snow, ice and that black, slimy, stinky stuff that they don’t have a name for. Awesome for trucks, ATVs, Jeeps and other 4-wheelers… even great for uprooting trees. It also comes with an incredibly handy remote for easy operation. Don’t be the bud who needs his bacon saved– save your buds’ bacon with the Badland 12K winch!

So, there you have it– the legendary favorites of the Harbor Freight Tools catalog. Chances are you already have one of them. Chances are even better that you’ve got a mind to go buy one (or four) real soon!

Low Cost Auto Restoration Tools

dazed chevelle Remember back, driving your parents’ station wagon or sensible Buick, dreaming of the cool wheels beyond your reach? Cherry Bomb and header and 4-barrel carb were part of our vernacular, just not part of our lives. It’s funny how, now as we get older, we can do all the cool stuff we wanted to do when we were punk teenagers. We were car crazy, man, and many’s the time I envied the guys in the neighborhood who were out on their front lawns, working on their Dodge Challengers or GTO “Goats”—

—not just because they HAD them (which would have been enough), but because they WORKED on them. They probably borrowed their dads’ tools, saved up working shit jobs to get parts and supplies, and spent Satyurdays doing whatever it took to keep their wheels “cherry.” Nowadays, though, when you hear (and feel) a carb-powered 426 Hemi thundering down the road, it’s a geezer you’re more likely to see behind the wheel than a punk. And chances are, that geezer is one of us. Classic car restoration is more popular than ever, and with the help of online parts stores, chat forums and YouTube videos, guys who thought they’d never get to rebuild their favorite classic rides are now living the dream– in their garages (and on their lawns), doing just that. If you’ve decided to restore a vehicle yourself, I salute you. Not only will you save thousands of dollars, you’ll be embarking on a long, challenging– even therapeutic– journey that will reap rewards for years to come. But before we start doing that victory lap, to “Eye of the Tiger,” let me suggest some basic tools you’ll want right out of the gate to make the dream a reality (unless, of course, you like repeatedly going back & forth to the store when you’re in the middle of doing something): The Must-Have Tool The Air Compressor will quickly become your best friend over the course of your restoration. It’s the first thing you’ll need for your arsenal. Between the Die GrinderPaint Sprayer and Impact Wrench, you’ll get a lot of use out of it and, believe me, you’ll thank yourself every time you facea big chore that you don’t have to do manually. It needs to have a decent enough CFM—at least 5-6 CFM per minute at 90 psi– so that the long bursts of sanding, buffing or cutting won’t wear too hard on the compressor. You could get the job done with a 29-Gallon Tank Unit, but if you can swing it, go for a 60-Gallon Compressor, with power to spare. By the way, the Die Grinder is great for polishing the inside of the head ports, cleaning up metal and using with a cut-off wheel to repair panels. Air power, man… it’s a bacon-saver.

Engine Work Compression Tester will help diagnose vital motor issues, such as worn piston rings, burnt valves and bad head gaskets.  This is a great first tool to use when you get your new project car home. You can even take it with you to test a car before you buy it! While it’s not vital for the project, you may want to consider picking up a “cherry-picker” Engine Hoist, especially if you’re planning to restore more than one vehicle. A good 2-Ton Shop Crane should be sufficient, and will more than pay for itself in the long run. Most likely, you should have the cylinders re-bored. A cylinder bore gauge is needed to check for taper, out-of-round and oversize on the cylinders if you are rebuilding the motor yourself. Any critical wear on the cylinder can be reached with this gauge. An Engine Cylinder Hone will de-glaze the cylinder walls and give them a nice, smooth finish. Next, you’ll want a Valve Spring Compressor to remove the valves for a rebuild. Also a cheap valve lapping tool, with grinding compound, helps reseat the valves. Piston Ring Pliers will help you remove and replace the rings on the pistons without breaking them. A Piston Ring Compressor is needed for the installation of the pistons. Also, a piston groove cleaner will remove the carbon crud from the piston grooves. A Dial Indicator is used to measure run-out on things like the flywheel, and endplay on the crankshaft. While there are various types of mounts, including magnetic base and screw mounts, I recommend the clamping mount because it’s faster and easier to work with. Next, a Stud Puller is necessary for removing stripped, rusted and otherwise stubborn head studs, as well as exhaust & intake manifold studs. Another tool you cannot live without is the Torque Wrench—two, actually. Get both a 1/2″ drive and 3/8″ drive for your tool cabinet. These are essential to torque all your bolts to factory specs. Have a complete Tap and Die Set on hand, preferably with both SAE & metric. You’ll find this invaluable for cleaning up old bolts and restoring rusted holes. A good Digital Micrometer is needed to precisely measure anything.

Body Work MIG Welder. You won’t get through a restoration job without it. Why a MIG welder, as opposed to another type? Well, for starters, if you’re new to this kind of project, the MIG is the easiest to learn. Also, they work with the most common types of metals, overhead welding is easier, and the MIG welder works fast. You’ll also want a Hammer & Dolly Set, otherwise known as a “Body & Fender Set.” These tools go a long way in repairing and straightening steel panels, and all-around custom fab work. This one, made by Pittsburgh, probably has the best price you’re going to find, and one look at the customer reviews should convince you there’s no need to keep looking. A Step Drill is essential to make quick, clean work out of drilling large diameter holes for auto-body jobs such as installing chrome trim, and for firewall holes. A Spot Weld Cutter works great in restoration projects and does just what its name implies. Also, a Plumber’s Torch is great for softening and shaping metal. As you work on your project, you’ll find a Bench Grinder and Drill Press are extremely helpful in the auto restoration process.  Plus, a Wire Wheel on the grinder is a must and makes cleaning up parts quick and simple.

Additional Work Make sure you include various Brake Tools, a Tubing Bender and brake flare tool. Finally, get a CreeperPaint StripperTransmission JackDent Repair Kit, and a Comprehensive Mechanics Tool Kit, and you’ll be equipped to tackle most everything involved in your car restoration, as well as many other future projects. Of course, you’ll inevitably be needing cleaners, sealants, lubricants and the odd part along the way, but consider yourself the proud owner of an equipped auto restoration garage.

gremlin Now, get out there and make that Gremlin Funny Car a reality!

Harbor Freight Tools for Rust Repair

1971-gmc-truck

Custom Classic Trucks Uses Harbor Freight Tools for a Rust Repair Project:

The procurement and care of a classic car is a labor of love. You can’t just buy and drive it. You want to maintain it, restore, repair and baby it. Unfortunately, that can sometimes require some serious scratch. When it comes to owning a 40+ year old car, one of the biggest challenges is rust. Don’t think I haven’t been eyeing that “patina” in the bed of my ’72 GMC 2500 Sierra Grande. So far, both mechanically and cosmetically, I’ve been real lucky with the truck, but if something’s going to sneak up and bite me in the butt, it’ll probably be hidden rust.

In their March, April and May 2014 issues, Rotten Rodney Bauman and his team ran a three-part series in Custom Classic Trucks on a complete rust reconnaissance and repair job on a recently-acquired 1971 GMC pickup (right). As they went through the process of identifying and treating the damaged areas, Mr. Rotten gets invaluable use from his Central Pneumatic 3/8″ Reversible Air Drill and Central Pneumatic 3 In. Extended Reach Air Cutoff Tool as well as assorted chisel bits and a Central Pneumatic Air Punch Flange Tool they bought years ago .

chisel bit sets

Central Pneumatic tools are priced right,” said Rotten Rodney, “and I can get more (should I need to) right down the street.”


You can find Custom Classic Trucks’ 1971 GMC truck rust restoration series online at the following three links:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3