Get On Your Bikes and Ride!

stingray

Coveting my ride, aren’t you? It’s been with me since ’72, and I still get looks… especially when I do my wicked jumps and wheelies. That’s right, kid, the classics never die.

It’s National Bike Week! Which means… what? It’s time to kick a stand! Get out on the open road, weave around and startle pedestrians, water pistol chasing dogs, you know… good times! So, get your home “bike-friendly” with some  cool deals from Harbor Freight Tools:

air compressor - portable

First, the bike’s been sitting there for a long time, the tires are probably low. Forget those ripoff artist gas station bozos who want to charge a buck for some air– air!–here’s a great, little compressor that’ll keep you on the road: The Pittsburgh Automotive 12 Volt, 100 PSI High Volume Air Compressor. You’ll get all the air you need when you need it with this little, high-volume compressor. It’ll fully inflate your bike tires quickly– as well as ATV, mower rider, motorcycle and car– and its lightweight, portable design and handy carry bag make it easy to use at home or store in your vehicle. Features include rubber feet for less vibration, a gearless direct drive for reduced noise, and a cast alloy air pump casing with cooling fins. For only $25.99, you can afford to salute the gas station any way you’d like as you coast by.


bike rack

When in pursuit of distant bike paths (where nobody knows you– who picked out those bike shorts, anyway?), you’ll need a sturdy, reliable bike rack. Harbor Freight’s got a worthy one, a Two-Bike Rack That you Mount to Your Hitch. This type is really the ideal way to get your bike around with ease and safety. This rack includes thermoplastic bike holders with four hook-and-loop straps, and a pinch hitch pin to keep your bikes safe and not bouncing and swaying around like Jack Sparrow in a sword fight. Also, the handy swing-down feature gives hassle-free access to any rear hatch or tailgate. The bike rack will fit both 1-1/4″ and 2″ hitch mount receivers. Just $39.99 at Harbor Freight.

bike taillight

One of the first rules of the road you learn is that the streets are full of boneheads. Which means, it pays to be extra careful and make sure everybody knows you’re there. Be smart and pick up a couple of Red LED Bicycle Taillights for you and your riding companion. This taillight’s got FOUR attention-getting LEDs for high visibility on those crazy roads. The compact light also has three different flashing modes and can adjust up and down 160 degrees. It’s spray resistant and includes two AAA batteries. At $4.99 a pop, I can’t believe I’m still here pitching you.

At the end of the day, when it’s time to stable your stallion, don’t just lean it against the wall– put it away proper, out of the way of clumsy, stumbling feet. Harbor Freight’s got a couple of solutions for that, too:

bicycle lift

 Probably the best return for $8.99 you’ll ever spend on your bike is on the innovative Bicycle Lift at HFT. Using a unique pulley-locking mechanism, the bicycle lift quickly hoists your bike for easy storage, giving you extra space in your garage, apartment or dorm. Mounting hardware and a 46 ft. nylon rope are included, and setting this thing up couldn’t be easier. Perfect for saving your bike from scratches!

bike tree

 Or, if you’ve got a sizable brood to accommodate, check out the nifty Cycle Tree Compact Bike Storage. You can store up to six bikes in only four feet of space! The cycle tree is made of durable, yet lightweight, steel construction and rides on swivel casters for easy maneuverability around the garage. This is the perfect bike storage for every member of the family without taking up a lot space in your garage!  On sale for $39.99 at Harbor Freight.

And don’t forget  to clip your Harbor Freight Tools 20% Off Coupon, where the ridiculous savings get really absurd!

In the meantime, have a great National Bike Week. Have fun, ride smart, be safe… and don’t forget the water pistols!

Super Streetbike Review: 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor

When it comes to riding your motorcycle, it’s not enough that it just runs good– you gotta look good. So make sure you check out Super Streetbike’s April 2013 issue (no, not the cover, lug nut– I’m talking about YOU looking good).

On page 58 there’s a nifty article on “Helmet Painting”– a cool, inexpensive way to self-express on the road. But, as writer Brian Hatano points out, you need more than a creative idea to get your point across; it takes technique. So, he takes you through every step you probably don’t think about when  imagining that wicked skull with flames and roses… namely, preparation, detail, method and materials. To get the hang of the spray gun skills, though, Brian suggests we first get the feel of it with a practice helmet:

“For practice jobs, any helmet will work, but starting with a lid in good condition will require less initial prep and give you more time to think about designs and color combinations.”

He then breaks down the process of executing a successful paint job– from disassembling the helmet to applying the clear coat– in crystal, concise detail. Great intel to have for when you’re ready to go for it.

Interesting, however, is that even though Brian was working in a shop equipped with a large air compressor, he opted instead to go with the Central Pneumatic 1/5 HP, 58 PSI Airbrush Compressor.

“Although we had a full size compressor available, we tried out the Harbor Freight Central Pneumatic 1/5th HP Airbrush Compressor and it performed better than units costing twice as much. Zac noted the quiet motor with no pulsing in the air supply.”

Constructed of sturdy anodized aluminum, the airbrush compressor is easy to clean and operate, and changing colors is a cinch. The airbrush kit works with lacquers, oils and latex-based paints to create pro-quality designs only limited by your imagination! It comes with a 22cc glass jar, 5cc metal cop and 5-ft. air hose– and, at a low $88.99, it’ll pay for itself over and over again!

While you’re shopping, also be sure to pick up the Central Pneumatic Quick-Change Airbrush Kit for just $11.99. This enables you to switch out paints in a flash with next-to-no downtime.

This awesome setup would also be perfect for custom painting:

  • Bike frames
  • R/C and other models
  • Auto body detail art
  • Tool boxes or cabinets
  • Furniture
  • Pottery
  • Metal sculpting
  • Signs and murals
  • Crafts
  • Toys
  • Cosmetic and Halloween makeup
  • Spray tanning
  • …and so much more!

Also, of course, if you want to support the team at the big game.

 

Garage Cleaning Pt. 1 – Getting the Toys Ready

Now that the weather’s getting nicer, step outside and take inventory of your outdoor toys: lawn mower, ATVs, bikes, motorcycles, dirt bikes… not a pretty picture, is it? The tires are flat, they’re dead as doornails and they’ve got a film of filth accumulated from four months of neglect (and maybe even some left over from last year’s use).

Time to get in gear, son. Here are a few tools from Harbor Freight that’ll jump start your spring and summer, and get your wheels back on track:

First of all, let’s put some air back in those tires. For that– as well as other light air tool jobs around the garage– I recommend the Central Pneumatic 3-Gall Oilless Air Compressor #95275.  Equipped in a compact 1/3-gallon tank, the compressor puts out a capable 100 PSI, plenty for brad nailing, stapling, inflating or air brushing. It includes a quick connect coupler, and features easy-to-read gauges and thermal overload protection. Easily stored in the trunk of any vehicle, this compressor is a portable and hassle-free light duty air supply. And at $59.99 ($49.99 with coupon ’til the end of March!), it will have paid for itself, saving you from all those trips to the gas station where they charge you a buck a pop!

Next, blast the dirt, dust and grime off your mower, ATVs and bicycles with the Pacific Hydrostar 1650 PSI Electric Pressure Washer #69488. This is a great pressure cleaner for any auto garage or shop. Capable of  up to 1,650 PSI, it can be employed to power-clean your  walls, yard equipment, RV, boat, and vehicles easily. We like using it on the exterior siding, molding and getting rid of wasp nests. Lightweight and portable, it features a 13′ pressure hose that can reach the tougher areas, and 5″ diameter wheels for smooth transport. The nozzle is also adjustable for wide spraying or tight, concentrated streams, which is great when you need lighter or harder pressure. Add Harbor Freight’s powerful Degreaser Concentrate and use it to power wash your greasy, grimy, cobweb-covered BBQ grill as well. Normally priced at $99.99, but now ’til the end of March, you can pick up one of these babies for just $89.99 with coupon!

Chances are, after being dormant for several months, some of your engines will need defibrillation. This is where the Chicago Electric Battery Charger and Engine Starter #66783 comes in. Imagine the rush of godlike power as you connect the positive and negative clamps to your dead mower, and with a maniacal laugh, yell “Clear!” and hit the ignition, bringing your creature back to life. The 10-amp charger setting on this unit recharges vehicle batteries in just 3-5 hours. The 2-amp trickle function maintains the charge when the battery is not being used, while the 55-amp setting provides a boost of added cranking power for autos in emergency situations. The battery charger includes battery leads and clamps to help you get back on the lawn, water, dirt and road quickly. Priced at $49.99, the battery charger and engine starter will pay for itself over and over again!

Now that you’ve finished moving all your machines outside and ready for action, it’s time to turn your attention to the garage itself. Tune in next time when we address getting the garage/shop cleaned, organized and ready for all your projects in 2013!

Hot Rod, Mustang Monthly & Super Street Bike Reviews: The Earthquake Impact Wrench

 Hot Rod magazine gave generous props to the Central Pneumatic Earthquake 1/2″ Impact Wrench (#68424) in the Parts & Stuff section of their January 2013 issue:

“This is the Cadillac of ½-inch impact wrenches. From Harbor Freight, known for great tools and cheap prices, the Central Pneumatic Earthquake ½-inch Impact Wrench is rated at 700 lb-ft and has three forward speeds plus reverse. It has twin hammers inside that help to make more torque easier. It has less vibration than the competition and, according to Harbor Freight, is the most powerful wrench in its class. One other cool feature is that the exhaust port is pointed away from the user, so no more blowing air in your face when using the tool.”

While I do love Hot Rod for being a renowned mag, full of informative articles, how-to’s, showcases, etc., they’ll have to go to the back of the line on this one. Harbor Freight’s Earthquake 1/2″ impact wrench is already a well-documented legend for, not only its power, durability and performance, but also the great price– just $94.99 (around $76 with a 20% off coupon)!

Back in October, 2012, the Mustang Club of America’s online magazine, Mustang Monthly, had this to say:

 “Do we really need any excuse to go buy new tools for the garage? Of course we don’t, but the new Earthquake air tool from Harbor Freight gives you 700 reasons to pick one up when you need to get those stubborn, rusty fasteners off your Mustang!

“This professional class wrench (Item# 68424) delivers more power with better weight distribution, lighter materials and a more compact housing. Premium grade components with close tolerances give this tool a longer lifespan than conventional air wrenches.”

 Motorcycle enthusiast magazine Super Street Bike also had a few choice words regarding the Earthquake impact wrench in their January, 2013 issue:

“Harbor Freight returns with another price-conscious tool that should be in every garage: the Central Pneumatic Earthquake half-inch impact wrench. You may not need this tool for everyday wrenching on the bike, but when upgrading or replacing worn out sprockets requires the removal of a countershaft sprocket nut that will not loosen by hand, you’ll appreciate this tool’s power. The Earthquake Impact Wrench is an affordable way to get the job done with a torque range of 50-500 LBS.-FT., a working pressure of 90 PSI and three forward speeds. Make dropping a tooth or two with an aftermarket front sprocket easier with this tool.”

And it’s not just the magazines. Tool hounds at home also like the Earthquake impact wrench. For example, on this thread in GarageJournal.com’s forum, several members admitted their fondness for the air tool:

“I’ve had one for a bit over a year and have used it quite a bit. I have yet to come across something that I was unable to get off with it…”  strizzy

“I bought one a couple of years ago and couldn’t be happier with it. Incredible power and comfortable grip…. It’s been used and abused and just keeps on going. I’m sure keeping it lubed properly helps too. With an adapter and a Budd socket it even removed nuts from a truck that someone had swaged on with a cold chisel to make sure they NEVER came off. This thing had enough power to take them off right through the bunged up threads. I like it so much I’m thinking of buying their 3/8″ Earthquake…”  Curmudgeon

“I got the 1/2″ one too. I use it every once in a while to remove some rusty hardware on my 20 year old sports car (read: bolts that have not been touched in a long time) and the Earthquake does it without any trouble. Its a great purchase even if it was double the price. But since its not…stop typing and go buy one!”  sunshineFC3s

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Earthquake impact wrench comes with:

+Precision machined to master-mechanic standards
+Most powerful wrench in its class
+Variable speed reversible
+Less vibration and lighter than the competition
+Handle-vented to direct exhaust away from user
+Twin-hammer delivers more torque to the anvil
+Three forward speeds

I know… you’re heading out the door. Don’t forget your 20% OFF COUPON!!

Harbor Freight Coupon: 18 Gauge 2-in-1 Nailer Stapler

Looks like the mucky mucks at Harbor Freight are going full-throttle into 2013, with über-audacious deals and coupons. Just click on the pic above and look at what they’re running between now and next Tuesday (Feb. 5)– you’ll PLOTZ!

The one I’m particularly interested is the Central Pneumatic 18 Gauge 2-in-1 Nailer/Stapler– going for $15.99 with coupon.

First, you get two tools in one, ’cause it drives both nails and staples; the 18-gauge staples can be 5/8″ to 1-5/8″ narrow crown, and the brad nails can go to 2″. From what the customer reviews say, this thing’s a veritable work horse which can be used on tons of projects:

Lay laminate flooring, install baseboards, shoe molding, crown molding and window trim. Reinforce bookshelves, chairs, tables, etc. Put up a fence or paneling, build wooden chests, cabinets or speaker boxes or do upholstery. Put together rabbit cages, humane animal traps or chicken coops. Use it for woodworking projects, winterizing the windows, build cat trees…

You get the point– if something needs doing, this’ll do it! And did I mention, it’s only $15.99*??!

For this, and other great deals, visit www.harborfreight.com!

 

*coupon runs until Tuesday morning, Feb. 5

Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. The Competition – Part 6

Painting the Car

One of the most time-consuming and important projects you’ll perform in the auto restoration process is to paint the sucker. Painting a classic car is more of an art than a mechanical procedure, and doing a good job means summoning patience and a bit of perfectionism from your normally “that’s good enough”-self. That new, glossy paint job will make the slightest blemish look pronounced and no matter how awesome the ride’s going to look, believe me, you’ll be staring at that blotch like my teenage daughter obsesses over a zit.

First, choosing the paint: Most likely you’ll be compromising between the quality and budget. Most paints nowadays do a pretty good job of protecting the underlying metal, but cheaper paints can be less tolerant to sun, and will fade quickly if the car sits outside for any length of time. Regardless of the type of paint you choose, remember you get what you pay for. More expensive paints will last longer and retain their pigment better than the “bargain” paints.

Just a couple more things to cover before we move on to the equipment: proper preparation. Especially if it’s assembled, the car first needs be taped off, using masking tape and paper. You might be thinking, heck, I’ll just use newspaper. But newspaper is porous and can let paints– especially clear coat– bleed through onto the glass and trim, leaving a time-consuming mess. It costs a little more, but using a less porous paper– making paper better still–will make the job a lot easier. Plastic can be used to bag the engine bay and other areas that won’t be painted, and wheel covers or trash bags can be used to cover the wheels and tires. Once taped, the car is prepared by wiping it down with a cleaner (Naphtha is usually the main ingredient) to eliminate any oils or foreign materials from the surface that could cause fish-eyes or other blemishes. Finally, the car is wiped down with a tack-cloth to remove any dust or debris that could affect the paint job.

If you don’t have a lot of experience painting cars, following the instructions on the MSDS will help you apply a good paint job. If done properly, your paint job should protect your car and look great for many years.

Now on to the equipment. The primer is already on, so our designated restoration artisan turns to the…

Central Pneumatic 2-pc. Professional Automotive HVLP Spray Gun Kit $49.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HVLP spray gun’s material transfer gives you better, more consistent coverage than conventional spray guns, and with minimal messy over-spray. It comes with a 20 oz. gravity feed gun that operates at 30-35 PSI and detail gun that performs 25-30 PSI, and comes with stainless steel needles and tips on both guns. Our technician used this, along with a 33 Oz. Gravity Feed Paint Cup to spray two coats of red paint and three coats of clear. After which, he color-sanded the body with dish soap & water,  1200 Grit Sandpaper, using a 4-7/8″ Soft Rubber Sanding Block to knock off the “orange peel.” How does our spray gun kit compare to the competition’s?

  • Sears – US Freight Neiko Pro 2.0mm HVLP Gravity Speed Spray Gun w/Gauge #9924G – $59.99
  • Northern Tool – Wagner Double-Duty HVLP Sprayer #0518050 – $94.99
  • Home Depot – Husky HVLP & Conventional Spray Gun Kit #HDK00600AV – $79.99
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt Large Gravity Feed Spray Gun #SGY-AIR88 – $54.96
  • Grainger – BINKS HVLP Gravity Spray Gun Kit #98-3170 – $204.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the pain job, Jeff buffed, using this polisher/sander and then, with the waxing, delivered the classic car to an incredible mirror gloss finish!

The polisher gives you all the power and control you need for a wide variety of applications. It generates between 1000-3500 RPM for a pretty nice polish. The LCD display shows the speed and the textured grip side handle provides comfortable handling. The polisher comes with foam and polishing bonnets as well as an 80 grip sanding disc. It’s also great for boats, travel trailers, stairs, etc– all at a great price. Now here’s the competition:

  • Sears – Wen Variable Speed 7″ Polisher/Sander #946 – $59.99
  • Northern Tool – Makita 7″ Sander & Polisher 3000 RPM #9227CX3 – $239.99
  • Home Depot – Wen 7″ Pro Sander/Polisher #946 – $59.99
  • Lowes – Porter Cable 4.5 Amp Ros Power Sander/Polisher # 7346SP – $119.00
  • Grainger – Makita 7″ Variable Speed Sander/Polisher #9227CY – $284.75

 

Once again, Harbor Freight Tools proves you get what you pay for– and more! Visit the homepage and Coupons Page, and check out other great deals the store has going.

Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. The Competition – Part 4

The Underbody

If it’s going to be done right, every phase of restoring a vehicle is important. I mean, you wouldn’t just rebuild or replace the carb, throw on some new paint and upholstery, and call it done (although, that’s exactly what a lot of guys do). That thinking will bite you in the butt down the road– literally. That’s why the underbody gets the same attention as everything else. So… let’s talk tools:

Last month I started a series illustrating how much more bang for the buck a wrencher can get from  Harbor Freight Tools than they could the competition. Using the ’67 Firebird Restoration project as my example, I’ve been breaking it down phase by phase, comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competition advertises. The competitors I chose were Sears, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Grainger. Exact matches weren’t always found, so I substituted the closest product available. As I’ve said before, I don’t think this compromises the test because we’re only talking about differences in size and shape, not power or function.

In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight’s tools used in the vehicle’s disassembly video. In the second, we explored price differences on the engine removal phase. In the third installment, we featured the tools employed in the stripping and priming process. This time we’re only featuring two tools for the underbody:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a heavy-duty industrial de-greaser, this powerful 2000 PSI gas pressure washer is unstoppable against old, caked-on grease, oil and dirt that’s accumulated on your vehicle’s underbelly. Pumping out 1.6 gallons a minute, the machine is EPA-certified and easily portable on two rubber wheels. It’s got a mighty four-stroke 4 HP gas engine with a cast-iron cylinder for maximum durability, pump-overheat protection, overload protection and low-oil shutdown for extra safety.

  • Sears – Craftsman 2200 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer – $249.99
  • Northern Tool – Wel-bilt 2500 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer – $249.99
  • Home Depot – Simpson MegaShot 2200 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer – $269.99
  • Lowe’s – Simpson MegaShot 2200 PSI Gas Pressure Washer – $269.99
  • Grainger – Generac #5987 2500 PSI Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer – $499.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t beat the quality and value of this great, little blaster! In the video they used it for blasting rust from the undercarriage, but that’s just one of a zillion things you can use this tool on. Car restoration, firearm parts, tool cabinets, barbecues, metal beams, aluminum wheels, tools, to name a few. Use slag media, silica, walnut or pecan shells, sand, glass bead, steel grit and more. The portable abrasive blaster kit comes with a blast gun, 15-ft. material hose and a hopper than can hold up to 50 lbs. of abrasive media. Just hook it up to a 1 HP or larger compressor and easily remove paint, rust, graffiti, corrosion and scale.

  • Sears – Sears Portable Sand Blaster – $119
  • Northern Tool – ALC Suction Abrasive Blaster – $49.99
  • Home Depot – Powermate Air Sand Blaster – $55.99
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – ALC Siphon Blaster – $171

 

In the next installment, we’ll take a look at the tools used for the Engine Rebuild, and compare them to the competition’s. Until then!

Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. The Competition – Pt. 3

Stripping & Priming Tools

Yesterday morning the fully-restored ’67 Firebird pulled into our office parking lot, transported by trailer, and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. Ever watch the Mecum Car Auctions on the Velocity Channel? This car would have commanded a pretty penny on that show. Before it was whisked away to who-knows-where, a handful of us slowly circumnavigated around it, transfixed, muttering “wows” and “oh yeahs” under our breaths. The original interior was pristine– black bucket seats and carpet looking like it just rolled off the assembly line. Under the hood, the same. In fact, the guy who did the restoration, Jeff Tann, said the ‘bird was better now than when it was new.  In a future installment, I’ll provide a thorough pictorial of the final results. For now, let’s talk tools:

Earlier this month I started a series illustrating how much could be saved buying products from Harbor Freight Tools– as opposed to the competition– for the ’67 Firebird Restoration project. Breaking it down phase by phase, we’re comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competitors advertise. The competitors I chose were Sears, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Grainger. It should be noted that exact matches weren’t always found, so I substituted the closest comparison available. As I’ve said before, I don’t think this compromises the test because we’re only talking about differences in size and shape, not function.

In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight’s tools used in the vehicle’s disassembly video. In the second we explored price differences on the engine removal phase. In the third installment, we’ll be looking at the tools employed in the stripping and priming process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sander’s orbital action allows swirl-free finishes to give your auto body, metalworking or woodworking project a professional appearance! The orbital sander is constructed with sturdy, lightweight aluminum housing and features a cushion-grip vinyl handle to provide comfortable yet firm control. A great orbital sander for edging, feathering and finishing projects for both pros and hobbyists!

  • Sears – Ingersoll Rand (IRT311A) Dual Action Air Sander – $69.76
  • Northern Tool – Northern Industrial 6″ Dual Action Air Sander – $34.99
  • Home Depot – Husky 6″ Pneumatic Dual Action Sander – $59.98
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt 6″ Dual Action Sander – $59.84
  • Grainger – Speedaire 3CRJ3 – $73.80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This vibration-free air sander– at 9,400 orbits-per-minute– is perfect for auto body work or finish work on furniture (according to one customer, it’s also great on the aluminum wing surfaces of WWII aircraft). The orbital air sander features a compact palm grip that enables you to easily reach tight spots, a paddle trigger and a built-in regulator.

  • Sears – Mechanics Tools M569DB – $49.42
  • Northern Tool – Northern Industrial Orbital Air Sander – $39.99
  • Home Depot – EMAX Jitterbug Sander – $59.97
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – Ingersoll Rand 312A Orbital Air Sander – $179

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The high volume and low pressure on this spray gun reduces over-spray so that more paint goes on your mural, car, motorcycle, fence and whatever else you wish to paint! Restoring furniture? The Central Pneumatic HVLP spray gun sprays wood stain, clear-coat, etc., perfectly. The gravity feed and regulator allows paint to spray evenly on your project. This HVLP spray gun is a great tool for spraying lacquer on the deck, or priming or undercoating your car!

  • Sears – Tooluxe HVLP Spray Gun – $39.99
  • Northern Tool – Ingersoll Rand Performance 210G Spray Gun – $79.99
  • Home Depot – Husky Gravity Freed HVLP Spray Gun – $49.98
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt Large Gravity Spray Gun – $89.96
  • Grainger – Speedaire 4XP65 Spray Gun – $139.75

 

In the next installment, we’ll take a look at the tools used for undercoating the car, and compare them to the competition’s. Until then!

Custom Classic Trucks: Central Pneumatic Gasket Scraper

As Rotten Rodney Bauman points out in his article, “Strippin’ Tips” (Custom Classic Trucks, Dec. 2012), when it comes to restoring an old truck, “the ‘fun’ begins with the initial teardown.” The latest project being a “tired” ’55 Chevy 1/2-ton, he and his right hand, Mrs. Rotten, removed the cab and soon determined that before they could send it to be abrasive blasted, they’d need to remove some old greasy goo and ancient undercoating. Rotten Rodney had just the tool:

“At times like these, it’s good to have a Central Pneumatic gasket scraper in the bottom drawer. I’d actually forgotten I had this little jewel.”

As an added tip, he suggests that if you intend on tackling such a formidable project, you should first heat the scraping blade.

“Heating the scraper helps. You could also aim the flame directly to the undercoating, but we prefer to heat the tool only, which creates much less smoke to inhale.”

Currently at Harbor Freight Tools, the gasket scraper comes as part of a 6-Piece Pneumatic Scraper Kit, complete with a set of blades that also removes paint, rust, glue and other materials without damaging metal surfaces. A built-in regulator adjusts the scraper’s force of impact and provides the control and precision needed for just the right performance.  It works great at removing baked-on valve, front cover and oil pan gaskets, etc., as well as welding spatter, wet-bed mortar, flooring adhesive… a whole slew of stuff that other solutions just can’t deal with. Saves time and busted knuckles, too!

Rotten Rodney is still working on his project– and as with all projects, he’ll probably run into a speed bump or two– but, at least he’s got the undercoating gunk licked. As he said:

“This tool has proved invaluable for ribbed and/or channeled areas like the bottom of these rocker panels,” and added, “Here eye protection is a must to avoid injuries associated with airborne undercoating projectiles.”

Second that. Sometimes I’m so focused on having all the materials needed to get something done, I totally forget the eye and hand gear. It just isn’t smart.

Next time you’re at Harbor Freight, grab a scraper kit to keep in the bottom of your drawer. Dollars to donuts, the day will come you’ll be happy you did.