The Hercules Power Drill and Drill Bit Set: Exceptional Performance for the Professional

Hercules Power Drill

Power Drills

Power drills are a great tool to have at your disposal. They can help save time and money, making your projects seem effortless and by providing the ease and convenience you need to tackle a variety of tasks. With all of the options on the market today, the decision can seem a bit overwhelming. But, when it comes to power drills, the Hercules Power Drill and Drill Bit Set can help you tackle nearly any job with efficiency.

The Hercules 20V Lithium Cordless 1/2 in. Compact Drill/Driver Kit (63381)

The Hercules Power Drill offers 550 in. lbs. of torque for top-level power and performance to help you speed through a variety of projects. A powerful 2-speed 4 pole motor delivers up to 2000 RPM for effortless drilling and fastening. The drill/driver also features a built-in LED light that illuminates dark work spaces and allows you to work longer into the evening. Combined with the Hercules® Lithium battery system for fast charging and longer run times, this tool provides exceptional performance.

Features:

  • 4-pole motor delivers maximum performance and durability in a compact size
  • 2-speed transmission covers a wide range of drilling and fastening applications
  • All metal gear construction for added durability
  • Bright LED light for illuminating dim work areas
  • Jacobs® 1/2 in. ratcheting chuck provides ultimate bit retention
  • Textured overmold for a secure and comfortable grip
  • For best performance, use Hercules® accessories

Hercules Titanium Drill Bit Set 21 PcHercules Titanium Drill Bit Set 21 Piece (63384)

For those of you who may already have a power drill and need drill bits, or simply need both, there is the Hercules Titanium Drill Bit Set.

This titanium drill bit set can last up to 4x longer than other drill bits and provides clean, straight holes every time with the StarterPoint™ 135° angle tips. Additionally, the variable helix flute design clears material faster for improved performance and the entire set comes packed in a rugged heavy duty case for quick and easy bit selection.

Features:

  • BlueBraid™ titanium coating improves performance, durability and stays sharper longer
  • StarterPoint™ 135° design limits walking for clean, fast holes
  • Variable helix flute geometry removes material faster
  • Tri-Flat™ shank prevents bit from slipping in chuck

The right power drill can help you accomplish a number of projects, at home or on the job. When you’re looking to buy a new power drill remember, the greater the torque the easier you can drill through dense material like hardwood and metal. You also want a drill to feel comfortable when using it for long periods, so consider how it may feel after you have been working with it for a few hours. Find the power tools you need available at great prices that will cut down your project time only at Harbor Freight.

 

Torquing It to the Limit with Breaker Bars

Real Tool Reviews compares four leading brands

 

Real Tool Reviews takes breaker bars to their limit, comparing four top pro-grade brands with ½ inch drives – Pittsburgh Pro (available at Harbor Freight Tools) along with Snap-On, Matco and Mac Tools. For those of you unfamiliar with what a breaker bar is:

A breaker bar is a long non-ratcheting bar that is used with socket wrench style sockets. Breaker bars are used to break loose very tight fasteners because their additional length allows the same amount of force to generate significantly more torque than a standard length socket wrench. The use of a breaker bar also prevents damage to the ratcheting mechanism of a socket wrench. Often, after the first half turn of a fastener, the fastener is then loose enough to be turned with a socket wrench.1

Common applications include freeing lug nuts on vehicle wheels, freeing a variety of bolts in car repair and maintenance where rust is a common problem, manufacturing applications, home renovating projects and any other instance in which a bolt has become frozen in place.2

Now that we’re all up to speed on breaker bars, let’s dive into the review.

First off, length. Length is a key component of breaker bars since it’s the leverage provided that enables the user to generate significantly more torque compared to a standard wrench. Note that the Pittsburgh Pro brand is advertised as a 25-inch breaker bar and the other three as 24-inch breaker bars. The actual measurements are as follows:


Pictured top to bottom: Matco, Pittsburgh Pro, Snap-On and Mac

Length
Snap-On: 23-3/4 in.
Matco: 25-1/2 in.
Mac Tools: 24-5/8 in.
Pittsburgh Pro: 25 in.

The weight of each breaker bar was also measured.

Weight
Snap-On: 2 lbs., 3 oz.
Matco: 2 lbs., 4.5 oz.
Mac Tools: 2 lbs., 3-1/2 oz.
Pittsburgh Pro: 2 lbs., 7 oz.

Next, the drives were shown side-by-side.


Drive ends of the four brands

The Matco and Mac breaker bars have black ends while the Snap-On and Pittsburgh Pro versions have chrome ends. This really seems to be an area of preference with no discernable difference in terms of performance.

The handles, however, have the potential of making a significant difference.


Breaker bar handles

Each breaker bar handle has a two-piece design to secure a good hold—the colored portion is comprised of hard plastic with the black portion made of a softer rubber overmold, though the Pittsburgh Pro’s black material is respectively firmer than the other three. The handle lengths vary as well.

Handle length
Snap-On: 5-1/8 in.
Matco: 6-3/4 in.
Mac Tools: 4-5/8 in.
Pittsburgh Pro: 5-3/8 in.


Handle center positions marked

Leverage is a significant factor to consider and that’s why the length of a breaker bar is so important—applying the same amount of pressure or weight on the end can generate more torque respectively. Bar length alone though does not provide the working “length” in terms of leverage—Real Tool Reviews marked the center position of each handle which is where the user’s hand would naturally rest (see picture above). Taking the handle center points into consideration, the Mac breaker bar actually had the most length from the pivot point which suggests it would provide the most torque. But the real proof comes next.


Deflection and torque testing

The review moved on to testing the deflection of each breaker bar (how much the tool bends when applying force) and the resulting torque generated. The results may surprise you …

Torque
Snap-On: 281 ft. lbs.
Matco: 266 ft. lbs.
Mac Tools: 276 ft. lbs.
Pittsburgh Pro: 298 ft. lbs.

With the performance testing completed, the final comparison was on price. That’s where the results varied the most …

Price
Snap-On: $148.47 (with tax and free shipping)
Matco: $146.67 (with tax and shipping)
Mac Tools: $121.08 (with tax and shipping)
Pittsburgh Pro: $16.84 (using 20% coupon and no shipping cost – picked up at store)

Snap-On, Matco and Mac breaker bars are between seven and nine times higher in price compared to the Pittsburgh Pro brand, yet, as the torque testing revealed, Pittsburgh Pro generated the greatest amount of torque.

In conclusion, the performance of all four was similar with the Pittsburgh Pro coming in with the highest torque generated, 32 ft. lbs. higher than the Matco breaker bar. The handles differed from brand to brand but the biggest difference was on price. The review noted that all the breaker bars tested come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. Pittsburgh Pro is clearly the best value.

Click here to see the Real Tools Review breaker bar video and see for yourself how the Pittsburgh Pro breaker bar provides unyielding performance while breaking down the competition on price.

1/2 in. Drive 25 in. Professional Breaker Bar
item#62729

 

Source material:
1Wikipedia
2wiseGeek

4 IN. RATCHETING BAR CLAMP/SPREADER

4-in-ratcheting-bar-clamp-spreader

Harbor Freight’s 4 In. Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader is a light duty tool that’s perfect for delicate woodwork or scale modeling. The clamp features a pistol grip for easy one-hand operation and a quick-release button that works with the touch of a finger.

The bar clamp easily converts to a spreader by simply removing the fixed jaw and placing it on the opposite end of the bar. Pick up half a dozen or more for your garage or shop—you can never have enough of these clamps.

These clamps have been upgraded from their predecessors thanks to feedback from customers like you. Check out these reviews:

I grabbed three as soon as I got home and clamped a wooden gear I was gluing up. They were a great size to fit my space and held firmly. – Alan, Las Vegas, NV

These clamps are just what the doctor ordered. They are small (but with large jaws). Provide strong hold. Easy to adjust when putting on; easy to pop off. Have used them to climb a guide for my circular saw; both for cross-cultural and ripping. Hard to believe you can get such a great tool for so little money! – Gill Heath, Carney, MD

Never have a problem clamping small projects with these. Every time I drop by the store, I  always pick 2 up. You can never have enough clamps! – Frequent Shopper, Virginia

Pick up the 4 In. Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

4 in. Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader
item #: 68974

The Total Tool Package

130 Pc Tool Set with CaseThe 130 Pc Tool Set with Case from Harbor Freight Tools includes everything you need to take on most home, office or automotive repairs. The tool kit includes a hammer, screwdrivers, driver bits, wrenches, socket set, pliers, cutters, locking pliers, tape measure, utility knife, hex wrenches, precision screwdrivers and commonly used fasteners and anchors.

Every tool fits perfectly in the included carrying case so you never have to hunt down the tool you need.

Here’s what customers are saying about this tool set:

Loved it! Great value! I use it a lot. I’ve had it for over a year with no issues! – Vic the Mechanic, West Palm Beach Florida

Bought this for my son to carry in his car. Great little tool kit for emergencies. Has most everything you would need to do a quick repair on the road. Has a great carry case with everything in its place and the price was awesome! – Ren the Mom, B.R., MI

Could not find the tools I needed in my tool box. This kit had everything I needed to install some electric outlets. Everything in its own place makes it easy to find what you need. – Vitus, Chicago

It seems every time I go to a relative’s home there is something they want looked at. If I know ahead of time I can load up tools to take but often when we get there they ask if I could look at something and I have no tools. This set fits neatly in my spare tire well along with my jumper cables and ice scrapers. I’ll never be without tools again. – Bob the Builder, Cold Brook, NY

Never be without the tool you need when you need it! Pick up the 130 Pc Tool Set with Case at your local Harbor Freight Tools store. In fact, pick up an extra one for your son, daughter, aunt, uncle, cousin, second cousin, boss …

130 Pc Tool Set with Case
item#68998

Their First Tool Set: A Rite of Passage

tool box 21-inch

Last month, a friend of mine in Utah decided to buy his two teenage sons each their first tool kits for Christmas. Armed with a Harbor Freight 25% Off Friends & Family coupon, he went up and down the aisles, thinking about the chores his boys might come across, at least in their early lives, and he tossed the respective tools in the basket. Needless to say, the kids were excited when they opened their presents. They weren’t expecting anything remotely like it and, let’s face it, getting a first tool set is a profound rite of passage– for a boy or a girl.

girl with drill

Kids may appear to be smaller than they actually are…

It made me think about my own daughter, Miss D, who turns 20 this spring. For the first time in her life, she’s living away from home and starting to make her own way. Having a tool kit in the apartment surely would have its uses. So, what are the essentials for a basic first tool set for her? Here’s what I came up with, and what I plan to put together for her:

Cordless Drill

cordless drill 3-8 with flashlight

This may or may not fit in the tool box of choice, but it’s essential for the home, what with all the holes and screws in their future. Cordless, of course, so she can take it anywhere without having to drag an extension cord along. I chose this 3/8″ 18-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver and Flashlight Kit for a number of reasons. 1) She won’t be needing a 1/2″ for the tasks she’ll be doing; 2) It’s got plenty of power; 3) it’s rated at “4 Stars”; 5) It’s under $30 for the set. It’s a lightweight, powerful drill with plenty of torque for around-the-house jobs.

Socket Set

socket set 21 pc 3-8 sae and metric

 

Probably just as much as the drill, I can see Miss D running into tasks that require wrenching. A 3/8″ SAE & Metric High Visibility Socket Set makes good sense because of the ease it’ll give her to tighten and loosen nuts n’ bolts. Coupled with a closed-end wrench to hold the other side, fasteners are no chore at all. This particular set is rated at “5 STARS”, has high-visibility markings so she can locate needed sockets fast, and also costs under $30. Like all Harbor Freight hand tools, this socket set has a lifetime warranty and will probably be in her tool box for the rest of her life.

Wrench Set

wrench set SAE 9 pc

I normally like using a ratchet, but when you run into a situation where it doesn’t fit, you need wrenches as a backup. Also, as I mentioned, I think closed-end wrench sets make great companions to socket sets when tightening or loosening bolts. So I’m tossing a 9-Pc SAE Wrench Set and a 9-Pc. Metric Wrench Set— together under $20– into her tool set.

Adjustable Wrench

adjustable wrench set

There are those who argue that if you have these, you don’t need the other wrenches. I don’t belong to that camp. You miss out on the advantageous grip of the closed end and I just like the grip of a stationary wrench more. On the other hand, if none of your sized wrenches fit, these make for mighty fine pinch hitters. I’m giving Miss D this Pittsburgh Adjustable Wrench Set of 4— it’s like having 50 wrenches in one. And I’ll tell her how, when you’re using an adjustable wrench, the movable jaw is located on the side towards which the rotation is being performed. This reduces the chance of backlash. At under $15, this does the trick.

Screwdrivers

screwdriver set 8 pc

 

Although Phillips screws have pretty much replaced slotted screws in the fastener world, 20-somethings planning on dwelling in apartments will inevitably come across older domains with slots, so it’s no biggie to get a 8-Pc. Combo Screwdriver Set, especially with comfortably soft handles and magnetized tips at under $10! The flatheads can also be improvised for other uses like light prying, scraping and nudging.

Claw Hammer

claw hammer blog

Back in the day, the Old Man used to hammer pretty much everything, not just nails. A good, solid 16-oz. Hammer with Fiberglass Handle is all she’ll need to hang her picture frames, Jamaican masks and balcony lights. And at under $5, it’s a no-brainer to throw this in the kit.

Tape Measure

tape measure 25 ft

Whether she’s spacing pictures on a wall, measuring space for a futon or cutting fabric to cover it, a dependable 25′ Retractable Steel Measuring Tape is a must. Carpenter’s marks every 16″ will also help her locate studs and the thumb lock holds measurements in place when she needs it. At under $5, it’ll pay for itself over and over again.

Locking Pliers

locking pliers set of 3

Thinking about how Miss D will often be alone at home while working on projects, I thought she could probably use some locking pliers. They come in handy when you need an extra hand, but only have your own two paws to work with. Extremely versatile, they can be used as pliers, a pipe wrench, an adjustable wrench, wire cutters, a ratchet or a clamp. I chose this set of 3 Curved Jaw Locking Pliers  ’cause they pretty much cover any size job she’ll be facing, and they come with soft rubberized handles which will make it easier to wrench loose the more stubborn nuts n’ bolts. Under $10.00 and also covered with Harbor Freight’s lifetime warranty.

Needle Nose Pliers

needle nose pliers

My daughter likes to work on crafty projects from time to time, which sometimes entails tiny manipulating tasks. Also, there’ll be the occasional task where she has to work in smaller cavities. That said, I thought it would be a good idea to throw these 5-3/4″ Needle Nose Pliers in the tool box for good measure. They’ll also be good for whenever she needs to strip and cut wire (in my day it would have been stereo speaker wire), etc. At only $2, I couldn’t even get a Quarter Pounder for that.

I’m sure I’ll be adding other things as I think of them down the road. Depending on your kids’ interests, talents, vocations or lifestyle, you’ll probably want to deviate from this list a bit. Where you want to follow my lead is to head on over to your local Harbor Freight Tools to gather your tool set. The quality and prices are great, and you can’t beat the warranty on the hand tools! Make sure you visit HarborFreight.com first to grab your coupons.

How To Make a Rustic Party Ice Chest From Wood Pallets

pallet cooler complete

Yup, it’s getting colder and wetter, and DIY warriors are retreating behind closed doors for the winter. The LAST thing you want to do is curl up on the barcalounger and remain in a vegetative state ’til the thaw. How about a fun garage project to keep you engaged, limber and rewarded with a cool, new addition to the yard for when the sun comes back out?

This actually really is a fun project (well… minus the breaking-down-the pallets part, but it’ll keep you warm) and the effort is well worth the pleasure and admiration you’ll get for your labors. So, without further ado… the Vintage Ice Chest!

Cost:

Because most of the materials will be coming from (hopefully) salvaged pallets, the expense should be minimal. If you don’t already have one, you should pick up a 48-qt. cooler.

pallet

Materials:

  • 5 reclaimed pallets
  • Wood glue
  • 1 box 2″ wood nails
  • 1 box 1½” wood nails
  • 2 large hinges
  • 1 qt. polyurethane, non-glossy

circular saw

Tools:

Time:

  1. Finding pallets
  2. Pallet breakdown – 45 minutes per pallet
  3. Assembly – 4 hours approx.
  4. Use cooler – Every shindig, ’til sunup

Once you’ve dismantled your pallets, sort your wood: the heavy 2×3 supports, the 30” wood slats (will vary). There are an average 6 boards per pallet side. Choose the pieces you want to use for the front. As you see here, ink-stamped pieces were chosen. Using pieces of various shape is best to give it that rustic look.

pallet cooler - openpallet cooler - closed

OK, you’re ready for the fun part, putting it together! This is where I pass you on to Instructables.com, and “miamitreasure,” who shows us how to assemble our classic pallet ice chest cooler. Also, check out these other pallet wood projects on Instructables!

 

If you’re missing any tools or supplies for this awesome project, don’t forget to swing by Harbor Freight where you’ll find just what you need at low, low prices!

HOW TO PREVENT OVER-TIGHTENING AND STRIPPING WITH A TORQUE WRENCH

torch wrench header pic

Some folks might look at this and say, “I’ve already got a socket wrench” or “I’ve got plenty of ratchets (and I don’t need one that big).” But what makes the torque wrench stand out– and why you absolutely need to have one in your arsenal– is that it measures the precise amount of pressure you use to tighten down a nut or bolt. Why is that important? Because in certain situations (as with lug nuts and oil drain plugs) it’s important that the tightness is definite.

torque wrench engine 2

Many sub-assemblies of the car, such as the engine and transmission as well as the vehicle itself, are built to exact tolerances, and it’s up to the torque wrench to deliver that specific tolerance. It’s even more crucial with newer vehicles thanks to the advent of a lot of aluminum, soft metal and plastic parts on cars. The last thing you need is to strip or over-tighten. In fact, both under-torquing and over-torquing can have unfavorable consequences. For instance. under-torquing a wheel lug could result in the nut loosening and eventually falling off. Over-torquing a lug can actually weaken the wheel stud and cause it to crack and break which can lead to the same results. So, it’s obvious why every DIY mechanic should own a torque wrench.

torque wrench dial

Take the example of oil drain plugs and wheel lug nuts. Check the manual for the recommended torque. Set the torque setting on your wrench by twisting the handle to the desired settings. Listen for the click, which indicates you’ve reached your set torque, then stop.

Something else you should be aware of with your torque wrench. Never drop it or use it as a hammer. That’s a sure way to seriously mess up its calibration, which could seriously mess up whatever it is you’re torquing.  When you are done using your torque wrench, back the torque all the way down before you store it away. That will help maintain the settings a lot longer.

To see the calibration and use of a torque wrench in action, check out the video below. 

Harbor Freight carries a number of high quality torque wrenches at great, low prices. The Pittsburgh Pro 1/2″ Drive-Click Type Torque Wrench is a bestseller and one that Car Craft magazine endorsed as having “impressive accuracy” and “amazing value.” Check out these and other heavy-duty hand tools, all with a lifetime warranty.

TOP 5 MUST-HAVE ITEMS FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL FROM HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS

You might think of Harbor Freight as the place to shop for vocational school but you may not be aware that Harbor Freight is a great place to shop for general back-to-school items as well. Below are five must-have items available at all Harbor Freight stores nationwide! And with Harbor Freight’s ridiculously low prices, you’ll feel a lot better before your son or daughter heads off to the University of Drastically Expensive & Burdensome Tuition, a.k.a. U of DEBT.

For moving into the dorm room, you just can’t beat the 18 In x 12-1/4 In 1000 lb. Capacity Hardwood Dolly. It’s lightweight but can carry heavy load after heavy load.

18 In x 12.25 In 1000 lb. Capacity Hardwood Dolly

18 In x 12-1/4 In 1000 lb. Capacity Hardwood Dolly
Item #61899

 

Things break… book shelves, chair backs, desk handles, you name it! The quick fix is right at your fingertips with the 130 Pc Tool Set with Case from Harbor Freight. From screwdrivers and pliers to a hammer and tape measure, this tool set contains 130 of the most commonly used tools and accessories. With this tool set, you can fix practically everything but a broken heart.
130 Pc Tool Set with Case

130 Pc Tool Set with Case
Item #68998

 

 

After studying hard, you’ll need a road trip to blow off some steam and refresh your knowledge-wary brain. It’s never hard to find friends to join you. The last thing you need is to get stuck somewhere with a dead battery. That’s where the 3-in-1 Jump Starter and Power Supply comes in. With this device, you can jump start a weak or dead battery, run/charge 12VDC auto, RV, marine or other portable appliances that draw up to 10 amps or illuminate an area with the built-in worklight.

3-in-1 Jump Starter and Power Supply

3-in-1 Jump Starter and Power Supply
Item #38391

 

A good combination lock is mandatory equipment to secure class or gym lockers, bikes, storage chests and more. Harbor Freight offers this tried and true classic featuring a solid steel alloy shackle and chrome-plated finish.

Combination Padlock

Combination Padlock
Item #92769

 

“Laptops and tablets and cell phones, oh my!” said the electrical outlet. But you don’t need a wizard to solve the power problem—you just need the 4 Outlet Power Strip from Harbor Freight Tools! Features include a heavy duty 24 in. power cord, lighted on/off switch with integrated 15 amp circuit breaker, slotted housing for wall or bench mounting and four three-prong grounded outlets.

4 Outlet Power Strip

4 Outlet Power Strip
Item #91334

 

To check out more useful back-to-school items, visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

HOW TO TURN YOUR OLD SPEAKER INTO A LIQUOR CABINET

pioneer speakers

Remember when your speakers were the nicest pieces of furniture you owned (even beating out the cable spool coffee table and matching orange crate record holders)? Even now, I”ll go so far as to say they’d still be the most gorgeous pieces in my house if I still had my Marantz quadrophonic ruling the roost.

marantz white

Ah, but the world has moved on to iPod docks and Bose Wave systems, and other soulless devices of aural sterility. Perhaps, though, your Pioneers (or JBLs or Advents) are still in the garage, under boxes of Christmas lights or the old carburetor you swore you were going to rebuild. Maybe the cones are shot, but you just haven’t been able to bring yourself to part with that beloved part of your history. Well, now you don’t have to! Not only can you keep your lattice beauties, but you can emancipate them from storage and return them to their rightful place– the entertainment room!

speaker liquor cabinet completeTurn that deceased speaker into a liquor cabinet… or any kind of cabinet you like, as explained by Hippiesarah on Instructables.com. Here we proceed with the idea of keeping the cabinet looking like a real speaker. Of course, you can fashion it however you want.

Tools Needed:

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Wire Cutter
  3. Cordless Drill
  4. Miter or Circular Saw
  5. Staple Gun
  6. Hot Glue Gun

Materials Needed:

  1. Unused speaker(s)
  2. Sandpaper
  3. Wood (for shelves; amount depends on the size of speaker)
  4. Paint
  5. Hinges
  6. Corner Brackets
  7. Light
  8. Pencil
  9. Paint marker
  10. Nitrile Gloves

How-To:

Step #1 – Gut the Sucker!

gutted speaker

Wear some nitrile gloves– or other type of gloves that keep you dexterous– when you’re doing this. The cabinet’s insulation might be fiberglass, which can irritate the skin.

Remove the speaker cover. Most just pop off with velcro or pop-ins, but be careful not to break the cover frame from too much effort, especially if it’s an older cabinet. There’s also the chance it’s screwed in. Carefully remove the speaker, insulation, wiring and components.

Step #2 – Trace Your Outline

tracing the speaker

Once the speaker is completely gutted, put the cover back on. Then with a pencil,  mark exactly where it lays on the face of the speaker. It’s important you don’t cut the opening bigger than the speaker cover, so as to maintain the illusion that it’s still just a speaker. Remove the speaker cover again and use a paint marker to clearly outline where you want to cut.

Step #3 – Time to Cut

cutting speaker

Cut as straight as possible along your drawn lines. Once you’re finished, measure the width and depth of the speaker cabinet so you can cut your shelves. For this, you could salvage wood from old furniture or resort to buying a piece.

Step #4 – Sand and Paint

sand and paint

Sand where needed and paint the interior and your shelves any color you like. If there is a hole on the back of the cabinet, you could simply staple black fabric over the opening– or you could keep it to string in a light cord if you want to add electric illumination.

Step #5 – Brackets

brackets

When the paint has dried, it’s time to add the hardware. At this point, you should have an idea where you want your shelves to go. If you want to make your liquor cabinet like this, give the top shelf a good height to store your shot glasses, then give the next shelf room enough for rocks or highball glasses. Screw the corner brackets on the bottom of your shelves, then to the speaker walls.

Step #6 – Hinges

hingesYou might find that when you start to add the hinges, you run into a small issue. If you want the cabinet to look like an ordinary stereo speaker, then exposed hinges betray you (et tu, hinge-ay?)  In the top photo, see how the hinge lines up perfectly with a small space in the speaker cover? The fix: get a strip of scrap wood and sand it down till it fits tightly into the space. Then hot glue it into the cover and attached hinges as normal. With a quick dash of black paint marker, you can’t even tell anything was done.

Step 7: Light ‘Em Up

For convenience, and to add that touch of class, you may want to have a light in your liquor cabinet. This could be done by simply sticking in an LED click light with adhesive back, bringing electric lights through the cabinet’s back hole and stringing them around top, or getting one of those magnetic drawer lights that come on when you open the door.

Step 8: Bar’s Open!speaker liquor cabinet completeTime to stock your shelves and lie in wait for your first unsuspecting guests!

Or,  let’s say you’ve got towers. Maybe you’d like to try something like this, not quite as clandestine.
tower speaker cabinet

Or, maybe you don’t drink. In that case, perhaps you’d be interested in repurposing your speakers into a media library cabinet:

speaker media cabinet

Whatever your inclination, you can refer to these basic steps and your once-retired stereo speakers can give you hours more of pleasure! And remember, Harbor Freight‘s got the tools that can make it happen! “Sound” advice, no?

How To Build a Teardrop Trailer

teardrop trailer complete

In the March/April 1939 issue of Popular Homecraft an article ran– along with detailed plans– for a new, cool oddity called the “Honeymoon House Trailer.”

It was built in the late 30’s by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, California, a guy who literally saved his dimes for the little traveler so as to take his new bride on their wedding trip. The 8’x4’ floor plan had tongue-and-groove flooring on a pine chassis, a Chevy front axle with 28” wheels and 1926 rear fenders.  The mini trailer slept two and had a raise-up deck lid for a rear kitchenette, complete with ice box and stove. A curtain-enclosure outside the starboard entry served as the “dressing room.” The whole project set him back about $60 ($1,026 today). This may or may not have been the very first teardrop trailer, but it was certainly in the ballpark.

DIYers went crazy. They followed Rogers’ plans and soon added touches of their own. After World War II, subsequent models morphed even more, sporting Jeep wheels and exterior skins made from bomber wings. After the 50’s, though, their popularity waned as big RVs appeared. Then, once again, the teardrops returned with a vengeance. Today you can find a number of websites for plans (some free!), photo galleries, forums and clubs. Teardroppers believe that creating, renovating and modifying unique, personalized models are what give the little campers their timelessness—and the most rewarding way to own a teardrop!

vw teardrop

The coolest part of all this is, you don’t have to be a master builder to make your own drop-dead gorgeous teardrop trailer. If you’ve got just a basic knowledge of woodworking and some tools, you’re already ahead of the game.

First thing, how to go about it? On a recent Google hunt, I found this most EXCELLENT “HOW-TO” tutorial on building a teardrop trailer on Instructables.com with extremely detailed steps, TONS of pics (man, you gotta have pics!) and a comfortable daily planner. Building it on a Haul-Master 1720 lb-Capacity. 4’x8′ Super Duty Trailer

HF super duty trailer…the author created this beautiful camping capsule, complete with aluminum siding, wiring and lights, vent fan, sink-&-stove kitchen area, windows on the sides and front, and a roomy bed with a second kid-sized bunk, all for under two grand!

teardrop beds

Necessary Tools:

teardrop camping

While it’s not exactly a 2-weekend project, the finished product will leave you buzzed with such sublime satisfaction, and give you years of fun and memories that you just can’t buy.

Of course, most of the tools necessary to make this dream a reality can be found at Harbor Freight Tools. Make sure you check the ads for specials and coupons for even greater savings!