TOP 10 MUST-HAVE COSPLAY TOOLS/ACCESSORIES FROM HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS

When you think of cosplay, you may think of places like Comic-Con, E3 or Anime Expo, but you probably don’t think of Harbor Freight Tools. If you’re into making your own cosplay costumes, Harbor Freight Tools should be your first destination. Harbor Freight Tools is your one-stop tool shop for creating your cosplay attire, accoutrements and weapons. While cosplayers are willing to invest ample time and money into their passion, saving money is still a big plus! Harbor Freight Tools is known for “quality tools at ridiculously low prices.” Following is a list of the Top Ten Must-Have Cosplay Tools/Accessories from Harbor Freight Tools. All of these items are available at any one of their 500 stores nationwide or through harborfreight.com. (Note: prior to using any tool or material, please make sure to utilize all necessary safety precautions and safety equipment.)

10.

Heat Gun

Heat guns are a must when working with materials like foam, Sintra, Wonderflex and Worbla. A heat gun provides controlled heat so you can form and shape materials to your costume’s specifications.


(FOA Cosplay made this amazing World of Warcraft Paladin with Sintra)

 

Harbor Freight sells several different heat guns within a modest price range. Plus, there’s a nifty accessory kit to expand the functionality of your heat gun.

1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun (572°/1112°) item #: 96289

 

heat gun

430°-800° /570°-1160° Interval Heat Gun with LED Temperature Settings item #: 69343

 

1600 Watt Heavy Duty Dual Temperature Heat Gun

1600 Watt Heavy Duty Dual Temperature Heat Gun (1000°/1100°) item #: 69342

Heat Gun Accessory Kit 9 Pc

Heat Gun Accessory Kit 9 Pc item #: 68695

 

 9.

Glue Gun

A glue gun is mandatory for costume construction. In many cases, a glue gun is the best way to bind materials, like EVA foam.

pacific-rim-gipsy-danger-cosplay-by-nona-neon-2-620x856

(Cosplayer Nona Neon used EVA foam to make this incredible Pacific Rim Gypsie Danger costume)

 

Harbor Freight sells three glue guns along with the glue cartridges sold separately.

 

Professional Industrial Glue Gun

Professional/Industrial Glue Gun item #95939

 

High Temperature Full Size Glue Gun

High Temperature Full Size Glue Gun item 68334

 

High Temperature Mini Glue Gun

High Temperature Mini Glue Gun item #: 68337

50 Piece MultiTemp Full Size Glue Sticks

50 Piece MultiTemp® Full Size Glue Sticks item #: 68336

50 Piece MultiTemp Mini Glue Sticks

50 Piece MultiTemp® Mini Glue Sticks item #: 68329

 

8.

Woodburner

As the name implies, a woodburner is an excellent way to add detailed ornamentation to wood pieces. However, it’s also used as a detailing tool for other materials such as foam.

Woosburning

(The middle details on this wood sword are 2mm foam detailed with a woodburner)

 

Harbor Freight offers a woodburner that’s ideal for soldering jobs, working with Styrofoam, cutting stencils or burning designs into wood or leather.

woodburner

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

 

7.

Orbital Sander

Whether you’re evening out the surface of a large shield or smoothing out filler on a mask, an orbital sander will quickly become your new best friend. The time saved compared to hand sanding is priceless let alone the fatigue you’ll avoid trying to generate up to 12,000 OPM (Oscillations Per Minute) on your own (I’m good for 60 OPM myself…)

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(An orbital sander was used several times during the construction of the Mirror Shield from Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

 

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(The finished shield)

 

Harbor Freight carries several types of orbital sanders, including a wet orbital sander. You’ll also find sanding discs in a variety of grits for rough work, finishing work or something in between. Check out their complete selection of orbital sanders and sanding pads.

 

6.

Epoxy

Bonding materials is a given when it comes to making your own cosplay costumes. You’ll need to have one or more epoxies on hand and ready to go. Sometimes you need to bond materials quickly. Other times, you need some wiggle room—time to line up or adjust the materials perfectly before the bond sets in. Harbor Freight offers several different types of epoxies, including:

0.2 Oz. Single Use Quick Setting Epoxy Adhesive item #: 96031

0.2 Oz. Single Use Delayed Setting Epoxy Adhesive item #: 96033

 

5.

Hobby Knife

The hobby knife is simply indispensable for the cosplay costumer maker, especially if you use the pepakura method to build your costumes. It’s also used to cut intricate stencils, EVA foam, you name it…

Harbor Freight sells a 33-piece deluxe hobby knife set that comes with 26 assorted blades, 2 standard blade holders and an ergonomic blade handle. The set also includes scratch awl blades, caliper, jeweler’s precision screwdriver, tweezers and a bonus pen-type precision screwdriver with six bits. It comes in a well-organized case so you’ll have quick and easy access to the blade you need for cutting, carving and crafting.

hobby knife

33 Piece Deluxe Hobby Knife Set item #: 96551

 

4.

Spray Gun

For detail paint work, look no further than the 4 oz. Adjustable Detail Spray Gun from Harbor Freight Tools! The paint sprays from a standard circle pattern to a pinpoint fan for more accurate and efficient coverage. A spray gun can also be used to apply coats of wood glue to seal EVA foam for making armor and other accessories to your costume. Check out this video on how to do it!

FireShot Screen Capture #080 - 'How to Seal EVA Foam Quickly Using a Paint Spray Gun - YouTube' - www_youtube_com_watch_v=aJ6y1O5qTUQ

(Fan video – using the 4 Oz. Adjustable Detail Spray Gun to coat EVA armor)

 

4 oz spray gun

4 oz. Adjustable Detail Spray Gun item 92126

 

Note: a compressor is needed to run the spray gun. Harbor Freight carries an inexpensive line of compressors and compressor accessories as well.

 

3.

Nitrile Gloves

Before your cosplay costume is a site to behold, there’s a whole lot of mess leading up to it! Paints, epoxies… it’s veritable chemical warfare on your hands! In addition to masks, safety goggles and the like, all available through Harbor Freight, you should have several packs of nitrile gloves on hand. The form fitting gloves provide plenty of dexterity while providing superior chemical resistance. Harbor Freight offers thicknesses ranging from 3mm to 9mm in medium, large and extra-large sizes.

nitrile gloves

Check out Harbor Freight’s full selection of nitrile gloves!

 

2.

Safety Goggles/Face Shields

You’ll be cutting, sawing, sanding… and Zeus-knows-what-else to get your costume convention ready. Just remember, it’s all fun and cosplay until someone loses an eye! Make mom proud and put safety first! Safety goggles and face shields are absolute necessities to keep your eyes and face protected while you focus on the task at hand. Harbor Freight has numerous eye safety options from which to choose.

 

1.

Rotary Tool

If Jerry Maquire were into cosplay, he would look at the rotary tool and say “You complete me.” Cutting, buffing, boring, sanding, engraving—more than a dozen jobs can be performed with just this one tool!


(Harrison Krix and Bill Doran create the hammered metal look with a rotary tool)

 

Harbor Freight offers plug-in and cordless rotary tool options. And in case you’re worried you won’t find enough uses for your new rotary tool, then check out the 249 Piece Rotary Tool Accessory Set which includes 67 cut-off wheels, 60 sanding wheels, 12 grinding wheels, 5 fiberglass reinforced cutting discs, 18 aluminum oxide grinding stones, 7 diamond burrs, 3 cutter burrs, 6 drill bits, 6 wheel brushes… the list goes on!

That’s the Top Ten list, but we’re really just scratching the surface. From duct tape to drill presses, batteries to shop vacs and hand tools to workbenches, Harbor Freight has what you need to fortify your cosplay costume making workshop or build one from scratch while saving a ton money in the process!

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!

Tale of the Tape

Sometimes the simplest tools can be the most effective.  Any do-it-yourselfer knows how essential tough, reliable tape can be and no self-respecting handyman would be caught without it.  Duct tape and electrical tape both are two indispensable items that you can never have enough of.  And, when it comes to high quality expendables, Harbor Freight Tools has everything you need.  Whether it’s traditional duct tape or electrical tape, with these handy items, you’ll be able to handle any sticky situation.

There’s no denying that duct tape is one of the most versatile and useful tools in the world.  If you don’t have a roll somewhere in your toolbox or garage, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself in a tight spot at one point or another and wish you did.  For just $4.29, you can pick up a big roll of 2” x 50 Yard Cloth Back Silver Duct Tape (or 4 rolls for $14.99) and be ready for just about anything.  From the more traditional uses like repairing air ducts and handling small household projects to more unique applications like patching a hole in a tarp or fixing broken hoses, duct tape can be a life-saver as well as just unbelievably useful.

image_14971

“Incredibly strong, durable and very long lasting. I can honestly say it is the best duct tape I have ever used.” – by PRIMETIME from Houston, Tx

“I recently bought a roll of this tape and I am really impressed with its performance. It sticks as good as duct tape costing two times the price.” – by ironduke from Parts Unknown

So what about you electricians out there?  Need to stock up on electrical tape?  Of course you do because this stuff is the cousin of duct tape and just as important to have on hand.  Heavy duty electrical tape not only provides insulation for wiring jobs but also handles other tasks in a pinch.  With a tight grip and the ability to conform to sharp contours, electrical tape is pretty handy as just regular old tape too.  How many rolls of 60’ x 3/4″ Industrial Grade Electrical Tape do you think you could get for $4.99?  How about 10?  Only Harbor Freight sticks by that kind of deal.

image_21089

“I recently had to cut open some wire looms I’d taped up a few years back to move some harnesses and I noticed how well this stuff held up under the hood, through Michigan winters and salt. It’s about time to buy more so I figured I’d go ahead and review it. I like it!” – by EvilSteve from Warren, MI

You don’t have to be a professional grade contractor or run a repair shop to benefit from duct tape or electrical tape.  These are items that anyone should have readily available, just in case.  Even if they don’t provide a permanent solution, reliable tape can solve lots of problems temporarily and allow you to get some professional help if necessary.  But, if you like to handle things yourself, don’t hesitate to load up on this terrific tape.

Pittsburgh Tubing Roller: This Is How We Roll

If you’re in the market for an economical manual tubing roller, you really should take a look at the Pittsburgh Tubing Roller (SKU #99736) from Harbor Freight. This sturdy, heavy-duty tubing roller is an absolute wonder.

It’s easy to use and includes 1, 1-1/2 and 2-inch rollers that can bend tubing anywhere from 3/4-inch to 2-inches in diameter. It even supports 3/4-inch, 1-1/4-inch and 2-inch Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) conduit sizes.  Whether your project is for work or hobby, the tubing roller works incrementally so that you can create bends as precise as necessary. An excellent tool for the price!

tubing roller

The Pittsburgh tubing roller bends it like Beckham.

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller does a lot and takes up little space. It’s portable and a prize to have around the shop. It’s made for bending mild steel, copper and aluminum tubing, alike. You can use it to fabricate an exhaust, roll bars and many other projects. This is one of those fun toys when doing a cage because your tube work can follow the arc of the windshield, have a domed roof, or whatever other normal or wacky job you can think of. It also does a decent job with bike-quality bends for the serious cyclist. The roller can be bench-mounted as well on this Central Machinery Adjustable Pedestal Stand (sold separately); just make sure your workbench is solid, level and strong enough to support not only the tool itself, but your work material and any pressure applied while bending.

Here are just a few comments from owners:

Really great tool and easy to use. This took about 5 minutes or less to complete and I was going slow and easy.”  The Nettletons – Marietta, GA

“Works great. If you start rolling bigger tube such as 1 1/2″ you will get a work out but 1″ and smaller is a piece of cake but no matter what size you roll the results are amazing. Just take your time and it will turn out great. I have been using mine to build furniture and it turns out gorgeous.”  JoeBro – Undisclosed

“I am always afraid of cheap tools but this is a great tool for the price. It is a substantial piece of equipment. It comes with 3 sets of dies and works very well. I bought the flat die set as well. Makes beautiful rings in 1/4 x 1 1/2 steel.”  Robert – Undisclosed

Keep in mind this unit is designed for bending copper, aluminum and mild steel. Never try to bend plastic or PVC pipe with it. Another word of caution: Always check your minimum practical bend radius. This depends on the diameter and wall thickness of the tube you are working with. Making bends with too small of a radius will result in tube deformations like flattening, folding or rupturing. As always, practice on a piece of scrap material prior to starting your project.

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller performs like much higher-priced models without bending your budget. At just $169.99, it’ll keep you rolling for years to come!

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

 

 

 

 

Handle a Ton of Work with a Hand-Operated Arbor Press!

With the 1 Ton Arbor Press (Central Machinery 3552) from Harbor Freight Tools mounted to your workbench, small production and assembly jobs are a breeze! Installing and removing bearings, staking, pressing shafts and more are all done quickly and efficiently with minimal effort thanks to the 1 ton force applied by this mighty but small arbor press. Its all-metal construction combined with a large base make this arbor press sturdy and durable so you can power through a whole variety of applications! Even installation is easy with the mount holes conveniently built into the press. Just secure the tool to your workbench and you’re ready to go.

image_18449

Safely Handles Small Jobs!

In case I’m not pressing the point enough, check out what some actual customers had to say:

“I am using this press to squeeze the juice of vegetables and fruits from the production of a meat grinder. It is tough enough for that and its four inch throat guarantees a small pressing area and ensures enough pressure to adequately squeeze my fruit and vegetable pulp through a flour sack towel. That gives me juice without the pulp. I am not using it for its intended use so my comment may inspire someone else to find another non-standard use for this arbor press. I no longer work on cars professionally, but it may serve double duty at some time in the future.” — xenonracerx from Las Vegas, NV

“I use this to press bearings in and piston pins, also have fixed body panels with it. A+ and a great value cant go wrong” —  Joel from Rogers, MN

“I use this press to press in leaf spring bushing on almost all my suspension projects. I mounted it into my vise and press in all the bushing with no problem. A lot faster than using my 20 ton h frame press.” — James the fabricator from Lakewood, Wa

And I’m willing to be that James the Fabricator is telling the truth despite his profile name.  Bigger or more powerful presses can’t handle the smaller jobs tackled by the 1 ton arbor press. For smaller work pieces, you’ll want to be sure to use a press that can handle the work safely while still applying enough force. And while you’re at it, be sure to get a good look at Harbor Freight’s line of vices too. The 6″ Portable Carpenter’s Vise or the 4” Drill Press Vice are a great addition to work you may be doing on the arbor press.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another arbor press for sale at the same low cost as this one offered by Harbor Freight. Other retailers sell similar presses for much more!

The Perfect, Cost-Effective Reloading Bench

workbench 4-14At just $165– and even less with your 20% Off Coupon– you would be hard-pressed (see what I just did there?) to find a better reloading bench for a limited space than the Windsor 60-in. 4-Drawer Hardwood Workbench. At over 110 lbs. empty, it’ll stay in place when you lift up the press, and with 60 inches of table surface and four drawers, there’s plenty of room to work and store your supplies. The work bench also includes a bottom shelf for larger tools as well. A wood block vise is included to enhance usability and a clear lacquer finish protects the top of your shop bench from wear and tear.

“ClemBert,” a member of the FiringLine.com forum, came up with this swell mod for his Harbor Freight workbench. First, he modified two of the drawers into one deep drawer.

“I used hurricane framing ties to connect the drawers together leaving the bottom out of the drawer on the top.”

reloading bench drawers #1 

reloading bench drawers #2

He then made a 1.5″ platform for the reloading press, using leftover 3/4″ plywood glued together. A 2×4 was glued and bolted to the bottom of the platform. This allowed him to use the vice that comes with the workbench to hold the platform when in use.

reloading bench press platform #1

relaoding bench press platform #2

reloading bench press platform #3

After the platform was completed, he bolted the reloading press to it.

reloading bench reloading press #1

Harbor Freight workbench with reloading press setup

So when he wasn’t reloading and needed the work space, he had it at his disposal!

Harbor Whether it’s for reloading or other garage & shop hobbies, the Windsor 60″ 4-Drawer Hardwood Workbench from Harbor Freight Tools is a sweet deal!

Tool Totes for the Traveling Tradesman

Keep your tools stored and organized in a rugged, durable tool bag!  Whether it’s keeping your stuff safely stored in the shop or taking tools to the jobsite and back, a Tool Tote from Harbor Freight Tools is just the thing you need for added convenience.  Both the 12” and 19” tool totes provide maximum protection for your tools and accessories with a heavyweight polyester fabric construction and a hard rubber bottom.  And while you don’t have to work hard to benefit from one of these tool totes, they’ll hold up to the stress even when you do.

image_23936

For smaller jobs, the 12” Tool Tote handles just about everything you’d need.  With 6 inside pockets and 12 outside, you can easily fit all your basic tools and accessories.  For jobs requiring a little extra preparation or if you’re hitting a couple projects in a row, the 19” Tool Tote comes with 13 outside pockets that you can pack full without concern for ripping or tearing the tough polyester fabric.  Whichever one of these bad boys you choose, you’ll always have everything you need right at your fingertips.  So don’t be left without an essential tool!  Pick up one of these tote bags today!

Versatile and Comfortable: Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set

Tired of working tired?  Well, be tired no longer with the 4 Piece Anti-Fatigue Foam Mat Set from Harbor Freight Tools!  That’s right, Anti-Fatigue.  These mats hate fatigue just as much as you do and they’re specifically designed to keep your feet comfortable even while standing for long periods of time!  But these mats aren’t just anti-fatigue.  They’re anti-slipping, waterproof, and impact absorbent!   It’s almost like these mats were specially made for hard-working individuals like yourself…  For additional insight, here’s what some other hard-working individuals had to say about these easy-to-use mats:

“Started with one set in front of the new workbench, also purchased at HF. After feeling the softness and comfort, we decided to get more and eventually covered the entire basement floor. Now when going down the basement to get something, we can even go barefoot. Great product. Keeps dry and very comfortable.” – Mike from Monroe, CT

“I bought my first set of these to use in front of my workbenches but I keep buying more as various needs arise.  I also found myself dragging these out to the driveway to work under the cars as they separate me from the concrete and require less vehicle height than a creeper. My wife bought a set of these to dampen the vibration from her “Total Gym” that sat directly on a hard wood floor and they worked out perfectly. These mats are great for reducing foot and ankle fatigue while working at the bench, but even better, separate my feet from the ice cold concrete floor in the winter time. These are so handy and inexpensive I keep extra sets around so I don’t have to relocate those that are in designated work areas.” – EvilSteve from Warren, MI

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You see, even supervillains like EvilSteve love these mats and those guys hate everything!  But, I guess supervillains get fatigued too, what with all the evildoing.  So, it only goes to show how diverse and versatile these mats really are.  And at just $9.99 per four-piece set, these mats go easy on your tool budget too.  Add safety and comfort to your work area with this fantastic mat set!

Popular Hot Rodding Review: ‘Cool’ Harbor Freight Tools

In the upcoming January, 2014 issue of Popular Hot Rodding magazine, several Harbor Freight products are featured among 23 Cool Tools: Home Garage Helpers You Gotta Have That Won’t Break the Bank. Says PHR columnist Rob Kinnan:

“You know Harbor Freight as the place to get dirt-cheap tools, from tiny stuff to the bigger power tools, presses, and such, but your author has put a ton of use in their tools for decades and can attest that the “cheap tools” thing is mostly a myth. And they have everything, including a lot of things that the other tool companies don’t offer. Check ‘em out.”

step drill bit set 3-pc

First on their list is the Warrior 3 Piece Titanium Nitride-Coated High Speed Steel Step Drills. Rob said:

“We call this dynamite little tool an “unbit”, and if you don’t have one in your toolbox then, sorry, you’re an idiot.”

This 3-piece set of titanium nitride-coated, high-speed steel bits replaces 28 individual drill bits! Which means you don’t have to constantly change bits when drilling the range of holes necessary on a countertop, for instance, so you can speed-up the process. Also automatically deburrs holes as you drill. #60379 $12.99

 

heat gun

Next on their list is the Drill Master 1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun. Here Rob poses the question:

“Why would you need an industrial-strength hair drier? Because a true heat gun is much more than that and is a handy thing to have in the garage.”

Harbor Freight’s Drill-Master heat gun is the ideal tool for stripping paint and varnish, removing decals, shrinking wire wraps, loosening fittings, thawing pipes and more! The heat gun features two heat settings (572° F and 1112° F) to accommodate a wide variety of jobs and a superior coil design that heats materials more quickly than other heat guns on the market. Great for both the do-it-yourselfer and professional contractor. #96289 $14.99

 

7 inch sander polisher

 

Another great deal covered in Popular Hot Rodding is the Drill Master 7″ Variable Speed Polisher/Sander:

“While it’s true that a paint job is only as good as the prep work, it’s equally true that it’s only as good as the cut and polish after the paint and clearcoat has dried, and Harbor Freight has just the inexpensive tool to do it.”

This versatile polisher-sander from Harbor Freight is powered 600-3500 RPM, so you can easily polish your vehicle’s finish or sand all types of larger work surfaces. The all ball-bearing construction also helps the polisher/sander operate smoothly. Features a six-speed thumb control and spindle lock for easy pad changes. #69474 $39.99

 

1-ton shop crane

 

As a final addition for the budget garage, Rob recommends the Pittsburgh Automotive 1-Ton and 2 Ton Foldable Shop Cranes:

“Also known as a cherry picker, a shop crane is mandatory to remove or install an engine in a car, but they take up a boatload of room when not being used. Harbor Freight solves that with a foldable crane in either 1-ton or 2-ton capacities.”

The Pittsburgh Automotive foldable shop cranes deliver the lifting ability you need with the combined advantage of compact storage! Double bearing swivel casters provide smooth and easy maneuvering around your work space. The 1-ton boom extends from 34 in. to 45 in. and its crane height adjusts from 85 in. to 94 in. The 2-ton’s boom extends from 41″ to 61-3/4″ and the crane height adjusts from 73-5/8″ to 89″. They include ram, chain and hook. #69512 $146.00, #69514 $219.99

For this and more awesome articles on hot-rodding and rod-wrenching, check out the January issue of Popular Hot Rodding magazine!