The Solar-Powered Tailgate Party– Go Green!

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The tailgate party is a sacred ritual, and like with any ritual that requires serious reflection, one needs to decide how to best prepare for it. To throw a successful tailgate party for a bunch of your closest buds, you’ll want to put together an awesome set-up. Sure, you could plug into a generator, but why deal with that racket? Harbor Freight Tools has the perfect solution:

tailgating setup - ensemble

First, you need some shade. The HFT 10 Ft. X 10 Ft. Popup Canopy #69456 ($69.99) is perfect instant cover for you and the gang to watch the game in cool comfort. The canopy features a slant-leg design for better stability and a powder-coated frame to resist chipping, peeling, rust and corrosion. The canopy itself is made from water-resistant, 150-denier polyester fabric that protects against fading and mildew and comes with a convenient wheeled storage bag for easy transport.

solar panel kit

Next, instead of a generator as the power source, Harbor Freight suggests their Thunderbolt Magnum 45-Watt Solar Panel Kit #68751 ($159.99). With this impressive unit you can generate plenty of clean, quiet energy, using the sun to run TVs, radios, crock pots, blenders– even recharge 12 volt DC batteries. The set up’s easy, too. Simply connect the solar panels to a 12-volt DC storage battery #68680 ($69.99)…

1500 3000 watt power inverterwhich in turn connects to a Cen-Tech 1500 Watt Continuous/3000 Watt Peak Power Inverter #60601 ($129.99) with quality 300 Amp Inverter Power Cables #69537 ($39.99) to juice up your gear!

Tailgating setup - solar panels

Then plug in your TV along with your mobile satellite or a good, strong antenna, add a crock pot for the nacho cheese, and enjoy the game engine-noise-free!

The turf is green. Why not the tailgate? You can find all the supplies you need for an awesome solar-powered tailgating station at Harbor Freight Tools for ridiculously low prices!

Other tailgating necessities you can find at Harbor Freight include:

…and more!

On the other hand, if it’s a generator you’re still looking for, you know Harbor Freight Tools has the top-rated Predator gas generators in all sizes– at incredibly low prices!

Simplify Your Life and Save Your Back!

With work, family, traffic, that neighbor that always wants to talk about sports you don’t care about, and trying to figure out your cell phone bill, the last thing you need is more stress!  Instead, why not simplify your life with a gift for yourself from Harbor Freight Tools??

Imagine you’re in your house and you drop the TV remote.  If you’re like me, you don’t have the time or energy to bend over and pick it up.  At the same time, you also really want to change the channel because your favorite show is coming on.  Oh, the aggravation that would ensue! But what’s this? A handy-dandy EZ Reach & Grab Pickup and Reaching Tool to the rescue!  Look, I don’t name these tools, but the fact of the matter is, it works!  If the remote control fell within 3 feet of your couch, you can easily retrieve it by simply employing this ABS-reinforced pick-up tool.  And once you have that precious remote back in your possession, that means more channel-flipping time!

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But what if you’ve dropped something heavier than a television remote control?  Like your favorite paperweight?  I mean, what else will keep your papers and files from being blown asunder when a draft slips in?  Aside from backing up your documents electronically or perhaps going through the rigmarole of setting up filing cabinets and all that nonsense, there’s really only one solution.  With the EZ Reach & Grab Pickup and Reaching Tool nearby, you’ll get that paperweight back in no time.  Whether grabbing, picking up, or reaching, this tool’s got you covered and will lift items that weigh up to 5 pounds!  So that paperweight will quickly go back in its place while you remain squarely in the 20th century by resisting the advances of technology.

But I’m not here to judge, only help.  And the way to help you live a simpler life is to encourage you to get yourself either the 36” Pick-Up and Reach Tool or the EZ Reach & Grab Pickup and Reaching Tool from Harbor Freight Tools!  Sure, it’s not every day that you’ll need one, but when you do, you’ll be ready.  Because accidents happen, and one day you’ll need to bend over and pick something up .  Who needs the hassle?  Certainly not these satisfied customers:

“I have properties where we have to pick up A LOT of trash. I have used other more expensive pick up tools in the past. Frankly I hesitated to buy this one because it was so light weight. Well, it has worked very well, and I have a few of them for tenants to use. Excellent value!” – Locust Point from Hagerstown, MD

“I bought 3 on sale and they are terrific for yard cleanup, no more stooping over for every broken branch or pine cone.” – AceDublB from North Bay, ON

Let Harbor Freight Tools give you the lift you need–for just $8.99!—at your local store or at www.harborfreight.com!

Unique Items by Biff: Collapsible Small Animal Trap

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Tired of spending a fortune on mortar rounds, grenades and Claymore mines just to keep your garden or yard free from small pests like rats, squirrels and weasels? Now you can solve the critter calamity without Pentagon probes or FBI surveillance thanks to the 16 in. x 5-1/2 in. x 5-1/2 in. Collapsible Small Animal Trap #94397 from Harbor Freight Tools! This animal trap allows you to catch animal pests humanely. Constructed of tough galvanized steel, this animal trap features a sensitive trigger pan and spring loaded trap door to quickly and safely capture bothersome animals. After the work is done, simply collapse the trap to easily store it—of course, animal control has been called and the pest removed before collapsing. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a gooey mess that is anything but humane. On the other hand, if you’re making small pest jerky…

Biff

Collapsible Small Animal Trap SKU #94397 – $6.99

Cool Ideas for Shade in the Summer

With the summer months come higher temperatures and, humid or not, it can be hard to enjoy spending time outdoors when the heat turns up and the sun is right overhead.  Also, if you plan on having a BBQ, a family gathering, or anything outdoors, you want to make sure that your guests have some shade to escape to when it gets too hot.  It’s times like these that a canopy from Harbor Freight Tools can be a life saver!

popup canopy

For instant shade pretty much anywhere, nothing beats the portability and convenience of a Pop-Up Canopy.  Canopies are easy to place and provide cool places to relax or to keep food during an event.  They also make setting up a yard sale or bake sale easier than ever!  And the best part is that they can be taken down just as quickly too. Then just store them away until they’re needed again.  The pop-up canopies are available in white, blue and green covers that resist moisture and fungus to stay durable and sturdy.  But, in the words of Levar Burton from Reading Rainbow, “you don’t have to take my word for it.”

“Bought this in store last year for tailgating, and have used it many, many times since. I’ve left it up in my backyard for a few weeks, and it stayed put with appropriate anchoring through some light wind and inclement weather. It folds down and fits in the storage bag, which has wheels, very easily with two people.” – TheGremlyn from San Diego, Ca

tilt canopy

Or, if you want to get fancy, check out the Quick Clamp Canopy.  If you have a picnic table up to 10 feet long, you can make a simple upgrade just by attaching this innovative canopy to it!  And as the sun moves, you can tilt the canopy to the perfect position so you’ve always got it made in the shade.   Coming in at $99.99, it’s an easy and affordable addition to your picnic table that will provide countless days of pleasant shade on those sunny days.

canopy storage bag

While you’re at it, you might want to pick up some canopy related accessories.  There are a few anchor options like the Earth Anchor Canopy Set for $18.99 or the Easy Hook Anchor Canopy Set for $19.99.  Another helpful item to consider is the Canopy Rolling Storage Bag for just $34.99.  This is especially useful for anyone using their canopy at multiple locations but is also just a great place to store your canopy when it’s not in use.  And, with three conveniently-placed wheels, you’ll save a little extra work by not having to lug the canopy all over the place.

The 10’ x 10 ft. canopies run between $69.99 and $219.99 so there’s something to fit any budget.  And for larger get togethers or events, the 10’ x 20 ft’ pop-up canopy is $299.99, and that’s for 200 square feet of coverage!  You’ll want to have lots of memories from the summer but don’t let a sunburn be one of them!  Pick up a Harbor Freight Pop-Up Canopy and keep cool and covered during any time of the year.

Revolutionary Cure for the Summertime Blues

Well, it’s summertime!  And that means no school and too much time spent on Facebook.  Why not beat the boredom (and the heat) with something fun from Harbor Freight Tools?  Yeah, I know, everyone knows they sell tools and all that stuff, but they offer plenty of recreational products as well!  Whether you’re a kid at heart or looking to add something onto your order for the little tyke in your life, then you’ve come to the right place.

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One thing that is a surefire cure for the boredom blues is the Remote Control Stunt Car.  With this awesome little car, you can not only drive it around and speed through self-made obstacles like the A-Team crashing through walls during a daring escape, you can also perform crazy 360 turns, backflips, and spins!  Plus, the colorful blue and pink LEDs in the wheels make the car easily visible at night so you can impress your friends (or just entertain yourself) well into the evening.  And guess what, our customers love it too.  Don’t believe me?

“Bought this because it was only $7.99 and it has been the most used toy the kids have! The flashing tires and awesome tricks are well worth the money!” – Dave from Kokomo, IN

“A student of mine brought this in for Show and Tell. Instantly I knew I had to buy one for my husband. It arrived quickly and we have both enjoyed playing with it. Our dogs and cats love it, too.” – teacher from Sheridan, OR

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Or, if you’re looking for something a little less reliant on solid ground for operation, there’s the equally amazing Venom Ozone Remote Controlled Helicopter.  You can launch this sucker into the sky at home, the park, or pretty much anywhere with enough open space to handle your incredible flying skills.  Whether you’re an expert helicopter pilot or a newbie taking off for the first time, this fun toy is easy to fly for pros and beginners both.  The design is both lightweight and durable so a few awkward landings won’t take it out of commission.  And at just $55, this remote controlled helicopter has helped lots of happy customers fight through boredom.

“I spent 179.99 on a “hobby grade” Blade CX2 model and broke it in two minutes! I spent $45 (with 20% off) on this Harbor Freight heli and have been playing with it all day!! It’s a blast to use!” – Jon Boy from Buffalo, NY

“The store cashier told me about some complaints, about difficult to fly, but I’ve found that with sleight movement of controls and patience, it works good.  Excellent toy for the price. I fly (and crash) in the house and I find it to be extremely durable. My son in law and I are going to buy one more each.” – Rick

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I know what you’re thinking.  No, really, I do.  You’re thinking, “So, to not be bored, I have to go outside??”  Well, not necessarily.  For the more cerebral of you out there, you can pick up a balsa wood 3-D puzzle for just $1.29.  You read that right.  Less than two bucks!!  So they’re easy items to tack on to any order.  Choose from the insect (one of six balsa wood designs are shipped randomly), T-Rex, or airplane puzzle and have tons of fun putting it together.  And on top of that, you can color the wood to fit your own unique style.  Or, if those puzzles are a little too simple for you, check out the 3-D White House Puzzle for just $7.99.  This 102 piece puzzle comes in full color and kids of all ages will delight in the creation of our nation’s capital.

image_3643I’m sensing another issue.  You’re thinking… “But what about my friends??  I’m just one person and all my friends are bored too!”  Well then, does Harbor Freight have the perfect thing for you! How about a complete Bingo Game Set for $7.99?  It’s got everything you need!  75 numbered balls, 18 reusable Bingo cards, and even one of those little metal ball selectors.  I’m telling you, this thing is great.  Play at home or take it to work, school, a family get together or pretty much anywhere!

So, there you have it.  There’s no excuse for boredom this summer with a quick visit to Harbor Freight Tools!  Whether you’re indoors or out, there’s always something to pass the time from remote controlled vehicles to puzzles and games.  So pick out which one appeals to you the most or, if you really want to cover your bases, I suggest picking up one of each!

Greetings from the World Saunterer

Nature has a sly way of letting you know which of the animals on the planet are the coolest. Think of the cheetah, the lion, the elephant, the moose, the grizzly bear, the shark and the Burmese python What is it that they all have in common? They saunter. Moving along with a confident grace that mice, meerkats, peacocks, goldfish and chihuahuas can only dream of. Sauntering is a statement: it says, “I own the moment. I’m chill. I should have my own theme music.” On the other hand, sauntering also says you’re resonant with the world, one with the universe, comfortable in your own skin.

As humans, we each have to learn the saunter that comes so easily to those magnificent creatures. And today is the perfect opportunity to work on it, because–  coincidentally <ahem>– it’s World Sauntering Day!  Renowned in its anonymity, the purpose of World Sauntering Day is to remind us to take it easy, Jack… smell the roses… slow down and enjoy life as opposed to barreling through it. Harbor Freight Tools can help!

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Nothing makes the most out of sauntering like the reassuring heft of a 9-Function Metal Detector in your hand while you’re doing it! Onlookers will envy your utter lack of self-consciousness as you saunter and hunt for untold riches. This metal detector easily finds coins and other valuables hidden in beaches, parks, under bleachers and boardwalks, in campsites, old battlefields, the woods, vacant lots  or in your own backyard! It gives different tones to indicate specific metal types, and can be used under shallow water to find submerged pieces! You can also plug in headphones so you can block out any outside noise.

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It’s uncanny when you lose something outdoors– a necklace, a tool, a screw– how easily it can blend in with its surroundings, leaving you frantic. This affordable, powerful metal detector from Harbor Freight will help you find your lost items quickly. One customer had this to say:

“I have a 40 acre hobby farm and I seem to be always losing tools and things when I’m out working. Grass does an amazing job of hiding things. I thought about buying a metal detector to help me find my stuff, but the good ones seemed too expensive. I found this detector on sale one day and after reading the good reviews, I decided to give it a chance. I decided that my first search would be for a couple $35 plow skid plates that I lost during the winter. I had searched the ditch beside my 1/3 mile long driveway several times and never found them with my eyes and feet. On my first day out with the new metal detector, I found a 25 ft binding chain with clevis hooks in the first 5 minutes. I never lost a chain like that, but it’s value alone paid for the detector. I then continued my search and found one of my skid plates. It blended right in with the dirt and rocks. I never would have found it without the detector. At that point, I was satisfied that I made all my money back and I quit for the day. The next day, I went back out to look for my other skid plate and I found it in about 15 minutes. I again would not have found it without the detector. I’m very happy with the purchase and I’m sure this will continue to save me time and money.” Lost & Found – South Range, WI

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For both the beginner and seasoned detectorist, this 9-function metal detector works great. Putting it together is easy and playing with it is even more fun. Its high-quality coil delivers a very strong sensitivity (I recommend you start out with a middle setting and adjust accordingly as you go). Its pinpoint is excellent and the depth can go up to 8″ on small targets, and over 1-foot on large objects, depending on the size. It also features an arm support that allows you to carry and operate the detector for long spells comfortably.

Its functions include:

  • Sensitivity adjuster
  • Metal type discriminator
  • All-metal indicator
  • Tone adjuster
  • Volume control
  • Target locator
  • Low battery indicator
  • Auto ground balance
  • Mode selector

Leaving best for last, the 9-Function Metal Detector at Harbor Freight is incredibly priced at only $45.99 (add your 20% Off coupon, and it comes in at less than $37)! So take advantage of World Sauntering Day and saunter yourself over to your local Harbor Freight Tools– or go to www.harborfreight.com– and start this fun and relaxing hobby of metal detector sauntering today!

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Go Fish with the Portable Fish Finder!

Remember going fishing as a kid?  For me, it was a lot of sitting and waiting, hoping to see the little bobber dip under the water for a split second to indicate there was a fish on the line.  And that can get tiresome.  Of course, when you’re fishing with a friend or family member, actually catching something isn’t as important as just enjoying the company.  But sometimes you just want to be able to find some fish without sitting around for four hours and tossing your line out with no real idea where those fish might be.  Well, now you can take the guesswork out of fishing with the Portable Fish Finder from Harbor Freight Tools!

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For $44.99 and with 4 AA batteries, you can save yourself hours of time by simply placing the transducer into the water and using it from the boat, dock, or practically anywhere you’d be fishing from. The fish finder detects fish within a 90 foot range to help you know where to cast your line, lets you know how deep the fish is and also indicates the size of the fish.  This makes fishing so easy, it’s practically cheating!  Of course, using this fish finder in a professional competition probably wouldn’t be allowed, but for the purposes of fishing for fun, this tool is a huge help.

Plus, there are all kinds of bells and whistles on the fish finder aside from the basics.  Fishing in the dark is no problem with the included backlight function for the LED display.  And the screen can be adjusted for the most comfortable viewing angle, allowing you to keep your hands free so you’re ready to reel in your catch.  If you’re on a moving boat, the Landscape Detector will update automatically to let you know if the lake bottom is rough, normal, or smooth.

You might be wondering what other conditions the fish finder works in.  Well, according to one reviewer, this tool is highly versatile!  “I was not sure how this fish finder would work for ice fishing.  I went out today and the depth function works great. I marked a large fish on the bottom and caught a nice Walleye.  It worked really great for the price and it is small and compact.”

Another customer had this to say: “We tossed the transducer over the side of the boat while docked. When the screen showed fish, we dropped our lines and pulled them in. Our record for this season is 22 fish in 1 1/2 hours.  Our dock area is usually 9 to 12 feet deep. The position of the fish shows how far down to drop the line. Great little fishing helper.”

This is a great tool for the average fisherman or for anyone who wants to save time while out on the lake.  It pretty much does everything except catch the fish for you!  And with a compact size, it fits right in your tacklebox with the rest of your fishing gear.  Just be sure to keep it in a dry area when not in use. If taken care of properly, this handy tool will last you for quite a while.

Get On Your Bikes and Ride!

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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:

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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!

Harbor Freight Movers Blankets Have You Covered

Moving is tough.  And not just because you’ve got to change your address, forward your mail, find new local restaurants and get your cable/internet hooked back up.  You’ve also got to get your furniture safely moved without damaging or scratching any of it.  When securing furniture (or anything you’re transporting for that matter) mover’s blankets are crucial.  And at Harbor Freight Tools, we’ve got a few different types to choose from which can be useful for a variety of jobs and tasks.  Here’s a quick look at our selection of mover’s blankets and what sets them apart from each other.

First of all, while these blankets are often called mover’s blankets or furniture pads, the usefulness of these items extends far beyond just moving furniture.  Obviously, the main use for mover’s blankets is protecting your furniture or other items when using ratchet straps, tie downs or winch straps.  The pads keep your cargo from being broken or scratched and otherwise just give you some peace of mind when you’re driving that U-Haul and trying to make it through traffic with no rear-view mirror.  Unlike paper pads, mover’s blankets won’t tear during transport and can be used again and again.

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The largest furniture pads you can get at Harbor Freight are 72” x 80”.  Great for securing and protecting larger items, these blankets are also ideal for deadening noise while recording audio.  If you’re recording a song, for example, hanging some of these blankets on the walls will greatly improve acoustics, making your recording clearer.  Also, these pads can adequately silence camera noise when recording on film.  These big blankets are made of a cotton/poly blend with reinforced stitching to maintain strength and longevity for repeated use, also making them good for lying on when working under vehicles.  If you’re looking for something a little smaller, we’ve got that too.  The 60” x 72”, 40” x 72” and 36” x 40” mover’s blankets are equally durable with strong double stitched poly and non-woven fabric.

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Aside from these general purpose mover’s blankets, you could also opt for the camouflage blankets.  Useful for the same tasks as the other blankets, these are also perfect accessories for hunting or covering tools and other items you don’t want to draw any extra attention to.  The camo blankets come in two designs, one the traditional dark green and the other a light green and beige for dustier areas.  Either way, these camouflage mover’s blankets offer great protection and concealment for a variety of items.

As you can see, even if you aren’t in the process of moving, these mover’s blankets have a multitude of uses around the home and garage that will make them well worth the money, especially considering they only cost between $6.99 and $9.99 each.  Even if you only use these blankets just as blankets for spreading out and having a picnic in the park or laying out in the sun, these blankets hold up to repeated use and wear and tear.  Luckily, they come without any wear and tear on your wallet.  So whether you’re moving, about to move or have no intentions of moving anytime soon, these blankets are still versatile items to keep handy!

Building the Ultimate Greenhouse

Congratulations on purchasing your new One Stop Gardens 10’ x 12’ Greenhouse!  Growing vegetables, cultivating flowers or starting your botany experiment is now close at hand but did you know that you can get even more out of your greenhouse with some extra time, materials and patience?  I recently came across a great article that highlights a few ways to expand your greenhouse in ways that you might not otherwise think of at http://hfgh10x12.blogspot.com/2007/08/this-is-greenhouse-we-bought-link-it.html.  Let’s take a look at how you can take your greenhouse to the next level with just a few adjustments.

The greenhouse kit comes with a steel base that you would generally just place on the ground.  The author of this article explains how to add some extra stability to your greenhouse in order to resist any weather conditions you may encounter like strong winds and heavy rain.  “The popular solution is to build a wooden foundation, anchor it into the ground somehow, and mount the steel base on top,” she says.  “Everyone finds their own way to do this, but most use at least 4 x 4 sized timbers for the base.”

 

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You’ll also want to add a couple of diagonal beams at each corner before mounting the greenhouse base itself.  With your greenhouse secured to a foundation, you can keep the base square and tight for years to come.  And once you’ve got the steel base mounted to the wooden foundation, just apply some clear silicone caulk between the wood and the base to keep rain water from seeping in.  In order to maintain the integrity of you greenhouse, you’ll need to plan for all types of unforeseen weather and environmental conditions.  You can choose from a few different caulks on Harbor Freight’s website too, from Painter’s Acrylic Latex Caulk to Acrylic Latex Caulk plus Silicone.

Now you’re ready to start putting up the walls of your greenhouse.  The article has a little tip to keep your frame and posts straight during construction as well.  “As you put the corner posts up, temporarily attach the [included] diagonal braces for stability.”  You’ll have to remove them before moving on to the next step but this way you can work with a bit more peace of mind and keep the aluminum frame straight and accurate until you add the vertical wall studs.  It’s a good idea to check that the base is still square before moving on and make any necessary adjustments.  It’s much easier to make minor adjustments as you go rather than a big one later.

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Once you’ve got the greenhouse frame constructed, there are a few things you can do to upgrade it for stability in windier areas.  The article advises to add horizontal braces at the tops of the walls to prevent the side walls from pulling away from each other.  You can do the same for the front and back walls.  Just attach a solid piece of material all the way across each wall to reinforce the structure and keep the elements from potentially warping the frame.  The author explains how you can also keep the steel base from flexing:  “This can be done by bolting small plates of some type to the top and bottom lip of the base at regular intervals, or by covering the inside of the base entirely with wood that’s also attached to the top and bottom lip of the base.”

 

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It’s also easy at this point to add insulation to your frame, she continues.  “We used ¾” thick expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) insulation, cut into strips about 4 ¼” wide. We also stuffed some foam sill insulation in there first to remove as many air pockets as possible.”  You can protect that insulation and further reinforce the base by attaching boards with screws to the top and bottom lips of the base.  As the author says, “Now the base is insulated and stiffened by the attached board…and it looks a little dressier, too.”

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Well, at this point, you’ve got yourself an extra strong frame of a greenhouse and you’re ready to move on to inserting the panels.  The author of the article sealed the ends of each panel with aluminum tape to help keep dirt, condensation and bugs out.  “I bought one roll of 1 ½” wide aluminum tape (not duct tape) and cut it into thirds, so I only have a small taped rim visible on the panels.  On the bottom edge, it’s apparently good to have small holes in the tape to allow moisture to escape. You can buy special breathable tape from greenhouse supply websites for this purpose, but others have mentioned using a large pin to poke holes in the tape in each chamber on the bottom edge of each panel.”

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How about weather stripping?  Well, the author has a suggestion for that as well.  “Instead of caulk, I used 3/16” thick closed cell foam weather stripping in each panel opening. Closed cell foam is waterproof so rain can’t soak in.”  The larger gaps on the tops and bottoms of each panel are also mentioned.  “I found some packages of ¾” wide weather stripping.  I used that, cutting each strip in half with scissors, so it was 3/8” wide. It worked fine and turned out to be a soft gray color that was hardly visible under the panels after installation.”

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Okay!  So now that you’ve gotten your greenhouse constructed and ready to withstand those heavy winds, you’re ready to add even more awesomeness!  That’s right, there’s still more you can do to enhance the greenhouse to make it more attractive and convenient.  The author added long benches to each side of her greenhouse along with several peninsula-style benches.  “Each long side bench is supported by two pressure-treated 4x4s, buried 24″ deep and set in concrete.  [Then] two horizontal Douglas Fir 4×4’s were clamped to either side of the two pressure treated posts. The horizontal 4×4’s were attached by using a 12″ long 3/8″ drill bit to drill a hole through all three 4×4’s. A length of 3/8″ all-threads rod was inserted in the hole and capped on each end with a washer and nut.”  This addition will provide plenty of shelving space plus ample free space underneath for tools, equipment and supplies.

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If you want to get really fancy, the author even added a sink to her greenhouse and explains how it can be used for added benefit.  “The sink drain isn’t connected to our house plumbing. It drains into a gravel pit we dug in the floor, and the soil beneath the gravel is the coarse sand of our yard. Another option for the future would be to route the drain water through the wall of the greenhouse and outdoors to water a planting bed.”

Still want more enhancements to your bodacious greenhouse?  The author of this article really decked hers out to include some pretty cool additions to improve functionality.  She added electrical outlets with plastic covers to keep out moisture, Aluminet shade cloth screen panels to keep temperatures down and even an exhaust fan as a way to let air out.  These are obviously more advanced enhancements but the possibilities are there for those willing to put in some extra work.  And for those hoping to use their greenhouse continuously, they can be a real help, as the author states, “Without this fan I wouldn’t be able to keep plants in the greenhouse year round…our summers would be far too hot. With this fan in place, as well as some additional small fans for HAF (Horizontal Air Flow) and generous amounts of shade cloth, I’ll have a fighting chance.”

As you can see, getting your Harbor Freight greenhouse built is only the beginning of your journey and you’re limited only by your imagination!  I don’t know about you but I would love to have benches, a sink, air conditioning and weather stripping in my little home garden.  For anyone who wants to get serious about their plants and flowers without spending serious money, this is the way to do it.