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

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

Under $10

30 Watt 5-In-1 Hobby Woodburner

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

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

 

12 Drawer Storage Organizer

12 Drawer Storage Organizer
item#: 99896

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

 

Under $25

33 Piece Deluxe Hobby Knife Set

33 Piece Deluxe Hobby Knife Set
item#: 96551

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

 

Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit

Variable Speed Rotary Tool Kit
item#: 68696

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

 

Under $50

4 in. Mighty-Mite Table Saw

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

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

 

3 Lb. Rotary Rock Tumbler

3 Lb. Rotary Rock Tumbler
item#: 67631

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

 

Under $100

1-6 HP 58 PSI Oilless Airbrush Compressor Kit

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

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

 

16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw

16 in. Variable Speed Scroll Saw
item#: 93012

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

 

Under $200

8 x 12 Bench Top Wood Lathe

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

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

 

60 in. 4 Drawer Hardwood Workbench

60 in. 4 Drawer Hardwood Workbench
item#: 93454

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

 

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

 

Halloween Craft Ideas

The time is nigh to plunge into the dark arts of Halloween decorating. Instead of getting soaked at the local party store, though, why not dig up some low-cost tools at Harbor Freight and create your own props and beasties? Here are a few ideas we’ve summoned for your morbid curiosity.

halloween packing tape ghost

This spine-chilling ghost (which will be hanging in the trees on Halloween night) is made of packing tape and cheesecloth, and shall be haunting all doomed passersby with an eerie glow, courtesy of the Mini 2-Piece 9 LED 3-1/2″ Flashlight Set (#69065), just $2.99 at Harbor Freight.

 

Drill Master 80-piece Rotary Tool KitDrill Master 80-pc. Rotary Tool Kit #69451 – $9.99

In the spirit of thinking outside the coffin…er, box… consider using the Drill Master 80 Piece Rotary Tool Kit to carve yourself an epic jack-o-lantern! Imagine the devious works of art you could create out of squash-genus vegetables. Not just for pumpkins, though, this awesome tool is great for cutting, grinding, polishing, sharpening, engraving and drilling for all kinds of Halloween crafts and hobbies. Works on metal, wood, rock, plastic, wax… and your dog’s toenails– seriously!

pumpkin

Masterpiece, compliments of the Drill Master Rotary Tool Kit!

 

4 pc wood chisel setPittsburgh 4 Piece Wood Chisel Set #42429 – $5.99

On the other hand, if you’re more old skull… dang it!– SCHOOL… this 4-piece wood chisel set is an eeeeex-cellent alternative! If you love cutting into fresh pumpkin, inhaling the rich tangy scent and getting your hands sticky-gooey whilst scooping out the guts, this would be your poison. The wood carving set slices into the pumpkin like butter as you easily control the cutting. This heat-treated, high carbon steel set has straight bevels and PVC handles for a comfortable grip, and comes in 1″, 3/4″, 1/2″ and 1/4″ sizes.

pumpkin carving

 

hot knifeChicago Electric 130-Watt Heavy Duty Hot Knife #60313 – $16.99

Plunge, slice and dismember styrofoam and more to make spooky props with this crafter’s favorite– the 130 Watt Hot Knife! Harbor Freight’s heavy-duty hot knife will make quick business out of cleanly cutting foam and plastic materials. It’s got a depth-adjusting sled for more control and a safety auto-off feature. Perfect for creating tombstones and carving faux pumpkins!

pumpkin king

Carve the Pumpkin King with your hot knife!

 

hobby woodburner

30 Watt 5-in-1 Hobby Woodburner

This woodburner is the ideal tool for the Halloween craftsman who’s soldering, working with Styrofoam, cutting stencils or burning designs into wood or leather. It comes with multiple tips for soldering and all sorts of hot cutting, all in a convenient carrying case. This quality soldering tool can contribute to almost every hobby and craft!

tombstone

Click Here for a DIY Tombstone Project!

 

propane torch

The Harbor Freight Propane Torch #91033 – $19.99

While this would have been an excellent tool for burning witches back in the day, we’ve got a whole different (and perhaps a slightly more PC) idea for Halloween: “aging” wood props! If you’re planning on having a casket or two lying around the yard, a rotting cemetery fence or some other “old” wood display, this propane torch is great for getting the right look. Here’s a customer video on how it works:

 

mini led lightHarbor Freight Tools 3-1/2″ 9 LED Mini Flashlight #69111 – $1.99

Since you’ll already be haunting your local Harbor Freight, don’t leave without grabbing a few extra omini LED lights. These suckers are perfect for the little monsters to carry while trick-or-treating, and for using to showcase tombstones, limbs, nooses and ghosties back at the castle! The mini light features a knurled barrel for quality grip and an easy push-button on/off switch to illuminate the dark passages. A convenient tool for any tomb or keep one in the hearse’s glove box.

Make Harbor Freight one of your favorite haunts this Halloween! If you don’t carve your pumpkin with a low-priced Harbor Freight tool, you’re out of your gourd!

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…)

Mirror_shield_4

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

 

Mirror_shield_33

(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!

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

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

It’s a Nice Day for a Wire Welding

Been thinking about getting into welding this year? Maybe you’ve had a run-in  or two with a repair job where you thought a welder would be just the ticket. Or maybe a buddy recently modded a grill or trailer– or made a cool metal rack on the cheap– with his handy-dandy welder, and you thought, ‘Dang… I’d like to do something like that.” Well, join the club. But before you go out and get the coolest, top-of-the-line welder, you first need to understand a few things.

  • Practice

Welding–like any craft– is a skill . It takes a lot of practice to get even close to being competent. When you first take hold of that welder, for heaven’s sake, don’t use it on something you don’t want ruined. Practice on LOTS of scrap metal– preferably around the same thickness as what your first project is going to be. You should be able to find some good stuff at your local metal or welding shop. Get used to the action and the way the metal reacts. Work on avoiding “bird poops” (the unsightly metal globs you sometimes see on rough welding jobs), and start feeling comfortable with your developing “technique.” Then, use some scrap to make something you don’t care about, like a homemade grill for a fire pit, or bookends out of 350 engine pistons. Only after you’ve gotten a handle on that kind of stuff should you attempt a project that does matter.

  • Start Small

You wouldn’t learn how to ride a motorcycle on a Harley Fat Boy or start target shooting with a Desert Eagle .50. The same goes with your first welder. Welding is not a low-cost activity, so before you know you it’s something you want to get into, start smaller and cheaper. An ideal model with which to “get your feet wet” is the popular Chicago Electric 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder. It’s easy to set up, can weld metal up to 3/16″ thick and is perfect for small projects around the house and garage. A quick browse through the 90 amp’s customer reviews will give you an idea of what it’s capable of. Here are a few comments:

“I’m a former auto technician and have welded hundreds of times over the years using various machines. I was hesitant to purchase this item… but after doing so I am thoroughly pleased. It’s was very easy to set up. Made numerous repairs to an existing metal decorative fence. It handled the 12 ga metal without hesitation and I decided to attempt it on another project that was heavier metal. It worked flawlessly producing strong welds on 3/16 metal… Overall a great machine at a great price. I’m completely pleased!”  DennisF – Temple, TX

“Very easy and fun to use. Fabricate anything I need to my (on) trucks and machinery. Very happy!”  Landscape Designer – NJ

“Wow, this is nice. How could you go wrong with the price, well worth the money. I’m going to buy one for my boy who has never welded before. Thanks for a great product.”  Boonie – Mt. Vernon, IL

“I needed to do some light welding on my car. I figured it was either hire someone or get my own welder and teach myself. I bought this with a 25′ #12 gauge extension cord and an auto dark helmet. I had never used a welder before, I don’t even have a book except the book that came with this welder.”  Mike – Hollywood, FL

“I run this welder for tons of different jobs. Its best for minor projects, although I have put mine to the test. I was on a budget so I bought this welder to get me from town to town for on-the-move jobs. I worked 12-hour days for about a month-and-a-half, the welder was in use for 6-8 hours most of the time. It ran great, ran beautiful beads with lincoln wire and never quit on me. I use it strictly on tubing as I build fences and doors, but with a little practice you can get good heat control on thin metals, and good penetration on thicker materials. Those that say u cant run nice beads with flux core are liars. I can run beads just as nice as my lincoln mig welders. Get some good wire and practice, practice, practice. Great little shop welder, perfect little learners welder!  Garcia Welding – New Mexico

Once you’ve mastered your 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder, you can expand to bigger projects and maybe move up to a Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder or 180 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Feed Welder for more power and thicker metal.

  • Safety

Obviously, the foremost thing to keep in mind about welding is safety first. Most of it is common sense, but for the sake of health and property, keep in mind that welding can be dangerous. Welders throw sparks, they can cause fire. Be sure to remove anything flammable from the area you’re working in, and if you’re welding on the grass or near bushes, it’s probably a good idea to wet down the ground. Also, wear a long-sleeve shirt, pants without cuffs, and long Welders Gloves. Of course, also get yourself face and eye protection. I particularly like the Chicago Electric Auto-Darkening Helmet with Blue Flame Design.

Once you get the hang of it, working on welding projects can be a blast– for the home, the car and all kinds of hobby projects. And Harbor Freight’s got the perfect, low-cost way to start!

Harbor Freight Celebrates International Girls Day

Recently, Teddy Robertson posted on her blog:

“Surprisingly, the Flint store is very female.   Of course, you see a lot of women in Home Depot and Lowes.  They are selecting paint colors or lighting, or bathroom fixtures.  At Harbor Freight women roam the drill bit aisles.  And what’s more, women—middle-aged women—are on the floor helping them with real tools.  Maybe years back they would have worked in the shop.  Today they work at Harbor Freight.”

Today, November 14, is International Girls Day, and it’s fitting that Harbor Freight Tools takes notice. The girls have been coming to HFT in growing numbers, sharing the checkout lines with the boys, carrying miter saws and cordless drills; on the Web, you now stumble across Girl Power blogs like Pink Toes & Power Tools and Ana White, sounding the alarm that women are taking over the home DIY projects.

That being said, I’d like to submit…
10 Tools Every DIY Girl Should Own
tape measure 30 ft
  1. Pittsburgh 30 Ft. X 1″ QuikFind Tape Measure #69081 – You can never have too many tape measures around the house, and you’ll like this guy because it displays the fractions. Not to say you’re working with a dumbed-down tool, something akin to a Jitterbug cell phone, but rather something that helps determine measurements faster and more efficiently. The tape extends a long way before it falls, and you’ll appreciate the rubber-wrapped case (not that you ever drop your tape measure, right?). Heavy-duty and helpful! $4.99plier set 7 piece
  2. Pittsburgh 7-Pc. Pliers Set #69355 – Pulling, pinching, stripping, bending. You can face all manner of tasks in the home, and these babies can be invaluable. And the quality-to-price ratio is NICE! 8.9932 pc screwdriver set
  3. 32-pc. Screwdriver Set #90764 – You’ll probably put the most mileage on this set around the house as it accommodates most all domestic jobs, including a bendable snake unit that’s awesome in hard-to-get-to areas! $7.99claw hammer
  4. Pittsburgh 16 Oz. Claw Hammer With Fiberglass Handle #47872 – I’m sure you have a hammer somewhere in the house. Hammers are like tape measures; it’s good to have a few around. Whatever you do, though, invest in a nice claw hammer. It’ll do a good job driving in nails, but it';; also help you remove the bent ones if you make a mistake… which I’m sure never happens. Hammers are the great go-to’s for hanging pictures, putting together modular furniture or small woodworking projects. This fiberglass one provides a comfortable grip and less shock than the wooden ones.  $3.99 socket set 64 pc
  5. Pittsburgh 64 Piece 1/4″, 3/8″ And 1/2″ Socket Set #67995 – For nuts and bolts, and screwing in lag bolts in your beams for heavy wall-hangings and earthquake straps, putting together the tyke’s bike, or working on the car. You might think this set’s a bit overkill, but you never know when you’re going to need the odd-sized piece– and socket sets provide torque strength a mere wrench can’t come close to. $31.99torpedo level
  6. Pittsburgh 9″ Magnetic Torpedo Level #96676 – Take away the guesswork and eyeball calisthenics when trying to hang pictures or put up shelving. You’ll learn fast what a godsend this simple tool really is.  $7.99 staple gun
  7. Fasten Pro Three-Way Tacker Staple Gun Kit #96755 – For everything from craft projects to reupholstering chairs, making wood box valances, putting up plastic sheeting, running cords along the wall, window screening, and other DIY projects. Another tool you’ll love love love!  $6.99 5-drawer tool cart
  8. U.S. General Tool Cart, Five Drawer, 700 Lb. Capacity #69397 – You’ll need a place to store all of these handy tools and, take my word, you’ll outgrow a toolbox almost immediately. A larger one on rollers– like this 5-drawer favorite– is great to move around your home, craft room, studio or garage. It gives you plenty of room to organize and quickly access the tool you need when you need it!  $199.99 3-8 cordless drill 68239 19.99
  9. Drill Master 3/8″ Cordless Drill/Driver With Keyless Chuck, 18 Volt #68239 – A rechargeable drill is essential to have around for your light-to-medium DIY projects around the house. They’re light to carry and great for making holes, or using as a power screwdriver to speed up the fastening process. Got a remodeling project in your future? Get it!  $19.99 orbital palm sander 5-in
  10. Chicago Electric 5″ Random Orbital Palm Sander #69857 – If you’re restoring furniture, an old boat or other object of love, invest in an orbital sander. Great for getting a smooth finish on large surfaces, and the palm sander version gives you great control. $24.99
There are other great, handy tools for your collection that you’ll eventually want: stud finder, brad nailer, jigsaw, compound miter saw, circular saw… and Harbor Freight Tools has them all at tremendously low prices! It’s a great way to get your projects off the ground without smashing too many piggy banks.
Of course, there’s more to life than always working. As Teddy Robertson closed in her post:

“Last year toward the end of summer Dennis came home with battery powered fly swatter he’d gotten on sale for $3.99 (reg. $7.99).  We sat on the porch in a warm twilight sipping margaritas and swinging at mosquitoes.  Can’t beat Harbor Freight.”

You go, girl.