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

image_14950

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.

The Picasso of Airbrush Compressor and Sprayer Kits

It’s Pablo Picasso’s birthday!

Picasso was one of the most gifted painters of our time, no question. And yet, I can’t help but wonder how many more incredible works of art he could have given the world if he had a Central Pneumatic 1/6 Horsepower, 58 PSI Airbrush Compressor and Airbrush Kit.

airbrush compressor and kitThe pro-quality Central Pneumatic airbrush and compressor set (#69434) is a powerful tool, enabling you to get as creative as you want with the air brush. This airbrush compressor and kit works with lacquers, oil-based paints and latex-based paints. Here’s an airbrush kit with everything you need to make custom art– AND it’s easy to change colors, and easy to clean! For just $89.99 at Harbor Freight Tools, you can be the Picasso of the cul-de-sac!

While you’re picking one up, also consider tossing a Central Pneumatic Quick-Change Airbrush Kit #93506 (a mere $9.99) in the basket, so you can have five additional cups of paint ready with adjustable paint flow and spray patterns.

Here’s what just a few customers have to say about this great airbrush sprayer kit:

“This compressor is a fraction of the cost of the name brands, but works just as well. I’ve had complete success with it when used with acrylic or enamel model paint. It’s quiet, powerful and easy to operate. The water trap and pressure gauge are nice additions. I’d buy another one.”  Modeller – East Coast

“Great little unit for the price. I’ve had mine for a good 5-6 years. I use it for spraying glazes and underglazes on pottery with a dual action airbrush. It has been a great little workhorse for me!”  Steve the Potter – Philly area, PA

“Overall, best thing I’ve ever bought!”  Adam R – Atlanta, GA

OK, so maybe I was overreaching a bit. You probably won’t be as good as Picasso. Warhol, on the other hand…

Pittsburgh 6-in. Quick Release Bar Clamp: Bar None!

6 inch quick release bar clamp

Woodworking is not a cheap hobby. Between the hand tools, power tools, wood, adhesives, fasteners and other hardware, you’re in it for a significant chunk o’ change. And, of course, as with any craft, the quality of tools is important. But does that mean to always go for the most expensive stuff? Of course not! Quality is based on performance, not price.

Consider the Pittsburgh 6″ Quick Release Bar Clamp. For woodworking, metalworking, welding and other projects, this bar clamp holds your pieces together just as well as the big name tradesman clamps that cost three times more. With a 2-1/2” throat depth, it’s constructed with a durable carbon steel bar, malleable steel jaws and a comfort grip handle for easy operation– and for just $3.29 each at Harbor Freight Tools!

But don’t take my word for it. Like I said, these little projects you’re planning are not cheap. So listen to what some of your fellow craftsmen have to say:

“Quite simply, 4 of these are better than one tradesman clamp…no contest. They are strong, quick to adjust, the pads don’t slip easily on the work surface and the pads are firmly attached so they don’t fall off. The handles are also comfortable to turn. Harbor Freight has a winner here.”  GVChiller – Greenville, NC

“This is a great all purpose clamp. I will buy more of these in the near future. It can take a good amount of pressure and the rubberized handle won’t slip in your hands. The powder coating is well done. I can’t find anything wrong and you can’t beat the price. I’ve used similar clamps and none are as good as these.”  Happy Customer – Shawnee Mission, KS

“Love these clamps, I bought 1 to see how it would hold up during construction of a wood strip canoe. Did so well, I got 10 more, plus 10 of the 12″ style. you can never have too many clamps when building a boat.”  Dave – Hyrum, UT

“For small woodworking projects, these are the perfect size, and they work just as well as the name brand big boys. I read the reviews before ordering mine, and was confident in ordering about 20 of them. Glad I did.”  The Slauterhause – PA

You’ll soon find yourself using these bar clamps all the time, for a host of projects. While you’re at it, pick up some of the 12″ Quick Release Bar Clamps for $3.99, and also a couple of the 36″ Quick Release Bar Clamps at an incredible $6.99 each! They’ll be your favorite and most-used clamps!

 

The 870 lb. Capacity Utility Trailer = Hot Dog Farfugnugen!

870 utility trailer2

When it comes to their utility trailers, Harbor Freight Tools really knocked it out of the park. They’re a customer favorite! In past articles, I’ve talked a bit about mods made from their Haul-Master utility trailers. I’ve posted a couple of times about kayak/canoe builds…

mini trailer - with kayaks3

 

some awesome BBQ smoke builds…

BBQ trailer 2-2

 

…and my favorite, the covetable teardrop trailer builds!

teardrop trailer 1

But up until recently, I’ve never heard of building a business out of your utility trailer– the hot dog business, to be exact. Two very helpful websites– HotDogProfits.com and BuildACart.com– show you how you can build your own hot dog vending cart out of a Haul-Master 870 Lb. Capacity 40″x49″ Utility Trailer #42708.

hot dog cart 2

And just to get an idea on how many ways you can mod a hot dog cart with a Harbor Freight utility trailer, check out this photo gallery on BuildAHotDogCart.com!

No surprise these guys chose this Haul-Master portable trailer to create their carts. Not only is it extremely affordable, it’s solid and built to perform! Here’s what just a few folks had to say about their 870 lb. capacity utility trailers:

“Just got back from a 3000 miles vacation. No problems whatsoever. No hot bearings, speeds around 70-75 mph. 500-600 lbs of camping and suitcases. A lot of times we forgot it was behind us. Towed very well. No tire problems either. I just greased the bearing very well. We painted the trailer charcoal and put expanded metal as a floor, also made a stake bed. The only improvement I did for the trailer, was to put on all LED lighting. (my personal preference). Very quite surprised the overall of this small, but durable little trailer. Also it was towed behind a Toyota Yaris and traveled through 5 states.”  American Vacationer – Sacramento, CA

“I bought one just to see how decent it would be—went back bought another, now I have three added. 1/2″ outdoor plywood makes a great hauler: one of them has my generator, one chipper-shredder on it, third one has 2 small water tanks on it—I camp out on my place & these trailers are the perfect item to own. Move stuff around behind my mower or tractor, not going on the highway so I can’t rate that possibility. Love this item.I also have the fold up 4′X 8′ fold-up trailer, but don’t fold it—solid sheet plywood on it—Love them all. Thanks HF for great items.”  Keebler – Near Phenix, VA

“I used to own a Ford Escort. This trailer turned the Escort into a fantastic truck that can haul anything. I love this trailer. Small enough to fit in really tight places, stores upright in my garage, and yet… moved a ton of stuff out of my garage in a single load. Takes our 2 kayaks to the river and our bikes all over town. The Escort handles the trailer easily. Don’t know how I lived without it.”  HandymanSteve – Indianapolis, IN

The  Haul-Master 870 lb. Capacity Utility Trailer, just $184.99 at Harbor Freight. What would you build with yours?