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?

How To Turn a Harbor Freight Trailer Into a Kayak/Camping Trailer

I’ve showcased customer Harbor Freight Tools kayak trailer mods in the past, but this article cannot be ignored– a step-by-step pictorial of how to turn a Haul-Master 870 Lb. Capacity 40″ X 49″ Utility Trailer into a full-functional 3-kayak-plus-camping-gear trailer!

Recently, an author bearing the moniker “Frkzila” posted an article on Instructables.com, aptly titled, “How To Turn a Harbor Freight Trailer Into a Kayak/Camping Trailer.”  Brilliant! The writer starts out:

“This is my first instructable, but I have posted this on some kayak forums with positive feedback. I wanted a trailer I could haul our three kayaks on and our camping gear, but all the trailers I found for purchase were $1,000 plus. Here is how I built mine for $363. I started with the Harbor Freight Kit and turned in into exactly what I needed.”

870 utility trailer2

He starts out, of course, with the trailer– as one reviewer observed, “For the money you can’t beat these little rascals!”– and then collects the following material:

10’ 11-ga 2” square tube
14’-1/8” 2” angle iron
2 @ 6’ pieces of 1.25”od round tube
4′x8′ sheet of 1/2” treated plywood
2 @ 12’-5/4” deck boards
2 @ 8’-5/4” beck boards
4 @ 10’ 2×4′s for bunks
7 @ eye bolts for tie-downs
6’ wire for harness extension
3/4” steel bar that was already bent which he got from a scrap pile

He then proceeds to build an awesome trailer.Kayak Trailer How-To 2

Not to steal thunder from the gentleman’s nicely detailed presentation, I won’t recount each step. Read the article yourself. But let me just say, it’s a great read, especially if you’re looking for ideas to build a trailer of your own.

Referring to the picture on the top of the article, Frkzila concludes:

“Here is the finished product all loaded up, I have three kayaks on here (my daughter’s 6’ sits in the bed) a grill, firewood, tent and other camping stuff loaded.

I am very happy with how this project turned out. I pull it with my 4-cyl Escape and have had it to 70 mph+ on the interstate with no problems. Since it is so lightweight I can hardly feel it behind the car, and I have less invested than most put into converting a jet ski trailer, and everything is new. The only thing I might change is making the bunks movable so I can put 3 full size yaks on top.”

Hats off to you, my good man! Nicely done.

You can find all of Haul-Master’s high-rated utility trailers at your local Harbor Freight Tools or at www.harborfreight.com, affordably priced every day!

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.”

 

1

 

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.

 2

 

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.”

 

 3

 

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.”

 4

 

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.”

 5

 

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.”

 6

 

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.

 7

 

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.

HellDorado! Lowrider Covers a Custom Job Using the HFT English Wheel

In their upcoming May, 2013 issue, Lowrider magazine will feature a Project HellDorado installment, covering the creation of a custom dashboard and console for a ’68 Cadillac El Dorado (say that three times real fast). After the factory dash was removed, the top of the new dash was made in sections and then, using a Central Machinery English Wheel Kit With Stand from Harbor Freight Tools, the auto artisan sculpted the contours to precision.

Great choice! The 28″ throat capacity on Harbor Freight’s English wheel kit offers plenty of room to fabricate compound curves on large pieces with ease and efficiency. It’s also great for shaping, fabrication, and smoothing dents and welding seams in fenders, hoods and trunk panels. The 4” all-steel frame is more than capable for handling sheet steel to 16 gauge as well as copper and aluminum to 14 gauge. It’s easy to level and easy to use. And at $299.99– $239.99 with a 20% Off Coupon!–  it’ll do what the expensive units will do at half the price!

Whether your fashioning your ride to be a lowrider, a hot rod or just a customized thing of beauty, the Central Machinery English Wheel Kit is the perfect companion in your shop.