How to Deal with the Problem Girlfriend

Most guys have had at least one impractical girlfriend in their lifetime: gorgeous, exotic, passionate, exciting to hold… but at the same time, expensive to buy for and hard to please. I’ve had mine for about a year now, and though my wife of 23 years is aware of her existence, she doesn’t feel threatened. It IS, after all, just a gun– a Remington 788 rifle customized to a .358 Winchester caliber, to be exact– and I love her. Unfortunately, the .358 is a more expensive round than a .30-06 (about $45 for a box of 20) and vastly harder to find, as the number of suppliers continues to dwindle. On the other hand, she feels oh-so sweet to shoot and aims true. Like I said, the impractical girlfriend. I’m telling you this because I’ve resolved to tackle my dilemma with her by taking up reloading. I’ve already got the brass, the dies, a reloading kit and (thank goodness) a buddy who knows how to use it. The only thing I need now is a workbench. Leave it to Harbor Freight Tools to have just the ticket– the Windsor Design 60″ 4-Drawer Hardwood Workbench.

This workbench has a rock-solid lacquered wood top and its four drawers are felt-lined to protect your finer tools. There’s also a bottom shelf for larger tools and containers, and a wood block vise for sanding, drilling, etc. So, lots of work space, lots of storage.

Check out this sweet set-up a customer posted on 1911Forum.com. This is something like what I have in mind:

 

The Windsor Design 60″ Hardwood Workbench (#93454) is fast and easy to assemble (takes about 2 hours, if the consensus of customer reviews is to be believed). As the above picture demonstrates, it offers a certain amount of flexibility, like installing two drawers instead of four. Going through the reviews, I’ve seen guys add lockable casters for mobility– or even a Trailer Jack on one or both sides to completely eliminate any shimmy.

There are so many uses for this workbench, I can only scratch the surface. Whether you’re into woodworking, crafts, electronics, metal projects, jewelry-making, repairing, have an art studio, micro-brewing. etc., it’s the best deal out there.

Thinking Outside of the Box: In my research I was impressed to find people who purchased Harbor Freight’s workbench for other than its obvious purpose. For example, in one of our customer reviews:

“This will sound silly, but a few people might spot this review and love the idea: My wife and I needed a baby changing table. All the ones we found were flimsy, had little storage, and were ridiculously over-priced. Then we spotted this bench on sale. It’s an incredibly perfect changing table, and once the kids are done with diapers I’ll get a nice workbench out of the deal! (An actual changing table would end up being gifted or donated and the investment is lost. This one will be around for years).” Workbench Daddy – Pasadena, CA

Another customer converted their workbench into a kitchen island:

Still another bought TWO hardwood workbenches, mated them end-to-end, and now uses them as an outfeed table for their table saw.

The subject of casters came up several times. Some guys love the mobility that casters give the workbench, but others complained that even locking casters have a little sideway shimmy which can be a pain when you’re doing precision work. Their solution (and I loved this) was to either put two casters on one side of the table with a Trailer Jack mounted on the other… or affix trailer jacks on BOTH sides. Genius!

There’s a wealth of insight: usage ideas, assembly tips and other information in the Windsor Design Workbench product page customer reviews, and through Google searches. Treating the wood with wax from time to time can add to its lifespan and resilience, too.

The 60″ workbench from Harbor Freight is the ideal solution to help solving my girlfriend problem, but I’m sure I’ll be using it for a lot of other things, too. If only all relationship problems were so easy.

 

Firebird Restoration Project Part 9 – Finale

Well, it’s been a long road, but we’ve finally come to the end of our journey. Behold the final video installment of the ’67 Firebird Restoration Project, executed exclusively with Harbor Freight Tools.

As I shared last week, the fully-restored ’67 Firebird pulled into our office parking lot, and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. Ever watch the Mecum Car Auctions on the Velocity Channel? (love that show!) This car would have summoned a pretty penny on their auction block. Before it was whisked away to who-knows-where, a handful of us slowly circled around it, transfixed, muttering “wows” and “oh yeahs” under our breaths. The original interior was pristine– black bucket seats and carpet looking like new. Under the hood, the same. In fact, the guy who did the restoration, Jeff Tann, said the ‘bird’s engine was better now than when it was new.

Imagine the same kind of results with your favorite Mopar or Mustang… maybe an old Apache pickup or Landcruiser. Whatever your poison, Harbor Freight Tools has got the power, air and hand tools you need for a lot less moolah than the other guys– and they’ve got the fans to prove it! Get their catalog, shop their deals, clip their coupons… you won’t be able to help grinning with all the cool stuff you’ll be taking home for so little.

So, what’s to become of the Firebird? The rumors abound. A Saudi now sheikh has it. It’s in the next Bourne movie. Elvis was seen in it at a drive-through in Lubbock, Texas. No one can say for sure… I only know I offered to take it off their hands, but haven’t heard back yet.

Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. The Competition – Part 4

The Underbody

If it’s going to be done right, every phase of restoring a vehicle is important. I mean, you wouldn’t just rebuild or replace the carb, throw on some new paint and upholstery, and call it done (although, that’s exactly what a lot of guys do). That thinking will bite you in the butt down the road– literally. That’s why the underbody gets the same attention as everything else. So… let’s talk tools:

Last month I started a series illustrating how much more bang for the buck a wrencher can get from  Harbor Freight Tools than they could the competition. Using the ’67 Firebird Restoration project as my example, I’ve been breaking it down phase by phase, comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competition advertises. The competitors I chose were Sears, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Grainger. Exact matches weren’t always found, so I substituted the closest product available. As I’ve said before, I don’t think this compromises the test because we’re only talking about differences in size and shape, not power or function.

In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight’s tools used in the vehicle’s disassembly video. In the second, we explored price differences on the engine removal phase. In the third installment, we featured the tools employed in the stripping and priming process. This time we’re only featuring two tools for the underbody:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a heavy-duty industrial de-greaser, this powerful 2000 PSI gas pressure washer is unstoppable against old, caked-on grease, oil and dirt that’s accumulated on your vehicle’s underbelly. Pumping out 1.6 gallons a minute, the machine is EPA-certified and easily portable on two rubber wheels. It’s got a mighty four-stroke 4 HP gas engine with a cast-iron cylinder for maximum durability, pump-overheat protection, overload protection and low-oil shutdown for extra safety.

  • Sears – Craftsman 2200 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer – $249.99
  • Northern Tool – Wel-bilt 2500 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer – $249.99
  • Home Depot – Simpson MegaShot 2200 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer – $269.99
  • Lowe’s – Simpson MegaShot 2200 PSI Gas Pressure Washer – $269.99
  • Grainger – Generac #5987 2500 PSI Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer – $499.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t beat the quality and value of this great, little blaster! In the video they used it for blasting rust from the undercarriage, but that’s just one of a zillion things you can use this tool on. Car restoration, firearm parts, tool cabinets, barbecues, metal beams, aluminum wheels, tools, to name a few. Use slag media, silica, walnut or pecan shells, sand, glass bead, steel grit and more. The portable abrasive blaster kit comes with a blast gun, 15-ft. material hose and a hopper than can hold up to 50 lbs. of abrasive media. Just hook it up to a 1 HP or larger compressor and easily remove paint, rust, graffiti, corrosion and scale.

  • Sears – Sears Portable Sand Blaster – $119
  • Northern Tool – ALC Suction Abrasive Blaster – $49.99
  • Home Depot – Powermate Air Sand Blaster – $55.99
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – ALC Siphon Blaster – $171

 

In the next installment, we’ll take a look at the tools used for the Engine Rebuild, and compare them to the competition’s. Until then!

’67 Firebird Restoration Project: Part 8 – Assembly!

After all the hours, all the painstaking labor, all the fine details– not to mention the social hari kari– it does the heart good to see the fruits of the labor coming together. So, like Beethoven with an impact wrench, one man has labored to produce a pretty bitchin’ set of wheels.

And we’ve finally come to the eighth installment of the Harbor Freight Tools 1967 Firebird Restoration Project: Putting the car back together.

Recapping — HFT invited former Rod & Custom editor, Jeff Tann, to restore a First Generation Firebird using only products from Harbor Freight Tools. The car is all original with a 400/325-hp V8 engine, so he’s approaching the project from scratch.

We now come to the muscle car’s reassembly. For Part 8 we treat you to a slide show of all the parts coming together, until we have a beautifully restored ’67 Pontiac Firebird, better than it was when it came off the assembly line.

Whatever your labor of love, if it has to do with tools, Harbor Freight Tools has got what you need– and sends you home with extra cash in your pocket!

Next time– the final result, inside and out!

Enjoy!

Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. The Competition – Pt. 3

Stripping & Priming Tools

Yesterday morning the fully-restored ’67 Firebird pulled into our office parking lot, transported by trailer, and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. Ever watch the Mecum Car Auctions on the Velocity Channel? This car would have commanded a pretty penny on that show. Before it was whisked away to who-knows-where, a handful of us slowly circumnavigated around it, transfixed, muttering “wows” and “oh yeahs” under our breaths. The original interior was pristine– black bucket seats and carpet looking like it just rolled off the assembly line. Under the hood, the same. In fact, the guy who did the restoration, Jeff Tann, said the ‘bird was better now than when it was new.  In a future installment, I’ll provide a thorough pictorial of the final results. For now, let’s talk tools:

Earlier this month I started a series illustrating how much could be saved buying products from Harbor Freight Tools– as opposed to the competition– for the ’67 Firebird Restoration project. Breaking it down phase by phase, we’re comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competitors advertise. The competitors I chose were Sears, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Grainger. It should be noted that exact matches weren’t always found, so I substituted the closest comparison available. As I’ve said before, I don’t think this compromises the test because we’re only talking about differences in size and shape, not function.

In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight’s tools used in the vehicle’s disassembly video. In the second we explored price differences on the engine removal phase. In the third installment, we’ll be looking at the tools employed in the stripping and priming process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sander’s orbital action allows swirl-free finishes to give your auto body, metalworking or woodworking project a professional appearance! The orbital sander is constructed with sturdy, lightweight aluminum housing and features a cushion-grip vinyl handle to provide comfortable yet firm control. A great orbital sander for edging, feathering and finishing projects for both pros and hobbyists!

  • Sears – Ingersoll Rand (IRT311A) Dual Action Air Sander – $69.76
  • Northern Tool – Northern Industrial 6″ Dual Action Air Sander – $34.99
  • Home Depot – Husky 6″ Pneumatic Dual Action Sander – $59.98
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt 6″ Dual Action Sander – $59.84
  • Grainger – Speedaire 3CRJ3 – $73.80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This vibration-free air sander– at 9,400 orbits-per-minute– is perfect for auto body work or finish work on furniture (according to one customer, it’s also great on the aluminum wing surfaces of WWII aircraft). The orbital air sander features a compact palm grip that enables you to easily reach tight spots, a paddle trigger and a built-in regulator.

  • Sears – Mechanics Tools M569DB – $49.42
  • Northern Tool – Northern Industrial Orbital Air Sander – $39.99
  • Home Depot – EMAX Jitterbug Sander – $59.97
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – Ingersoll Rand 312A Orbital Air Sander – $179

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The high volume and low pressure on this spray gun reduces over-spray so that more paint goes on your mural, car, motorcycle, fence and whatever else you wish to paint! Restoring furniture? The Central Pneumatic HVLP spray gun sprays wood stain, clear-coat, etc., perfectly. The gravity feed and regulator allows paint to spray evenly on your project. This HVLP spray gun is a great tool for spraying lacquer on the deck, or priming or undercoating your car!

  • Sears – Tooluxe HVLP Spray Gun – $39.99
  • Northern Tool – Ingersoll Rand Performance 210G Spray Gun – $79.99
  • Home Depot – Husky Gravity Freed HVLP Spray Gun – $49.98
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt Large Gravity Spray Gun – $89.96
  • Grainger – Speedaire 4XP65 Spray Gun – $139.75

 

In the next installment, we’ll take a look at the tools used for undercoating the car, and compare them to the competition’s. Until then!

’67 Firebird Restoration Project: Part 7 – Painting the Car

After all the hours, all the work, all the details– not to mention the social hari kari– it does the heart good to see the fruits of the labor coming together.

We’re now at the seventh installment of the Harbor Freight Tools 1967 Firebird Restoration Project.

Recapping — HFT invited former Rod & Custom editor, Jeff Tann, to restore a First Generation Firebird using only products from Harbor Freight Tools. The car is all original with a 400/325-hp V8 engine, so he’s approaching the project from scratch.

Now in Part 7, Jeff has advanced to the painting stage. The primer is already on, so our designated restoration artisan turns to the Central Pneumatic 2-pc. Professional Automotive HVLP Spray Gun Kit, along with a 33 Oz. Gravity Feed Paint Cup to spray two coats of red paint and three coats of clear. After which, he color-sanded the body with dish soap & water,  1200 Grit Sandpaper, using a 4-7/8″ Soft Rubber Sanding Block to knock off the “orange peel.” Following this, Jeff buffed, using a Chicago Electric 7″ Electronic Polisher/Sander With Digital Display, and then with the waxing, delivered the classic car to an incredible mirror gloss finish!

Whatever your labor of love, if it has to do with tools, Harbor Freight Tools has got what you need– and sends you home with extra cash in your pocket!

Stay in touch: There’s still more to come!

Harbor Freight for Halloween!

In the “Thinking Outside of the Box” category, Jennifer B. of Wilmington, NC wins for ingenuity and getting into the Halloween spirit. Recently, she purchased a Drill Master 80 Piece Rotary Tool Kit to carve her jack-o-lantern, and while this picture only shows a “pumpkin in progress”, it’s so amazing right now, we can tell it’s going to be epic when it’s done (beware pumpkin-kicking punks, Jen)!

 

It’s not too late to follow Jennifer’s example– run down to your local Harbor Freight and pick up your rotary tool kit today! Imagine the works of art you could make 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 crafts and hobbies. Works on metal, wood, rock, plastic… and your dog’s toenails. Seriously!

And at such a low price, it’s just downright SCARY to pass such a deal up!

’67 Firebird Restoration Project: Part 6 – Engine Rebuild

We’re now up to the sixth installment of the Harbor Freight Tools 1967 Firebird Restoration Project.

Recapping — HFT invited former Rod & Custom editor, Jeff Tann, to restore a First Generation Firebird using only products from Harbor Freight Tools. The car is all original with a 400/325-hp V8 engine, so he’s approaching the project from scratch.

Now in Part 6, we come to the meatiest phase of the Firebird restoration to date– the engine rebuild. The Pittsburgh Professional 1/2″ Drive Click Stop Torque Wrench is pretty much the star of the show, a multipurpose tool utilized throughout the footage. That said, check out the great details and tips employed in this installment. Chances are you’ll see a thing or two you’d like to adopt for your next project.

Whatever your labor of love, if it has to do with tools, Harbor Freight Tools has got what you need– and sends you home with extra cash in your pocket!

Enjoy– and stay tuned! There’s still tons more to come!

Boy Scout Does His Eagle Project the Harbor Freight Way

Boy Scout Jack Rickelmann of Westlake Village, CA needed to perform a community service project to qualify for his Eagle Scout Award, so when an opportunity came to restore three benches and build planters for St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church’s preschool, Koble’s Korner, he jumped on it.

As required of the Eagle process, Jack managed the entire project. The first thing he did was employ the help of some fellow scouts and adults, after which he approached Harbor Freight Tools, asking if they would contribute products and supplies for the venture.

The benches were sorely weather-beaten…

 

…so Jack had his crew disassemble, sand and stain them. The metal parts were prepared using wire brushes (#40401) and spray painted black using precision can guns (#94815).

 

The finished benches looked like new!

 

The planters were to be used by the preschool students to plant flowers and vegetables for educational purposes.

The wood planters were stained with paint rollers and brushes provided by HFT, which gave them a smooth finish.

The assembly was coordinated by Jack as the units were screwed together with guidance from the adults using power drills.

Jack presents a finished planter

One requirement the school principal had was mobility to move the planters so all children could have access.  Jack used two 3″ Cast Iron/Molded Rubber Swivel Casters and two 3″ Cast Iron/Molded Rubber Stationary Casters on each planter.   The sturdy construction of the casters provided by Harbor Freight allowed a fully-loaded planter to move around easily.

Other Harbor Freight Tools items used for Jack’s project included: 100-pack 5 Mil Powder-Free Nitrile Gloves, 50-pack Dust And Particle Masks, and 3-pack 9″ Paint Roller Covers.

Thanks to the enthusiastic help and quality tools and supplies, Jack was able to complete his project ahead of schedule!

The principal was extremely jazzed about the planters and benches. Classes had just started and she couldn’t wait to put them to use. Jack’s remaining project funds were given to the school to purchase flower and vegetable seeds for the planters. All in all, the activity was a resounding success!

If there’s a project you need to do, be it for the Scouts, your church, school, community, or for a particular fundraiser, remember Harbor Freight Tools for your tools and supplies– HFT will keep you on track and under budget!

 

 

Melting a Rainbow

Being a former retail store worker I’ve always associated heat guns with shrink wrapping product. In fact, this was probably my favorite part of any number of retail jobs I had. There is just something satisfying about watching the plastic shrink to perfection. And if I accidentally shrank the wrap too much to where it started to rip, well that just meant I got to rip it off and start over again! It was hard for me to imagine how there could be a more fun use of a heat gun – at least until I started reading about the things people do with Harbor Freight heat guns (I’m serious!). People have been known to use them to do things as unexpected as roast coffee and make nachos (did someone say nachos?!).

1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun

The versatile 1500 Watt Dual Temperature Heat Gun. Use it to strip paint, loosen fittings, thaw pipes, make nachos, or create crayon art!

Lately, I’ve been finding crafty people around the internet using heat guns to make melted crayon art. This relatively simple idea is a great project for older children or a way to get some vibrant color into any room. To get an idea of the how-to and final product of melted crayon art, check out this finished piece from makoodle.com.

Melted Crayon Art from makoodle.com

Made with Harbor Freight Tools! Learn how-to at makoodle.com

Over at loveandlaundry.com they turned melted crayon art into a rainbow of teacher appreciation. Now Mrs. Wilson and Ms. Dawson will have fancy colorful name plates for their classrooms!

Personalized Melted Crayon Art

Personalized Melted Crayon ArtAlso made with Harbor Freight Tools! Learn how-to at loveandlaundry.com

So tell me, dear readers, how do you use your Harbor Freight Tools heat gun?