This Saw Delivers!

miter saw 12 family handyman

The 12 In. Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw With Laser Guide System from Harbor Freight Tools is designed to make smooth, accurate cuts in larger work pieces—up to 12 inches in width. The trigger-activated laser guide makes it easy to line up and cut wood precisely, including 45 degree left or right bevel cuts. Additional features include a powerful 15 amp motor and dual linear slide rails for stability.

Check out what customers are saying about this powerhouse tool:

I bought this saw in preparation for building a deck on the front of my home. I mounted the saw to a box framed, wooden table that I had built the previous summer with a handle and wheels on one side for easy movement. After installing the 12in blade that I also bought from HF, I performed a few straight test cuts on some 2X4, 2X6 and 4X4 scrap I had lying about and the saw melted thru them like butter. I also tested the ability to cut a 45 degree cut on a section of 2X4 and the saw performed flawlessly. – Chris, Dalton, GA

This is a great saw. It cuts and bevels straight and accurately. I’ve used many miter saws over the years and this one performs as well as any other ones. Great investment for on the job or around the house. – The D, Davenport, FL

This saw worked flawlessly. Arrived within a few days of ordering. After installing a blade I put it through a test of cutting all day. I built me a simple workbench and the saw cut everything with ease. I even tried it on four 2x4s at once and it didn’t even slow it down. Highly recommended. Fantastic tool. – Mike, Painstville, KY

You can pick up your 12 In. Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw With Laser Guide System from your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

12 in. Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw With Laser Guide System
item#61969

Blade sold separately.

(photo above taken from The Family Handyman)

 

10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw

10 in. 2.5 HP Tile Brick Saw

If you’re looking to remodel a bathroom or kitchen—or maybe redo a driveway or patio, the 10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw from Harbor Freight Tools definitely makes the cut!

The two-position cutting head enables you to adjust the blade to accommodate a wide variety of tiles or bricks. Features include a built-in 3 gallon-per-minute water pump, removable and easy-to-clean high-impact ABS water tub, pivoting head that allows 22.5° and 45° bevel cuts, powerful dual capacitor motor, heavy duty cast alloy column and cutting head for reduced vibration and an oversized steel frame with precision linear bar system for smooth operation.

Customers love the 10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw …

I just got this saw for a paver crew … with a 10″ serrated diamond blade, it goes through pavers in no time at all. The build and fit quality is actually excellent. It cut square right out of the box–I usually spend a good hour fine-tuning my tools, but this one did not need ANY adjustment. This saw would be a deal at 2x the price, glad I could get it so cheaply from HF. – OldBiker, Menlo Park, CA

Had a project with 2 1/2″ caps for block that needed cut and used for a couple tile areas. Easy to use worked great with no issues, have had it over a year and after 3 different projects no problems. Great price compared to other brands! – rken, Hollister, CA

I bought this saw a year and a half ago and was not sure what to expect because of the price compared to every other wet saw out there but this saw is amazing. Since buying it I have done 4 full tile bathrooms one very large kitchen and two large solid brick patios and this thing is still going strong. Never had one problem at all. –  Gary, Cincinnati, OH

For your next remodeling job, check out what the competition charges just to rent a tile saw for the duration of your project compared to buying the 10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw from Harbor Freight and using it for future jobs as well! You can pick up your tile saw at your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

10 in. 2.5 HP Tile/Brick Saw
Item#69275

Stand sold separately. Diamond blade shown, sold separately.

A Cut Above

Reciprocating Saw

For plumbing, construction and other jobs, a good reciprocating saw is an absolute must. Harbor Freight answers the call with the 6 Amp Heavy Duty Variable Speed Rotating Handle Reciprocating Saw! This powerful reciprocating saw provides precision and accuracy with features including a 180° rotating handle with five positive stops at 0, 45° and 90° left, and 45° and 90° right, variable speed trigger with switch lock-on button, shoe plate pivots up to 30° for increased stability and a rubber grip for comfort and durability.

Here’s what customers are saying about this workhorse of a power tool:

Recently, I had an old rusty TV tower blow down from high wind. I got this saw and made short work out of cutting up the tower for proper disposal. The rotating head was very useful, too! – The Prospector, Xenia, OH

I’ve used it to cut floor plates, steel pipe and even firewood. The rotating handle is very handy. I’ve only had it for about a month, but I think it will last many years. Thank you Harbor Freight. – Ransom63, North Fort Meyers, FL

This is an amazing tool for the money. I spent the weekend putting it to the test with a demo project. It cut through everything. Nails, wood, bolts. It went through everything. It was easy to use and I really liked the quick change chuck. I also bought the Harbor Freight blades. You will need to buy the blades separately but the price at Harbor Freight is excellent. – Joe S., Greer, SC

Pick up the 6 Amp Heavy Duty Variable Speed Rotating Handle Reciprocating Saw at your local Harbor Freight Tools store!

6 Amp Heavy Duty Variable Speed Rotating Handle Reciprocating Saw
Item#62370

Blades are sold separately.

Most Wanted Gifts Under $10

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Whether you’re looking for a few extra stocking stuffers or you’re just on a tight budget this holiday season, Harbor Freight Tools has you covered.  You might be surprised at what you can find for under $10 with options ranging from specialty tools to entire kits! Here’s a list of the top ten most wanted items under ten bucks that are the perfect balance of practical and affordable.

  1. Multi-Use Transfer Pump (Item #: 61364) – $6.99

Transfer Pump

Need a gift for your favorite mechanic? You can’t go wrong with this handy item. The Multi-Use Transfer Pump is a versatile tool that is primarily used to fill and empty engines, change oil, and siphon gas. With the included inflation needle, the Pump can also be used to inflate tires or sports equipment like basketballs and footballs. The pump comes with a 51” long hose and all necessary attachments. Pick up this fluid maintenance tool for just $6.99.

  1. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, 12 Pack (Item #: 69795) – $6.99

cloths

Listen, anyone who works in a shop or garage can never have too many Cleaning Cloths. You just can’t. They’re like clothes hangers. You always need more. These microfiber cloths are made of a dust-trapping material that makes cleaning easy. And, best of all, they also provide a clear, scratch-free shine on your vehicle as well. Stock up on this pack of 12 for just $6.99.

  1. Multi-Tool Blade Set, 3 Pc. (Item #: 61827) – $9.99

blades

Maybe you already picked up a Multi-Tool or perhaps the person you’re buying for already has one. Whatever the case may be, this terrific 3-piece blade set is a great additional gift for under ten bucks. The set comes with three blades, one for cutting and two for scraping, that make quick work of a variety of tasks. At only $9.99, this is an affordable blade set that will greatly enhance the versatility of your multifunction power tool.

  1. 12V 250 PSI Compact Air Compressor (Item #: 4077) – $9.99

AC

More of a portable inflator than an air compressor, this compact unit tackles a variety of jobs from airing up tires quickly to inflating sports equipment in a flash. With the included cigarette lighter plug, you can power the compressor directly from your vehicle, making it a must-have for certain roadside emergencies. For only $9.99, this portable and compact Air Compressor is a great gift for any mechanic, gearhead, or grease monkey.

  1. 6” General Purpose Bi-Metal Reciprocating Saw Blade Assortment, 12 Pc. (Item #: 68045) – $9.99

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Just like with the multi-tool blades, you can’t go wrong with some replacement Reciprocating Saw Blades. This general purpose assortment comes with 12 saw blades for just $9.99, which means the recipient of these fine blades will be able to handle aggressive cutting jobs on a range of materials! With these quality blades, you’re really giving a gift that they’ll be able to use all year long.

  1. Solid Rubber Wheel Chock (Item #: 96479) – $7.99

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Here’s an important safety item that often gets overlooked. The Solid Rubber Wheel Chock is ideal for keeping vehicles in place during repair or maintenance and every automotive enthusiast should have several on hand. No matter how many someone has, they can always use more so don’t be afraid to pick one up for just $7.99!

  1. 100 Pc. Security Bit Set with Case (Item #: 68457) – $9.99

Bits

Looking for something a little more substantial? Then how about a complete set of security bits? This 100 piece set comes packed with bits for hex, hollow hex, Pozi, Torx, hollow-tip Torx, square and spline fasteners. And the whole thing comes conveniently organized in its own carrying case for easy transportation and storage. Slide this set under someone’s tree for just $9.99!

  1. 12 Pc. Assorted Length Elastic Stretch Cords (Item #: 60534) – $6.99

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Whether it’s securing tarps and covers or bundling PVC pipe or other items, these elastic tie-downs are just what you need for the task at hand. This pack contains 12 cords at assorted lengths for a variety of jobs and each include protective tips that won’t scratch surfaces. Pick up a bag of these for $6.99 and give someone the gift of security.

  1. 17 Pc. Air Tool Accessory Kit (Item #: 68236) – $8.99

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No matter if you’re buying for an experienced contractor or a novice to the DIY game, this fantastic accessory kit is both useful and durable. From connecting air tools to cleaning and dusting with compressed air, the set contains everything you need to get the most out of your air compressor. For a paltry $8.99, this terrific set will make a great gift on any budget.

  1. Automatic Battery Float Charger (Item #: 42292) – $8.99

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Here’s an item that will make a great addition to any shop or garage. The Automatic Battery Float Charger allows you to maintain the charge in a battery even while it’s in storage. This way, when you’re ready to use it again, the battery will already be charged and ready to go! Retailing for just $8.99, this is a great item for seasonal vehicles like RVs or ATVs. Keep in mind, the charger won’t charge batteries, but ensures that they maintain their current charge while not in use.

See the other Most Wanted Gift Guides:
Most Wanted Gifts Under $25
Most Wanted Gifts Under $50
Most Wanted Gifts Under $100

Most Wanted Gifts Under $50

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Gift_Guide_LP_25bGift_Guide_LP_50bGift_Guide_LP_100b

 

 

 

 

  


 

 

 

 

Ready to step up your gift-buying game to the $50 range? At most tool stores, $50 won’t get you much but at Harbor Freight Tools, you’ll be amazed at the outstanding deals available on tools, accessories and other items for a price that won’t leave you out in the cold. Take a look at this list of the Top 10 Most Wanted Items for Under $50 for a few suggestions on what’s popular this year.

  1. 7-1/4” 10 Amp Heavy Duty Circular Saw with Laser Guide System (Item #: 69078) – $29.99

circular-saw-blog

Let’s cut right to the chase. You need a cool gift for the tool-lover in your life that won’t set you back a lot of money. This Heavy Duty Circular Saw does just that and at only $29.99, it’s a price any gift budget can afford. Complete with a laser guide system for added accuracy, you can’t go wrong with this trusty cutting tool.

  1. Triple Ball Trailer Hitch (Item #: 61913) – $31.99

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This Triple Ball Trailer Hitch allows any 2” receiver to hook up to three different coupler sizes. For only $31.99, this hitch will accommodate 1-7/8”, 2”, and 2-15/16” couplers, making it the equivalent of three gifts in one! Chrome-plated and featuring a rugged welded steel shank, the Triple Ball Trailer Hitch is durable and versatile. A great gift for any mechanic, auto enthusiast or farmer.

  1. 2 Ton Compact Trolley Jack (Item #: 68783) – $24.99

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Speaking of mechanics and auto enthusiasts, this tough little jack is ideal for any shop or garage. With a 4,000 lb. lifting capacity, the jack lifts vehicles up to 13” for easy repair, maintenance, or tire removal. With smooth-rolling casters and an easy-carry handle, this portable trolley jack retails for just $24.99.

  1. Variable Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool (Items #: 67537) – $37.99

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You’ll be forgiven for assuming this is a typo but the Variable Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool really is under $50! In fact, for just $37.99, you can pick up a gift that is sure to be the most versatile tool in anyone’s garage, shop or home. The multi-tool lets you cut, sand, saw, scrape, and trim at up to 20,000 oscillations per minute and power through a wide variety of projects. If you really want to impress someone with a useful tool for a gift, pick up one of these.

  1. Pneumatic Roller Seat (Item #: 46319) – $ 27.99

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Not everything on this list is a tool. With the Pneumatic Roller Seat, you can give the gift of comfort for just $27.99. The roller seat features a cushioned seat that makes it easy to work for hours as well as a convenient, easy-to-reach storage tray. This is the ideal seat for the shop and is sure to light up the face of any do-it-yourselfer or weekend warrior.

  1. 6 Amp Heavy Duty Variable Speed Rotating Handle Reciprocating Saw (Item #: 62370) – $19.99

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Would you believe you can pick up such a powerful tool for only $19.99? Forget $50, this tough Reciprocating Saw is under $20! And it makes an excellent gift. With this saw, you can add precision and accuracy to any cut and the rotating handle makes it easy to get to the spot you need. With an included rubber grip for comfort, the Reciprocating Saw is a terrific addition to anyone’s toolbox.

  1. Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting (Item #: 69465) – $19.99

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This professional-quality thermometer is a safe, accurate way to measure the temperature of nearly anything. Even getting the temp in hazardous areas such as engines or other machinery is easy with this handy item. The thermometer may be high end but the price isn’t. Pick this thermometer up for just $19.99.

  1. 7” 10 Amp Variable Speed Polisher (Item #: 60626) – $39.99

paint-4

This amazing Polisher tool will clean up your vehicle’s finish or other large work surfaces without cleaning out your wallet. Retailing for just $39.99, the sander/polisher is built tough and easy to use. Six speed, easy pad changes, and an all-bearing construction for smooth operation make this a must-have for any tool hound.

  1. 40” 300 lb. Capacity Low-Profile Creeper (Item #: 2745) – $19.43

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Low-profile for getting under vehicles easily, this 300 lb. capacity creeper features a padded headrest for optimum comfort while working. It’s resistant to oil and solvents which means the creeper is easy to clean while staying durable. With built-in tool storage smooth-rolling casters for easy maneuvering around the shop, this high quality creeper is available for just $19.43.

  1. 10/2/50 Amp 12V Manual Charger with Engine Start (Item #: 60581) – $34.99

60581_zzz_alt2_500

Here’s the ultimate in Battery Chargers. This charger not only charges or maintains the charge in your vehicle’s battery, it also works as a jump-starter if you find yourself in need of some assistance. This is an excellent gift for anyone from professional mechanics to car owners in general. And for only $34.99, you’ll still have plenty left over for a few stocking stuffers as well.

 

See the other Most Wanted Gift Guides:

Most Wanted Gifts Under $10
Most Wanted Gifts Under $25
Most Wanted Gifts Under $100

How To Make a Rustic Party Ice Chest From Wood Pallets

pallet cooler complete

Yup, it’s getting colder and wetter, and DIY warriors are retreating behind closed doors for the winter. The LAST thing you want to do is curl up on the barcalounger and remain in a vegetative state ’til the thaw. How about a fun garage project to keep you engaged, limber and rewarded with a cool, new addition to the yard for when the sun comes back out?

This actually really is a fun project (well… minus the breaking-down-the pallets part, but it’ll keep you warm) and the effort is well worth the pleasure and admiration you’ll get for your labors. So, without further ado… the Vintage Ice Chest!

Cost:

Because most of the materials will be coming from (hopefully) salvaged pallets, the expense should be minimal. If you don’t already have one, you should pick up a 48-qt. cooler.

pallet

Materials:

  • 5 reclaimed pallets
  • Wood glue
  • 1 box 2″ wood nails
  • 1 box 1½” wood nails
  • 2 large hinges
  • 1 qt. polyurethane, non-glossy

circular saw

Tools:

Time:

  1. Finding pallets
  2. Pallet breakdown – 45 minutes per pallet
  3. Assembly – 4 hours approx.
  4. Use cooler – Every shindig, ’til sunup

Once you’ve dismantled your pallets, sort your wood: the heavy 2×3 supports, the 30” wood slats (will vary). There are an average 6 boards per pallet side. Choose the pieces you want to use for the front. As you see here, ink-stamped pieces were chosen. Using pieces of various shape is best to give it that rustic look.

pallet cooler - openpallet cooler - closed

OK, you’re ready for the fun part, putting it together! This is where I pass you on to Instructables.com, and “miamitreasure,” who shows us how to assemble our classic pallet ice chest cooler. Also, check out these other pallet wood projects on Instructables!

 

If you’re missing any tools or supplies for this awesome project, don’t forget to swing by Harbor Freight where you’ll find just what you need at low, low prices!

How To Create An Organized Stackable Parts Storage Cabinet

If you’re like me, you’ve got a kind of “Winchester House-like” system for keeping all of your screws, bolts, nuts, washers, hooks, nails, brads, tacks and parts in a place where you can get at them… usually thrown all harum-scarum in the smaller upper workbench drawers and coffee cans. I’d hate to actually audit the time I’ve spent looking for everything whilst in the middle of projects.

stackable organizer complete 2

So, what would you think of having your hardware– every single cotter pin, rivet, fuse, lock nut– sequestered in its own bin, in labeled cases stacked 12-high in a portable cart? Well, that’s exactly what Dave Wirth did with his huge inventory of parts and fasteners, employing the Storehouse 20-Bin Portable Parts Storage Case from Harbor Freight.

20 bin storage case

Made of rugged ABS plastic, each case houses 20 removable bins and has a clear lid so you can see what you got inside without opening it up. It also comes with a handle for easy toting.

sorting the bins

Dave actually got a kick out of going through his stuff, dumping everything out, sorting them into their own trays, and then deciding which trays should be grouped together in the same case.  In the process, he found things he never knew he had.  Also, it was a treat knowing he’d never have to spend all that excess time looking for just the right sized bolt.

building the cart

So, how did Dave Wirth tackle this extremely cool modern marvel? Check out his detailed “how-to” video here:

And while you’re at it, visit his Blog for a quick pictorial of how it’s done. It really is a neat project and a work of art.

As for the table saw, miter saw, wood glue, clamps, nail gun, compressor, belt sander and casters— whatever you don’t already have in your arsenal– you can find at Harbor Freight at great prices.

How To Choose a Circular Saw

circular saw intro pic

The circular saw is the loyal mutt of power tools. It’s the go-to for everything, from houses, decks, garden sheds and tree houses, to smaller things like furniture and shelves. You’re also more likely to spot a circular saw at a construction site than other power tools. From cutting 2×4’s to ripping sheets of plywood, a good circular saw will tackle all types of jobs and wood.

Corded vs. Cordless

cordless circular saw

Like most of the other power tools, circular saws come in both corded and cordless models. It was just a few years ago when you couldn’t find a cordless circular saw that could keep up with a corded model on a job. That said, technology has surged forward and now the choice isn’t so cut-and-dry. Cordless (above), of course, gives you a greater freedom of movement without being dependent on a plug, while the corded ones never run out of juice.

corded circular saw

What it boils down to is, it depends on how you use the tool and what projects you’re more likely to be working on. Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each, though, is great for anyone shopping for one. My two cents, if you can get both, even better!

sidewinder circular sar

Circular saws are divided into two primary categories: Sidewinders (shown above) and worm-drive units (below). On a sidewinder, the “spur-gear” motor sits directly next to the saw blade which makes them small, lightweight, and great for jobs around the house. It’s especially good for jobs overhead. Worm-drive saws generate more torque because of a beefy spiral gear that dispatches power to the blade more efficiently, and it is notably heavier. Also on the worm-drive, the motor sits behind the blade. Advantages of a worm-drive saw include its line-of-sight visibility and its power.

worm-drive circular saw

So, which one to get? The truth is that one saw isn’t better than the other, it just depends on what kind of work you’re doing. For example, if you’re working on the rafters or stairs, the worm-drive would probably suit you better, while on the other hand you’d reach for the sidewinder for the opposing bevels. If you do a variety of light and more involved DIY projects, you’re eventually going to own both. Of course, the worm-drive will be more expensive, but the added torque and heft will carry you through the toughest jobs.

There is one other alternative for small jobs, too. Compact saws like the Chicago Electric Double Cut Saw (as seen below) provides ample cutting power for minor jobs around the house. They’re lighter and easier to maneuver in limited spaces.

double cut saw

Before buying a circular saw, make sure you actually pick each up and heft it. Take note of the weight, balance, grip and motionability. Do this with different models and you’ll get an idea of which is the most comfortable for you. In the case of the cordless models,  do this exercise with a battery attached, as that changes the weight and balance significantly.

As with any power tool, safety comes first. Always wear proper eye protection and read through the safety manual that comes with your saw. And in your journey, be sure to visit your local Harbor Freight Tools where you’ll find great deals on circular saws, blades, gloves and more!

How To Build a Farmhouse Table

farmhouse table sample 3

Last night the wife and I were watching one of those “fixer upper” shows on the”house channel” (which is what I call it anyway). It was one of those typical episodes where a couple finds a house to fix, they run into major unexpected issues, they roll their eyes at each other, and at the end some happy homeowners are clinking glasses of cheap white wine with their new neighbors. Or something like that. Anyway, during the phase where the significant other is filling the house with furniture and charming antique commode-plant holder decor, a couple of the lackeys haul in this beautiful, rustic dining table. “Wow,” I comment. “That’s cool.” “Yeah,” says the Mrs. “That’s a farm table.” To which I give my usual response, “Huh.” It really was a great piece, and I decided I wanted to build one. Which leads me to this article.

farmhouse table complete

Farmhouse tables (or farm tables) are those warm, rustic benches that makes you think of humble families gathered around American dinner tables in the 18th and 19th-centuries. Instead of being built by skilled craftsmen, they were put together with rough, sturdy planks and their solidity was appreciated scads more than their detail or refinery. Today, farmhouse tables can still bring charm to any home, complementing matched or mismatched chairs, and whatever other furniture you’ve collected. Plus, they’ll take a massive beating and still be worthy of heirloom status when it’s time to pass them on. Furniture stores like Restoration Hardware sell farmhouse tables at a premium, even thousands of dollars. Imagine if you could build your own– just as nice and rugged– for under $100.

farmhouse table sample 1

There are a number of sites offering DIY plans for building your own farmhouse table, ranging everywhere from extremely ambitious to pretty succinct. The plan I liked the most, as far as taking it and making it your own, is on Ana White’s site. Not only are her instructions refreshingly legible and professionally illustrated, but she only requires five tools in the arsenal to make it happen (excluding tape measure, marking pencil and safety protection, that is).

farmhouse table sample selection

Another extremely helpful feature, Ana includes a scrapbook of a number of variations others built using her plan. Not only does it reflect how friendly her approach is to personalization, it offers a plethora of ideas to consider when you go for it. As for the tools needed, you probably already have a couple of them.

Tools Needed

1. Drill/Driver

drill driver 3-8 art

Ana originally listed a power drill, but I’d like to take it a step further, considering all the screw driving that needs to be done and recommend this 18-volt 3/8″Cordless Drill/Driver by Drillmaster. With 21 clutch settings, a keyless chuck and a reverse, this workhorse costs less than $25 and will give you more than enough performance for this project.

2. Circular Saw

circular saw

The circular saw Ana used was an 18v 5-1/2″ cordless model with a laser guide. I recommend this Chicago Electric model, SKU #68849. Not only does it have the same size and features as hers, but it’s less than half the price.

3. Brad Nailer

brad nailer

Ideally, you’ll already have an air compressor so all you’d need to pick up is a pneumatic brad nailer. If this is the case, this Central Pneumatic 18-Gauge Brad Air Nailer is a tireless performer that’ll get the job done and be ready for more. And for less than $20, it’ll leave you plenty to keep the cooler stocked.

3a. Hammer w/ Nail Punch

hammer nail punch

 

If you don’t have an air compressor and don’t want to get one for just this product, a hammer and nail punch can accomplish the same task. It just won’t be as fast and effortless.

4. Random Orbital Sander

random orbital sander

You might say you already have a sander and don’t need another one, but I’m telling you, you’ll want this one. When the dust settles, when it comes to stripping paint from furniture, preparing new molding or cleaning up between finish coats, you won’t get more bang for your buck than with a random-orbit sander.  It doesn’t leave swirls or scratches, you can go in any direction (hence the “random”), it’s a lot easier on the hand… it even smooths and cleans metal and composite materials like solid-surface counter tops. Use a Chicago Electric Random-Orbit Palm Sander (under $30) on this project and I’ll bet you a Buffalo nickel it’ll be your go-to sander from here on in.

5. Square

square

When building your table, you’ll need to check that the parts you’re assembling are “square.”  You’ll want a measuring square for this. A lot of folks like using a speed square, however for a table this size I recommend a triangular rafter square. Pittsburgh makes a really nice one for under $2.  If you’re a little fuzzy about the whole “squaring” thing, here’s a nifty guide on operating the rafter square. If you’re the type that’s more confident with a tape measure, you can also go the diagonal-route of squaring your table.

The Plan

farmhouse table sample 4

As I mentioned, you can find a clear and basic plan on creating your own farmhouse table on Ana White’s blog site. Whether it be new lumber, reclaimed wood, repurposed bowling lane wood, or what have you, building this signature piece is very doable. And remember to stop by Harbor Freight Tools when you plan to start!

How To Soundproof Your Garage or Workshop

Insulated Garage Wall

It doesn’t matter if you’re a recreational DIYer or a serious garage guru, you make noise. It can’t be helped, especially with power tools. And if you’ve got close neighbors, you probably always think about that noise when you’re switching on a machine. Soundproofing your garage/workshop is the key to maximizing your freedom.  Imagine being able to cut lumber anytime–late night or early morning– without fear of wrath or reciprocity.

orange block soundproofing

There are, of course, a number of methods to soundproof. For the “whatever” DIY guy, it might be hanging moving blankets on the walls and ceiling. There’s another method called “resilient channel” which is what a lot of the nicer recording studios use, and which is great… if you’re building a nice recording studio. An approach I like a lot more is the “cleat” method, suggested by “Mobile Rik” on Instructables.com. With a lot of easy-to-follow steps and lots of pics, Rik shows us how hanging drywall panels on a pair (or more) of wooden “cleats” can contain a great deal of sound. Compared to the “resilient method, the “cleat method is:

  1. Much cheaper
  2. Much sturdier (if you decide you want shelves or other heavy things hanging from those walls)
  3. Is removable for tweaking if necessary
  4. Uses ordinary 2 x 4 lumber and not some fancy-shmantzy materials that need to be special-ordered

insulated garage wall vertical

But, be warned, the “cleat” style is based on different– even contrary– principles to conventional soundproofing methods. But this is the cornerstone of every blue-blooded DIYer: Build A Better Mousetrap! Be sure you read Rik’s “Be Willing To Break The Rules” section to understand the high-fidelity physics behind his approach and why he’s going this route.

Take a look at Mobile Rik’s “How-To” and see if this is something you could do in your garage!

cleat drywall

But first, here’s a quick (short) list of what you’re gonna need:

Tools Needed:

table saw

*If you don’t have a table saw or band saw (although this is as good an excuse as any to get one), you could skip this tool by going to the lumber store and have them rip your boards per your specifications.

Materials:

Polyurethane Tube Insulation

  • 2-1/2″ Nails
  • Drywall Screws
  • Closed-Cell Foam Tape
  • Polyethylene Pipe Insulation Tube
  • Drywall 1/2″ (you may even consider 5/8″; besides killing even more sound, it’ll add fire protection and be more gouge-proof)
  • Acoustical Caulk

Other Tips To Deaden Sound In The Garage:

rubber washers

  • Buy a pack of rubber washers and apply them to machine cabinet fasteners as long as it’s not a critical connection for precision alignment
  • Retrofit all of your tool stands to include rubber-wheeled casters, and look at using rubber grommets on the plate holes where you bolt them to the stand legs
  • Buy those square rubber vibration isolation blocks and use them to separate the tool from the mobile base or tool cart
  • Spray sound-dampening material on the insides of metal machine cabinets
  • Add sound insulation lining to machine cabinets, router table chambers
  • Use baffle-like sound shields made of sound-absorptive materials near motors and other noise sources without restricting heat dissipation for the motor. 
  • Add additional sound absorbing material (perhaps backed by sound reflecting material) directly behind noisy machines that are against the wall
  • Safety guards around blades and bits do help with both dust collection and noise isolation, so it’s not a bad idea to use them when you can, especially over the table saw blade.  Maybe make your own, and incorporate some sound-deadening strategies in addition to dust collection efficiency strategies.

Remember that a lot of little things will add up to a much quieter shop.  You’ll feel much more free knowing that you won’t get complaints about your late night or early morning dust-making activities. And remember Harbor Freight Tools when you need a quality tool at a very low price!