A Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

 

Zombie-Protection

Surviving an onslaught of zombies doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! In fact, you can keep all your limbs neatly intact with just a few select items from Harbor Freight Tools. From weapons to equipment, Harbor Freight is the one stop shop for all your survival needs, but you can’t carry everything when you’re on the run from the undead! So, this handy guide will run down the most essential tools you need to get to the military outpost/survivor camp/shopping mall stronghold alive.

dawn3

First things first, you need a weapon.  Getting anywhere will be dangerous at best and suicide at worst. If you want any chance at all, you’ll need to be equipped with a weapon that is lightweight, powerful and doesn’t require reloading. For this situation, the 20 oz. Solid Steel “Antishock” Pro Rip Hammer (Item #: 60517) will serve you best. The oil-resistant comfort grip minimizes muscle fatigue so you can handle a whole group of zombies with ease. And the solid steel rip claw is designed to withstand rigorous use, even if it’s smashing zombies in the noggin. Be careful here because most people might be tempted to go with the 8 oz. Stubby Claw Hammer (Item #: 95929) because of its portability. However, while the Pro Rip Hammer might be a bit heavier, it has the leverage you need to break through the skulls of the undead or to pry open boarded up windows in a hurry. In fact, it couldn’t hurt to pick up two hammers, either as an extra for a partner or one for each hand so you can deal out double the carnage.

Another great choice is the 18″ Machete with Serrated Blade (tem #: 62113). The razor sharp machete also features a nonslip comfort grip and can be easily accessible when stored in the included nylon sheath. This weapon is ideal for hacking through foliage as well as zombie necks. And speaking of hand to hand combat, you can’t go wrong with the 8″ Survival/Hunting Knife (Item #: 90714).  The shorter blade offers more control over the machete which can come in handy in case you need to remove clothing to tourniquet a wound while the built-in compass will keep you and your group on track. You’ll need to keep these blades sharp too so be sure to pick up a Combination Sharpening Stone (Item #: 7345) as well. Dull blades can easily become stuck in a skull or other decomposing body part, leaving you helpless and without a weapon.

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Survival is all in the details. In a world where rules and laws no longer have any meaning, you need to be on constant alert for threats both alive and undead. The Ultra Ear Sound Amplifier (Item #:  66577) fits comfortably behind either ear and provides ultra sensitive hearing to prevent anyone (or anything) from sneaking up on your camp. This handy device features tone and volume adjustment so you can keep an ear out in almost any environment. Granted, the amplifier is battery operated, which brings up another good point…

Batteries. You can’t have too many. You never know what type of tool or equipment might require batteries and in a zombie apocalypse, batteries will basically be like currency. Luckily, Harbor Freight carries a wide variety. The 24 Piece AA Alkaline Batteries (Item #: 61271) are good general purpose batteries to have on hand but you’ll want to pick up at least a few packs of the 4 Piece AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (Item #: 61269) as well. They’re environmentally friendly (which is still important even in a zombified world) and these batteries can be recharged up to 800 times. Along with the 5 Watt Foldable Solar Panel Charger (Item #: 60449), all you need is direct sunlight to get those batteries back to full capacity. Harbor Freight offers the following size batteries to fit a variety of needs in both alkaline and rechargeable NiMH:

You also need to think about protection from the elements and debris as well as from the vicious undead so be sure to pick up some Cold Weather Work Gloves (Item #: 96606 and 96612). There’s a very good chance you’ll be outdoors at least until you find some shelter and the 40 gram fleece Thinsulate lining on these gloves provides 10 times the warmth of standard fleece. These gloves are perfect for reloading your shotgun quickly in windy, cold or wet conditions. Also grab a pack of 100 Nitrile Powder-Free Gloves (Item #: 68498) for any less pragmatic survivors you may come across. The Nitrile hand gloves offer three times more puncture resistance than latex and vinyl, providing extra protection against sharp metal objects in dilapidated city ruins as well as zombie bites. The last thing you need is an infected person in your group. That won’t end well, trust me.

zomb

The bottom line is you can never be too careful when it comes to prepping for the zombie apocalypse. Here are some miscellaneous items that could be life-saving without taking up much space in your pack:

With this handy list of essentials, you’ll have a fighting chance at escaping the zombie horde while protecting your group of survivors… if you’re lucky enough to find any. Whatever you do, don’t get caught unprepared. Get to your nearest Harbor Freight store now to stock up and save a bundle!

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!

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.

4 Tips On How to Shop at Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight’s a favorite toy store for mechanics, carpenters, electricians, contractors, builders, DIYers, preppers, hobbyists, welding artisans, etc. Really, anyone who needs a tool for something, or just likes putzing around the workbench, will jump at any excuse to visit Harbor Freight. If you are one of the dwindling numbers who don’t know about Harbor Freight– stay away!! Seriously, it’s the Hotel California of man stores– you can check out anytime you like, but…

A lot of time (well, most of the time for some of us…), “need” has very little to do with shopping at HFT. Oh sure, you might go in for a great deal on a miter saw, but you”ll leave with gloves, small flashlights, an electric bug zapper, a pile of tarps, a wrench set, a headlamp, a machete and a winch, as well. It’s like the old “Weed n’ Feed” your grampa used to like to wander around. The discounts– not to mention the plethora of odds and ends all over the place– are just too irresistible. Best take your purchases home and sequestered in the garage when the wife is out doing her hair.

There is an art to shopping at Harbor Freight– nay, a strategy– that ensures you get the most satisfaction out of the experience. To illustrate, I’ve laid it out in four steps:

1. Stay on Top of the Deals:

Knowledge is power, and staying aware of what sales are out there is pure dynamite. There are a number of ways to do this:

  • The Website – On any given day, there are a slew of deals being offered on Harbor Freight’s Homepage. Also, the Tab Coupons page, the Super Coupons page, the Clearance page, and the Weekly Flyer.
  • Sign up for the mail-in flyer. This is oft times better than the online flyer because it’s portable and, laying around, it’s a reminder to get while the gettin’s good.
  • Get on the Harbor Freight email list for exclusive Preferred Customer offers– so quick and easy, you’ll swear you’re doing something immoral, illegal or fattening.

 

2. Clip the Coupon!

If you’re like me, many’s the time you realize you left the coupon on the kitchen counter, right as you pull into the store parking lot. I live 30 miles away from the nearest Harbor Freight, you think I want to do that trip again? I usually curse myself and pay the regular low price instead of the LOW, low price. Just this once, I’m going to recommend to everyone to get in touch with your feminine side and clip the damn thing– put it in your wallet. That goes double for the 20% coupons, just keep collecting them and toss them when they expire. After all, isn’t that the point? A Harbor Freight shopper without a coupon is like going dutch on a date. I mean, seriously?

3. Inside Track Club

Think you know all there is to know about the discounts, deals and sales at Harbor Freight Tools? Think again. For just $29.99 a year, you can be a member of the Inside Track Club. So what, you say? How about exclusive email offers nobody else gets? How about access to the famed Harbor Freight Parking Lot Sales one whole hour before anyone else is allowed on the lot? Or, deep discount mail-in offers your friends and neighbors will never see? Put it this way: You can take the wife out to Applebee’s this Friday, or use that money on the best deals Harbor Freight Tools will be offering all year round. Take your time…

 

4. Read the Reviews

Hopefully I’m preaching to the choir here. The best way to ensure an informed purchase is to read the reviews left by previous buyers. I value them more than the so-called experts who review for a living ’cause it’s “power by numbers.” If 95 out of 100 people love the product, chances are pretty good I will, too. If that means it’s getting a different model than previously intended, so be it. But, that’s me.

There’s a reason why guys love to shop at Harbor Freight, and if you’re getting ready to go for the first time, I envy you the joy and wonderment you’ll be experiencing. Follow these four tips and you’ll come away happy and fulfilled, and no one will call you a boy anymore.

Well, two out the three of those things, for sure.

Tools to Help Your Garden Grow

So you want to start a garden, eh? You’ve waited years for that moment where you have the space in your yard to do it. Or maybe you’ve just volunteered for a community garden but you haven’t a garden tool to your name? Well Harbor Freight Tools is here to help!

Gnomes to Help Your Garden Grow

The Harbor Freight Tools Garden Gnomes are here to help your garden grow (ok, not really, but you can buy them for only $7.99 and they make your garden super cute.)

Garden tools can be broken down into two basic categories: tools for working the soil / planting and tools for maintaining your plants.

Soil and Planting Tools:

Round Point ShovelRound-point shovel – this shovel is made for loosening and moving soil and digging planting holes

 

 

Garden ForkManure fork - the name is a bit daunting but historically speaking manure was fertilizer and something was needed to move this around. This tool is also useful for aerating your compost pile

 

 

Leaf RakeGarden rake – this is great fro breaking up smaller clumps of dirt and working soil amendment / fertilizer into the top of a garden bed

 

 

Garden Maintenance Tools:

Bypass PrunerBypass pruner - you need at least one good bypass pruner for routine plant maintenance such as deadheading roses, shaping shrubs, or cutting off that annoying branch growing in exactly the wrong spot. It’s nice to have to them in several sizes for larger or smaller jobs, but an 8-inch pruner should suffice most of the time

 

Garden SnipsSnips - these are necessary for reaching into tight spaces to snip off tiny twigs

 

 

LoppersLoppers - these are used for removing  branches

 

 

Rope Chain SawPruning saws - when branches are too big for loppers you’ll need a pruning saw to take them down

 

 

Garden SprayerGarden sprayer - the best way to disseminate plant food or pest control (organic of chemical)

 

 

Gardening GlovesGloves - of course! Don’t forget these. You’ll need to protect your hands from thorns and insects an other things that might be lurking in the soil

 

 

As you continue to work on your garden, you’ll get a feel for these tools and may find other nifty gadgets that will help you out. But for now you’ve got a good starter kit to get you going and all at the ridiculously low prices that you can only find at Harbor Freight Tools.

Harbor Freight Gets Prepper Props

In this country’s growing Survivalist Nation there’s a tribe known as the “Urbivalists”– or “urban survivalists”—preppers who live in towns and cities, and have adapted their survivalist skills to more metro environments. One such urbivalist is Dan, a “self-proclaimed tenderfoot and city kid” who runs a survival-themed blog called The Daily Prep. Recently, Dan posted a video of a shopping trip he made to Harbor Freight–

–which included a tour of some of his favorite products.  “It’s a man mall!” he proclaimed.

It’s no wonder HFT is popular with those who take survival preparation seriously. A renowned purveyor of hard-to-find and odd hardware– plus, a huge selection of essential tools and supplies at extremely low prices– it’s a no-brainer. (Brains? Zombies? Apocalypse? Harbor Freight!)

So, what were some of the products Dan thought fellow preppers should look into? The video does a good job showcasing generators, welders, tarps, car battery jump starters, jerry cans, rope, axes & hatchets, duct tape (“of every kind!”), magnesium fire starters, solar panel kits, knives, slingshots, safes, winches, flashlights and batteries– and Harbor Freight’s low prices make preparation a lot more doable.

FYI, for those looking to prep their home for the garden variety emergency, HFT also carries towing supplies, trailer hitches, alarms & security products, jack stands, engines, head lamps, cast iron frying pans, face masks, space saver vacuum bags, air compressors… you get the point. Harbor Freight is the “go-to store” for your doomsday prepper needs.

The Daily Prep isn’t alone when it comes to survivalist forums swapping favorite HFT products that they keep in their arsenals. Surf the ‘net and you’ll find tons of great ideas. And while you’re at it, why don’t you share yours with us?

 

Essential Tools for Your First Apartment

 

It’s June– and as with every June, a new herd of college grads is cut loose into the world. This means new apartments, new (or new old) furniture, new roomies, and a whole slew of new domestic responsibilities. Something every grad should consider getting is a decent tool set. Yes, you’ll probably have a landlord that takes care of that kind of stuff. But landlords are not your parents and they sure won’t always be around when you need them. Sometimes you’ll have to take care of things yourself –and wouldn’t it be great if you could? That’s where Harbor Freight Tools comes in.

Here’s a list of just the most essential tools you’ll be wanting:

Design – Decorating is the most likely thing you’ll be doing on your own. Here are some tools that’ll help with that:

Plumbing – this should really be left to the professionals, but sometimes things happen and help is nowhere to be found. When you have nowhere to turn these items can help prevent a disaster.

All Around Necessities – some tools are just plain useful to have around. You never know when you may need to screw a doorknob back on or put together a new piece of furniture.

Lastly, you’ll need a nice toolbox or tool bag to store the stuff in so you can find them when you need them!

Car Restoration Tools Every Garage Needs

It’s funny how, as you get older, you start doing all the cool stuff you wanted to do when you were a punk teenager. Back in the 70’s we were all car crazy, 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 could actually work on them. Somehow, they managed to have the tools and supplies 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 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 dividends for years to come. But before we start doing that victory lap to “We Are the Champions,” 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 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 to get for your arsenal. Between the Die Grinder, Paint Sprayer and Impact Wrench, you’re going to get a lot of use out of it and, believe me, you’ll thank yourself every time you’ve got a 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.

Engine Work

A 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 a must 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 Creeper, Paint Stripper, Transmission Jack, Dent 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.

Now, get out there and make that Vega Funny Car a reality!

Super Duty Air Hammer with Chisels

This super duty air hammer and chisel kit will help you get the job done quickly whether you’re removing a tile floor or splitting welds or rivets. This professional quality pneumatic air hammer is 6-7/8″ long, for more power and easy grip. It comes with nine high carbon steel chisels that can deliver up to 3,000 blows per minute. Learn how to properly operate an air hammer in this great how to video.

A Primer On Tubing Rollers

Tubing rollers come in many shapes and sizes, so it’s vital you choose one that works for the applications you intend to work on the most.

tubing roller

The 99736 is a great tubing roller for many jobs

If you’re in the market for an economical manual tubing roller, you really should take a look at this Tubing Roller from Pittsburgh tools (SKU: 99736). This model is 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 Pittsburgh tubing roller is an absolute wonder. It 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.  Regardless of your project type, it works incrementally so that you can create bends as precise as necessary.

This tubing roller may be bench mounted as well on this 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 to the tool while performing the bending.

Keep in mind this unit is designed for bending mild steel, copper and aluminum. 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.