Gnarlatious Tips on Building Your First Bitchin’ Surfboard

Summer’s almost upon us– in about a hundred days– and if you’re like me, you’re probably asking yourself, is this the year I finally realize the dream of building my own surfboard? It may seem like a daunting task, especially for those of us who aren’t exactly Bob Vila, let alone the Big Kahuna. But, with a few swipes of the keyboard, help manifests itself once again:

Not too long ago, Stephen Pirsch, a visionary in board construction, released a book entitled,How to Build Your First Surfboard, an easy-to-follow, detail-rich DIY paper on the subject. Written for first-time builders, this guide was created to lessen problems and save money– especially to prevent the typical board-ruining mistakes.

“This book is for the garage or backyard builder who has few tools and little money.  The following information has been tested, and is the result of  friends building their first surfboard with me.  Also,  thousands of  interesting people have emailed their questions and results.”

Turn to the Equipment chapter, and there you’ll find a list of tools and supplies needed to get the project going. As this tutorial is geared towards the O Mighty Ones of Little Cash, however, Surfer Steve is careful in recommending his tools:

“Hundreds of dollars can be saved by using the following tools compared to industry standard tools. The following has been extensively tested (on 6 boards in 2012) by the author, the expense and labor solely for the benefit of you, the reader (The author already owned the industry standard tools). Be aware these tools are not designed for heavy duty, continuous production use, but will work well for the occasional garage built board.”

Drill Master 5.5 Amp 3-1/4″ Electric Planer (#91062)  (or, similar, for a few dollars more, the Chicago Electric 3-1/4″ Heavy-Duty Electric Planer with Dust Bag – #95838)

 ”1. This planer has a 1/16″ maximum cutting depth. The depth can be doubled to 1/8″ by loosening the cutting blades and extending them 1/16″(the tools for this are included). The depth can be tripled to 3/16″ by grinding the front plate (the plate on the bottom which adjusts up and down). Put a 3″ abrasive cutting wheel on your drill, or a 6″ abrasive cutting blade on your sander/polisher (this tool mentioned below) and slowly grind the plate with the wheel almost parrallel to the plate – this will take one to two hours. If you over grind or grind unevenly, it can be filled with 5 minute epoxy. After modification this planer works very similar to the industry standard Hitachi

2. In contrast to surfboard foam planing shown in youtube videos, a planer is designed to be used parallel to the direction of work (not 45 degrees), Holding at 45 degrees reduces the cutting area by 1/2 which doubles your labor, and increases the possibility of an error.”

 

Chicago Electric 7″ Polisher/Sander with Digital RPM Display (#66615)

“1. (Shop for) assorted 6″ hook and loop sanding disks… if you buy from industrial suppliers you will have to buy an absurd amount of each grit.

2. Initially run sander at lowest speed, and practice on a scrap piece of foam that has been laminated and hot coated. Very slowly sand into the cloth and through the cloth, so you can see what to avoid.

NOTE 1: This purchase is worth it for the accessories alone.

NOTE 2: Hook and loop sandpaper is the best type because it is the easiest, and fastest to change and can be re – used. Hook and loop usually costs more initially (although not with this purchase), but costs less in the end, especially in cost of time.”

 

Drill Master 1/4″ Trim Router (#44914)

1. You will need a router bit with 1″ long cutter for Fins Unlimited Boxes – 1″ bits are rare.

2. A 12″x 6″x 3/16″ template can be made out of 3/16″ panel board (get 4′x 4′ piece at Lowe’s. To achieve 5 degree lean on twin or tri fins, an additional 1″x 12″ piece of 3/16″ panel board can be duct taped to the bottom edge of the template. The entire template can be held in place with Gorilla brand duct tape.

NOTE: By the time you adjust the router and bit, and make a template, you could cut out about 5 boxes by hand. After making template (and practicing) it is faster and more precise with a router. The Harbor Freight cutout tool can also be used as a router.”

 

Additional EQUIPMENT LIST:

Respirator with dust and vapor cartridges
Tape measure
Magnetic torpedo level
Drill preferably with two handles, variable speed and, 2000 to 3000 rpm.
Hand saw (wood)
Sharpie fine marker pen
Block plane (smallest)
Pocket Plane
5″ rubber/plastic back-up pad with 1/4″ shank (for sanding disks on drill)
Hacksaw blade (coarse)
Optional 1″ paddle bit to match optional 1″ leash cup

“You might be asking yourself, do I really want to do this? Is saving half the money of a showroom surfboard, buying the tools, pouring sweat, blood and time into this little venture going to be worth it? Surfer Steve has an answer for that:

“Building a board can be very rewarding.  Everyone who follows the directions manages to finish somehow, and almost everyone who makes one will make another.  Much of the work and expense on the first board (such as racks, blocks, and tools) won’t have to be duplicated on following boards.

Kowabunga, baby.

 

Harbor Freight Coupon Deals – Feb 19-25!

A Pittsburgh Pro 1/2″ Torque Wrench for $9.99!

A Chicago Electric Battery Charger & Engine Starter for $29.99!

A Chicago Electric 10″ Compound Miter Saw for $89.99!

If you need it now, plan on getting it in the near future — or if you think you’ll probably need it “someday” and this price is just too good! — you’ll likely find the right tool at Harbor Freight Tools. Every week they release new coupons, offering incredibly low prices on their most popular products. Click on the image above and check out the savings on your favorite tools today– and every day!

You know you want it.

 

New Survival Skills with Harbor Freight Solar Tools

In the late 60′s, high school teacher Eliot Wigginton and his students created Foxfire, a chronicle of traditional folk culture of the Southern Appalachians. The first Foxfire book introduced the colorful Aunt Arie and her fellow mountain folk, dispensing  their homespun knowledge of log cabin building, hog dressing, hill people crafts and food, and “other affairs of plain living.” It was soon followed by several other volumes, offering instructions on wagon making, midwifing, hide tanning, moonshining, knife making, rudimentary water systems, dressing wounds, and countless other tips on living off the land.


Now, call it a shift in political climate, call it social polarization, call it the writing on the wall: there is a renewed growing interest in personal emergency preparedness and self-reliance these days. This interest has manifest itself in everything from food storage to family disaster drills to bunkers in the woods, and there’s a new wave of voices disseminating information on how to be prepared. A lot of what’s being shared can be found in the Foxfire books, but a lot won’t. Much has been learned and developed over the past 50 years, and our ability to “fend for ourselves” has suddenly expanded and virtually become a mainstream industry.

Spotted him in my backyard this morning…

Enter the team of New Survival Skills, a hardcore, practical group of instructors that teaches greenhorns how to live in the wild. Visit their Facebook page and you’ll quickly see these guys are no boy scouts: ”We are former or active U.S. Special Forces, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters who are now training people in survival skills.”

Team leader “Chappy” McKinney, made NSS’ mission clear:

“I want more people to see that life in the city may be hard, but life in the wilderness could kill you if you don’t know what you are doing. The skills you learn to stay alive in the wilderness relate so perfectly to everyday life. I am not saying that you will breakout with a bow drill and start a fire in your office, but you will be able to see things in such a different light that you may feel that you have been blind to the truths of everyday life.”

Recently, New Survival Skills accepted Harbor Freight’s challenge to test the Thunderbolt Magnum 13-Watt Briefcase Solar Charger (#68750), Portable Battery Solar Charger (#68690) and 1-Watt Solar Power Pack with multiple adapters for cell phones and mp3 players (#68691),  in the wild. After several days, they returned with this report:

It was awesome to learn some practical survival applications using Harbor Freight’s solar gear. I was particularly impressed how Chappy kept his cell phoned charging while hoofing it in the woods. I’m also glad he pointed out what a treasure trove of useful gear Harbor Freight Tools provides for survivalists. Even this morning, he reported from somewhere in the wilderness:

“Right now, here where I am it is 52°F with light showers, completely overcast….I have the THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM SOLAR 13 Watt Briefcase Solar Charger, from Harbor Freight Tools- item#68750 siting outside with a thin sheet of plastic sheeting over it and it is still producing 18 volts at the 12 volt setting and 33 volts on the 24 volt setting….I highly recommend this product to everyone!”

It’s easy to think that survival skills in the wild is an outdated talent for people like us. Yet, just a glance at the footage of Sandy, Katrina, Haiti and so many of Nature’s other targets, we would be fools to assume that we were invulnerable. The New Survival Skills’ leader offers another very persuasive pitch for taking their course:

“My life was changed for the better when I went into the woods as a camper.  I was put into a group with six other boys who had never met each other before and we were assigned a counselor who had the pleasure of our company in the wild for two whole weeks. We learned things that city boys did not know, like how to fish with just a line, hook and a worm, which we had to find in the dirt. We learned how to start fires without matches, how to find water, use a compass, how to ride horses and most of all we learned that survival in the woods was no game, but a test of one’s skills.  The one skill that I know was most important one taught to us was the ability to work together as a team to overcome some of the harshest country in the U.S. Later in life I had more hands-on training in wilderness survival from some of the best in the business with the U.S. Military, and put my skills and training in the wild to work as a Wildland Firefighter for a few years on a hand crew in Northern California. Now, I feel today more than ever before, that the same skills I  learned in the woods gave me the leadership skills to be a success in my professional life as well as opening my eyes to the things that have become of interest to me. I love and respect the outdoors and anything wild. My heritage is also Native American (Oglala, Lakota Sioux) and I feel a deep draw to the wilderness and doing what I can to help others see what beauty there is in it and how to respect it.”   Chappy

 

 

Harbor Freight Coupon Deals – Feb 12-18!

Click Here

A Chicago Electric 900 watt portable generator for $99.99!

A Badlands 2000 lb. ATV winch for $59.99!

A Chicago Electric 1/2″ impact wrench for $37.99!

If you need it now, or plan on getting it in the near future, you’ll likely find the right tool at the right price at Harbor Freight Tools. Every week they release new coupons, offering incredibly low prices on their most popular products. Click on the image above and check out the savings on your favorite tools today– and every day!

Resistance is futile.

Car Craft Tests Torque Wrenches: Guess Who Won!

It’s not enough just to claim having the lowest prices around. A Scion is a lot cheaper than a Lexus, but, well… Now on the other hand, if you can claim lowest price AND the same quality (or better) than the high-priced brands, now we got ourselves a ball game.

In the April 2013 issue of Car Craft (not online yet… I guess it goes along with the whole “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” philosophy), in the Hands On section, I stumbled across an article entitled, “Testing Torque Wrenches”, by Jeff Smith. The gist of it was to compare the performance of 1/2-inch drive click torque wrenches from Craftsman ($240), Snap-on ($323) and the Pittsburgh model (#239 – $19.99) from Harbor Freight.

“Then we discovered a digital torque adapter sold by Harbor Freight (#68283). This small unit fits in between a standard 1/2-inch drive breaker bar and the socket, and using a digital strain gauge, it converts the torque applied through the adapter into a digital readout. At a typical Harbor Freight price of $39.99, we decided to include it in our test. We frankly didn’t expect this little unit to be very accurate. But the testing proved otherwise.”

After running the torque adapter through five consecutive applications of 70-lb.-ft. of torque, the average came out to be an “amazing 70.1 lb.-ft. In fact, when they tested it against a Snap-On digital torque wrench “costing far more,” the readings from the two tools were generally within 0.20 lb-ft.

As for the drive click torque wrench…

“… we also tested Harbor Freight’s 1/2-inch clicker torque wrench, and it was also very close. It also has a range of 20 to 150 lb-ft and a lifetime warranty. Accuracy after five consecutive tests at 70 lb-ft ranged from 68.8 lb-ft (-1.2) to 70.3 (+0.3), with an average error of 0.30 ft-lb over five tests. It doesn’t get much better than that for a mechanical torque wrench.”

Bottom line: You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get precision performance– and with your 20% Off Coupon, you can have the drive click torque wrench for just $16! For so much less than the competition, Harbor Freight’s 1/2-inch drive click torque wrench is the clear winner!

For a more detailed coverage of the tool test, get the April 2013 issue of Car Craft today.

Not the Usual Daily Grind

At $21.99, you wouldn’t expect much performance out of an angle grinder. Nowadays, 22 bucks barely covers two people at McDonald’s… but a heavy-duty angle grinder? Next you’re going to say I can make hundreds of thousands of dollars at home in my pajamas, or that there can never be too many PC “inspirational” quotes on Facebook.

But the truth is, the Chicago Electric Heavy-Duty 4-1/2″ Angle Grinder DOES perform– with a vengeance– and can tackle tough metal cutting, shaping and slag removal-jobs with the efficiency of a grinder five times the cost. A valuable tool for the professional metal worker or hobbyist. That’s not just me talking– or the Harbor Freight marketing mucky mucks– that’s coming from the customers who bought it:

“ Well worth the money, and a fraction of the cost of something similar from a box store… and CONSIDER getting an extra grinder. It’s a hassle switching back and forth between wheels, and these are cheap enough you can have two on hand with different wheels. (And you’ll *still* come in cheaper than getting one from a box store!)”  goodeknight – Chesapeake, VA

“LET ME TELL YOU…. I have now owed this cheap-O thing for 2 months shy of 5 yrs, and besides fading from leaving out in the sun and some paint splatter, it’s been going strong. Pretty much the same as day one. I still do the same things I did before as when I was using the Makita, however I have added using it for cutting bricks, and sanding custom formed concrete boulders adding sharp angles that I make for water features.”  Scott – Queen Creek, AZ

“This angle grinder is a great deal for the price, it works fine, put some quality grease in it and allow to cool properly, it will serve you well, its already paid for itself many times over.”  buffington – Redondo Beach, CA

“I started a car project that required paint stripping, approximately 3 coats of old paint required removal. I slapped a GatorGrit paint removal wheel on this cheap little grinder, and to my surprise, this thing kicks b***.  I removed all the paint from my car in no time! If you get name brand grinder discs and paint removal wheels, the grinder rarely bogs down… it has handled everything I have thrown at it; tiles, metal, paint removal, blade sharpening, etc… Love it for the price, and will buy another when this one dies. So far it’s still kicking!”  Tony – Undisclosed

Check out the powerful, smooth-running Chicago Electric 4-1/2″ angle grinder for yourself. At just $21.99 (or $17.59 with your Harbor Freight 20% Off Coupon!), it may turn out to be the best deal you ever made on a power tool.

Hot Rod, Mustang Monthly & Super Street Bike Reviews: The Earthquake Impact Wrench

 Hot Rod magazine gave generous props to the Central Pneumatic Earthquake 1/2″ Impact Wrench (#68424) in the Parts & Stuff section of their January 2013 issue:

“This is the Cadillac of ½-inch impact wrenches. From Harbor Freight, known for great tools and cheap prices, the Central Pneumatic Earthquake ½-inch Impact Wrench is rated at 700 lb-ft and has three forward speeds plus reverse. It has twin hammers inside that help to make more torque easier. It has less vibration than the competition and, according to Harbor Freight, is the most powerful wrench in its class. One other cool feature is that the exhaust port is pointed away from the user, so no more blowing air in your face when using the tool.”

While I do love Hot Rod for being a renowned mag, full of informative articles, how-to’s, showcases, etc., they’ll have to go to the back of the line on this one. Harbor Freight’s Earthquake 1/2″ impact wrench is already a well-documented legend for, not only its power, durability and performance, but also the great price– just $94.99 (around $76 with a 20% off coupon)!

Back in October, 2012, the Mustang Club of America’s online magazine, Mustang Monthly, had this to say:

 ”Do we really need any excuse to go buy new tools for the garage? Of course we don’t, but the new Earthquake air tool from Harbor Freight gives you 700 reasons to pick one up when you need to get those stubborn, rusty fasteners off your Mustang!

“This professional class wrench (Item# 68424) delivers more power with better weight distribution, lighter materials and a more compact housing. Premium grade components with close tolerances give this tool a longer lifespan than conventional air wrenches.”

 Motorcycle enthusiast magazine Super Street Bike also had a few choice words regarding the Earthquake impact wrench in their January, 2013 issue:

“Harbor Freight returns with another price-conscious tool that should be in every garage: the Central Pneumatic Earthquake half-inch impact wrench. You may not need this tool for everyday wrenching on the bike, but when upgrading or replacing worn out sprockets requires the removal of a countershaft sprocket nut that will not loosen by hand, you’ll appreciate this tool’s power. The Earthquake Impact Wrench is an affordable way to get the job done with a torque range of 50-500 LBS.-FT., a working pressure of 90 PSI and three forward speeds. Make dropping a tooth or two with an aftermarket front sprocket easier with this tool.”

And it’s not just the magazines. Tool hounds at home also like the Earthquake impact wrench. For example, on this thread in GarageJournal.com’s forum, several members admitted their fondness for the air tool:

“I’ve had one for a bit over a year and have used it quite a bit. I have yet to come across something that I was unable to get off with it…”  strizzy

“I bought one a couple of years ago and couldn’t be happier with it. Incredible power and comfortable grip…. It’s been used and abused and just keeps on going. I’m sure keeping it lubed properly helps too. With an adapter and a Budd socket it even removed nuts from a truck that someone had swaged on with a cold chisel to make sure they NEVER came off. This thing had enough power to take them off right through the bunged up threads. I like it so much I’m thinking of buying their 3/8″ Earthquake…”  Curmudgeon

“I got the 1/2″ one too. I use it every once in a while to remove some rusty hardware on my 20 year old sports car (read: bolts that have not been touched in a long time) and the Earthquake does it without any trouble. Its a great purchase even if it was double the price. But since its not…stop typing and go buy one!”  sunshineFC3s

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The Earthquake impact wrench comes with:

+Precision machined to master-mechanic standards
+Most powerful wrench in its class
+Variable speed reversible
+Less vibration and lighter than the competition
+Handle-vented to direct exhaust away from user
+Twin-hammer delivers more torque to the anvil
+Three forward speeds

I know… you’re heading out the door. Don’t forget your 20% OFF COUPON!!

Grand Opening in Orange City, FL!

February 4, 2013 – Harbor Freight Tools continues to expand with new stores across the country, providing low prices at convenient locations. New Harbor Freight stores are sprouting up with unprecedented frequency– especially in these tough economic times– and there’s no slowing down in sight!  This Wednesday, February 6, at 8:00 a.m., the doors will swing wide at the newest Harbor Freight Tools location– this time in Orange City, FL!

“We’re thrilled to open the 27th Harbor Freight Tools store in the state of Florida, and proud to be a member of the Orange City community,” said Eric Smidt, President of Harbor Freight Tools. “Our customers can always count on finding the largest selection of quality tools at ridiculously low prices, and know they will always get the best value for their money. In today’s cost-conscious times, Harbor Freight offers a necessary alternative to the ‘big box’ retailers that push high-priced brands with little attention paid to customer needs and service.”

The Orange City store, located at 2401 Enterprise Road (Village Marketplace), will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30pm, hosted by the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance.

“It is with great excitement that we welcome Harbor Freight to Orange City”, says Nick Conte, Executive Director of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance. “Harbor Freight has been dedicated to bringing superior quality equipment and tools to the all of communities they serve and I know they will be an outstanding community partner for years to come”.

Harbor Freight Tools is a traditional favorite of contractors, government agencies, schools, fundraisers, and industrial and auto shops, as well as tool enthusiasts and DIYers looking for deals on a good selection of tools.

The exciting Orange City store grand opening celebration will feature huge discounts at up to 80% off. Come browse the enormous selection of quality tools and hardware, take advantage of the incredible specials, or just come by and say “hello!”

Store hours are MON-SAT 8:00AM-9:00PM and SUN 9:00AM-6:00PM.

See you there!

Harbor Freight Coupon: 18 Gauge 2-in-1 Nailer Stapler

Looks like the mucky mucks at Harbor Freight are going full-throttle into 2013, with über-audacious deals and coupons. Just click on the pic above and look at what they’re running between now and next Tuesday (Feb. 5)– you’ll PLOTZ!

The one I’m particularly interested is the Central Pneumatic 18 Gauge 2-in-1 Nailer/Stapler– going for $15.99 with coupon.

First, you get two tools in one, ’cause it drives both nails and staples; the 18-gauge staples can be 5/8″ to 1-5/8″ narrow crown, and the brad nails can go to 2″. From what the customer reviews say, this thing’s a veritable work horse which can be used on tons of projects:

Lay laminate flooring, install baseboards, shoe molding, crown molding and window trim. Reinforce bookshelves, chairs, tables, etc. Put up a fence or paneling, build wooden chests, cabinets or speaker boxes or do upholstery. Put together rabbit cages, humane animal traps or chicken coops. Use it for woodworking projects, winterizing the windows, build cat trees…

You get the point– if something needs doing, this’ll do it! And did I mention, it’s only $15.99*??!

For this, and other great deals, visit www.harborfreight.com!

 

*coupon runs until Tuesday morning, Feb. 5