Belt/Disc Sander Tips – The SOP Checklist For All Your Belt/Disc Sanding Projects

belt disk sander 1

Last week I talked about How To Turn Your Garage Into The Ultimate DIY Workshop and as part of the arsenal, I recommended a belt sander. This time, I’m going to add the stationary belt/disc sander, and if you do a lot of projects with wood and metal, you’ll immediately get why. Whether you’re making razor-sharp miters, shaping precise  contours on a model, making knives as a hobby, sharpening lawn mower blades, smoothing down welds or putting a silky smooth finish on a project, a belt/disc sander can be your best friend in the workshop.

This time, though, I’d like to talk about some guidelines

belt disk sander 2

Safety Tips

1. As with most all power tools, always wear safety glasses with side shields or safety goggles while operating the belt/disc sander.

2. Always be on guard when switching on this tool. A sanding disc or belt cuts quickly and aggressively. Failure to anticipate that may result in the loss of skin or digits.

3. Check yourself for loose clothing, jewelry, hair or other things dangling loosely from your person, and secure them  so they are NOT caught in the machine.

4. Sanding on wood or plastic will cause heat buildup due to the friction and may cause the product to burn.

5. A power-driven sander can do some serious damage to the skin. Avoid any contact with the belt and disc when powered up.

6. A filtered face mask is always recommended when working with these sanders.

7. Check the integrity of the sanding belt tracking as well as the integrity of the disc. Any ripped belts or discs should be replaced immediately.

8. Contrary to other the operation of other power tools, do NOT wear gloves while operating the sander, as they can get pulled in by the belt or disc.

9. Let the machine to get to full speed before feeding it material. Also, be aware that it takes time for the disc or belt to stop moving. You just can’t stop it on a dime.

operating belt disk sander

When Operating the Belt/Disc Sander

1. Always approach the belt/disc sander with safety on the brain!

2. Make sure the gap between the sander’s table and the spinning disc or belt is as small as possible.

3. Make sure the distance between your fingers and the spinning disc or belt is no closer than 3”.

4. Absolutely do not sand pieces that are too small to be safely supported.

5. Always hold the piece securely when sanding.

6. Use the backstop, fence, table or other supports as you’re sanding.

7. Always hold the piece on the downward rotation side of the disc when sanding.

8. Avoid putting your hands in awkward positions. A sudden slip could cause a hand to move into the spinning belt or disc.

9. Do not sand with the work piece unsupported. Support the work piece with the backstop or table.

10. Clear scrap pieces and other objects from the table, backstop and belt before turning on the sander.

11. Don’t push hard on the sanding media. Both the belt and disc perform best and safest when they’re allowed to remove material at the rate for which they were designed.

12. Never adjust the belt while the sander is on.

13.Turn the machine off and unplug it before installing or removing belts or discs, or when making adjustments.

14. Never leave the machine when it’s running or before it comes to a complete stop.

15. Shut the sander off, clean it off and clear the work area before leaving. If there are rugrats about, unplug it, too.

Central-Machinery Belt/Disc Sanders

belt disk sander art

Harbor Freight Tools offers an excellent 4″ x 36″ Belt/Disc Sander (#97181) for most (small-to-medium) home projects with a cast aluminum table tilts to 60°.

9 x 6 belt disc sander

Or, if you anticipate larger projects– or want the flexibility for them– we also offer the 9″ x 6″ Combination Belt and Disc Sander #61750 with a 45 ° tilt.

Both of these are great buys as well as great additions to your workshop.

Portable Workbenches, Mobile Stands and Sawhorses

When working on a project for a particular space, it’s a lot easier to actually be working NEAR that space. That’s why Harbor Freight Tools has no shortage of portable work stations, tool stands, work benches, etc. , so you can forego the ol’ back-and-forth and just get the job done. We’re sure that, with all these choices, you’re going to find just what you need at a price you’ll definitely appreciate:

 

tool stand

29″ HD Tool Stand

Central-Machinery 29″ Heavy-Duty Tool Stand #95128

By adding your own bench top, this tool stand will accommodate scroll saws, band saws, miter saws, chop saws, drill presses, sanders and toolboxes up to 300 lbs.! The stand’s width extends to make room for larger tools as well. It comes in a powder coat finish to fight rust and no-mar feet to protect your floor. This sweet tool stand sets your equipment at the perfect height for work in the shop, garage or out on the patio.

 

workstation

Adjustable Height HD Workstation

 US General Adjustable Height Heavy Duty Workstation #46725

If you’ve got a saw, scraper, sander, grinder, drill press, or need a sturdy mobile workstation for your garage projects, you’re gonna love this tool table! Besides being an awesome stand for your tool-of-the-moment, it’s got magnetic strips to hold screws, bolts, etc., while you’re doing your thing, and can take up to 1,000 lbs. of tools and equipment! The workstation also has two shelves to store stuff, making this an ideal companion for any metal, wood or auto job.

 

folding clamping workbench

Folding Clamping Workbench

US General Folding Clamping Workbench with Movable Pegs #47844

When you’re pinched for space– and green– this sturdy, low-priced workbench is the ticket. It features a protractor scale and 24″ inch ruler with SAE and metric markings, making it easy to work on jobs where measuring and marking come into play. You can easily mount bench-top tools onto the hardy birch veneer tabletop, or use it as a stand. The folding workbench also has four movable pegs and 24 very handy slots for quick access to your tools. Very light and mobile, but don’t let its under-12-lb. demeanor fool you. This is a formidable workbench for all projects that need a table.

 

roller stand

132-lb. Capacity Roller Stand

 Haul-Master 132 lb. Capacity Roller Stand #68898

Our roller support stand is the perfect companion for your portable workbench or table. It adjusts from 26-3/4″ to 42-3/4″ and comes with a heavy-duty ball bearing roller for easy handling of wide or long boards on table saws, drill presses, band saws, etc. It’s also got an extra-wide base for solid support and the steel roller won’t blemish your work pieces. Use it for wrought iron, PVC, plywood, etc. The roller stand folds and unfolds easily for quick storage, retrieval and transport. In short time you will find this roller stand pay for itself over and over, again.

folding power tool stand

Folding Power Tool Stand

Central-Machinery Mobile Folding Power Tool Stand #40612

Another solution for when you’re hurting on space or tend to move your projects around from place to place, is this Mobile Folding Power Tool Stand. DIYers with saws, sanders or the need of a mobile work table can benefit from this rugged folding tool bench. It features extension wings with rollers to stabilize any large pieces you’re working on and can support up to 550 lbs. then when you’re done, it just folds away for easy and compact storage, making it an ideal solution for any metal, wood, plumbing job or hobby enthusiast.

 

foldable adjustable sawhorse

Foldable Adjustable Sawhorse

 Central-Machinery Foldable Adjustable Sawhorse #69059

You’ll be surprised how useful and convenient these adjustable sawhorses really are. They hold up to 440 lbs. and fold down to a compact 3″ thick for economical storage in the garage– or behind a truck seat!
It’s constructed of 13-gauge steel and adjusts from 25″ to 35-1/2″ high with a spring-loaded mechanism. The foldable sawhorse also comes with a carry handle and has a non-slip rubber coating on its top surface. Get a couple of these and a flat of plywood, you could take your work outside and enjoy the weather, or bring it to the needed job for easy, close access to do the task.
sawhorse 2-set

Plastic Sawhorse 2-Set

350 Lb. Capacity Sawhorses, 2 Piece Set #47782

These rugged sawhorses weigh less than 4 pounds each, yet can sustain 350 lbs. each! With incredibly easy mobility, they fold up and transport effortlessly wherever you need them. They also fold up and store flat when not in use. And since they’re made of  injection molded PVC, they won’t rust if left outside or exposed to the elements. A great addition to your arsenal for mobile work.

So, take a stand– or a few! With so little investment and so much practical assistance, you’ll wonder why you didn’t grab them long ago. Also, visit Harbor Freight Tools for all your other shop, auto and outdoor tool needs (don’t forget the coupons!). We guarantee you’ll find something you like with every visit!

Dig This Towable Ride-On Trencher

Digging a trench is heavy duty work!  Which is why you need a heavy duty tool to get the job done right.  Enter the Towable Ride-On Trencher from Harbor Freight Tools.  This machine lets you dig trenches up to 8 feet deep with ease and quickness. And with the attached padded seat, you’ll do it in comfort too.  Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a veteran do-it-yourselfer, this trencher is a workhorse that will save you time, money and hassle by providing reliable results and pinpoint accuracy. image_18941 The sheer number of tasks that this machine can accomplish will surprise you too.  Sure, it’s made to dig trenches but the machine does more than just that.  Replace drain field lines, dig up bothersome tree stumps, or just dig a hole for a septic line.  It’s all possible with the Towable Ride-On Trencher.  And even if that 3 Tooth Trencher Bucket wears out after putting in its time, a replacement trencher bucket is available through Harbor Freight for just $250. image_13124

“This little devil can grip and rip! I purchased it in 2008 and thought I’d kill it off by now. It has a well-balanced design that allowed me to walk it out in soft tidal muck and back out again. Engine always starts easy. An incredible bargain. I’m sorely tempted to buy another one since they are on sale.” – by Greg from Florida “I am so glad I talked myself into purchasing this trencher. I have gotten so much use out of it in just the 2 weeks I have had it. I’ve dug a couple holes in hard ground for the trees my wife bought and I have used it to clear out a bunch of brush.” – by Skoalmt from Eureka, Ca “We have had this trencher for over 7 years and keep finding new uses every day. We have used it for everything from stump removal to digging out footers. Friends and family always want to borrow it and we have no problem letting them since we know it will get the job done. I wish that we had an hour meter on it to prove the amount of use we have gotten:  500 + hours.” – by Brian from Allentown, Pa

This incredible trenching machine gives you the power you need to handle big digging jobs quickly and easily.  A 9 horsepower industrial engine powers the hydraulic pump so you know you’re getting all the leverage you need as you dig up to 7 feet deep.  Plus, with the included hitch coupler, you can easily hook the trencher up to your pickup truck for added portability.  Now you can work without breaking your back OR the bank!  Pick up this behemoth machine for just $2,499.99 and find out for yourself why everyone is raving about the Towable Ride-On Trencher.

Pittsburgh Tubing Roller: This Is How We Roll

If you’re in the market for an economical manual tubing roller, you really should take a look at the Pittsburgh Tubing Roller (SKU #99736) from Harbor Freight. This sturdy, heavy-duty tubing roller is an absolute wonder.

It’s easy to use and 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.  Whether your project is for work or hobby, the tubing roller works incrementally so that you can create bends as precise as necessary. An excellent tool for the price!

tubing roller

The Pittsburgh tubing roller bends it like Beckham.

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller does a lot and takes up little space. It’s portable and a prize to have around the shop. It’s 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 is one of those fun toys when doing a cage because your tube work can follow the arc of the windshield, have a domed roof, or whatever other normal or wacky job you can think of. It also does a decent job with bike-quality bends for the serious cyclist. The roller can be bench-mounted as well on this Central Machinery 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 while bending.

Here are just a few comments from owners:

Really great tool and easy to use. This took about 5 minutes or less to complete and I was going slow and easy.”  The Nettletons – Marietta, GA

“Works great. If you start rolling bigger tube such as 1 1/2″ you will get a work out but 1″ and smaller is a piece of cake but no matter what size you roll the results are amazing. Just take your time and it will turn out great. I have been using mine to build furniture and it turns out gorgeous.”  JoeBro – Undisclosed

“I am always afraid of cheap tools but this is a great tool for the price. It is a substantial piece of equipment. It comes with 3 sets of dies and works very well. I bought the flat die set as well. Makes beautiful rings in 1/4 x 1 1/2 steel.”  Robert – Undisclosed

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

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller performs like much higher-priced models without bending your budget. At just $169.99, it’ll keep you rolling for years to come!

Handle a Ton of Work with a Hand-Operated Arbor Press!

With the 1 Ton Arbor Press (Central Machinery 3552) from Harbor Freight Tools mounted to your workbench, small production and assembly jobs are a breeze! Installing and removing bearings, staking, pressing shafts and more are all done quickly and efficiently with minimal effort thanks to the 1 ton force applied by this mighty but small arbor press. Its all-metal construction combined with a large base make this arbor press sturdy and durable so you can power through a whole variety of applications! Even installation is easy with the mount holes conveniently built into the press. Just secure the tool to your workbench and you’re ready to go.

image_18449

Safely Handles Small Jobs!

In case I’m not pressing the point enough, check out what some actual customers had to say:

“I am using this press to squeeze the juice of vegetables and fruits from the production of a meat grinder. It is tough enough for that and its four inch throat guarantees a small pressing area and ensures enough pressure to adequately squeeze my fruit and vegetable pulp through a flour sack towel. That gives me juice without the pulp. I am not using it for its intended use so my comment may inspire someone else to find another non-standard use for this arbor press. I no longer work on cars professionally, but it may serve double duty at some time in the future.” — xenonracerx from Las Vegas, NV

“I use this to press bearings in and piston pins, also have fixed body panels with it. A+ and a great value cant go wrong” —  Joel from Rogers, MN

“I use this press to press in leaf spring bushing on almost all my suspension projects. I mounted it into my vise and press in all the bushing with no problem. A lot faster than using my 20 ton h frame press.” — James the fabricator from Lakewood, Wa

And I’m willing to be that James the Fabricator is telling the truth despite his profile name.  Bigger or more powerful presses can’t handle the smaller jobs tackled by the 1 ton arbor press. For smaller work pieces, you’ll want to be sure to use a press that can handle the work safely while still applying enough force. And while you’re at it, be sure to get a good look at Harbor Freight’s line of vices too. The 6″ Portable Carpenter’s Vise or the 4” Drill Press Vice are a great addition to work you may be doing on the arbor press.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another arbor press for sale at the same low cost as this one offered by Harbor Freight. Other retailers sell similar presses for much more!

Lumberjack Day

lumberjack

All right, by a show of hands, who’s ever wished they were a lumberjack? Come on, I know you have. Red shirt, suspenders, big ol’ waffle-stomper boots, Nell at your side… leaping from tree to tree, as they float down the mighty rivers, frolicking with steer. Dare to dream, right? Well, as today is Lumberjack Day, we can ALL realize the dream and be lumberjacks– thanks to the tremendous log-splitting savings at Harbor Freight Tools! Here are just a few examples of their wide selection of wood-decimating devices:

Now that summer is roasting to a close, fall is almost here and winter’s in the not-too-distant future, death is closing in all around us– dead leaves, dead branches, and all other sorts of recently-deceased debris– a virtual land of zombie foliage– will soon be besieging our yards! Make disposing their remains easy on yourself with a powerful chipper/shredder or leaf eater/shredder from Harbor Freight. Such as…

Quickly reduce piles of leaves and small branches into useful mulch. Mulch is a standard form of winter protection for many shallow-rooted plant, acting as insulation for the soil and plant roots. This powerful 14 amp electric chipper-shredder can handle limbs up to 1-1/2″ in diameter and its rugged polypropylene hopper won’t rust or dent. Also, it maneuvers easily through the yard on smooth-rolling 6″ wheels. All for the low price of $149.99!

“Have been using this for the last 6 months to mulch tree branches off my yard. Have fed it branches up to 1-inch diameter thus far, and the chipper handles them easily. Easy to carry, easy to setup. The “paddle” that is included comes quite handy to feed small branches into the chipper.”  SM – Clinton Township, MI

 

This gas-powered dynamo is an invaluable tool for landscapers or anyone cleaning up their yard. The chipper-shredder handles limbs up to 1-1/4″ thick and features a four-chipper-blade design to quickly turn limbs, twigs and small branches into mulch. Perfect for flower beds and vegetable gardens. Easy on gas, tough on branches, this little chipper eats brush like it’s nothing! A great deal at $379.99— and customers are ecstatic over its performance:

“I bought this based on reviews. I have several very large shrubs that need regular pruning. Most branches are 1″ or less. This chipper ate them up. No more dragging them curbside. I had a pile of branches about 4-feet tall by 8-feet long. I turned this pile into about one cubic foot of fine mulch. Couldn’t be happier. Now I’m looking for other stuff to prune just so I can use this thing. The engine is very quiet and started on the 2nd pull. I’m very happy with this one!” Weary Gardener – Charlotte, NC

“This is a sweet chipper– use the hell out of it, put the hurt to it. I haven’t had any problem with it! Don’t complain you payed three bills for it, it’s better than buying one for grand or more for the same job :)!!!!!!!! Harbor Freight, you got my vote, keep up the good work. For the people that have small yards, this is the best thing to buy. It’s quiet, small and will shred anything you can get down in the hopper.  I just love it. Hopeful this is some help to others. I’ve had mine for three years, I use mine a lot in the summertime.”  Big E – Lakewood, CO

 

10 ton hydraulic log splitter

When lumberjacks sleep, they dream about this baby! Manually jacking this hydraulic splitter generates up to 10 tons of ramming force, enough to split logs as long as 18″ and as thick as 6-1/2″ in diameter (depending on wood density). Powerful and easy to operate, this compact splitter takes up very little floor space and can easily fit– and be operated– in a garage. Works great on oak, yellow gum, hickory, maple– even green wood! Give your arms and shoulders a break and let the 10-ton hydraulic log splitter do the work for you. At only $99.99, it’s a Brainerd no-brainer!

 “We just took down eight trees and had almost three cords of green wood to split. I read the reviews and thought my shoulder could use a break. This works perfectly. Even my wife loved using it. Logs can be no longer than 18 inches to fit….but they can be much larger than 6 inches across – most of ours were 16-18 inches. I couldn’t split most of the green wood by hand…but this little splitter split all logs easily. It’s heavy to move at about 90 pounds but has little wheels. Buy it and give your splitting maul and back a break. Worked great for us.”  Paul – Vermont

 

7 ton log splitter

 

When it comes to raw power, this 2 HP electric log splitter delivers up to 7 macho tons of ramming force to split logs as thick as 10 inches in diameter and as long as 20 inches! Features include two pneumatic tires built for easy maneuvering on rough terrain, and it’s as portable as a hand cart with an easy-grip handle. Splits heavy logs quickly and safely! A worthy investment at $399.99!

“Good product, split everything I had. Fast, quiet and no gas fumes… can use in garage. None even close for price!”  baldhead – Oregon

“Cannot beat for the money. Well built and very portable. Electric, so easy to start & low maintenance. Great for those of us who have health issues and can no longer split. Very powerful for its size. As a former farm boy and shade tree mechanic I like how sturdy it is built. Should last a long time for household splitting. Well done, Harbor Freight. One of your best!”  Dr. Zinc – Washington, DC

 

electric chainsaw 2

While the Chicago Electric 14″ Electric Chainsaw may not be practical for decimating forests, this sturdy, lightweight tool performs masterfully for easy pruning, yet is tough enough to take on thick limbs and branches! It’s got a quiet-running, powerful motor with an anti-kickback feature and a safety lock-out switch, so it’s mild-mannered enough for the wife and kids to use it. The wrap-around hand guard and bar guard provide additional safety, and the automatic oiler keeps the chain fully lubricated and always ready for action. Cut down trees and then cut them up for firewood– even oak. Trim trees and cut limbs, clear areas of thick brush. The ease is great and the power is more than sufficient– you’ll love your Chicago Electric 14″ Oregon bar electric chainsaw! Now only $54.99!

As one customer noted:

“This electric saw is better than a gas-powered saw period! No real loud noise, no gas fumes, smoke, and no leaking oil all over the area you store it. I have 5 of 6 acres left. I have many Mesquite trees. And as many people know, they are tough to cut. Not with this saw. I cut through them like butter! The key to using any saw is let it do the cutting. Meaning you do not need to push down on the saw real hard and make it harder on yourself. Also, do not pull back and forth while you are cutting. Just apply slight pressure to hold the saw down on the tree and just let it do the cutting. Yes, it is electric and you need a long electric cord, but Harbor Freight has the 100 ft. cords at a good price. This saw out-performed my gas saws easily! I cut well over 100 pieces of small to large round trees and the chain is still tight and it still is sharp. I have not once had to tighten the chain up on this saw. Also, this saw does not leak chain oil all over the place. You just add the chain oil and it self-lubes the chain. Most saws, when you set them down on something after use, the chain oil goes everywhere. Not this one! If there was a 10-star rating, this saw would get it. Excellent saw for the low cost!”  Loopster – Grays Prairie, TX

So, stand tall, my friend. Today is your day! Head on over to Harbor Freight, get some quality wood-cutting tools for incredibly low prices, and be who you are– a lumberjack! And you’re OK.

(Nells and Mounties not included)

 

Harbor Freight Tools Father’s Day Gift Guide

father's day butterfly

Ah, Dad… He’s the guy who taught you how to hammer a nail, ride a bike, catch a fish and belch like a man. When he came home from work, he’d give you that bear hug, smelling like cold air and Old Spice, his five o’clock shadow bristling against your baby-butt-smooth cheek, and you loved it. He was the soft touch when it was time to go to bed, but you needed just a little more TV time… and when you went to bed, he could throw you up in the air like you were flying! He knew how to make your mom laugh like no one else, and he knew how to make the perfect pancakes on Sunday morning.

Father’s Day is the day we get to thank Dad for all of it– for making our childhood more magical, and for making us feel special when he took the time to do things with us. Harbor Freight understands what dads like, and he knows how you can thank them, too. All you have to do is visit the website and you’ll know why it’s their favorite toy store. So to help make the decision of what to get him easier, here are 10 popular items currently on sale at Harbor Freight Tools, any of which that will make him smile:

 

1. Drill Master 3/8″ 18 Volt Cordless Drill/Driver with Keyless Chuck #68239

Drill Master 3/8" Cordless Drill/Driver

This Harbor Freight favorite is a great general-purpose drill; home use, furniture building, etc. The keyless chuck is tight, the power is strong, and users love the LED light! This high performance cordless drill driver has 21 torque clutch settings to handle a variety of chores around the house and garage. It includes an electric brake and the battery is interchangeable with other 18-volt Drill Master tools. For sale at $18.99, it would cost more to buy a new battery for any other drill! In fact, pick up a Drill Master 18V NiCd Replacement Battery along with it, so when Dad’s on a roll, he’ll never have to stop to charge!

 

2. Pittsburgh Automotive Pneumatic Adjustable Roller Seat #46319

adjustable roller seat

What a great idea to save the back and knees! With a thick cushion, integrated easy-to-reach storage tray and a 15″ to 20″ lift range, this pneumatic adjustable roller seat is as practical as it is comfortable. Non-marring casters allows for smooth mobility while the 360 degree swivel seat and one-hand height adjustment lever let Dad get into the perfect position for whatever he’s doing. Whether it’s working on a bicycle, motorcycle, washing and waxing the car, lug nuts, changing brakes, wheel bearings, painting low cabinets, etc., he’ll be quietly thanking you again and again while he’s relaxing on his roller seat. At just $22.99, this is the ticket!

 

3. Pittsburgh 22-Piece Fully-Polished SAE and Metric Combination Wrench Set #47467

22 pc wrench set

The legendary Pittsburgh 22-piece combination wrench set from Harbor Freight includes 11 of the most widely used SAE wrench sizes and 11 of the most popular metric sizes to accommodate almost any wrenching moment. Fully polished, they’re made of chrome vanadium steel and a chrome plate finish for added durability, and come with an organized portable storage rack for quick access. This wrench set is great for everything from around the house to auto work– even working on trucks, trailers, tractors and farm equipment! And at just $16.99, everyone should have a set of these! And did I mention the lifetime warranty? This set of wrenches is awesome!

 

4. Pittsburgh 21 Piece High Visibility 3/8″ Drive SAE/Metric Socket Set #67900

21 pc SAE metric socket set

A good socket set makes your life so much easier. How about a great socket set? Well, now you’re talking! The wrenches in the Pittsburgh professional-quality set are constructed of rugged chrome vanadium are triple-chrome-plated. They also come with high visibility markings for quick and easy socket selection, a quick-release ratchet with reversible 72-tooth gearing and a comfy cushion grip. An awesome set, believe me, and it beats paying hundreds for those big name brand sets off the tool trucks. And, of course, it’s got that lifetime warranty! Pick up a set (or two!) for just $14.99.

 

5. Pittsburgh 60 Piece Alloy Steel SAE/Metric Tap & Die Set #35407

60-pc tap and die set

And while we’re talking about incredible deals on hand tools, what do you get the man who’s got all the wrenches and sockets he’ll ever need (like that’s going to happen)? Why, a Pittsburgh 60-pc. SAE-metric tap & die set, of course! Thread and bore taps like a pro with this tap and die set!  This tap and die set will perform– and out-perform!— other tool & die sets that cost ten times as much. Each tap and die is constructed of long-lasting alloy steel and the sizes are embedded in, not printed on, the surfaces. This set will cover most all Dad’s tap and die needs and, in no time, it’ll become his go-to tool for creating and repairing his own screws and bolts. For the home workshop and auto shop; thread plastic, wood, brass, and even plate steel– everything from an aluminum frame to a hardened steel bumper! Tell Dad to keep them oiled and they’ll last him a lifetime– which, it just so happens, is how long the warranty lasts. Only $29.99 at Harbor Freight.

 

6. Chicago Electric 4″ Angle Grinder #91222

4-inch grinder

Dad will save time and hacksaw blades with this angle grinder. This lightweight grinder is powerful and easy to operate while he’s cutting or shaping a brick walkway, cutting steel bolts, rebar, masonry, plaster, copper or galvanized pipe. or grinding welds, removing rust, removing bolts, sharpening sections on blades like sickle bars, etc. This grinder’s 4.5 amp ball-bearing mount motor delivers 11,000 RPMs for fast stock removal. It also has a spindle lock for fast and easy wheel changes, easy access brushes, a removable side handle, an easy-to-replace carbon brush and aluminum gear housing.  Included with the grider are a 4″ grinding wheel, arbor wrenches and a 7/8″ arbor adapter. Other cutting blades sold separately. An incredible price at $19.99!

 

7.  Cen-Tech 3-In-1 Jump Starter and Power Supply #38391

3-in-1 power supply 38391

The car battery on Dad’s old Crown Vic been dead for months? No problem! This jump starter will easily jump-start nearly any weak or dead 12-volt car battery. Tell him to throw it in the trunk and never worry about getting stuck somewhere again. The #4 industrial copper booster cables include durable alligator clips that can easily attach to any car battery, and the jumper’s got a built-in 3.6 watt light to illuminate his sight under the hood, making this a perfect jump companion to have on the road! It also comes with an invaluable power supply for electrical equipment in case of an emergency, such as a C-PAP, spotlight, air pump, etc. The Cen-Tech jump starter/power supply has an automatic cutoff to prevent overcharging, a charge/battery level indicator, and an easy-to-read battery indicator. And before he can say, “What are you, a Rockefeller?” tell him, “Dad, relax. It was only $42.99 at Harbor Freight!”

 

8. Central Machinery 1-Ton Chain Hoist #996

1 ton chain hoist

This hoist lifts loads up to 10 feet high easily, thanks to its sturdy, hardened steel chain. The strength of this hoist can lift up to 2,000 lbs. hassle-free and includes a mechanical load brake to give operator more control when lifting or spotting. Works wonderfully with a gantry or I-beam. Dad can use it for lifting and swapping out engines and trannies like they’re not even there– for a lot less than an engine lift!– hoist motorcycles for chain and other maintenance, lift the front of a tractor or heavy-duty truck for tire repair, etc. Rugged and reliable, this chain hoist is ideal for heavy loads at the auto repair shop or industrial warehouse. This jewel works as smooth as silk., and for only $44.99, is worth every penny. He’ll love it!

 

9. Predator 420cc, 5500 Watts Max/5500 Watts Rated Portable Generator #68529, #68526

5500 watt generator

Powered with a reliable Predator engine, this portable generator is ideal for emergencies, job-site use, recreation, family reunions, heating and cooling. The generator features a 420cc air-cooled OHV gas engine, a low oil indicator, UL-listed circuit breaker and 11 hours run-time at 50% capacity. With a heavy-duty steel roll cage for protection, this is the ideal portable generator for powering countless electronics, appliances and tools! And if Dad’s left without power after a storm or other occurrence, this will keep him going with whatever he needs to power. On sale for Father’s Day at $469.99, the 5500 watt generator comes in a standard and California-certified model.

 

10. Harbor Freight Tools Gift Cards

gift card

The ultimate go-to Father’s Day present when you don’t know WHAT’S going on in Dad’s head!  He’ll appreciate this ’cause he gets to choose exactly what’s he’s had his eye on. You can even have it sent directly to him if you order online; just enter his mailing information on the Shipping Address page. Harbor Freight has gift cards for $10, $25, $50, $75, $100 and $500!

So, take some time and check out these and other tremendous Father’s Day deals at Harbor Freight Tools. And when you give your gift to your dad, mention something about those childhood memories, and thank him. Chances are, that’s the best present you could have given him. The tools don’t hurt, though.

Harbor Freight 2 HP Dust Collector: The Woodworker’s Favorite Tool

Opinions are like hand tools– everybody’s got them (opinions are like other things, too, but I can’t think of what they are right now).

And, like opinions, while it might vary as to which of Harbor Freight’s quality, low-priced tools customers take a shining to, the Woodworking Guys seem to share a consensus of their favorites. Like the Chicago Electric 10″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw, with its consistently smooth, precise cuts; the industrial-quality Central Machinery 10″ 13-amp Industrial Bench Table Saw, so easy to use, accurate, and works like a heavyweight champ; the uncompromising Central Machinery 2.5 HP 12″ Planer and the powerful & compact Drill Master Trim Router.

And while I could name a dozen more off the top of my head (momentary power foot switch… ), there’s no denying that– by far– the most popular Harbor Freight product for woodworkers is the Central Machinery 2 HP Industrial 5 Micron Dust Collector. This dust collector vanquishes the finest sawdust, dirt and debris like a wormhole that suddenly appears and sucks galaxies. It comes  complete with a clear bottom bag so you see what’s been collected, and four locking swivel casters making it easy to move to wherever its needed. It has a 4″ diam. intake and 4″ diam. exhaust, and comes with two collecting bags and hex wrenches. You can pick one of these babies up at your local Harbor Freight, or order them online, priced at $199.99– or with the 20% Off Coupon, make it $160!

Just to get a taste of what the woodworkers ARE saying, though, here are a few comments submitted by experienced, hardcore fans:

“A year ago, when I was building my shop, I was shopping around for a dust collector to be the heart of my system. I looked at General, Jet, Grizzly, etc. But then I read several really postive reviews on the HF 2 HP model. I had a coupon for 169.00 for it so I figured, why not? Let me tell you, this thing is at least the equal of all of those others! I actually got a chance to examine a Jet, and a Grizzly….and they are almost identical. My longest run is 45 feet and I’ve had no trouble running one tool there and another 25 feet in the other direction, at the same time. It gets it all. Now I make a lot of dust here in my shop so this has gotten a workout in the last year, and I’m not disappointed. This is one of those rare Harbor Freight gems.”

–njcraftsman on Lumberjocks

“There isn’t much this little thingie can’t handle. Cabinet saw, no problem. 12 inch Planer, same same. 6-inch jointer, 6 x 48 flat belt, compound miter saw, nada. Moderate-sized drum sander, no problem-o. Don’t expect this rig to evacuate a 52-inch double wide belt sander though, but for most small shop cabinet men, chair makers and burl workers this will execute without hesitation. I’ve got mine in a room adjacent to my shop running through a bulkhead fitting; all you hear is the quiet screaming of the sawdust as it is slurped off to the Great Beyond. A metal trash can will fit nicely under the bag within the frame, which eases the unloading of poor, dead tree powder and other assorted shop waste. Don’t think you can run a 100-ft hose from your shop to your neighbor’s basement though; any DC system can only handle X amount of hose, especially if it is corrugated or has numerous 180′ turns. All in all, very pleased with this item, it can run with the big dogs all day long (going on 6 years) as long as you keep good duct work and hoses in the equation and mind your housekeeping regarding the top bags cleanliness.”

–R. E. Parks on Dakota Heirloom Woodworking

“At the end of the day, is this thing worth it? Heck yeah! I don’t think there’s anything that’s comparable for the price. As I stated, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with dust collectors, but I have no idea what a more expensive single stage dust collector could do that this one can’t. This product comes with a high recommendation from me, and it’s a pretty big improvement over my old shop vac based system.”

–haugerm on Woodworking Talk

Whether your passion is wood, metal, welding, engines, the yard– or a little of everything– you can count on Harbor Freight Tools to deliver quality, low-priced products that’ll get the job done and leave you some cash left over. Check out the deals today and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Garage Cleaning Pt. 2 – Making Space

With warm weather comes reclaiming the garage. It’s your Fortress of Solitude. Your “getting-things-done” place. But when you throw your body against the door and, on the third try, finally manage to pry it open, reality comes crashing down– as well as a stack of boxes and a pair of old Pioneer speakers. Somehow,over the course of the winter the garage has morphed into a disaster zone. Lawn tools and bikes and power tools and half-finished projects and other stuff cluttering up the bench tops and floor space, to the point that you can’t go out and fetch your Costco toilet paper without ripping your shirt and tripping over something. And then you swear, and your mother-in-law overhears it and she shoots your wife a look like, “you really screwed up hooking up with this fella”… even 20 years later.

You really need to clear out the garage! So, here are a few tools from Harbor Freight I’d like to suggest that’ll make your feng shui the right way:


I think you’ll agree, there’s nothing in the garage with more “trip potential” than the family bicycles. It’s like the damned things have minds of their own, fighting you every step of the way as you try to get passed them. No longer be that victim! Harbor Freight’s got a cool Bicycle Lift #95803 with a unique pulley locking mechanism that quickly hoists your bike up, off the ground. Mounting hardware and a 46 ft. nylon rope are included and set-up couldn’t be easier. They’re great for kids’ bikes, mountain bikes, adult cruiser bikes, etc. And check out the customer reviews– some even use their bike lifts for other things like kayaks andconvertible tops! Perfect for anyone who needs a little extra space in their garage. The bike lifts sell for $8.99 each, well worth the price for free space, unscratched bikes and unbruised ankles!

When you were clearing the garage, I’m sure you noticed every once in a while kicking little pieces of something or another across the floor; screws, bolts, washers, etc. The next step is to clear the decks with 30″ Magnetic Sweeper #93245 from Central Machinery. Riding on 7″ wheels and sporting an extra-wide 30″ sweeper, this tool will quickly and easily pick up hardware, scrap, nails, wires, metal dust and other metal parts over garage and shop floors, carpet– and even grass!  The magnetic sweeper provides 50 lbs. of magnetic pull plus a one-pull release to quickly clean itself of the debris. Plus, the handle extends from 30″ to 44-1/2″. Only $39.99! And, if your areas are smaller, Harbor Freight also carries a 22″ Magnetic Sweeper #98399 for $34.99 and a mini 17″ Magnetic Sweeper #98398 selling for $9.99.

 

Besides clutter, an unattended garage can become a den of dust and grime. Hardware that uses oil and grease like auto parts, fasteners, hinges, padlocks, etc., quickly accumulate a greasy coat of scuz that can affect their performance. One of Harbor Freight customers’ favorite shop accessories is the legendary Chicago Electric 20-Gallon Parts Washer #7340. It comes with a fully enclosed electric pump that circulates 5-1/4 gallons-per-minute to dissolve grease, dirt and grime– from even the grungiest parts! Made of rugged steel, the parts washer includes a built-in drain and a latching cover to keep spills to a minimum.The 20-gallon tub sits atop a heavy-duty steel stand and includes a small parts basket, work shelf, storage shelf and flexible chrome spigot. This thing’s a virtual work horse and will perform righteously for mechanics and machine shop workers, as well as homegrown DIYers. It’s the perfect companion during engine, trans and carb rebuilds, not to mention any mechanical repair jobs. At $95.99, this parts washer will give you great service for years!

Don’t even think about messing around the grime, oil and chemicals without wearing protective 5-Mil Nitrile Safety Gloves #68498. Seriously, this one’s a no-brainer, guys. At just $5.99 for 100 gloves (50 pair), you get the peace of mind of being protected from harmful agents while maintaining the dexterity and comfort necessary to get the tasks done. These gloves provide better resistance to chemicals and such than lates, and also don’t trigger the allergic reaction that latex can. ‘Nuf said.

Finally, when the job’s done, make sure you’ve got a jug of 5-star hand cleaner, Orange Goop, nearby. This heavy-duty, citrus-scented hand cleaner is gentle on your hands, but tough on the grime. clean and smelling fresh! It removes grease, mud, plaster, paint, dirt, grime and more. With a convenient hand pump, this 1-gallon Goop– at just $9.99— makes it FUN to wash your hands! OK, not really, but it’s better than getting the stinkeye for blackening the bar soap and sink in the powder room.

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

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

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

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