Custom Classic Trucks: Central Pneumatic Gasket Scraper

As Rotten Rodney Bauman points out in his article, “Strippin’ Tips” (Custom Classic Trucks, Dec. 2012), when it comes to restoring an old truck, “the ‘fun’ begins with the initial teardown.” The latest project being a “tired” ’55 Chevy 1/2-ton, he and his right hand, Mrs. Rotten, removed the cab and soon determined that before they could send it to be abrasive blasted, they’d need to remove some old greasy goo and ancient undercoating. Rotten Rodney had just the tool:

“At times like these, it’s good to have a Central Pneumatic gasket scraper in the bottom drawer. I’d actually forgotten I had this little jewel.”

As an added tip, he suggests that if you intend on tackling such a formidable project, you should first heat the scraping blade.

“Heating the scraper helps. You could also aim the flame directly to the undercoating, but we prefer to heat the tool only, which creates much less smoke to inhale.”

Currently at Harbor Freight Tools, the gasket scraper comes as part of a 6-Piece Pneumatic Scraper Kit, complete with a set of blades that also removes paint, rust, glue and other materials without damaging metal surfaces. A built-in regulator adjusts the scraper’s force of impact and provides the control and precision needed for just the right performance.  It works great at removing baked-on valve, front cover and oil pan gaskets, etc., as well as welding spatter, wet-bed mortar, flooring adhesive… a whole slew of stuff that other solutions just can’t deal with. Saves time and busted knuckles, too!

Rotten Rodney is still working on his project– and as with all projects, he’ll probably run into a speed bump or two– but, at least he’s got the undercoating gunk licked. As he said:

“This tool has proved invaluable for ribbed and/or channeled areas like the bottom of these rocker panels,” and added, “Here eye protection is a must to avoid injuries associated with airborne undercoating projectiles.”

Second that. Sometimes I’m so focused on having all the materials needed to get something done, I totally forget the eye and hand gear. It just isn’t smart.

Next time you’re at Harbor Freight, grab a scraper kit to keep in the bottom of your drawer. Dollars to donuts, the day will come you’ll be happy you did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boy Scout Does His Eagle Project the Harbor Freight Way

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

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

The benches were sorely weather-beaten…

 

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

 

The finished benches looked like new!

 

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

The wood planters were stained with paint rollers (#90182) and brushes (#4183) provided by HFT, which gave them a smooth finish.

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

Jack presents a finished planter

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Auto Enthusiast: Harbor Freight Transmission Jack

In their October 2012 issue, Auto Enthusiast magazine featured a transmission upgrade for a ’68 Camaro. The new tranny, a modified T56 Magnum– called a “Tranzilla”– was converted by Rockland Standard Gear. As AE reported:

“What they do is take the Magnum from Tremec, upgrade to carbon rings on gears one through four, and slap on a Viper tail shaft.”

This conversion allows the car to run up to 1,000 lbs-ft. and 1,200 horsepower.

In the process of switching out the transmissions, the techs at Auto Enthusiast noted how pleased they were with the Central Hydraulics 450 Lb. Capacity Low Lift Transmission Jack:

“We have to wrench on our stuff just like everyone else, on the ground. We found this helpful scissor transmission jack at Harbor Freight for $65. Trust us, it was the best $65 we ever spent. It made this job almost too easy.” (from slide #4 on the article)

It should be noted that the $65 price came with the use of a Harbor Freight 20% coupon– so make sure to clip one of those before you shop!

The 450 lb. transmission jack is perfect for removing trannies on small-to-mid vehicles. Riding on smooth, easily-maneuverable 3″ swivel casters, this tough jack was forged for rough, long-term use in the shop or garage. The saddle tilts for easy positioning during repair, making it the right tool for any professional auto garage or hobbyist.

And while you’re at it, pick up your copy of the October 2012 Auto Enthusiast and check out that great article, Bang, Shift, Zoom about the transmission switch.

’67 Firebird Restoration Project: Part 3 – Engine Removal!

Welcome to the third installment of the Harbor Freight Tools 1967 Firebird Restoration Project.

For first-time readers: HFT invited Jeff Tann– car enthusiast and former Rod & Custom editor — to fully restore the legendary muscle car using only discount tools from Harbor Freight. The car is all original, with a 400/325-hp V8 engine, so he’s basically tackling the project “from scratch.”

In Part 1, we were given a tour of the original vehicle, inside and out, and presented Jeff’s challenge. In Part 2, we followed the body-dismantling process and introduced the U.S. General 700 lb. Capacity 5-Drawer Rolling Tool Cart, which housed the Pittsburgh Professional 301-Piece Mechanic’s Tool Kit. Also in this segment, we saw how Jeff made quick business of the job with a Central Pneumatic 3/8″ Professional Air Ratchet and 1/4″ Mini Air Ratchet Wrench.

This time we follow Jeff as he lifts the engine, using a 2-Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane. It’s probably the first time the 45-year-old engine’s been taken out since it was on the assembly line, so it’s not gonna be pretty. Jeff then removes the tranny from the engine with a Central Pneumatic 1/2″ Twin Hammer Air Impact Wrench before he mounts it on the Central Machinery 1000 Lb. Engine Stand, and proceeds to take it apart.

What Kayak Canoe Put On a Utility Trailer?

Usually when you go to Harbor Freight for a trailer to haul your canoe or kayak, you’d probably look for the Haul-Master 600 lb. Capacity Boat Trailer. Makes sense, right? Not to everyone. It’s not that the boat trailer isn’t pretty great, itself– it IS, as the customer reviews can attest!– but what if you want something different,and still keep the price nice and low?

I recently found a slew of canoe/kayak mods made from Haul-Master utility trailers, and I thought they were so cool– and share-worthy– I decided to post them here:

On TexasKayakFisherman.com, a forum member who goes by the handle “G-Man” purchased a Haul-Master 1090-lb. Capacity 40-1/2″ x 48″ Mini Utility Trailer, extended the tongue and added two sets of bunkers for two kayaks–

– and then, shortly thereafter, he modified it again!

 

Florida resident “venice” also shared his solution using the 1090-lb. Mini, adding a 6-ft. 2′ x 2-1/2′ piece of steel and a couple of kayak carriers.

He offers a detailed account of his project, including multiple pictures.

“The eyebolt in front is used to use a “Dog holder Y” which we used with our Golden, two clips attach to front of kayaks and the third to the eye bolt… this forms the “Y” I mentioned, the point of it is fast stop, etc., this restrained any forward movement of the kayaks. Overkill, I know, but…”

No apologies, buddy. Overkill is underrated. You found a sweet solution!

 

And as a final example of the 1090 lb. Mini, … this is the best build using a Harbor Freight trailer as a base with no welding that I have seen so far! Check out MattD’s post, once again compliments of TexasKyakFisherman.com.

“It started as a Harbor Freight trailer, a pile of SuperStrut and some scrap steel from the dumpster. I added a couple of coats of spray-on bedliner coating and a recycled battery box for tie-down and tools. “

 

Also on TexasKayakFishing.com, “smitty24,” a Washington state resident, modified his 1720-lb. Capacity Super-Duty 4′x8′ Utility Trailer–

 ”I welded some square stock to the side, slid a larger piece over it and mounted a flat piece of steel and the yakima carriers to that. I made the tongue movable, but I need to cut a foot or two off. I’m planning on adding a coffin type box in the middle so I can carry everything inside and keep it locked, but I want it to be removable too, so I can still use it as a regular trailer to haul stuff. It was actually pretty easy to do…”

You can click here to see additional photos of his work.

 

Finally, check out Marcel Rodriguez’ modification of the Haul-Master 870-lb Capacity 40″x49″ Heavy-Duty Utility Trailer:

Marcel replaced the tongue with a 14-ft. two-piece square steel tube, which he ran from the rear of the trailer, and created the rack from steel tube stock. The trailer can fit four boats comfortably and “could accommodate six.”  In the category of getting the most out of little space, this baby takes the prize! To really appreciate what he’s done, you need to go visit his site.

 

That’s it for now. But, explore the aforementioned sites, yourself– and Google others– for the awesome examples of kayak and canoe trailers made from Harbor Freight utility trailers. There’s no shortage of them– in probably every configuration imaginable– including the one that best matches your needs.

 

The HFT ’67 Firebird Restoration Project: Part 1

How good is Harbor Freight Tools, really? To find out, Jeff Tann– car enthusiast and former Rod & Custom editor–will fully restore a 1967 Pontiac Firebird using only tools sold at Harbor Freight. Starting today, we’ll follow his progress.

In the first installment of this 12-part series, let’s look at the muscle car as it was originally presented to Jeff. As you can see, the Firebird– all original– isn’t in terrible shape, but definitely has seen the wear of time and use. Even so, we’re looking at an American classic, and wouldn’t it be awesome to see it return to its 100% perfection?


Each week we’ll cover another phase of the project, until we see it through to its completion. Starting next week, we’ll start with removing the engine.

Follow with us and witness firsthand how the affordable, quality tools at Harbor Freight perform in this most challenging exercise.

Rod & Custom “Kustomizers” Employ the HF Cut-Off Tool

Cutting 2 inches from the door’s edge with the Central Pneumatic cutoff tool.

Ardent car customizers are extreme when it comes to modifying their rods– and there’s no custom work more complicated and drastic than sectioning.

In the November 2012 issue of Rod & Custom, the “kustomizers” at Star Kustom Shop go all-guns with sectioning a ’51 Chevy hardtop-turned-roadster.

“The owner of the car is after a section that doesn’t just downsize the car and keep factory proportions, Instead, he’s after something that will downplay the bulkiness of the body while accentuating other features. What we came up with is a section that will do just that.”

Without giving anything away, let me just say this baby took a LOT of amazing work– and one of the “stars” in the sectioning process was the Central Pneumatic 3″ High Speed Cut-Off Tool.

The little, mighty cut-off tool reaches a max speed of 18,000 RPM and, besides car bodies, can rip through heavy straps, exhaust systems and sheet metal. One customer told us:

“I bought this to remove rusted bolts on my boat trailer from launching in salt water. This thing is ARE YOU KIDDING PERFECT!! I had 6 bolts cut off in mins. I used 80 pounds of air, with a 20-gallon tank, and it worked perfect. VERY IMPRESSED!” (caps included)

Another added:

“I bought this a few years ago to work on getting an exhaust system apart. Like a hot knife through butter.”

Pick yourself up a copy of the November Rod & Custom and check out the article, entitled, “Weight Watchers.” It’s filled with great detail and multiple photos to follow the sectioning process. And while you’re at it, get your cutoff tool at Harbor Freight– at only $9.99 it’ll be one of the best investments in your garage!

A Gun Gal’s Review of the Dual Rock Tumbler

Last month I compared different methods for cleaning used gun cartridges (“Cleaning Brass: Tumbler, Ultrasonic, or… Cement Mixer?” Jul 25, 2012)  that are practiced out there, and pretty much left it up to the reader to decide which one would be best for them. Well, I recently came across this video made by “GalsnGuns” that she admits is a “novice review of the Harbor Freight Dual Drum Rotary Rock Tumbler.”

I was really impressed by how she took us with her on her journey, experimenting with media, cleaner, different caliber shells and other things to get the best performance out of her tumbler. Her video– which is almost 8-1/2 minutes long– made a believer out of me that the Chicago Electric dual rock tumbler is a solid contender for cleaning gun brass.

A DIY reloader of .38, .357, 9 mm, .223, .556, .45 ACP, .44 magnum, 7.62 x 39 and 7.62 x 54, GalsnGuns has her work cut out for her, so– as she puts it, “first things first”– making sure she uses ready-clean shells is of the utmost imporatance.

Check out her video, and while you’re at it, take a look at the incredibly low-priced single and dual drum rock tumblers on HarborFreight.com, read the reviews and see if this sounds like just the ticket for you.

 

Harbor Freight does not endorse any other business or organization or any technique in any customer video or blog post. Always follow all of the instructions and warnings included with our products. Harbor Freight makes no representation or warranty of any kind by including the information on this website.

JP Magazine: Axle Upgrade with Harbor Freight Tools

If you like to play hard in your Jeep, you’ll definitely want to soup up your front axle– not exactly a light-duty job. Nevertheless, JP magazine shows us how to do just that– affordably and professionally– using tools from Harbor Freight! In an article entitled “Straight and Narrow,” in the Sep 2012 issue, JP editor Cole Quinnell takes us through the steps of getting it done in a weekend and be ready for work Monday morning. To do the job, however, Cole advises that you first need to collect a few special tools:

“In addition to the normal selection of hand tools, you’ll also need a Pickle Fork, a Ball Joint Press and a 35mm Socket to fit a spindle nut, all of which we picked up at Harbor Freight.” (capitalization added)

He added that you’ll need a decent MIG welder capable of welding 1/4″ steel. The Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder would be a quality, affordable tool for the job. Of course, gearheads across the country already know, when you’re looking to do a  heavy project, Harbor Freight’s your tool headquarters.

This is a great article for prepping your Jeep to “handle all but the most abusive off-roading on 35-inch tires”– and no one knows their stuff like JP.  So get yourself a copy of their September issue and check it out!